About Me

Hello everyone! I’m a Marine Biology  major with a minor is Spanish currently studying abroad in Warrnambool, Australia! I have a background in Elementary Education, but decided to put that part of my degree on hold in order to graduate after my Australian adventures. I have had the amazing opportunity to work for Walt Disney World as a Conservation Education Presenter at Animal Kingdom through their Professional Internships. I remain a seasonal Cast Member today. I’ve also worked as a teacher at the Houston Zoo for their Summer Camp Zoofari, and found a true passion for conservation and education. I created this blog to keep friends and family up to date with my Australian experiences, for all future Cast Members or those who are interested in the Disney Professional Internships or College Program (or for those who just can’t get enough of Disney), and for those interested in studying abroad. Hopefully I can give you some information that will inspire you to get your dreams in motion and help you along the way! Happy reading!

Previously, I started a blog at http://wdwcollegeprogram2011.blogspot.com/, but I ran out of picture space! I started a new blog here as a continuation, but if you’d like to check it out, feel free!

6 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Ayla says:

    Hi! I just noticed your previous blog about your Disney Internship. I am looking forward to continue reading as I am a hopeful Disney Intern for a veterinary position as well as a major Disney freak. I hope you don’t mind my asking questions.

    Can you tell me anything about your experience and qualifications prior to getting the internship? I know qualifications are a bit different for a conservation intern but I would love to know more about why you were chosen.

    Thanks so much for your time! You can email me if you’d like.

    • ftg09 says:

      Hello!

      When I applied for my internship my experiences mainly consisted of volunteering and working in elementary classrooms and participating in a 2 week sea turtle volunteer conservation trip to Costa Rica. At that point I didn’t have much conservation education experience, but I had a passion for education, Disney, and conservation. I also had leadership experience through my church youth group and 4-H. The people I worked with came from a variety of backgrounds. I was the youngest one in the group at 20 years of age and the oldest was 27. Some other Conservation Education Presenters had worked at various zoos, volunteered at animal rehabilitation facilities, etc. I feel like it didn’t matter so much where we came from, just that we demonstrated confidence, a passion for animals, excitement about Disney, and a desire to share what we knew with others. I also had a few Spanish classes under my belt and had hosted a few exchange students throughout my high school careers, so I could demonstrate that I had multi-cultural experience. I still have the cover letter and resume I sent them when I applied, so if you’d like more detail, just let me know! The phone interview will largely determine whether or not you are chosen for the position. If you get to this stage, feel free to contact me if you’d like some advice. I’d love to help out! I would also suggest applying to multiple Disney internships if you are really interested in working for the company. The positions are highly competitive, and the more times you throw your name in the hat, the better your chances are. If you have any more questions too, feel free to contact me. I hope I was of some help.

  2. Ayla says:

    Thank you for your response! I would absolutely love more detail from your cover letter and resume.

    I currently work as a vet tech assistant at the Phoenix Zoo, have worked/volunteered at various veterinary facilities including domestic small animal, exotic, equine, and dairy. I have also been an officer of my pre-vet club every year. Before I started in the animal care center at the zoo, I was a trail host and interacted with the public teaching them about the animals and conservation. I was also a part of the behavioral observation team.

    I know you mentioned in one post about the vet intern having a sick child to tend to. I’m sure you don’t know much about her situation, but if you knew anyone with kids and how they made it work for them, I would love that info. I have 2 daughters and I feel like I may be at a disadvantage when it comes to 1) Getting enough experience and 2) Being able to make things work with a family. I’m sure you don’t know much about this but any info is greatly appreciated.

    • ftg09 says:

      Okay, as far as my cover letter goes, I started by explaining why I was applying to the position and what inspired me to want to work for Disney. I talked about what I wanted to gain from the position and what I had to offer. I also addressed my strengths and listed specific experiences that contributed to the development of those strengths. In my resume I specifically addressed the requirements and qualifications listed on the Disney Professional Internships website for my position and used specific experiences to prove I had those qualities. I then listed my experiences (12-day sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica, Horizon Elementary School volunteer for 6 months, developing a music lesson for a youth vacation bible school in the Bahamas, and listed my organizational and leadership roles). Next, I listed my previous emplyoment (Sheboygan County Fair Education Assistant, Mulberry Bush Daycare Assistant, teacher’s assistant at Elm Grove Creative Arts Elementary, and summer school assistant at Random Lake Elementary) followed by my education. As I mentioned before, I don’t think the stress is so much on the experiences you put on your resume as how you shine through in your phone interview.

      It sounds like you have a plethora of experiences! Are you currently enrolled in college or recently graduated (within the last 6 months)? I don’t know much about how the situation works with a child, but I could immagine it wouldn’t be much different than having a full-time job. Animal Programs employees have fairly regular hours. I was required to work 40 hours a week and rarely had overtime. The one time I did, it was because of the busy holiday season. Our weekends weren’t always on Saturday and Sunday. My days off were on Thursday and Friday, but this was every week (my weekend days didn’t change unless I switched with someone). Disney does offer housing for their interns, but it is perfectly acceptable (and sometimes cheaper) for you to find your own housing. You are not required to live in the Disney sponsored housing, and, since you have children, you’d probably not want to live in the Disney housing (you get a bed in an apartment shared with roommates). I’m not sure if you’re from the Florida area or if you’d be needing to find housing, but I can mention some of the local towns that are close to WDW if you’d like.

      I’m not sure how old your children are, but I’m don’t think you’ll be at a disadvantage because you have children. In the case of my position, it was really no different than having a full-time job. Other Disney employees have children and they are able to work with that. I don’t know any of them personally (most of the people in the Animal Programs tend to have canine or feline “children”), but you seem to have quite a bit of experience and a strong interest in the job. I’m a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. If you apply and are accepted for the position, I’m sure everything will work out. If this position is something you’re passionate about and you really would like to work for Disney, go for it! One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes is, “All of your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.” I’m sure your children would be pretty proud too to have Mom working at Disney 🙂 (The employee discounts are quite a bonus too!)

      If you think of any more questions or if anything I said didn’t make sense, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m more than happy to answer! Keep me posted on how things turn out for you!

      Devin

  3. Ayla says:

    So Devin, it’s been like 8 months since I asked you questions lol. I applied this round for a couple internships and have an interview for vet medical records on Thursday!!! Thanks for all your help!

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