Disney College Program as a new organization on campus

Jasmine Burnett and Jasmine Burnett

The Disney College Program was once an information session at the University, but the program has gotten so big that it is now an organization on campus called Disney College Alumni Association.

“I was really excited when I heard the University was making the Disney College Program an organization,” said senior Sarah Martinelli.

Martinelli, who found out about Disney College Program her freshman year, has been involved since then. She is still a campus representative for Disney at the University.

The association and program differ in that Disney College Alumni Association is a University organization.

“It is for those who completed the program, are interested in spreading the word to those who haven’t been to the locations, and networking with Disney while being affiliated with The Disney College Program which is in Florida or California,” said Vice President Kaileigh Buckley.

It doesn’t take much to get involved with Disney College Program, just a few steps and little bit of students’ time.

“Sarah [Martinelli] pushed me to do it and gave me the recommendation letter,” said senior Kyle Dudley. “I did the application late, just a few days before it was due, got an email and I did the online interview then had the phone interview.”

Some people will be excited about what Disney College Program has to offer: living, learning and earning, Buckley said.

To be accepted into the program, students have to be enrolled at a university, but the number of credits doesn’t matter. Students must go to the website, complete the application, go through two interviews, web and phone based, and receive an offer. Then they pick the location between Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., or Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

The student must cover travel to their location and registration for his or her housing, Buckley said. Scholarships from the University cannot be used to cover expenses.

Dudley said he “was excited about being able to live somewhere besides Bowling Green.”

“I always wanted to work for ESPN, so this was [a good opportunity] for me …,” he said. “I would like to give back to the company that helped me.”

Besides going to the theme park, students can receive credits for a co-op or an internship while working at their preferred location. The Disney College Program lets students enjoy the amusement park all while they’re working.

Martinelli worked at restaurant Hollywood and Vine while in Orlando, Fla.

“I made reservations, helped the server and seated guests,” she said.

The Disney College Program allows students to work in parks and attractions, fast food, retail and merchandising or hotels. Students are able to work with the program for three months, six months or one year.

“I learned a sense of leadership and independence,” said senior Dariana Rivera. “I learned a lot about values, friends, and myself,”

Rivera just came back from her three-month internship from Disney World and is expecting six credits.

“It’s definitely not just for Disney nerds,” Dudley said. “It’s for a lot of opportunities, whether it be for internships or real jobs; it’s highly respected. It’s more than just Disney. It’s not life-changing, more like life-altering. It gave me brand-new ideas for post graduation.”

Buckley also felt her time at Disney was life-changing.

“This is an experience of a lifetime that you have to experience yourself,” she said. “You come back as a well rounded individual.”

Students can pay attention to posters and Union tables to hear about upcoming meetings. Applications are still being accepted until October; go to Disneycollegeprogram.com to get started.