- OCCC Pioneer - https://pioneer.occc.edu -

Disney brings internship offers to OCCC

Spending a semester working with Mickey Mouse — or being Mickey Mouse — will be among the options when the Disney College Program recruits student interns on campus March 29.

The program gives students the opportunity to live, learn and earn in a unique environment, said Jill Sodowsky, a Disney college campus representative who once served as a Disney intern.

The program is offered at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., and at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

Currently an OCCC student, Sodowsky will provide an e-presentation from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in the College Union Oklahoma Room to discuss the opportunities the Disney programs have to offer.

The program is open to all college students at least 18 years of age, regardless of major or academic level.

Sodowsky said all majors would find career options and training at Disney.

“If students choose to do the internship, they can stand out,” said Debra Vaughn, Student Employment and Career Services director.

Today, the national unemployment rate is at 9 percent, meaninhg five people are applying for just one job,Vaughn said. She said a Disney internship can give an applicant the edge.

While living at the resort, students would be able to choose from one of the three different fully-furnished apartments, Sodowsky said. Transportation also is offered as one of the many amenities.

The American Council of Education, or ACE, has granted official collegiate credit for a variety of classes that are not major-specific, she said. So students could potentially earn up to six hours of credit per semester.

“Students should check with a career services adviser to determine whether their institution will offer credit for participation,” said Lindsay Broadhurst, Disney Media Contact.

The classes offered as part of the internship include hands-on learning, Sodowsky said.

Seminars are held on topics from organizational skills to public speaking and professionalism.

“The reason I came to Disney was to take productive time off from college and find myself,” Sodowsky said.

“I wasn’t really sure of what I wanted to do after taking my basics so I enrolled in the fall ’09 and spring ’10 internships.

“I loved my classes at Disney. They were absolutely wonderful because they helped me figure out what I was good at and really wanted to do.”

Before accepting the Disney internship, Sodowsky said, she had changed her major from nursing to business but still wasn’t settled with her decision. Now she is happily pursuing a degree in public relations.

The resorts also offer interns a wide variety of roles to play, including food and beverage, hospitality, lifeguarding, merchandizing, animal kingdom and much more.

“Whatever you’re looking for, they’ve got it,” Sodowsky said.

Most of the time Disney hires from within, she said, and offers many opportunities to move up in the company.

The vice president of Epcot Center actually started out with this same college internship.

“The leaders at the resort are always there to help you,” Sodowsky said. “They are extremely invested in the company and you, and they are always willing to provide the opportunity to network with the head honchos of the company.”

For more information, contact Vaughn at dvaughn@occc.edu.