Wishing on a star isn’t necessary for those who want to work with the Disney Company. Disneyland and Walt Disney World offer college students of any age the opportunity to intern with the company through the Disney College Program.
The perks of the programs vary by location, but there are several similarities.
“We provide opportunities for students to work not just for an average company, but for a company that will be impactful,” said Trent Romijn, a participant and recruiter for the program at Salt Lake Community College who is majoring in Humanities. “Disney has their foot in everything.”
Every field of study can find a place in the Disney Company. Disney holdings include ESPN, ABC, Pixar, Disney Interactive and the parks that use the skills of engineers, entertainers and storytellers.
Interns may be paid between $7.00 and $12.00 an hour and are guaranteed 40 hours a week. Disney provides an inexpensive housing option; in 2009, it was $90.00 a week and included heat, electricity and the internet. Five roommates shared the space.
In Orlando, transportation was included. The Disneyland apartments are located about a block north of the park, close enough to see the fireworks from the balcony.
Special events for Disney College Program participants have included a tour of Walt Disney’s apartment above the firehouse in Disneyland, Fantasyland dark ride tours with the lights on and off and a Haunted Mansion tour with explanations as to how it all worked.
Those participating in the program at Walt Disney World have experienced monthly event parties designed to get the participants to know each other.
This is an internship, so there is work involved. Romijn worked in Resort Transportation and Parking at Disneyland. Even when he worked long hours, he said that it didn’t bother him because breaks came every two hours without fail, and there were so many different types of jobs that he didn’t get bored.
“If you love what you do, it’s just having fun,” said Lisa Meyer, a student at Utah Valley University majoring in engineering and a recruiter for the Disney College Program. Myer interned at Walt Disney World for Epcot Attractions and Operations.
Both Romijn and Meyer said that it was important for those in the program to know how to manage money and time.
The Disney College Program offers courses that students may take for credit. They include classroom work and real-life application.
“Doors open for you whether you stay with Disney or not,” said Romijn.
There are many networking opportunities within the program, but Disney work experience and training is recognized throughout the corporate world.
“At every job interview with any other company, they will ask you about Disney,” said Meyer.
Interns who do well in the program may be invited to stay. They may also do jobs like recruiting on college campuses and or return for seasonal work.
“You learn things on the program that you wouldn’t learn anywhere else,” said Meyer.
Those who would like more information about the program can contact Romijn at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (801)755-7416.