“Whether you have a great internship experience or not, there is always something to garner from stepping outside your comfort zone and participating in something that is bigger than you,” says Theater Arts and English major Claire Berger ’11. Berger completed a paid internship with one of the largest media conglomerates in the world: The Walt Disney Company. The experience helped Berger hone her communication skills in ways she never expected.
Aware of the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fl., since high school, Berger became increasingly interested when she began attending Arcadia. She applied for the spring semester of her sophomore year and, after completing an application and a phone interview, she was notified that she received the internship.
Her excellent acting and presentation skills landed Berger a position in the “Innoventions” region of the EPCOT Center where she interacted with guests, helping to guide them through the parks. She was required to learn two scripts for conservation-themed games, "Where's the Fire?" about fire safety and "Don't Waste It," about recycling, which she hosted daily.
Perhaps the most amazing of all of Berger’s experiences was when she was able to use her modern language skills in an impromptu setting.
“A deaf family came into the queue for ‘Where's the Fire?’ and really wanted to experience the game. I know a small amount of sign language, and was actually able to guide them through the game with the limited skills that I have. It was an amazing moment, both because I was surprised at my own abilities, and because the guests were so happy they were able to play the game.”
The experience was so positive that she applied to and accepted a professional internship with Disney, which she will begin shortly after graduation.
“It is exciting to be a part of such a huge company that is able to create a world where people can forget their troubles for a while and just have fun,” she says. “I learned to deal with all kinds of people and how to put aside my own troubles in order to make magic for guests. I also was able to observe some of the most amazing things while there.”