Starting in August, MxCC student and Meriden resident, Sarah Carey will join up to 12,000 other college students from around the country and spend several months in the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. According to the Orlando Sentinel, about 50,000 young adults apply annually for this paid internship opportunity.
Hailing originally from northern California, Sarah moved to Connecticut when she was 12 years old and graduated from Valley Regional High School in Deep River. She learned more about Middlesex Community College from several of her friends who were planning to attend and decided to attend MxCC as well.
In early 2018, while Sarah was working at the AMC Starplex Theaters in Southington, her manager mentioned the Disney College Program and recommended that Sarah apply. The only challenge was that the application deadline was that very same day! Not to be deterred, Sarah went right ahead and applied online. The questions ranged from asking her about her basic preferences and school information, as well as why she was interested in the program. The process continued with a web-based interview, a personality test, and finally a phone interview. Sarah prepared herself by researching the questions online and through social media.
She received a tip to smile while talking during the phone interview, even though the interviewer could not see her. “I practiced this in front of a mirror!” Sarah laughed.
On April 2, Sarah found out she was accepted into the program and will be heading to Florida by the end of July. Her parents are ecstatic for her and will assist her with moving expenses. She won’t be alone in Florida, though. Her grandparents live in Clearwater.
By August 6, she’ll be working in an operations role with attractions in Disney World, where duties consist of loading and unloading guests from a ride, operating sophisticated ride systems, delivering narrations to large groups, and much more. According to the Disney website, the internship experience also offers the opportunity to develop communications skills, problem-solving skills, and improve confidence and self-reliance. Sarah’s initial internship is for the fall semester, but she hopes to extend it into the spring of 2019.
Sarah will graduate from MxCC in May 2018 with an associate degree in general studies, though her focus has been in arts classes. She likes the idea of working in graphic design, which could be helpful in the Disney “world.”
Looking back at her time at MxCC, Sarah definitely recommends going to MxCC for prerequisites. She found the educational process easy, and particularly liked all of her English professors. “Most of the teachers and advisors are great!” she said.
Her initial goal is to establish herself as a Florida resident and eventually work for Disney full-time, perhaps with costumes or as a character assistant. Sarah also plans to continue her studies in Florida, first at another community college and then transfer to either the University of Tampa or the University of Florida for her bachelor’s degree.
Congratulations and good luck, Sarah!