My Summer Update: Interning at Walt Disney World

Samantha Kaplan-2015 Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

I cannot believe it’s already the middle of July.  For me, that means my internship at Walt Disney World ends in just three and a half weeks and I will be back to SC in four!  While I’m definitely thrilled to be headed back to SC (I’ve been counting down the days until my flight to LA – only 29 to go!), I’m sad that my experience is coming to a close and I will be leaving my role as  Professional Intern.

A view from one of my nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park!

 

 

Since my last blog update, I have continued working on older projects and also take on roles in various new projects.  In addition to the data collection and analysis I have already performed, I have been able to work with some of the other interns to spearhead our own projects.  Just last week, I spent three nights working in the Hollywood Studios after park hours (12AM-6AM).  Even though my sleeping schedule was completely disturbed, it was one of the coolest things I’ve gotten to do, as I got to see the parks not from the perspective of a guest, but from the perspective of an Engineer and a Cast Member. Beyond this, I have conducted daytime walk-throughs at each of the parks to collect data, written articles that have been published and broadcast to the entirety of Walt Disney World, coordinated and attended meetings with Engineers of various disciplines and Imagineers, and even gotten a few backstage tours at some of the attractions!

 

 

Working at Disney has been a really great experience for me, especially due to my interest in both Engineering and the Arts.  I have found that even the most technical of jobs at Disney have creative aspects, as they all contribute to an attraction, restaurant, shop, or resort.  For me, this serves as confirmation that Engineering should be seen as a creative discipline, enhancing the Arts rather than conflicting with them.  It also demonstrates that Engineering is everywhere, and that it can be fun!  I don’t dread waking up early and going to work because to me, it doesn’t really feel like work.  While I am doing calculations, making spreadsheets, and looking at drawings, I am also seeing the results of the work appear within Disney World.  I get to walk around a theme park and understand how and why things work within it, and that is considered my “job”.

A view from a walk-through at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park!

 

 

I plan to make the most of my last couple of weeks as an intern.  I want to form bonds with the other Cast Members and complete projects that truly make a noticeable difference.  This has been an incredible experience and an amazing opportunity, and I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent my summer!

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