Name: Casey Neels (middle)

Major(s):  Business Administration

Hometown: Webster NY

Graduation Date: December 2013

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

I did the Disney College Program internship at Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida. I worked as a hostess at the Contemporary Resort, interacting with customers and children on a daily basis. Depending on how diligent of a worker you were, the opportunities for advancement were feasible. I had the opportunity to be promoted to do other tasks at my current work location and was also offered to stay and extend my internship. I also took a class called "Marketing You" where we learned how to market our self to future employers and learned proper business etiquette.

Is this your first internship? 

Yes

Motivation.  Why did you decide to do an internship?

My first year of college I was not sure what I wanted to do with my career. I heard about the Disney College Program and the opportunities they offered and was honored to be able to join their team. Working for Walt Disney World was an experience I will never forget and I have memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

How did you find this particular internship?

Monroe Community College had information sessions about the Disney College Program and I also had a friend who told me about their experience with this particular internship.

Recommendations for other students?

Walt Disney World is a great company to work for; you have the opportunity to experience what it is like to make dreams come true. I would not change my experience for the world and having this company on your résumé stands out to other employers.

What did you learn about yourself by doing an internship?

This was the first time I was ever away from home for a six month period of time. I did not know what it was really like to be on my own. This internship made me more independent and realize that I am not afraid to travel and take opportunities when they are presented.

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

This internship helped me realize that I am okay with potentially moving elsewhere outside of New York for a job if necessary, before I was only willing to stay close to home. It also made me realize that Disney will always be a place I can call home, and may have opportunities to go back to Disney for a future career option. I also got to experience putting a smile on someone's face every day, I knew that I always loved helping people but this internship validated that even more. After my internship, I was recruited to become a Campus Rep for the Disney College Program and recruited students to partake in the internship. I did not know I would like to recruit but it was one of my favorite jobs and recruiting is now something I would consider as a job option as well as marketing and advertising.

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

This internship made me more extroverted of a person, I was very outgoing to begin with but talking to hundreds of different people daily forced you to go outside of your comfort zone. I met people from all over the world during this internship and still remain friends with them to this day. Friends from not only different states but different countries including from Canada, Netherlands, Europe, etc. I even had the experience to have a roommate from China. I learned about different cultures and how we can all unite as one to have the same goal in mind; making dreams come true.

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

The most rewarding days for me were when children from the Make A Wish Foundation came into the restaurant. I had the chance to give them stickers and talk to them about their day meeting Minnie and Mickey at the park. I realized that even the smallest gestures can put a smile on someone's face, knowing I made them happy brought me joy.