A chance of a lifetime

Disney College Program offers unique experiences

Who doesn’t love a little magic in their lives?

Networking with top professionals in the most prominent company in the world, interacting with different languages and cultures on a daily basis, and seeing sunshine for more than five minutes, are not the typical everyday activities you can find in Big Rapids.

If you’re looking for a paid internship with possible college credit and want a break from below freezing temperatures and so much more, then check out the Disney College Program.

Now, for those of you who know me, you know I’m a pretty big Disney fan. Then again, you know you’ve watched The Lion King a thousand times, pretended you were a princess or pirate, or even hoped that one day maybe your toys would come to life.

The Disney College Program in Anaheim, Calif. and in central Florida gives college students a chance to relive the magic we had as a child.

I first heard about the Disney College Program by reading a poster in the hallway of Muskegon Community College. That’s all it took for me; I went to the website and applied. I had a phone interview the next day and I was accepted into the program a few weeks after. Four months later I was in Florida. One poster, one application and in the blink of an eye I was at the place where dreams come true. I was there having the time of my life and I wasn’t cold!

What most people do not understand is that the Walt Disney World® Resort is not just a theme park; it is a real life story that keeps growing and bringing people from all around the world together continuously. This world is much more than just another job or internship. It becomes your home. Your co-workers are your family and the guests (I guess I should say in real people terms: customers) are your friends. You gain experiences like never before and make connections from, well, everywhere.

For example, one day I was working at Disney’s Hollywood Studios™ when the next guest in line to visit Mickey was just an infant in some sort of hospitalized stroller on oxygen support. The little baby girl was tiny and honestly, she could not have been more than 30 pounds and didn’t have much hair, but she was extremely calm. As her parents rolled her next to Mickey Mouse for her picture, her mom told Mickey it was her birthday. She had just turned 11 years old. As Mickey peered into her stroller, the 11-year-old instantly smiled. Her mother said it was the first smile from her daughter that she’d seen in months.

I was there to witness that and experience the joy and happiness. This was one of my favorite memories from the program, but experiences like this don’t happen without the hard work and determination from the cast members (employees) .

This life-altering program is a chance of a lifetime and you could be a part of the magic. In fact, in some ways you could be making that magic; the kind you may only find at the happiest place on Earth.

I’ve had a lot of positive experiences with the program and am thrilled to be working on another internship there this summer. Contact me at walukoa@nullferris.edu with any questions. Visit disneycollegeprogram.com or Facebook.com/disneycollegeprogram for more information. n