College Insights: Internships Open Doors
By Dasjaevian Dixon
Searching for a job or an internship can be a tedious process. But researching and making genuine connections can help to ease that process. Last year, I utilized Eagle Network as a vital resource to find the Disney College Program internship, which is available for all students at the University of North Texas.
Eagle Network is an excellent resource for finding jobs, internships, and shadowing opportunities. After I found out about the Disney College Program, I researched the company and what it has to offer – not only to potential employees but for the millions of guests from all over the world who visit Walt Disney World annually. My excitement began once I learned that Disney was a Fortune 500 company that places great emphasis on guest satisfaction and opens doors for its interns’ occupational growth. After reading these descriptions, I knew the company would be a great fit for me.
I followed up with Disney’s recruitment team after applying to make sure an interview was secured. The interview lasted about 20 minutes. I was excited about the big break afterwards, but nervous regarding what to expect. After the over-the-phone interview, I sent a follow-up email expressing how thankful I was to even have the chance to be interviewed by a Disney recruiter.
I highly encourage all students to take advantage of resources offered from your school. Every interview will not be great. Every job you apply for will not be handed to you. However, you must stay persistent. Keep putting forth an effort to build and gain employment skills that will be vital to your eventual career of choice.
A great tool I would recommend in helping your job/internship search is LinkedIn. This unique social network for employers can mark the difference between an overlooked candidate and potential hire. I recommend using LinkedIn to reach out to as many professionals as possible.
My internship was a great learning experience overall, as well as a lot of fun. At the same time, I began it with several challenges – some of which came from simply adjusting to it. But that’s a part of every process, right?
It was difficult adjusting financially and physically when I arrived in Orlando, Florida, in April. It was also challenging to maintain a new schedule. Plus, I only had $300 dollars to my name. I had to use Uber numerous times to get around until I found someone who could provide transportation. Although most of my destinations were nearby, the money I spent on Uber accumulated quickly.
My normal routine consisted of attending classes, working, exercising, and socializing. That didn’t work out so well for the first 6 weeks of the internship. Before I knew it, I was working about 45 hours a week while taking 2 online classes through UNT. I couldn’t work out or socialize as much as I wanted to.
Working 6 days a week for about 2 months made me embrace time management more than I ever have. As much as it made me find a balance, it motivated me to improve my health to endure the long work days. I started cooking breakfast every morning and taking vitamins which helped tremendously. In return, I could get through the week without being so fatigued.
One thing I really looked forward to was volunteering alongside the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a wish granter. I knew Disney had a close partnership with the foundation, and I wanted to utilize that as a way to give back to the community.
Before passing away in July of 2007, my younger sister made a wish to attend a Ne-Yo concert while recovering from our bone marrow transplant. Her immune system was not strong enough for traveling, so Make-A-Wish made a way for her to attend a WWE event in San Antonio, Texas instead. She had the time of her life meeting some of her favorite wrestlers – especially her favorite, John Cena. He currently grants many wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
I had my own chances to help grant wishes for 2 children in the Orlando area – in May and June respectively. Both of the families I interacted with were genuinely happy that their child would do something fun to aid them through challenging turmoil. Fortunately, I left both families’ homes feeling like I was a part of their units. It has been a wonderful experience being a part of the world’s largest wish granting organization. I look forward to continuing to serve in the North Texas region.
I’ve developed genuine relationships with people worldwide. Interacting and learning about different cultures with the international students I worked with was a blast. It strengthened my comprehension of how to communicate and made me eager to visit different countries.
At work, I was able to network with many people from different backgrounds. I did my best in making sure that guests felt comfortable and welcomed whenever they visited our store. I had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations that I will remember for the rest of my life. Throughout my internship, I interacted with thousands of guests and I am now more comfortable when speaking to large audiences or individuals that I’m meeting for the first time.
As a young professional, I’ve sharpened valuable skills which make me an important asset in the business field. Some of those skills include being personable, practicing effective communication, identifying problems, and providing ample solutions. Now, I can find a perfect balance between hard work and participating in extracurricular activities.
Most importantly, I still enjoyed the recreational activities Walt Disney World offered. On my off days, I visited theme parks and traveled around Florida. Being in this enlightening atmosphere every day has inspired me to continue working hard and enjoying the treasures of life. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity and experience. Thank you and best regards to everyone who continues supporting and encouraging me on this formative professional journey.
Dasjaevian Dixon is an undergraduate student at the University of North Texas studying Marketing with a double minor in Decision Sciences and Psychology. He is currently interning at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Dasjaevian is a Brazos Education Foundation scholar. He currently serves as the Vice President for The Presidential Men, an organization he helped implement at UNT. He also assists with helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Owning his own business in the future is one of his top goals. As a millennial, he is building on his personal and professional skills to become a valuable asset in the business field.
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