“I’m going to Disney World!” I yelled to my roommates as I and ran into my apartment living room after getting off the phone with the Disney recruiter who had just offered me my dream internship. It truly felt like I had just won the Super Bowl, and I was ready to scream it from the rooftops.
About a week later, when the news had spread and my shiny new excitement faded, my nerves really kicked in. It’s definitely normal to have fears when you’re picking up your life and starting a new chapter, but I wish I could go back in time and tell myself it’s all going to be OK!
While there’s no way you can prepare for everything that’s to come, here are a few things I wish I knew before starting my internship at Disney.
- It’s OK to ask questions before you get there.
Before I got here, I had so many questions—from logistics, to dress code, to where I park, and more. I felt like my questions might be dumb, and I could probably figure them out by myself. Despite my hesitations, I reached out to my recruiter and asked all of the questions on my mind. She responded the next day with highly detailed answers, which completely helped ease my nerves. I highly recommend reaching out with questions if you have any before starting this new chapter.
- Speak up in meetings.
It can be intimidating to join a team of people who may have been working together for years, but everyone at Disney is incredibly welcoming and interested in what interns have to say! If you feel that urge to add something during a brainstorm or connect meeting, know that your ideas will be embraced.
- You won’t be doing coffee runs.
Having only really done internships at small companies before Disney, I was very worried I’d end up feeling like a small fish in a big pond. Once I got here, I quickly realized that was not the case at all! My team not only gave me impactful work, but encouraged me to make an impact in any way I saw opportunity.
- Find gaps, and fill them with your passion.
One of my biggest goals in every internship I’ve had is to make a lasting impact beyond my time as an intern. When I told my leader this, she told me to look for the sweet spot where my passions overlap with business opportunity. This advice led me to pitch huge project ideas that made their way to fruition, and are still continuing to be implemented!
- Working at Disney doesn’t ruin the magic.
I was really afraid that having unlimited access to the Disney theme parks and learning more and more behind-the-scenes would really ruin the magic of Disney for me. If anything, it’s only made me appreciate the Disney magic more! There are still so many hidden gems and exciting adventures that I have yet to experience within the Disney theme parks—even after living here for more than six months!
If you’re preparing to start your Disney Professional Internship, good luck on your journey! If you are interested in learn more or applying for opportunities, visit DisneyInterns.com.