Page 30 - IU Southeast Summer 2012 Mag

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just magic,
pixie dust.
April Hall
“Costuming at Disney was similar,
like in the quick changes and laundry
procedures,” she said. “But it was
different, too – learning how to plug the
lit costumes up, lining everything with
fire-proof liner, and getting characters
dressed and on the float. In a show,
things can go wrong, but in a parade a
lot more can go wrong, and you typically
have less time to fix it.”
At Disney, Adams was responsible for
ensuring that characters had every
piece needed for their costume: one
outfit for Mickey Mouse had up to 15
pieces. Once characters were dressed,
she had to dress the performers, plug
everyone’s batteries in, and test the
Only during the parade could Adams
take a few moments to relax to enjoy
the festivities, but she always had
to be on call in case of emergencies.
After the parade, she was responsible
for prepping and putting away all
costumes, so they would be ready for
the next parade.
“I spent three hours every night
prepping costumes,” Adams said.
“As (characters) came back, I rushed
to get them out of their costumes,
disassembled the costumes properly,
and sent them to the proper laundry
facility. They have to be thoroughly
checked because if a costume was sent
to the wrong place, it would mean all
the wires could get destroyed in the
wash! One costume could easily cost
Although the Disney College
Experience is an internship opportunity
for those still in college, Adams said
it felt like a full-time position with
40-plus-hour work weeks, reprimands,
and great opportunities. She knows
that participating in the Disney College
Experience was the best decision she
“For me, it was perfect for what I
am doing,” she said. “And it was eye
opening, because I’d never been away
from home. You were on your own; your
parents weren’t there.”
Living on her own for the first time also
introduced her to other cultures and
“The best part about my experience is all
the amazing people from all around the
world that I had the pleasure of working
with,” Adams said. “They taught me
about their language, culture, and food.
The things I learned and the people I
met – I will always carry that with me.”
Although Adams learned many things
from her internship, perhaps the most
rewarding part was knowing her role
had a huge effect not just on the success
of the characters she dressed, but on the
guest experience.
“Having a job with the parade made me
feel that I had a purpose,” she said. “I
am a small part of something big. It’s all
about making magic.”
Learning lifelong skills to make
dreams come true
According to the National Association
of Colleges and Employers (NACE),
internships are beneficial because they
give students the opportunity to glimpse
what a full-time position in their career
field might be like.
Rosie Shannon, internship coordinator
for IU Southeast, knows that
internships offer many advantages
including career-related experience
prior to graduation, development
of professional skills, networking
opportunities, and the chance to earn
income or academic credit. The Disney
College Experience is one of a kind,
offering students something more.
According to Shannon, an internship
at Disney is important for IU Southeast
students because it gives them the
opportunity to develop their strengths
and help define their interests. Interns
meet guests and cast members from
around the country, taking part in
educational opportunities that help
their professional and career goals.
“The Disney program is a unique
program that allows students to
network with leaders, take part in
personal and career development
classes, and build transferable skills
such as problem solving, teamwork,
guest services, and effective
communication. That experience helps
prepare them for the workforce,”
Shannon said.
Students who have attended the Disney
College Experience have seen firsthand
what it is like to work for a world-class
Their internships were unique because
Disney is like any other business except
with one extra characteristic: magic.
“It just means more now,” Adams said.
“I worked more than 40 hours a week,
and on my off days I was at Disney.
I know every ride back and forth,
and I love it. I think it will be magical