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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Loyola Career Center establishes partnership with Disney college program


With the help of the Career Center, Loyola students now have more opportunities to work at the most magical place on earth. Recently, the Career Center established a partnership between Loyola University Maryland at the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in Florida.

The Disney College Program (DCP) takes in thousands of students each year and is an opportunity for current college students, and those who have graduated within the past year, to live, take courses, and work at Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California. Participants work various jobs at the Disney resorts and theme parks, such as ride attendants, sales clerks, performers, character attendants and many others.

Proponents of the program bill it as an opportunity like no other. “Just getting the customer service experience and an inside look at Disney is invaluable. It’s skills that you’ll take with you for a lifetime,” said Eileen Hiebler, Associate Director of Career Connections at the Loyola Career Center, who has coordinated this partnership between Loyola and Disney World. In addition to gaining confidence and communication skills, “if you want a front-row seat at how to make guests feel special, Disney is the source for that.”

Loyola graduate Kay Lee Roseli ’17, participated in the program and is now a Disney cast member.

While all undergraduate students may apply at any point in their college career, and continue to be eligible for the program up to a year after graduation, Hiebler advises that Loyola students wait to participate in the program until after they graduate. Participants in the program do not receive academic credit from Loyola for their participation, nor for any classes that they may take through the DCP.

“However, they get that immediate glimpse into the Disney way of doing things, which is world renowned in terms of service levels, and providing that guest with a great experience that can be easily transferred into any industry,” she said.

Hiebler spoke to the benefits that could be gleaned from the program by students of any major. “A marketing major might get a glimpse into a retail environment, and get a glimpse into marketing, and packaging, and where things are located,” said Hiebler. “The English majors can benefit from the types of correspondence they send out, and the written word they produce, and the mindset behind customer interaction.”

There are also opportunities to network with the other five thousand individuals who are accepted into the program. “All those individuals that you may have stood next to in a gift shop or lived with [in DCP housing], go on to become potentially doctors, nurses, teachers, marketing managers, CEOs, writers, journalists, scientists—pick any occupation, and now you have a network of all those individuals,” said Hiebler.

Not only can students benefit from the Loyola network of 65,000 alums, but they can also benefit from the network of 100,000 Disney alums who have completed the program. With a myriad of ways to stay connected with Disney College Program alumni via LinkedIn pages, Facebook pages, and other social media outlets, there are ways for DCP participants to reap ongoing benefits from the program.

Although Loyola students have participated in the DCP before, with the new partnership, Loyola’s role in the program will be taken to a new level. “We have a green light from Disney to be a bigger part of this program,” said Hiebler. “We now have direct contact with the Disney recruitment team for [the Disney College] Program.”

This means that Loyola career services will be able to advocate for Loyola applicants to the Disney recruitment team, as well as be able to give Loyola students tips on how to make their applications stand out within the large, competitive pool of applicants. Students who are interested in applying for the DCP should note that the application deadline for admission to the fall semester program is Friday, March 23, 2018.

For Hiebler, this partnership with the Disney College Program is only the beginning of Loyola’s relationship with Disney. On March 5, 2018, Hiebler was in Florida meeting with the Disney recruitment team to evaluate how Loyola can grow its relationship with the Walt Disney Company. “It was a pivotal moment because I really understand where this growth is going.”

Hiebler hopes that the partnership will extend to experiential learning programs, webinars with Disney, and mentoring opportunities.

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Loyola Career Center establishes partnership with Disney college program