Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It's All About Networking

The most exciting part about working for Disney is finding out about the amazing opportunities to grow your career within the company. The Walt Disney Company is a powerhouse that not only encompasses the extravagant international Disney parks, resorts, and cruise line, but also includes ABC Television Group, ESPN, Inc., Marvel Entertainment, Lukasfilm, Disney and Hollywood Records, and so much more! The Disney College Program offers interns many opportunities to meet professionals who work in all different areas in the Walt Disney Company through a variety of networking events. 

As a part of my Disney Marketing You course I am learning about how to market myself as a professional and meet people who can help me in my career development. I have been learning many new networking skills including my "30 Second Commercial." My commercial is designed to ease me through the first official introduction of myself to an important person. It explains who I am, what my experience is, what my goals are, and the reasons I am talking to that particular person. Learning to brag about myself has been a challenge, but the more I practice the easier it becomes. 

I have learned quickly just how important networking is within the Walt Disney Company. People who work for Disney love it. They are always willing to share their stories and help you in achieving your Disney career dreams. It is both comforting and thrilling to note that most people I have encountered who are working in their dream roles at Disney started their journeys in the Disney College Program. 

Meet the Professional Interns

For the first networking event I attended at Disney I had the opportunity to meet with professional interns from various areas of the Disney Company. The Disney Professional Internship Program consists of students who are currently working toward a graduate degree or have already graduated with a degree. These interns include a select group of men and women who went through an extremely selective audition process to be placed in specialized areas of the company where they have the most experience. Again, most all of these professional interns started out their Disney career as Disney College Program Interns.  

 During this networking event I chose to speek with representatives and current professional interns in the field of entertainment. Through talking with them I was able to learn more about the internship opportunities offered through Disney in theater production, music recording technology, and performing. 

Spotlight on Disney Fairytale Weddings 

 When I was a little girl my mother and I used to watch television programs about Disney Fairytale Weddings. I was in awe of the magic that Disney could create for a bride, a groom, and their family on their special day. From Cinderella's horse-drawn pumpkin carriage to stunning wedding photos on top of the castle in Magic Kingdom, Disney has the ability to make every bride feel like a real princess. Yesterday I got to see where all of that magic happens at the Disney Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian Resort. 

 While at the networking event, I was able to talk with the world-renown Disney wedding planners, coordinators, and wedding planning professional interns. It seems like it would be so much fun to plan and design fairytale weddings on a daily basis!  I found it interesting to learn about how they got to the high-status positions they are in now. The wedding planners talked about the huge group of people it takes to put on these extravagant events and the extensive yearlong planning that goes into each wedding. 

 Because interior design has always been a passion of mine, I have always had an interest in wedding planning and designing. I also talked to some of the planners about wedding entertainment, considering my experience with singing for wedding ceremonies. Overall, I am keeping my options as open as possible and trying to make many connections while I am here at Disney. 

When it comes to networking, my Marketing You instructor puts it best:

"It's not about who you know, it's about who knows you." 
         - Ms. Penny Hightower

Don't be afraid to make yourself known. Make your goals known to people who can help you achieve them.   


Monday, February 17, 2014

Where I Live: Patterson Court Apartment Tour

My roommates and I were fortunate enough to get assigned to a two-bedroom apartment at Patterson Court. It is a very quiet area with many amenities including a pool, computer lab, workout facility, and learning center where the DCP college courses are taught. The apartment complex is owned by Disney and was built just for Disney College Program participants. It is located near the main entrance of Walt Disney World and is conveniently close to grocery stores and the Premium Outlet Mall. 

For those of you considering the Disney College Program, and would like to see what living at Disney looks like, I have put together an apartment tour for you. 

The Apartment


Kitchen Area

Living Room 

Living Area Layout

My Roommate and I's Bedroom

Our Double Vanities 


Dresser and Walk-In Closet 

Desk Study Area

A Beautiful Florida Evening Out on the Balcony

Minnie thanks you for touring the apartment!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Adventures at Disney

Since arriving I have already had a few opportunities to adventure with new friends!

Audition Adventures

Last Thursday I went to my very first Disney Character Look-Alike Audition at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom! I figured that since I am living and working at Disney, I might as well take advantage of every opportunity while I am here! I have always wanted to audition for Disney and was overjoyed to have the opportunity to do so. 

It was very nice to have my new friend, Stephanie, there with me through the audition process. Being a character performer or look-alike for Disney has always been one of her dreams as well! 

