Graduation Date: 2011
Please give a brief description of your current position and where you're working.
I am a Professional Intern at Internal Communication at the Epcot Park at Disney World. My responsibilities include weekly publications about park events, updating the website and writing articles to go into the weekly newsletter. I also do other communication needs throughout the park that come up.
What path did you follow to arrive at your current job?
A very lucky one. I took a path that not many Disney employees take which is their professional internship without the college program. I saw the position on the website and applied for it. The interview process was over the phone. The first conversation was a screening and the second was with a panel of people from the internal communications department.
What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?
The most important thing I have encountered here is to have a passion for what you are doing. Follow your gut, do what you like to do and that will shine through. There is literally a position in every field here at Disney, right and left brained. There are accountants, lawyers, the list goes on. Stick to your passion and keep an open mind.
My advice for art majors that want to do graphic design, the best resource is Andrea Shaker. She was a wonderful mentor that let me take my own path. You are going to have to teach yourself a lot of it. So keep your ears open and don't be afraid of doing work beyond what is required for a class. The great thing about being a liberal arts student is that you can draw inspiration from different places.
What skills are important in your field?
What isn't taught but desperately needed are time management skills. There are a million and one things to do and you only have so many hours in a day. You need to be able to prioritize, what is most important and how much work tasks are going to take. Being flexible and adaptive are also important skills to have.
Being familiar with the entire Adobe suite is an expectation. Have a strong design portfolio but one that is also varied in content. Try to dip in every pool of graphic design that you can. Widespread skills are great! Companies are looking for a jack of all trades designer.
What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?
Three things stand out as being the most helpful. I was a member of Attention Starved Children. It was very fun, but more importantly it taught me how to think on my feet, rely on a group of people, and communicate what I needed to and when in a quick way. The experience was all about time management and relying on my gut. My second helpful experience was my position as graphic designer for SALD. I did a lot of email, print, and poster marketing and that has been applicable to my job now. The third thing for any field is taking advantage of ILCP courses. Being a good leader means not just knowing how to get people to do what you want but also to motivate them.
What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your job?
I get to see space ship earth from my office and mickey welcomes me to work every single day. I know I am working at a place that people dream of going. It really is a place that makes real magic happen.