Jordan Stuart has been a lifelong Disney fan, and in the spring semester of 2015, she got the chance to live out a real-life Disney experience.
As part of the Disney College Program, Jordan worked as a character actor at Walt Disney World in Florida for three months. The DCP allows college students to get real-world experiences in the entertainment and hospitality fields while still earning credit for their internship.
And while the experience was magical, Jordan said that the professional and personal connections will last a lifetime.
“I got to know the head technical director for Walt Disney World Resorts, and he does everything that could possibly involve entertainment, from the castle shows to when President Obama came to visit. Getting to know someone that high up in the company was amazing, and to know him personally and to have him say, ‘If you ever want to come back, contact me and we can chat,’ is really invaluable. Those kind of connections are hard to come by,” said Jordan.
“It was wonderful being in a professional setting before I graduated and just getting an idea of what it’s actually like to work in entertainment,” she said. “And I wasn’t only working with other college students, I was working with full-time people who, this is their job, this is their livelihood. And so I’m able to talk to them and get to know what it is actually like to do this job and have it support you.”
The professional connections were incredible, but for Jordan, the personal connections were the most rewarding part. Being able to use her talents to impact other people’s lives was what really made her experience magical, she said.
“One time I was with Donald Duck, and this woman came up to me and was crying. She gave Donald this hug, and you could just tell she really needed this hug. And she pulled back and said, ‘I’m sorry, my father recently passed away, and Donald Duck was his favorite character.’ And to her, seeing Donald was kind of like being with her father again,” said Jordan. “Just to know that even though it’s with these characters and it’s a role, I was still able to be there for these people and to give them that sort of light and happiness. It’s amazing.”
Jordan just finished up her run in the University Theatre production of “A Chorus Line” as Connie.
She’s also a member of the Honors Program and a campus ambassador for CMU.
Jordan is also one of CMU’s student vloggers, and she shares her college experiences each week on YouTube.