There were close to 500 other girls my age at the audition. We were divided up into groups of 50 and brought into a large room. We were told to stand in lines of ten while the judges looked at our faces, height, and body-type. Each Disney face character has extremely strict physical guidelines to meet in order for each character to be distinguishable and from other characters, and indistinguishable from various performers playing the same character. The judges were very kind and told us upfront that they were looking for a girl to fill the role of a very particular character. Before my group went into the room there had been close to 200 girls who had been judged before me in the audition. Out of those 200 before my group, only a very small handful of girls (about five) had been selected to move onto the next round. Out of my group of 50 they chose only two girls. These girls were on the taller side of the height requirement. That being said, I am guessing they were looking for a character like Aurora, Cinderella, or maybe even a villain like Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty! But no one knows for sure.

It was overall a thrilling experience to attend my first Disney audition! I was definitely not discouraged because I understand that they are always looking for different girls for certain roles all the time. I now know what to expect and am looking forward to the next audition opportunity that comes my way while I am here in Orlando.    

Roommate Adventures

I must say that I feel extremely lucky to have the roommates that I do. We found each other on Facebook prior to moving to Orlando and have had a blast living together so far! My roommates are Lauralee, Carly, and Andrea. They are currently attending colleges in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Their DCP internships are with Merchandising at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Costuming at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, and with the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at the Magic Kingdom!

Since moving in together we have had many adventures out and about in Orlando and in the Disney Parks. As Disney Cast Members we have the amazing benefit of getting into the parks for free. Needless to say, we are taking full advantage of that benefit!

It is truly wonderful to have a support group of friends to go through this new process with. I have quickly learned how important it is to make time to get to know new people, share stories, and learn to have more fun in life. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Disney College Program

This Fall I was accepted into the 2014 Spring Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. This was my second time applying for the program and I was incredibly excited to get the opportunity to finally participate! I chose to apply for a Disney internship through the Disney College Program because I have always wanted to work for Disney in some way or another. Although some people may question why I chose to participate in this program, considering it does not directly relate to my music major, I know that the DCP is an enriching experience that benefits any major. The skills and knowledge I will gain through working for a Fortune 500 Company, which happens to be the number one ranked entertainment company in the world, will only help me in my career goals in the arts. 

The First Week

The first week of the program was a whirlwind! It was very exciting but also a very overwhelming process. There were a couple of days of just getting logistics taken care of and going to meetings to learn more about the DCP components of learning, earning, and living.


On arrival day I found out that I would be completing my paid internship during the program at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort! I will be working mainly in Future World assisting with merchandising. I was very pleased to find out that I would be working at Epcot. It has always been my favorite Disney park because of its celebration of cultural diversity and exciting new technology! 


I was also able to find out where I would be living for the next four months. My roommates and I were pleased to find out that we had received our first choice of apartments at the beautiful Patterson Court!


The aspect of learning at the DCP is my favorite. I will be completing the Disney course entitled “Disney Marketing You” during my program. The course is about finding your true passions, personal branding, and gaining the skills and knowledge to obtain your dream career. If you know me, then you know that this class is right up my alley! The first day of class was the day after arrival. I was immediately in love with the class and already excited to start my homework! The teacher, Ms. Penny Hightower, is so vibrant and passionate about her role in helping each intern to accomplish his or her dreams. She definitely knows what she is doing as she has worked and hired for Disney for over 35 years!

Working for the Mouse

The first week of the program I attended Traditions at Disney University. During Traditions I learned about the Four Keys or values of the Walt Disney Company. 

These keys are:
  •       Safety
  •       Courtesy
  •       Show
  •       Efficiency

I was so inspired during Traditions to learn about the magic of Disney from an inside view. As a child, going to Disneyland or Disney World was an overwhelming, magical experience, where I could meet princesses and feel like I was a princess too. As an adult I can now appreciate the incredible amount of effort that goes into making that Disney magic. It is beyond thrilling that I am now a part of what goes into creating that magic for everyone who comes to a Disney park.

During Traditions the DCP Spring 2014 interns were taken behind-the-scenes of the Magic Kingdom and got to tour the underground tunnels! We were also welcomed into the Disney Cast Member family by Mickey Mouse himself, who gave us our “ears” and cast member nametags!

Yes, my nametag does say I go to Albertson College of Idaho. I am not sure why they chose to put that on but I am getting it changed to The College of Idaho soon!