Demi Oakes Accepted into the Disney College Program for Spring Semester
IUPUC student, Demi Oakes, has been dreaming of working for Disney ever since she was a child. Her dream has just become a reality with her acceptance into the Disney College Program at Disney World in Orlando beginning next semester. “Through each stage of the process I found myself thinking ‘I can’t believe this is really happening,’” Demi said, “and when I got the acceptance email a week after my interview, I still couldn’t believe it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The Disney College Program began in 1972 as the Disney Entertainment Work Experience Program. At that time, it was limited to those who were pursuing an arts-related degree and accepted roughly three percent of its 3000 applicants. Today, the program has grown to over 50,000 applications per year. It is nationally and internationally renowned for its prestige and the opportunities it provides students upon completion both within and outside the company.
For Demi, her journey will start in January and continue through May working as a Merchandise Cast Member. That role provides her with the freedom to work in any of the Walt Disney World Parks, indoors and outdoors, and even Downtown Disney. She will also learn the skill of “merchantaining” – a term used by the Disney company for Merchandise Cast Members entertaining guests in and out of the store.
Once Demi has completed the semester-long program, she will be eligible to participate in the Disney Alumni Program which runs for ten weeks during the summer and is designed for current college students and recent graduates who have successfully completed the Disney College Program. Demi plans on participating in the Alumni Program as well.
A Seymour, Indiana native, Demi graduated from Trinity Lutheran High School in 2017 and is currently a sophomore at IUPUC with an undecided major. “I’m still exploratory, but I’m hoping that the Disney College Program will help me make a final decision on a major,” Demi said. She is leaning toward a degree in business with a marketing concentration, and hopes that the Disney College experience will enable her to pursue a career at Disney upon graduation.