Tina Nalepa – Arts Editor
Growing up watching Disney movies and listening to Disney soundtracks, it’s safe to say sophomore Micaela Haggerty loves Disney. After visiting Disney World for the first time at age five, Haggerty knew she wanted to work there. That dream led her to working and interning with the Disney College Program.
Haggerty first heard of the Disney College Program from her father when she was in middle school. From that moment, she was determined to be part of the program.
Throughout middle and high school, she researched the program, got advice, and read past experiences from former Disney College students from online blogs.
The Disney College Program requires three steps to apply and applicants may be turned away at any point. The first step is the general application. Going further, an individual can choose from a list of roles or jobs.
Haggerty explained applicants can choose from housekeeping to food and beverage to entertainment. The next step is to wait for a Web Based Interview (WBI), which is selective. The WBI consists of multiple-choice questions pertaining to how an individual would handle a situation. If an applicant passes this portion of the application process, they will be notified for a phone interview.
“Submitting that initial application was the most amazing and terrifying thing I’ve ever done,” says Haggerty.
Haggerty is a Hospitality major and will graduate in 2017. Although, she doesn’t know what she wants to do in the field, she knows she wants to work at Disney.
Similar to Lasell’s Connected Learning philosophy, Disney offers internships to get hands on experience and knowledge in the field at their resorts and parks.
“Disney does weddings like nobody else, I cannot wait to learn more about how they create them,” said Haggerty. “Being down here is a whole experience in hospitality. As a front line cast member, I interact with hundreds of guests each day.”
Since May, Haggerty has been working Parade Audience Control on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. She works up to six days a week, making sure walkways stay open during parades and fireworks, no one runs in front of a float, or is in an unsafe area for viewing. “I get to help the show take place everyday, whether it is for Fireworks, our Disney’s Festival of Fantasy Parade, or our Main Street Electrical Parade, there’s always something happening at the Magic Kingdom. I’ve worked with many amazing people from around the world, from Mexico to France, to the UK and
Australia, to Puerto Rico,” said Haggerty. Haggerty is not the first student to take advantage of this program. Lasell sends one or two students to the Disney College Program each semester, including seniors Samantha Mackie and Ashley Romagno. “The Disney College Program was life changing and the best experience,” said Mackie. “There were 7,000 people in the program from around the world. It was like I was abroad, but being in Florida.”
Haggerty said the best experience with the Disney College Program so far was giv- ing her Kanga and Roo pin to a young boy in a wheelchair. Visitors and employees can collect and trade pins. The pin caught the young boy’s eye as it hung from her lanyard. “He had no pins to trade me,” said Haggerty. She congratulated him on having his feeding tube removed and gave him the pin. His mother later handed her an envelope with a thank you card inside written and signed by him and his brother. “Something so small as giving away a pin really makes an impact on a family,” said Haggerty.