Experience: Opportunity of a lifetime

FullSizeRender_1By Steffanie Martinez |Staff Writer|

Growing up, the idea of working for Disney seemed like a far-fetched dream, hearing about the Disney College Program was the first step to making that dream a reality.

As a communication major, having the chance of working with Disney, one of the best known media and entertainment companies in the world, seemed like an unbelievable opportunity.

They have associations with ABC Television Group, ESPN, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Lucas Films and Marvel Entertainment, meaning if I pursue a career after graduation with the company, there are countless routes I can choose to take.

Once I heard of the Disney College Program, I made it a goal to take part in the internship and submitted my application.

The interview process is rigorous; you begin with a web based interview. If passed they contact you via e-mail to set an appointment for a phone based interview.

The interview questions vary by person: They want to know about you, your experience, and generally why you would like to work for a company like Disney.

If it all goes well, they contact you to begin the actual hiring process and offer you pay, plus your general position.

Early on, I had the opportunity to choose between working at their Disneyland location in Anaheim or venture out to Orlando, Florida as part of their Disney World program.

Having never left California and visited Disneyland a good amount of times, Disney World seemed to be the best choice.

Once I arrived, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

I knew we would be presented our roles, have the opportunity to take classes for our major and most importantly, meet the people we would be living with for the duration of the program.

It was exciting to know that I would be exploring a new area, learning, and also living with people who are more than likely vastly different than me.

The living arrangement was something I was looking forward to the most.

It’s a luck of the draw considering you’re not told who or what amount of people you’ll be rooming with.

Once I arrived, I met my group of roommates — five girls all from different places: Texas, Nebraska,

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

A lot of the program is networking and speaking with other participants I’ve learned that whom you surround yourself with is what makes your program truly special.

My assigned location, aside from courses is working at their All Star Resorts this includes movies, music and sports. The Disney All Star Resorts have thousands of guests coming in and out a day.

Through the exposure, I’ve gotten the chance to utilize the skills I’ve learned as part of my courses at

CSUSB considering a big reason I chose to do the internship was to further expand my communication skills.

A huge perk of working with the company, in cast members get to visit every park for no cost. It somewhat works as getting more knowledge on each location considering guests always have questions.

Throughout my weeks here, the program coordinators have made it a point to let us know the opportunity is here for us once we are ready to take the next step in working with the company.

The College Program is just a small step in that direction, from my time here I’ve learned first hand the reason Disney is so successful at what it does.

The company has a passion for what they do their values and commitment to keeping the magic alive is something that resonates with what I want to work towards.

It’s only the beginning of my program, but it’s already shaping up to be an unforgettable experience.

I have high hopes that this Disney experience will guide me in the right direction of where I want to be in regards to my career after graduation.

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