The Walt Disney Co. selected 12 Joliet Junior College students to work at its Orlando, Florida, theme parks and resorts next year through its culinary and college programs.
The students selected are Alexis Carlson, Alexandra Craig, Tyler Doughty, Emily Ferneau, Emilio Gaytan, Bryce Herron, Kellie Jarose, Lexy Martin, Thomas Neises, Emily Nichols, Brandon Perez and Alyssa Stonesifer, according to a news release.
The selected students gathered for a Mickey Bon Voyage meeting Nov. 19 at the JJC Romeoville Campus, where they learned more about the internships, the JJC and Disney Co.expectations, and received advice and tips from Disney program alumni.
“The program taught me what I want to do with my future, which is to work for the Walt Disney Co. in marketing,” said JJC student Patty Maurer, 24, who works in merchandising at the company’s All-Star Sports Resort. “I also learned more about myself and gained many professional skills.”
Five of the students will participate in the six-month Disney Culinary Program, where they will work at one of the park’s 300 restaurants as a cook or in a pastry or bakery role. Seven students will serve in Disney’s College Program, which allows participants to build transferable skills through personal and career development opportunities.
The paid internships include on-site housing and transportation to and from work. Students also receive discounts on food and souvenirs, as well as free entry to theme parks and other Disney properties.
Most JJC students will begin their internships in January.
Each said they are excited to work at and enjoy the parks while meeting new friends.
“I expect to work hard, make lots of friends, ride Splash Mountain more times than I can count and make amazing memories,” said Ferneau, 19, who studies fashion merchandising.
Five JJC students are already working in Orlando.
JJC Career Adviser and Disney College Coordinator Christen Mazura-Morris guides the students through the selection process.
Mazura-Morris is an alumna of the Disney College Program and will visit the students to learn about their experiences so she can share them with future Disney students.
“You could feel their energy and excitement as well as anxiousness about getting ready to leave on their internship,” she said.