Our Disney College Program participants have officially returned to Walt Disney World Resort and we couldn’t be more thrilled! In a previous #DisneyCastLife spotlight, we talked to several students on their program to get their thoughts on the return. Now, we are shifting gears to go behind the scenes to meet one of the many exceptional recruiters behind the program.
Sherrell, Disney Programs Recruiter and College Program alumni, has worn many hats throughout his Disney career and takes pride in welcoming students from all different backgrounds to Disney Programs. From interviews to traditions, Sherrell loves giving back to the program that changed his life.
“This is a program that matters. We have this saying that ‘we change lives,’ and we do since it changed mine. This program gives opportunities and lasting relationships that can carry on for life.”
Sherrell started his journey as a College Program participant back in spring of 2005 working attractions at Test Track. He then moved on to continue his Disney journey working at locations like Magic Kingdom and ESPN, but Test Track will always hold a special place in Sherrell’s heart since he met his wife who worked merchandise in the same building.
Welcoming back College Program students have been exhilarating to say the least for Sherrell and the rest of the Disney Programs recruitment team. They have been resilient with all the changes the program has endured and are excited for new beginnings:
- What are you most excited for in regards to bringing back the program?
I’m most excited about our participants returning with the change of our Disney Look and the addition of our Inclusive key. Sometimes we would have to have difficult conversations with students about the Disney Look, and it’s amazing to now be able to give students the ability to be their authentic selves and to show their creative side. I am also excited for our operations partners to welcome back our participants as well. When I was a leader I always loved having new students come in because it was always refreshing to network and teach those students as well as get their perspective on the operation.
- What was it like seeing the Disney College Program return for you personally?
I met my wife on the program back in 2005, so I am excited to see students come back to network and begin their career with the company, possibly even meet their spouse. I’ve always had this personal connection with the college program since I did one myself, and I feel like I have to pay it forward. Being on a program and having a mentor, now I feel as if it’s my responsibility to do the same for our college students.
During arrivals we had a participant show up with their mom and dad, who met during their program together in the 80s. When you hear Disney Programs can change lives, this is a perfect example of the magnitude that this program has on changing lives. Just to think that those parents met on their college program and now get to bring their daughter to her own college program, it’s almost like sending your child off to college again. The memories that they brought back and get to share with their daughter was pretty amazing.
- What do you find most unique to the Disney College Program?
For one, the housing complex that was just built for our college program. But also, the relationship piece, even though they are here at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, they have the ability to network with individuals across the company. One thing that I learned while working for the company, as well as a leader, is that no one will ever say ‘no’ to someone who wants to network. All students have to do is express their goals and I think that leaders and other cast members will do what they can for that participant to reach that goal. It’s always refreshing to turn around a couple years later to see that the student has met their goal and they’ve gotten where they dreamed they’d be.
- Can you talk about the new Flamingo Crossings housing?
I can talk about Flamingo Crossings, but it won’t do it any justice. It is an amazing facility and our housing component has really been elevated with our earning and learning components. Now all three components are world-class. I always joke with students that on their days-off they might not want to go to the parks, they might just want to stay here and enjoy the many amenities they have here from the gym, pool, basketball courts and more. You have so many unique students coming from all different backgrounds and places coming to one spot, how can you not love that and learn from each individual student and learn their perspectives.
To see more on the new Flamingo Crossing complex and how to be part of the Disney College Program yourself, be sure to visit the official Disney Programs site to get more details.
We want to spotlight more our best cast—that’s YOU! Search for #DisneyCastLife on socials and for fun GIPHY stickers to feature on your posts.