Disney College Program offers job and internship opportunities

Leighann McGivern

Students interested in applying for the Disney College Program must attend one of two informational presentations Wednesday at 6 p.m. or Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

According to its website, the Disney College Program is a “one-of-a-kind, Disney-designed combination of education and work experience.” Students have the opportunity to live and work at either Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., or Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

Brittney Miliner, junior marketing major, said she decided to work at Walt Disney World Resort in Fall 2010 because she wanted an opportunity to network.

“I wanted to be in a magical place, and Disney’s pretty magical,” Miliner said. “That’s pretty much why I went because I’m obsessed with Disney and princesses.”

Brendan Shelby, lead representative of the Kent State Disney College Program, said students must apply to work at Disney like any other job. The application process consists of an online and phone interview.

“Once you complete that phone interview, in just a few short months, you should be hearing back from us and hopefully on your way to Florida or California,” Shelby said.

Shelby said the program is open to students of all majors, regardless of GPA or class standing. Students are compensated anywhere from $7.25 to $11.50 an hour, depending on where they choose to work and in which areas.

Disney College Program

– Housing fees are taken out of student wages.

– Buses transport students to parks and local stores.

– Students must provide their own transportation to the resorts.

– Students must purchase their own food.

– Programs run from five months to seven months.

“It is different location to location,” Shelby said. “You’ll get a larger starting base wage at Disneyland because the cost of living in California is so much higher than working in Florida.”

The Disney College Program offers a variety jobs including positions in entertainment, recreation, hospitality, food services, attractions and transportation.

Miliner said she chose to work in entertainment when she interned with the program, although it didn’t directly relate to her major.

“I was able to say that, being in entertainment, I was part of the reason that people came to Disney World, so I was kind of like a marketing prop,” Miliner said. “That’s how I reasoned it.”

Shelby said students can earn internship credit depending on their individual college’s requirements. Disney offers classes that can be transferred back to Kent State for credit, or students can enroll in online classes, which Miliner chose to do.

“You worked a lot down there, sometimes like 50 plus hours a week plus the 15 credit hours I was taking,” Miliner said. “I really had to discipline myself to get the work done.”

Miliner said some of the extra perks of the program include free admission to all of the parks and discounts on food and souvenir items, but her favorite part was interacting with children.

“Some parents, after they see you, they’re like, ‘You really made their day. They’re going to remember this the rest of their life,’” Miliner said. “Hearing that kind of stuff — you have an impact.”

Contact Leighann McGivern at [email protected]