You never know how the connections you make during your program will influence your Disney career down the road.
During my Disneyland College Program in Fall 2017, we had the BEST programs and events professional intern, Lucy. She was always so welcoming and I quickly found her office a regular stop in the hallway at Carnegie Plaza.
Today, Lucy is an event coordinator with the media events team at the Disneyland®Resort. In May 2019, she worked with invited guest management (IGM) in one of Disney’s biggest events to date, the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Media Preview.
Leading up to the event, the IGM team looked to temporarily add a few support cast members to the operation. At the time, I was still working at Disneyland as an attractions cast member while finishing my degree. About one month before the event, I got a call from Lucy notifying me that the IGM team would be using me for a temporary assignment during the week of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Media Preview. I just about leapt out of my seat in excitement because I knew I would get to play a small part in the largest, most immersive land expansion in Disney history.
During event week, I worked with media outlets from all over the world. It hit me just how huge this event was; the entire planet was waiting to welcome in this new land! People from all over the globe tuned in live to watch the dedication ceremonylead by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger alongside Star Warslegends George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams. I was certainly humbled to be around names like theirs!
The media event and dedication ceremony were a huge success. Guests have been traveling to Batuu for almost two months now, but I will always remember working with that small, powerful team before the world knew what awaited them at the edge of the galaxy. I cannot think of a better conclusion to my time as a Park Operations cast member.
Here is some networking advice to current and future College Program participants looking to seize once-in-a-lifetime opportunities:
- Be genuine
- Try to form some sort of relationship with the connections you make. It is obvious when you are connecting with someone only because you want something from them.
- Be consistent
- Similar to my last point, make sure you put effort in to know what is going on in the lives and careers of the connections you make. People want to help those who show interest in their lives. An email every now and then will even go a long way.
- Be kind
- This sounds simple, but is in fact the most important tip! As you grow your network, you will begin to have connections all over the company, coast-to-coast, even globally. Word travels fast, both good and bad, so always make sure to be someone you would want to work with. At the end of the day, teams and hiring leaders are looking for someone they enjoy being around.
Take this advice and I am sure you will find yourself in once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you could only dream about before you started your program.