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.   


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