Name: Rebecca Strumpf

Major(s): Communication

Minor(s): Human Development

Hometown: Albany, NY

Graduation Date: May 2012

Tell us about your current internship?   Employer, brief summary of duties, major projects.

I did the Disney College Program Internship in Orlando, FL my sophomore year of college at Geneseo. I was a Recreation Hostess, and was based at the Caribbean Beach Resort and Pop Century Resort. I loved this role because I had a variety of different responsibilities at different locations. At Pop Century, I worked as the Arcade Hostess, which had me assisting guests in a large arcade. I provided guest service by helping guests with the games and cashing out prizes. At Caribbean Beach, I worked as the cashier at the boating marina, acted as a dock attendant helping guests with the boats, bikes and other products and also assisting with other hospitality duties such as children’s activities.  I also took two classes through the Disney College Program. These classes were “Advanced Studies in Hospitality Management” and  “Corporate Communication”, and both of these courses proved to be very engaging and beneficial classes.

I am currently on the Disney Professional Internship Program, which is another program that Disney offers for students and recent graduates. My role is with Disney Youth Events and Festivals where I serve as a Festival Disney Coordinator.  In this role I provide support for Disney-produced, multi-week festivals for middle and high school groups. These groups include bands, orchestras, choirs, cheerleading, and dance and baton groups. I am a member of a team that is responsible for planning the Festival Disney event from start to finish, and I host these guest groups once they arrive at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  I am also responsible for ordering, organizing and transporting award to the event venues.

Is this your first internship? 

Yes, the Disney College Program was my first internship.

Motivation.  Why did you decide to do an internship?

I was starting to plan for my future and decided that an internship would be a great experience to get real life experience in an industry that I was interested in. By participating in an internship at the Walt Disney World Resort,  I knew I would be added an invaluable experience to my resume, while also learning and experiencing lessons I would carry with me forever.

I decided to participate in the Disney Professional Internship program because I was extremely interesting in joining the Walt Disney Company again in a more specialized role.

How did you find this particular internship?

I had friends who had participated in the Disney College Program.

Recommendations for other students?

I would recommend that students take advantage of every opportunity that they get while on the Disney College Program. The program is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and it goes by extremely fast! There are so many amazing resources open to student on the college program, which include classes, seminars, networking opportunities and events. The College Program also serves as an opportunity for students to discover and apply to Professional Internships, which are more specialized roles in the company.

What did you learn about yourself by doing an internship?

I learned many invaluable lessons while on the Disney College Program. In terms of personal growth, I learned a great deal about independence, hard work and determination. I also discovered that I really loved working in the Hospitality Industry, and having Disney on my resume really helped me in the future while applying for jobs in the industry.

Did you have an aha moment during your internship?

Working for such a prestigious and important company really made me realize how lucky I was to have that opportunity. The College Program also made me discover that I’d love to work for the Walt Disney Company in the future, which I am doing now! I hope to stay with the company after my Professional Internship.

How did the internship impact your career goals?  Have they changed? 

This internship helped me realize that I working in the Hospitality Industry is something I am very interested in, and I have continued to work in the Hospitality field since participating in the College Program. I love being a part of people’s special vacations, and helping them to have the most magical experience as possible. Being able to put smiles on people’s faces is something I always hope to be involved in.  

How has the internship made a difference in your life, personal goals?

This internship really helped me to grow as a person in many ways. Living on my own on the program, as opposed to living with my parents at home or in a dorm in college, really helped me “grow up” and become much more independent. I also become more proficient at making decisions and working with people from all backgrounds.

Describe a typical day at your internship (or the most exciting day). 

There were so many amazing days on my internship! I don’t think I could pick just one, but a memory that sticks out is when I got the opportunity to surprise a child on their birthday with special Disney prizes and a phone call from Mickey Mouse!

Additional comments? 

I would recommend the Disney College Program to any student who wants an amazing experience at a spectacular company.  The program offered invaluable opportunities and provided me with lessons that I know I will take with me forever.