Page 29 - IU Southeast Summer 2012 Mag

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IU Southeast
Summer 2012 27
to it with me for the entire parade. The
smile on his face, just knowing you
made his vacation, the smiles on his
family’s faces, that’s what makes these
moments magical.”
Hall, who hopes to one day work her
magic as an attorney, knows that her
time with Disney was an experience
like no other. And she hopes that other
students, no matter what their major,
give an internship like this a second
“Disney is filled with opportunities,”
she said. “I’ve had jobs before, but it
was nothing like this. This is really fun.”
Making the most of a once-in-
a-lifetime opportunity
Lauren Ogburn, a junior from
Jeffersonville, Ind., has childhood
memories of Disney World, but they
aren’t as happy as one would expect.
“I was hoping to meet Mickey Mouse,
like in that commercial where the kid
hugs him. I was hoping that would
happen, and it didn’t,” she said. “Also, I
was really afraid of fireworks, and they
had this huge fireworks show. I was
afraid they were going to get close to
me and burn me.”
It’s not exactly the magical experience
Walt Disney would have hoped for
a child to have, but Ogburn and her
family did return to Disney World when
they were selected to be part of the
Princess Tiana Showboat Jubilee launch
in 2009. It was there that the family
met a cast member and learned more
about the Disney College Experience.
The cast member encouraged Ogburn
and her younger sister to apply.
FromAugust 2011 until January
2012, Ogburn worked at the Toy
Story Mid-Way Mania at Hollywood
Studios, where her day-to-day
responsibilities always focused on
“Everyone was entrusted to do
different things,” Ogburn said. “For my
attraction, we have these big vehicles
and they move on a track and there’s
a lot of electricity that goes through it.
We all had to be very vigilant and keep
people away from certain areas while
maintaining our Disney-esque quality.”
In fact, even though Ogburn knew
that every day at work was meant to
create a magical day for the visitors,
the four principles of tradition she was
taught during her orientation stuck
with her throughout her four-month
stay. Focusing on safety, courtesy,
showmanship, and efficiency, Ogburn
always practiced safety and integrity
with respect to Disney and the
characters, and showed an obligation
to the guests by maintaining a calm and
positive demeanor.
“I’m normally a quiet person, but since
I was in front of guests, I just kept a
smile on my face and stayed focused on
trying to get the job done and
make sure everything ran
smoothly,” she said.
At the end of her tenure,
Ogburn applied
to extend her
at Disney
because she
was having
such a
working. She ultimately decided to
return home to focus on her studies
and catch up with her dog Teddy, who
reminds her of her favorite Disney
character – Stitch from “Lilo and
Months after returning to Indiana and
IU Southeast, Ogburn still looks at her
opportunity with Disney as a matter of
“If Disney hadn’t wanted me, they
wouldn’t have picked me, so maybe it is
up to chance more than anything else,”
she said. “But everyone’s experience is
different. If you work hard, and be the
best you can be, you will have a great
Ogburn had only one word to describe
her experience: Fantastic.
“Now that I’ve been there, I have an
appreciation for what people do and
how the Disney Company works,” she
said. “It’s in sunny Florida, it’s colorful,
and it’s a great place to work.”
The magic will live on
The Disney College Experience is set
up to teach college students how to be
an adult at the place where it’s okay to
forever be a kid.
That is what made
Adams, a senior
theater major
from Louisville,
decide to apply.
Adams spent
most of late 2011
as a costuming hostess
for Disney’s Electrical
Light Parade at Magic
Kingdom. Thanks to her
experience with the IU Southeast
theater department, Adams quickly
adapted to the fast-paced lifestyle of
working on parades.
Pluto. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World.