Internship offers students the magic of Disney

The Disney College Program and Disney Professional Internship offer students from around the world the opportunity to work directly at DisneyWorld in Orlando, Fla. or Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. for a semester.

“This internship is your first step, so you are doing things that may or may not seem related to your degree area,” Carol Anne Ketelsen, a career consultant in the career services office, said.

Students can choose from positions including lifeguarding, merchandising, communication, food and beverage, custodial, entertainment and character attendance.

“When you apply, there is a list of all of the different things you can do and you pick between three and five of the jobs you would like to do … from that, depending on where they need you and what your skills are, they will put you in a job,” Savanna Fietsam, a Disney internship and program campus representative, said.

Depending on the role they are selected for, participants receive a rate of $7.25-$8.39 per hour.

Disney also offers s Disney Professional Internship (a follow-up to the Disney College Program), in which participants complete work related to their major.

Students enrolled in the program live in one of three apartment complexes available on the property and have their choice of one or up to seven roommates. Housing rates range from $82-$108 per week and are automatically deducted from the students’ paycheck.

Participants will also have the opportunity to take classes — which may or may not earn them college credit — during their Disney internship.

As a part of the program, students receive free admission to the four Disney World theme parks, discounts on merchandise, food and beverages and access to Mickey’s Retreat, which is a cast member recreation area.

Participants in the program, however, say the overall experience is one of the greatest benefits of all.

“I made memories with the guests everyday as a vacation planner,” Kathleen Garry, a Disney internship and program campus representative, said. “The Disney College Program taught me the communication skills I needed to develop effective customer relations.”

Applicants must be full-time students at the time they apply for the internship, but are not required to be full-time students if accepted into the program. Applicants are selected for the program after a series of phone and online interviews.

“Disney has a lot of opportunities and they keep coming out with more and more programs where students can get academic credit,” Ketelson said. “Honestly, I would say that it’s applicable to any student.”

The Disney College Program just celebrated their 30th year running last year.

Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Michigan State and Macomb Community College are just some Michigan colleges that offer the Disney College Program.

OU will be holding an on-campus orientation program for the Disney College Program Oct. 27 at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Interested students will have the opportunity to speak with a Disney representative.

For more information on the, visit