“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
I have loved Disney for as long as I can remember. One of my very first memories is seeing Cinderella in the parade at Walt Disney World in Florida. I have always been impressed by how a company of their size can consistently create memorable experiences for so many that truly last a lifetime. When I discovered that Disney has a semester-long internship program for college students called the Disney College Program, I knew I had to find a way to participate. Since it is not a program run by St. Lawrence, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it work and graduate on time. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Arriving at SLU, I stepped into the greatest support network I have ever been a part of. I was immediately surrounded by a network of peers and mentors who have encouraged me to follow my dream and stayed by my side every step of the way. My academic advisor helped me create a four-year plan to ensure that I would graduate on time. The counselors at The Center for Career Excellence helped me to perfect my resume and cover letter and spent time giving me mock interview practice so I was prepared for the DCP application process.
On January 22nd, 2019, I finally sent in my application and began the waiting game. My friends tried their best to distract me as I checked my application status every single day hoping I would hear back.
On February 6, I was sitting at the kitchen table at the Kappa Delta Sigma (KDS) house when I got an email indicating that I had moved on to the next step: a web-based interview. One of the girls I looked up to the most in my sorority offered to sit with me while I had my interview. I pretty much blacked out during the majority of the interview, answering question after question until a screen popped up saying I would have the opportunity to take a phone interview. This was one moment I will never forget. My sorority sister and I jumped up from our chairs and were both in tears as we realized I was one step closer to my dream.
I took my phone interview the next week. Thanks to my practice at the career center, I felt very prepared and able to present myself in the best light.
The next few days were some of the longest days in my life as I waited (not so) patiently to see if I would be accepted. Finally, on February 18th, 2019 I received the email that I had been dreaming about for so long: my acceptance into the Disney College Program in the role I had been hoping for, merchandise.
I was ecstatic, to say the least. I ran from my dorm room in Dean to the Student Center, Dana, the library, and finally to KDS to tell everyone I had been accepted into the program. I was so thankful for the amazing support network of friends that surrounded me, cheering me on and even baking me a cake shaped like Mickey Mouse. I was sad to leave SLU for the fall 2019 semester, but I was thankful and proud to have it as a home to come back to my senior year.
My time at the Disney College Program was one of the greatest learning experiences and times of growth in my life. I spent my days making magic for families from all over the world and learning how a company of Disney’s size is so successful.
It helped me realized that I wanted to work for Disney when I graduate from SLU, so I started reaching out to St. Lawrence alumni who work there. Every alumnus that I have talked to has been more than willing to help me pursue my career with Disney and I am currently in the internship application process. I am beyond thankful that my network at SLU helped me gain the courage to pursue my greatest dream and I am excited to see where the future takes me.
Both St. Lawrence and Disney care about creating memorable experiences for the people who attend, and I believe that is what makes them both a little bit magical.