Eastern students utilize Disney College Program

Tori Harrison, Contributing Writer

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Walt Disney World is the place where people often say their dreams come true.

At least, that was the case for Liz Gomez, a junior family and consumer sciences major.

Gomez has gone back to Disney for the second time to work this semester while getting credits that will transfer to Eastern.

She went through a four-step process when securing an internship with the company and is now working at Epcot Center in outdoor vending.

“I’m living my dream,” Gomez said.

Gomez has gone to Disney World her whole life.

Her dream was to one day work for the company. When she heard about the Disney College Program in high school, she knew she wanted to be a part of it and had to get her foot in the door with the Fortune 500 Company.

“I love representing EIU here at Disney,” Gomez said. “Making Disney magic every day for families is one of the greatest feelings in the world and I am so thankful for the opportunity.”

According to its website, the Disney College Program is a semester-long paid internship at Walt Disney World or Disneyland where students work at the theme parks and resorts, participate in college-level coursework and live in company-sponsored housing.

Mikki Sherwood, an FCS professor and internship coordinator, said she is passionate about this program and has been working with students on and off for the past 20 years to help them get an internship with Disney.

Sherwood was the first professor to start helping students get academic credit for their internship with Disney.

Although the number of students able to attend varies by semester, 328 students have participated in the Disney College Program from Eastern since 2001.

“I love Disney,” Sherwood said. “A lot of people do… There won’t be an employer that looks at your resume and won’t go ‘ooh, Disney’ and that’s what sets this internship apart.”

Sherwood said students should think about doing this internship because of the overall experience they receive.

“The training is exemplary,” Sherwood said. “You receive social support, academic support, there’s transportation and you can craft your schedule to keep up with your classes too.”

 

Tori Harrison can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]