Disney College Program proves to be challenging but rewarding

Dolores Garza



Located around the halls of the Harvin Center are the many fliers for the Disney College Program promising a world full of magic and experience through their paid internships for college students.

While the opportunity may be a dream for some, others share their experience as burdensome.

According to Disney literature, the Disney College Program has been around for over 30 years and is an opportunity for college students across the country to gain personal and career skills. The program offers over 20 job positions to choose from.

Fliers are what caught the attention of psychology major Mikayla Picha. Picha decided to apply for the program in 2012 and 2014 though she had not been accepted right away. It was not until her third attempt in 2015 that Picha was accepted.

According to Picha, the program was a once-in-a-lifetime chance but once she got there she found it difficult to adapt to the long hours in her work schedule.

“I worked in Magic Kingdom at the Harbor house. It was a lot more difficult than I expected. We worked like 12 hours every day and five days a week.” Picha said. “But I mean, how many people can actually say they got to work for Disney?”

Ben Blanco, professor of business at Del Mar College, has been the program director for 12 years.

“For this campus, well there’s an opportunity that rarely would come around here and so we are allowed to give our students an incredible opportunity,” Blanco said.

According to Blanco, the Disney College Program offers opportunities that students rarely see at Del Mar College. Students are paid an average of $10 an hour or more depending on the job position. This program is open to all majors and offers eight courses that are transferrable to Del Mar College.

Former Disney College Program participant Anika Martinez always wanted to be a part of Disney since she was five. After becoming a college student, the program became an opportunity for Martinez to work for Disney all while accumulating college credit.

Martinez felt management kept the college program participants on-the-clock more often than not.

“They would always ask me to extend, that’s what they do ask a lot in the college program, and I would always say yes because that was extra cash for me,” Martinez said.

Though it was tougher than she thought, Martinez realized the experience at Disney would later become helpful.

“It’s really beneficial, it’s a good learning experience too.” Martinez said. “I know it’s a long time away from home, but it’s worth it; it’s fun.”

As mentioned through the Disney application, the Disney College Program will accept eligible students who meet application requirements. Blanco serves as the campus adviser at Del Mar College for the program. For more information, contact Blanco at 361-698-1189 or bblanco@delmar.edu.

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