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Disney Intern Disovers Dreams Can Come True
Not every college student can claim an internship with Disney World, but when Southeast senior Katherine Perriguey of St. Clair, Mo., attended the informational meeting last spring on campus, she discovered that dreams really can come true. Katherine will graduate with a major in hospitality management and a minor in management.
She spent the fall semester doing her internship in sunny Orlando, Fla., working in the Beach Club Resort at Cape May Café. Visitors to this restaurant enjoy character breakfasts with the Disney characters Goofy, Minnie and Chip & Dale. In the evenings, the café offers a New England Clambake.
Katherine worked during the breakfast shift for a few weeks, but spent the majority of her time helping out during the dinner hours. Because students in the Disney College Program are not allowed to receive tips, Katherine was part of the podium staff, which performed duties similar to a hostess, but with more responsibilities. She lived in housing provided by the program with five roommates, and rent payments were deducted from her weekly paycheck.
She might have missed out on tips while working in the restaurant, but Katherine had plenty of opportunity to make up for it. She received free admission into any of the theme parks, water parks and clubs in Downtown Disney.
Katherine also received a 20 percent discount on most store purchases.
“Working at Disney was one of the best experiences of my life,” Katherine said. “I met a lot of friends and my boyfriend while doing my internship there. I also learned a tremendous amount about real world hospitality management.”
Meeting new people and making lasting friendships are two things Katherine loves to do, and Southeast has afforded her many of these opportunities.
“Some of my favorite memories at Southeast were meeting friends in the dorms and on the track team,” Katherine explained.
One of her favorite pastimes is playing intramural volleyball, and although she could not participate this year because of her internship, it has proven to be one of her favorite ways to relax. Katherine also enjoys going to eat at area restaurants and hanging out with friends.
She also loves to travel, especially to Orlando, Fla., and the beaches of Destin. She has shopped in New York and Chicago, traveled to Europe, roamed the countryside of France and visited some of the islands in the Caribbean.
She hopes her next place of adventure will be Italy or Greece.
Katherine says Southeast has greatly contributed to success in her academic career. In addition to her internship with Disney, Katherine says she has learned a tremendous amount about business and management through her classes. Quantella Anderson, an instructor in the Department of Human Environmental Studies, is one of her favorite professors, who she says contributed to her academic achievement both in and out of the classroom.
“Ms. Anderson is a new professor in my major and contributed a tremendous amount by showing me different aspects to management and opening up my eyes,” Katherine said. “She has shown me what all I can do with my career, not only in Missouri, but in other parts of the country as well.”
Katherine’s academic journey will end in May, but the experiences at Southeast are memories she will always cherish. Katherine advises future students to truly enjoy college because it won’t last forever.
“Live in the dorms, go on spring break, and hang out on the weekends with your friends,” Katherine said. “And pick your major early on so you don’t waste any time getting started on your program.”