While in the process of transferring schools, business student Eddie took the intermediary time as a chance to experience something new: the Disney College Program in Walt Disney World.

“I wanted to work for Disney because it was a good opportunity and really good timing. Working with Disney looks great on your resume,” he said.

With previous experience working with machinery in a warehouse, Eddie was placed in a watercraft transportation role. He works as a deck hand operator for the watercraft transportation between Magic Kingdom Theme Park and the surrounding Resort hotels. He also works as a cruise driver for the 120 passenger boat that navigates this area.

“Training is very hands on,” Eddie said. “You have five days of shadowing with a trainer and you drive a boat for six days.”

For Eddie, the Program was his first time visiting Walt Disney World Resort and living independently.

“I’ve lived at home for the past two years while I’ve been going to school so this was my first time out on my own,” he said. “I live in a three bedroom apartment in Vista Way. I love it; it’s what I think a college atmosphere should be like.”

The boat transportation around the Magic Kingdom runs nearly two hours after the Park closes, so Eddie often works late shifts, sometimes getting home when most participants are just leaving for work for the day. Because of the late hours that can be seen in transportation, Eddie said the Program participants he works with have all become close friends as well as coworkers.

“My favorite part about my role is the people I work with,” he said. “It’s mostly all CPs that work at night, so we all hang out after work.”

Eddie said working in transportation has taught him how to address big crowds.

“Sometimes it can be hard to maintain guest morale. If you’re not loud and you don’t stand your ground, guests will walk all over you,” he said. “This role teaches you to be really confident and put yourself out there. You have to stand up in the middle of a crowd and get everyone’s attention.”

Eddie received eight hours of college credit for his experience working on the Program and the course he took while he was here, including a Professional Leadership course through Disney and some online courses about resume building, marketing yourself and more.

Eddie’s advice for new Program participants is to with an open mind.

“It’s important to be able to come in to work and smile and put everything behind you as a cast member,” he said.