On-Campus Employment Helps Junior Hospitality Major Gain Disney Internship
Junior Abby Hoelzeman, Event Marketing Specialist for the Office of Student Activities, will spend her fall semester in the Disney College Program.
Junior Abby Hoelzeman is packing her bags to spend the fall semester as an intern in the highly competitive Disney College Program at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
Hoelzeman, a hospitality major from DeWitt, is the event marketing specialist in the Office of Student Activities and credits her on-campus job experience with providing her the customer service skills to stand out among the estimated 50,000 applicants for one of 1500 Disneyland internships. (An additional 12,000 interns are selected for Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.)
"I have had three different jobs on campus that I believe helped me get this position with Disney," Hoelzeman said. "In every position I have been able to focus on the customer and do my best to make sure they have everything they need to succeed." Hoelzeman has worked for the Office of Student Activities since September 2016 and in University Housing as a summer conference ambassador and a Music Living Learning Community peer ambassador.
Hoelzeman applied for the internship after a close friend served in the program. A mutual friend encouraged her to apply, saying that she "would regret not applying more than I would regret applying and not getting accepted. After that I applied on her bedroom floor! It really was the best decision I have made in a long time."
That first application started a months-long process that included screening interviews, background checks, and a phone interview. After a six-week wait, she received an email with the offer for the fall program at Disneyland Resort. Since then she's spent a busy summer completing preparatory training and making arrangements for her time in Anaheim. When she starts her internship Aug. 12, she will work in the Quick Service Food & Beverage department at Disneyland, as well as complete coursework through Disney that will transfer to the University of Arkansas. But the part of the experience she's most anticipating is connecting with other students from around the country.
"I'll be with such a diverse group of people, working and living with people from all over the country," Hoelzeman said. "I'm really looking forward to the relationships and connections."
Hoelzeman recommends student employment as a way for students to gain experience for internship or career goals.
"One benefit of working on campus is that you get to interact with all sorts of students," she said. "Campus jobs are never boring. It also helps you get to know different staff members in any department."
"I wholeheartedly believe that co-curricular activities and on campus jobs are worth the time. Most of my current friends are people I have worked with and are in groups together. They are some of the most interesting people I have ever met and would not have met them if I did not get out of my shell and apply for my jobs or make a point to find other students that are also looking for friends that have the same vision for their future. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and the world will come to you."
The Office of Student Activities is a department within the Division of Student Affairs.
About the Division of Student Affairs: The Division of Student Affairs supports students in pursuing knowledge, earning a degree, finding meaningful careers, exploring diversity, and connecting with the global community. We provide students housing, dining, health care resources, and create innovative programs that educate and inspire. We enhance the University of Arkansas experience and help students succeed, one student at a time.
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