Fairfield University’s Academic & Career Development Center offered leadership development program at Walt Disney World.
This winter break, Fairfield University provided 20 students with the exciting opportunity to travel and engage in the Disney Leadership Program. The Disney Leadership Program is a highly selective program that runs every January.
During the weeklong program, students participated in three Disney Youth Education Series workshops that focused on leadership strategies, teamwork techniques, and creating a culture of excellence while engaging with alumni and industry professionals. Each day, students attended interactive classes, both indoors and outdoors, learning about the heritage and leadership strategies of the Walt Disney Company, created strategic plans that students could implement at Fairfield, and analyzed attractions and had one-on-one conversations with cast members discussing the importance of “creating a culture.”
“While this is a leadership based development program, it is relevant across all industries and careers,” stated Cathleen Borgman, director of Career, Leadership & Professional Development in the Academic & Career Development Center. “Whether a student is going into nursing, engineering, education, or international studies, everything they hear and learn at Disney is transferable and applicable. Many Fortune 500 companies turn to Disney to help develop their teams, which makes this opportunity even more special.”
Additionally, students attended a networking event with three Fairfield alumni—Michael Rubertone ‘11, manager of Magic Kingdom, Kevin Saville ’06, guest services manager at Pop Century Resort, and Gina Guido ’14, eCommerce Sales and Service agent—who currently work at Walt Disney World.
“The Disney Leadership program helped to reinforce the values and standards that I have been taught at Fairfield,” stated Annie Erikson ‘19. “It exceeded my expectations and opened my eyes to simple, yet often overlooked, ways to cultivate successful and positive environments in any situation. I am so thankful to have participated in this amazing opportunity and I am awestruck by the spread of magic at the Walt Disney Company.”