Students earn internships working for Disney World

Acceptants to travel to Florida for spring semester

Written By Shannon Hartnett, Copy Editor

Some of Point Park’s very own will be living out their spring semesters in the place where all dreams come true. 

A handful of Pioneers have been accepted into the Disney internship program and will be leaving for Florida in mid-January of 2019. Sports, arts and entertainment management (SAEM) majors Kristin Bichteman, Rebecca Cohan and public relations and advertising major Regan Tischler, are some of the accepted applicants for the upcoming semester. 

Students will be taking on jobs in the park while their living accommodations are provided for. This includes getting a paycheck for their work, but interns are expected to pay a small fee in rent that will be extracted from their salaries.

Cohan said she may be helping with shows, working at the rides or assisting with parking. Bichteman will be working in the food and beverage department and Tischler will be working as a lifeguard. Students will participate in almost full work days and then possibly have class work to do once they retire for
the night. 

After completing this internship, students could then be eligible for a professional internship with the park. This would be one step up in the ranks as students learn about the inner workings of the Disney business.

Point Park helps with the application process and accepts the internship as credit, but they do not have a partnership with Disney. 

Bichteman wanted to apply for the internship ever since she heard about it at orientation for Point Park. Her goal is to someday work full time for the company, and sees this opportunity as one that will help get her there.  

Tischler found out about the program in high school, and when she came to Point Park, she immediately talked about the opportunity to her career counselor who was on board with helping her through the process. 

While most of the students admitted have majors involving public relations or SAEM, all types of majors are included in the internship. The program is considered very competitive, and Disney only accepts 10% of applicants, according to Cohen. 

Bichteman believes her past amusement park experience helped her land the internship. 

“My experience working at Hershey Park, I think, really helped me a lot,” Bichteman said. 

Interning at Disney is only the first step for Tischler, who said the job would help her to make connections.  

“[Disney] opens doors because it is an international program,” Tischler said. “I am going to be able to meet so many different people.”

Cohen believes that this internship will give her an advantage for her future

“After I graduate I want to move out to California and work for Disney,” Cohen said. “It doesn’t matter what I do, I just want to work for them.” 

Tischler gave advice to those hoping to apply to the program. 

“In the application, simply changing the word ‘customers’ to ‘guests’ could help you stand out in the crowd because it shows you have qualities they are looking for,” Tischler said.

There are three steps to the application. First is a basic resume, and the second is a web interview where you are asked questions based on what you would do in a scenario, according to Bichteman. The third and final step is a phone call interview. 

“In the phone interview, don’t focus on talking about how much you love Disney. They already know that,” Tischler said. “Instead, tell them how the internship could benefit your future. Also remember to elaborate on anything they ask you. Don’t just reply with one word answers.”

Cohen encouraged anyone considering the internship to apply. 

“Just do it,” Cohen said. “The worst that could happen is that you don’t get it. You can even apply up to six months after graduating.”