Marketing & Communications  

AQ Senior Snags Internship at Disney's Magic Kingdom

"I've always been a huge Disney fan," said Abby Taylor '14, an AQ senior and Grand Rapids native who will soon begin her dream internship at Disney World. A lifelong fan of Disney, Taylor jumped at the opportunity to travel, gain valuable experience, work with children and learn from the company she has admired for years. Newly arrived in Orlando, Florida and set to begin her internship after settling in, Taylor looks forward to a once-in-a-lifetime experience at Disney.

"No matter what I do I want to work with people," said Taylor. A communications major with a business minor, she has long sought opportunities to interact with others. Having participated in high school theatre and most recently on the West Michigan Whitecaps promotions team for kids, Taylor also noticed her propensity for working with children. Babysitting for local families throughout her time on campus, she combined her communications skills with a knack for entertaining little ones - a skill that would eventually come in handy during her future Disney internship. "I just love kids," said Taylor.

Also seeking a professional opportunity with which to apply her education, Taylor sought out and obtained an internship at local radio station 94.5 Nash FM. Managing much of the behind-the-scenes components for the morning show and eventually becoming a representative for the whole cumulus station and traveling with on-air talent, Taylor gained valuable work experience while earning three college credits. "I feel so prepared to go out in the workplace," she said. This internship also readied her for the more extensive, five month, nine credit commitment on which she will soon embark.

Long before committing to a five-month program of 40-hour work weeks, Taylor was required to complete a lengthy application, as well as participate in a phone interview. "It was kind of an intense process," said Taylor, who began the first step, the online timed test, in March of this year. After completing the online section, Taylor received a call from a Disney representative, and was able to explain her passion for Disney, as well as her excitement to apply her communications skills in working with children. "That was really nice," she said, to be able to utilize her verbal skills to articulate her background, as well as her potential for success at Disney. After receiving her acceptance to the program a few weeks later, Taylor began learning about the role she would play in Orlando.

Living just a half hour away from Magic Kingdom with her friend and fellow AQ student Hannah Vanderhall '14, Taylor was chosen to become a greeter at her favorite Disney World location. The role will include leading train tours, servicing parade routes, greeting guests and answering any questions guests may have while visiting the park. As an avid fan of well-known Disney characters, Taylor also hopes to later on audition to play a character role, such as a Disney princess. Excited for this particular opportunity, she is grateful for the varied work the next five months has to offer.

Set to graduate this December, Taylor looks forward to an exciting new opportunity before finishing her studies at AQ. Rooming with friend Vanderhall makes the experience all the better, coupling hard work with a good friend and shared memories. "We are both so glad that we just went for it," said Taylor. What's next for this ambitious AQ senior? "I am kind of spontaneous," she said, unsure of the next step. With varied interests and a diverse educational and professional background, Taylor looks forward to a myriad of opportunities in fields such as public relations, marketing and perhaps even Aquinas admissions. For now, the Magic Kingdom is calling.