Well, It's OFFICIAL!!! I am a soon-to-be Professional Intern for the Walt Disney Company! I will be working in Internal Communications in either a Resort, Park, or another specific area. Allow me to take you on a journey to how this unfolded....
The decision to apply for a Professional Internship (PI) has been on my mind since my return from the Disney College Program in the beginning of 2009. As I've said before, I became a campus rep at my University in order to help promote this amazing program! I wanted everyone to know about the opportunity, and to try and get people excited about Disney again! I mean, it's easy to get a six-year-old excited. But a 21-year-old college student? A bit more difficult to do.
I continued my studies in graphic design, visiting Disney a few times along the way, and trying to figure out what I wanted to do once I got back down there. The person who was most responsible for helping me find this out, was my recruiter, Erica Nowak. She helped connect me with artists who are doing design work for Disney right now, so I planned a trip back to Orlando to see them.
It was this past February when I went down to see them. I brought some work to show and got tips on writing a resume (which for an artist, is a bit more tricky than your standard resume). They also gave me insight on how they got where they were, their steps at the beginning, and how at a company as big as Disney, it's all about NETWORKING! Luckily I met with four different people, all from different departments, and all of whom helped enormously to shape my portfolio and resume.
Upon returning from that trip, it was all about getting my work ready for a portfolio to submit for different PIs. Lets just say, it took much longer than expected! I kept having to put it aside to focus on projects for my classes, or to run off to wok. By the time I got everything re-worked and into some semblance of a portfolio, it was days before the deadline in March. In the end, I applied for five different PIs in Arts & Graphics....and then let the waiting games begin!
A few days later, I received a few emails back, prompting me to upload my work, or for one, to assemble one and send it in. I was excited that the one that wanted a hard copy, Internal Communications, was the one that I wanted the most...so off to Kinko's I went to print it professionally and FedEx it straight to Orlando, FL!
They called soon after to set up phone interview for several of the PIs I applied for. Funnily enough, I was actually in Orlando again searching for apartments while the interview took place! I thought it went well, I had the lady laughing, and I feel like my passion for art and Disney came through...which is all I really wanted!
A week or two later it was the beginning of April and I got a call asking for a good time to set up a second interview. I was ecstatic!! I knew that this meant I had to have done good on the interview! YAY! The second interview was much more like a real interview, as opposed to the first which felt more like a chat on the phone. For this one, I was told up front that I was on speaker in front of hiring managers. I laughed a bit I said hello to them and I heard several voices back, maybe 7 or 8 people! So I got a little tongue tied on a few questions, but I still tried to remain calm and just be myself. They told me at the end of the interview, that I would find out a final decision in the first or second week of May.
I didn't know how I was going to be able to wait...and I knew that getting this PI would be a long shot...so just in case it didn't go my way, I went ahead and applied for another College Program for the fall. The fact that I had already gone down to Orlando to find an apartment and put money down meant I needed a back up plan! That interview went well of course, and I got a spot in Photopass Photography which was great because it still has to do with my degree. Plus, on top of that, my retail job at COACH said they'd let me transfer and work there over the summer.
I'm a planner, can you tell? I like to know what's going to happen, and I like to have control! (I'm trying to back off a bit these days though!!)
Well it was a good back-up plan...but not needed as not a week went by and they called to offer me a position as a PI for Internal Communications!!!!! They called me while I was in my Watercolor class, and I let my prof know that I had to step out. When I came back in, I was in tears, and my class all assumed I didn't get it. It was great to be able to tell them that I had in fact gotten it, I was just so happy that I was crying!
It feels awesome that all of my hard work has paid off. I'm so amazed that on top of that, I got the PI that I wanted the most :)
So today is May 6, 2010. Tomorrow is my HUGE end of the year senior art show, called Exit Review. It's a big big big deal, sort of a culmination of 5 years of college in a big ballroom condensed into 3 hours of 85 nervous, soon-to-be grads and 100s of guests circling to observe, and judge etc.
My point? That once this is over I am homeFREE! I graduate a week from Saturday, and move five days later to ORLANDO, FLORIDA!!
I am so ready to start my next adventure!!!!!