A few weeks ago, I shared a Q&A with Disneyland PR Intern Jessica Pineda. Today, I’d like to share another Q&A I completed with a former Disney Professional Intern (PI): Alyssa Slayton. Alyssa completed her PI as a Disney Institute account coordinator in the fall of 2014. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in adult and higher education and intercollegiate athletic administration at the University of Oklahoma.
Q: Why did you decide to do a PI?
AS: I wanted to work with the Walt Disney Company again but in more of a professional role than my DCP working in merchandise.
Q: Can you describe the kinds of tasks you would perform on a normal day during your PI?
AS: My role was very office based. I handled daily phone calls and emails from clients. I was the initial contact in Florida for our clients as my manager was regionally located in the Boston area. I worked directly with other departments within Disney Institute and with our partners throughout the Walt Disney Company in the Florida area and also in Anaheim.
Q: What can students or recent graduates expect to learn if they do a PI?
AS: There is not a real way to know what to expect. The roles vary so widely, depending on the area you want to work in. My role was a Monday through Friday, 9-5, working in an office area. There are others that work different kinds of hours and on different days because of park or restaurant hours and handle different responsibilities. Just come in with an open mind, be prepared to learn as you go, and be prepared and unashamed to ask questions.
Q: How did your PI help prepare you for grad school (if at all)?
AS: My PI didn’t really prepare me for grad school specifically. It did give me experience to talk about when I began interviewing for a graduate assistantship. The phone and email skills I used and learned while at my PI have really helped me in my new position as a GA.
Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to apply for a PI in the future?
AS: The advice I would give is if you accept a PI, be prepared to make the most of it. Not everything is pixie dust and magic. There is a lot of hard work and there are difficult moments, but if you try your best to enjoy your work and your fellow cast members, the role can be very rewarding. When applying, be sure of yourself and know what role you want most. Look on the Disney Intern website at some stories from former interns to get an idea of the roles and experiences. There are hundreds (if not thousands) applying for each position, so if you do not get one right away, do not be discouraged. If you get one, congratulations! and enjoy every second.