The magic behind Disney internships
A little initiative can go a long way, according to communication major Jeremy Loween ’12.
This spring Loween will intern at ESPN, a company he has dreamt of working for since he could remember.
“That’s been my dream my entire life,” Loween said. “Turning my crazy passion for sports into something I can do for the rest of my life.”
His internship, set to begin on January 8, is with the promotions department at 710 ESPN. He will be job shadowing and helping plan some of their events.
His dream is coming to fruition because of someone Loween met while doing a Disney internship through the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida in spring 2011.
About two months into his internship at Disney, Loween met Galen Gordon, coordinating producer for ESPN’s show First Take, who was in line at the ride Loween was working.
“Really my goal was to meet someone from ESPN,” Loween said. “I noticed his badge and that was like bright shiny lights for me. I just started asking him questions about his position. He liked my enthusiasm and passion.”
Loween told Gordon about his interest in working for ESPN and Gordon was so impressed that he recommended Loween to apply for an internship with the company.
Loween kept in contact with Gordon and emailed him about once a week while he was at Disney and then about once a month that summer.
“Nothing came about till this fall,” Loween said. “I ended up hearing about an internship in Seattle. He ended up calling the station and recommending me personally.”
Thanks to Gordon ,Loween will be at ESPN 710 in Seattle one day a week in the spring working as their promotions intern.
Looking back, Loween and director of academic internships Maxine Herbert-Hill realize that having a positive attitude is what helped Loween land this position at ESPN.
“The biggest thing was building relationships with people at Disney,” Loween said. “It pushed to always make a choice to be happy and positive. They want to see how you react to change and uncertain circumstances.”
Part of what makes the Disney College Program unique is that students are assigned a minimum viable job, which can be a learning experience in itself, Herbert-Hill said.
Loween’s job at Disney was working rides and initially he didn’t have the upbeat attitude that would ultimately impress Gordon.
“On the list of jobs he wanted this would be the last,” said Herbert-Hill. “Jeremy, being a bright young man, said, ‘I’m going to make the best of this,’ and that is what led him to the ESPN internship. If he had not have shifted his attitude that would not have happened.”
For Loween, the Disney internship has been a major stepping-stone to get him where he wants to go.
“Internships are so invaluable,” said Loween. “Go in with the mind set that you can be placed anywhere but it could be a blessing in disguise.”
Herbert-Hill agrees. She has seen about a dozen students go though the Disney College Program in the five years PLU’s been involved with it.
“This internship will open doors for you in ways you never considered,” said Herbert-Hill. “It enriches the person so much when they look beyond the job.”