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MSU student gets exposed to Disney magic through internship program

Morehead State University’s Office of Career Services assists students as they navigate the “college to career” journey, ensuring that their time is spent developing the knowledge, skills and experiences that will successfully prepare them for life after graduation.   

Few things in college prove to be more valuable in obtaining real-world experience than quality internships. Sophomore business management major Connor Tilford recently got to experience going from MSU to the Magic Kingdom thanks to the Disney College Program.

The Disney College Program is one of Morehead State’s longstanding and popular internship partners. Since the program’s inception in 1981, hundreds of MSU students have participated in the semester-long, paid internship opportunity at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Tilford, a native of Ballard County, Kentucky, is a fall 2018 college program intern, working as an attractions host and greeter at the Magic Kingdom’s Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train.  

The program’s unique “Live, Learn, Earn” model ensures that students enjoy a truly immersive experience that fosters professional development with one of the world’s most iconic companies. Interns (or “CPs”as Disney calls them) live in resort-style, Disney-owned housing paid for as part of the intern’s compensation; learn via ongoing training and professional development opportunities like seminars, career workshops and speaker series; and earn as paid “cast members” for Walt Disney World Resort. MSU students participating in the Disney College Program enroll in online classes that allow them to earn academic credit for their internship to progress toward graduation.  

Among the many advantages to the Disney College Program is access to Disney’s professional internship program, where CP alums and recent college graduates work in professional capacities across the company. Roles are available in broadcast journalism, engineering and technology, finance, graphic design, management and marketing. Disney’s professional internship program is a talent pipeline for the company and a valuable opportunity to launch a Disney career.

As the Career Center’s internship coordinator and formal liaison to the Disney College Program at MSU, Josh Taylor recently had the chance to make a “site-visit” to Orlando to meet Jeff Hickman, college recruitment manager for Disney’s Internship Programs, to learn more about the program’s newest features and check in on current MSU interns. As a CP alum himself, Taylor wasn’t surprised to learn about Tilford’s excitement and invaluable experience.

“I’ve had a fantastic time living here and working for the Walt Disney World Company. My confidence in my communication skills, or managing sophisticated technology, has grown tremendously,” Tilford said. “This opportunity has confirmed my desire to work for this company in the future. After returning to MSU and finishing my degree, I hope to receive a professional internship here so that I can continue to grow in my professional career.”  

To learn more about the Disney College Program and other experiential learning opportunities, contact the Office of Career Services at 606-783-2233, or visit