Student Wishes Upon an Internship, Dreams of Disney

By Derek Hooper

Mary Kathryn Poe

After an internship at Disney during fall and spring of the 2015-16 academic year, Mary Kathryn Poe decided it was where she wanted to end up after she finished her college education. It wasn’t easy, but she made it happen.

“I just really like Disney and the values it encompasses,” Poe said. “I like the fact that I would get to go to work every day and help to make people happy.”

In August, as many students were getting back from their summer break, Poe, who’s from Northport, was in a laborious application process for the Disney College Program. After an application and two rounds of interviews, she was delighted when she got the news that she had been selected.

After working in the quick-service food and beverage role in Disney’s Animal Kingdom during her previous internship, a position in which she provided assistance with anything and everything related to serving guests, Poe will be moving on to a role in attractions this spring. The possibilities for her daily duties in this capacity are abundant. She could be helping with rides, greeting park guests or working in specific areas such as parking or Disney’s theater.

Poe says she’d like to move on to a Disney professional internship following her completion of the college program. The hiring process for these positions is competitive, but she thinks she will stand a much better chance after completing the program this spring.

Eventually, Poe says she would like to work with the college program that has had such an effect on her life. She would like to be a recruiter, working one-on-one with students to explain the program’s responsibilities and benefits.

Poe made friends from all over the world during her previous internship and says that is the main reason she fell in love with Disney. After making those friendships, she set her sights on working for the mass media and entertainment conglomerate. She didn’t apply for any other positions after graduation, waiting to learn if Disney turned her down. She’s glad they didn’t.

“I became best friends with people from California, Oregon, Chicago, Florida, Utah and even the UK and Shanghai,” Poe said. “I think that’s really cool and important – that while you’re there, you truly make friendships with people from across the world and you never know who you’re going to meet.”

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.