By Alyssa Weston
Many college students work internships to gain on-the-job knowledge of their field of study before graduation, and some students work for the Walt Disney Company.
The Disney College Program, according to jobs.disneycareers.com, is an opportunity to gain experience working in Disney parks and resorts, participate in college coursework and have the opportunity to meet and live with people from around the world in company-sponsored housing.
The five-to-seven-month program allows the participants to network with leaders, participate in personal and career development classes and build skills such as problem-solving and teamwork, the website states.
The website said application requirements for the DCP include an age requirement of 18 years old or older. The applicant must possess unrestricted work authorization and be currently enrolled and taking classes at an accredited program or institution. Students must complete at least one semester or have graduated within six months of applying.
Veronica Hall, junior communications major, is currently enrolled in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World.
Hall’s role is a seater at the Jungle Navigation Company Ltd. Skipper Canteen Restaurant at Magic Kingdom.
She said the main goals of the college program are to help students enhance their resumes and to build leadership skills. Students learn how a business operates within a Fortune 500 company and how to network with executives.
Hall said her favorite Disney memory so far is when she was able to create a magical moment for a young boy who ate at her restaurant with his family.
“He was dressed in khaki like a skipper and his parents told me he wanted to be a skipper when he grows up. So after their meal I was able to walk the family down to the Jungle Cruise ride and put them directly on a boat to head down the rivers of the jungle. The little boy was just ecstatic,” she said.
She said his parents were happy and posted photos on Twitter and Instagram, giving her a cast compliment.
“Guests can post pictures and tweet their experiences and #castcompliment and the company makes sure the cast member gets a picture with their compliment,” Hall said.
Jeremy Leff, former Campus Representative and DCP alumni, said he worked at Disney for about 10 years, learning the ins and outs of the company.
Leff said his main job was to get people to attend presentations by distributing Disney collateral and through a number of on-campus and social media marketing techniques.
“Once offers were sent out, we would host an offer session where we would invite anyone with an offer and their parents to meet with us and answer any additional questions they might have before accepting,” he said.
Leff said his advice to students looking to apply is to just do it.
“Even if you are on the fence or think you may have other opportunities, the whole application process is a great experience. I would also recommend visiting your career services office on campus and let them give you tips on your resume and do a mock interview,” Leff said.
Megan Jones, senior theater studies major, is a DCP alumni and is currently accepted into a second program for fall of 2018.
Jones worked at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur ride in the spring of 2016, and she will work alongside characters as a character attendant in her next program.
During her first program Jones said she wanted to “dip her toe in the water” and see if she liked working for Disney. She said she hopes to move up to a professional internship or full-time position in entertainment management or event management.
“The program is what you make of it. I personally took classes,” she said. “You can go just to do it as a job, for fun to an extent or do it for networking opportunities.”