Written by Lindsey Gillespie
As everyone knows, not every college experience is the same. All my life, I have dreamt of moving away from the beautiful state of Missouri because something deep inside me always knew there was something better out there. That dream came to fruition in May of 2021.
As a junior in college, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life. I felt stuck, physically and mentally. In my classes we always talked about taking risks. I’ve read countless articles in my textbooks about companies doing a campaign that changed the trajectory of their company. Some succeeded while the majority of them failed. At that point in my life, I had nothing to lose. I took a risk of my own and applied to the Disney College Program. Within a few days, my application had pushed through and I moved on to the next steps of the interview process. Three weeks after I had submitted my application, an offer letter was waiting in my inbox.
Was I ready to leave my family behind and move halfway across the country? How will this affect my relationships that I have made with people back home? What happens if I hate it but am stuck down there? Will this ruin the Disney magic for me? All of these questions ran through my mind, but ultimately I had to do what felt right. All of my life I have felt like there wasn’t much for me in Missouri, so might as well take the jump.
Another issue ran through my mind: I still had one year of school left and needed to register for my fall semester. Since I was already an online student, I knew I could handle the course load. The major downside was how rigorous my last two semesters would be and the difficulty of participating online. I applied for the easiest courses I needed to graduate for my fall semester and decided to play the spring semester by ear.
I won’t lie with managing my fall semester, taking a gap semester, and then hopping back into the swing of things in the summer semester was tough. But I was able to put the skills that I was learning in my courses to test in real world situations. I was also presented various opportunities to speak with executives at Disney and learn their stories of how they got into human resources and public relations. Every day I get to deal with crises first hand and need to problem solve on the fly in order to make our guests have a magical experience.
Fast forward to now. Heading into my senior year with a full course load, an internship (hopefully with a job offer upon completion), and a full-time job under my belt, I would not be able to handle all of this without the guidance of the PRSC program. Participating in the program has set me up for success in whatever I plan to do and whatever I set my mind to.