This fall, two Reich College of Education students will begin internships with the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Recent graduate Kathleen Hatfield, from Raleigh, North Carolina, will work as a hostess in one of the full-service restaurants. Senior Raiann Rosier, from Concord, North Carolina, will work in one of the quick-service food and beverage stations.
Kathleen Hatfield at Walt Disney World Resort. Photo submitted.
Hatfield completed her BS in elementary education in 2017 and her MA in reading education in 2018. She says this internship opportunity will compliment her degrees in education: “This program offers the experience to interact with diverse families from all over the world. Working in this fast paced and sometimes high stress environment will give me plenty of experience interacting with children and their parents in a highly professional manner. Additionally, Disney holds their employees to very high standards, much like teachers are held to by school systems.”
“This program offers the experience to interact with diverse families from all over the world. Working in this fast paced and sometimes high stress environment will give me plenty of experience interacting with children and their parents in a highly professional manner.”
Raiann Rosier at Disneyland Paris. Photo submitted.
Rosier will complete her BS in elementary education with a double minor in Spanish and special education in 2019. She is also part of the Accelerated Admission program in special education.
Rosier hopes to network to possibly work for Disney in the future: “Disney has professional internships geared towards education majors that require interns with teaching backgrounds. I also hope to gain invaluable skills such as adaptability and cultural awareness.”
“Disney has professional internships geared towards education majors that require interns with teaching backgrounds. I also hope to gain invaluable skills such as adaptability and cultural awareness.”
Being Part of the Magic
The Disney College Program allows participants to become “part of the magic”, gaining valuable, on-the-job experience working in the parks and resorts, participating in college coursework, and having the opportunity to meet and live with people from all over the country and world. Participants in this five-to-seven month program network with leaders, take part in personal and career development classes and build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service, and effective communication.
“For me, Disney magic means incredible attention to detail that makes everything look spectacular, and happy interactions with cast members that make your day better,” notes Hatfield.
Rosier adds, “Disney magic to me is more than just a spell or a fairy flying through the sky. Disney magic is staying positive. Disney magic is creating meaningful moments for guests… something I hope to one day do for my students.”
The love of Disney runs deep for both of these students.
Hatfield’s earliest Disney memories are celebrating Christmas with her family at the parks and resorts. Her favorite park is Hollywood Studios, particularly the memories of riding Tower of Terror with her mom.
For Rosier, she enjoys the cultural experiences at the World Showcase EPCOT has to offer. Her first Disney memories are of the animated feature films. Both students list Tiana from “Princess and the Frog” as their favorite character because she is hardworking and perseveres to achieve her dream.
For any students wanting to apply to the Disney College Program, Hatfield and Rosier share this advice:
“Plan plan plan. The Disney College Program is a huge commitment. I highly recommend doing your research and making sure this program is a good fit for you, although I believe ANY major can benefit from this program. There is a Disney College Program coordinator on campus (internships.appstate.edu/disney), reach out to her. Go ahead and get started early on working on things Disney is looking for in their college participants.” - Raiann Rosier
“Apply as soon as the applications open, the sooner the better! Be sure to include your internship experiences through Appalachian in the work/internships section of your application. Be sure to smile during your phone interview, they can hear it in your voice!” -Kathleen Hatfield
About the Disney College Program
Disney College Program interns live, learn at earn at a Walt Disney Resort in either Lake Buena Vista, Florida or Anaheim, California.
Live: Participants live in housing complexes located near the Disneyland Resort® or the Walt Disney World Resort®.
Learn: Our education program is designed to give participants a comprehensive, experiential-learning opportunity which will provide them an unparalleled enhancement to their academic and professional careers. Participants can take several different types of Disney Education courses, some of which are recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE).
Earn: Each role offered through the Disney College Program is a paid internship and provides a unique and diverse learning and working experience.
Learn more about Disney College Program internships at Appalachian at internships.appstate.edu/disney.