Experience the magic: Disney internship provides experience, networking and maybe a Prince Charming


Disney College Program at OU

By Kailee Mathias

Disney is opening its magical doors to college students through a paid internship program called the Disney College Program.

“An average day at Disney is not average—it’s magical,” Christiana Simian, Disney campus representative said. “Every role is fun. It’s who you work with, what you make of it and where you are that makes it. Custodial doesn’t sound fun, but it’s one of the best ones.”

Simian, Tiffani Kasperski, Lauren Vargo and Taryn Carr are the Disney campus representatives. These students said they enjoyed a unique experience throughout their time at Disney and applied to represent Disney on campus once they returned.

The program allows students to work on the various parks and resorts. No previous training is necessary because Disney provides extensive training upon arrival. Throughout the interview process students narrow down to their top three or four areas they are interested in working in, and Disney goes on to assign a position.

Students have the opportunity to participate in classes as well.

Simian was able to take corporate communication and organizational leadership and received credit at Oakland for completing the courses.

Kasperski took Disney Heritage and although she didn’t receive credit at Oakland she still learned much.

Magical Connections

“I did my internship in fall 2011 where I was a lifeguard at Typhoon Lagoon,” Kasperski said. “I had the best time of my life – I met so many friends down there. You get to meet international students as well.”

College students from all over the world are invited to come and be a part of the magical world of Disney. Carr, who worked in merchandise at Yacht Beach Resort from January to August 2013, not only got to live with an Australian roommate but also got to take in cultures from her co-workers.

“I learned so much from all my international co-workers,” Carr said. “I had co-workers from Thailand, Japan and Australia. It’s so much fun to talk to all of them. I want to work there after graduation. I absolutely love this company, I’ve loved it since I was a little kid.”

For Carr Disney is more than a company to work at.

“I have a specific position in mind,” Carr said. “I just want to work at Disney because it’s my life and has been for a long time. I’ve been in love with Disney since I was really little.”

Carr, whose favorite Disney movie is Aladdin, even got to work alongside Aladdin and Jasmine for a week at Magic Kingdom.

Both Carr and Vargo got the opportunity to extend their time at Disney.

“Out of 1,800 people that applied to extend the program only 300 of us got it, so that was exciting,” Vargo said.

Kaspkerski and Vargo also found love connections. Both women met their boyfriends while working at Disney.

“I met my Prince Charming down there,” Vargo said. “He moved down three years ago but he’s from Michigan. It took me leaving Michigan and going to Florida just to meet someone from here.”

If students are interested in applying for the Disney College Program check around September or October for them to begin recruiting for the winter semester. Apply on the website, www.disneycollegeprogram.com.

“This experience is very life-changing,” Vargo said. “I would highly recommend it. Disney was a great opportunity to get away from home. I’ve never lived by myself before so it was a good opportunity to get away and live on my own and meet connections from all over the world.”