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Living and Working the Disney Way

  • Alexandria Sumner and Princess Aurora at Cinderella’s Castle.
    Alexandria Sumner and Princess Aurora at Cinderella’s Castle.
March 29, 2013
Junior Alexandria Sumner is spending the spring at Disneyworld. And she’s never worked harder–or loved it more.

The Business Management and Economics double-major is doing a semester-long internship at Walt Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. Besides taking two courses in the Disney College Program, one on Disney’s strong culture and the other on organizational leadership, Alexandria works at Downtown Disney Pleasure Island/West Side as a merchandise floater.  She “floats” between six work locations: three stores, two carts, and a merchandise truck.

Alexandria puts in about 40 hours per week on her internship, and loves being part of a strong team culture. “You never feel alone or unsupported,” she says. “Managers and coordinators encourage questions and want you to feel comfortable asking them. We open the stores together, solves problems together, celebrate together, and close together.”

What’s Alexandria’s favorite part of the internship experience?

“The people. My fellow Cast Members and our guests make all the difference here.  I have met some of the greatest people here and I have witnessed some of the biggest smiles while working for this company.  People can and do make all the difference at Disney World.  I work with some of the best in the business and I will truly miss every single person when I leave.  From my roommates, to our bus drivers, to my managers, and to every guest I give a Mickey sticker to I will miss.  Seeing our guests of all ages light up when they walk into our stores and creating magic for them makes the long hours and being far from home worth it.  I believe it is the Cast Members that make this company special and it is that in combination with the guests that have made this program special for me.”

What’s the worst part?

“Knowing I have to leave at some point.  Whilst there are opportunities to extend one’s time in Florida, I have two majors to finish. Opportunities such as extending until August or applying for the Professional Internship series gives one the chance to stay here just a while longer.  I fully intend on graduating and finding my way back here as soon as possible. I really do wish I could live in Disney World forever. Although my job is exhausting and challenging, I would not want to be anywhere else doing anything else.  Many friends, family members, and strangers joked that I wouldn’t want to come back when I told them I was working for Disney. They were right. I have loved every second of this program and wish it did not have to end.  I am convinced that I will never be quite ready to leave the place where dreams come true.”

To learn more about the Disney College Program, visit the Disney website.

Last modified on Oct. 28th, 2013 at 12:58pm by .