SU FRANKLIN P. PERDUE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS  
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CONNECTING YOU TO THE FRANKLIN P. PERDUE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS  MARCH 2013
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Student Spotlight: Tyler Dubois

Tyler Dubois
Tyler Dubois

This past fall semester, I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as an intern at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. As a junior marketing major, the chance to expand my marketing expertise from one of the best marketed companies in the world seemed like an amazing opportunity. In order to become an intern for such a highly competitive internship program, I started the extensive application process very early during the prior spring. After filling out the initial application, I had to take a Web-based interview to see if my personality would be a good fit for the Disney brand. After I completed the Web-based interview, the next round of interviews was by phone. During my phone interview, the company tried to gauge if I would be capable of handling situations that are common for interns at Disney.

After this long interview process, I was finally accepted into the Disney internship program and found out that my position would be in one of their Disney hotels called Port Orleans. Upon arrival at Disney, I began orientation sessions to learn more about the Disney brand. At these orientations sessions, Disney brought in company speakers to discuss the Disney culture and to discuss how to make the most out of our internship experience. One of these orientation sessions, called “Traditions,” discussed Disney’s marketing strategies and truly made it clear why Disney is constantly ahead of the pack in marketing across the entertainment industry. At Disney, the goal is to create special memories and magical moments for families that they will remember for the rest of their lives so that they will want to return and visit again.

After staying at Disney for six months, I was able to see first-hand why the Disney Company is so successful at creating magical memories for their customers and at maintaining a dedicated workforce. First of all, Disney is exceptional at motivating employees to create special memories for their guests. For example, my restaurant had a New Orleans theme, so we had beignet contest to surprise families with an unexpected treat. A family at our restaurant would be given a few beignets for free, which are small donut-like pastries, and they would then get to judge which beignet they liked best. Customers always enjoyed doing this and it was definitely something special that they did not expect during their meal.

       

Cinderella’s Castle on New Year’s

Beast Castle

Fantasmic

Tower of Terror
       

Another successful marketing campaign crucial to Disney’s success is the “What Will You Celebrate?” campaign. This marketing strategy by Disney encourages guests to celebrate special events in their lives such as birthdays, true love, family reunions and first visits at Disney World. If a guest was experiencing one of these events, they could get a pin showing off the particular event, which would in turn create dialogue with many of the cast members throughout the parks. Cast members were instructed to congratulate these special events and to make the guest feel extra special while at Disney.

Lastly, another key marketing strategy I witnessed at Disney was offering “limited-time magic.” This included bringing out rare characters to the park for about a week. While I was interning, Disney brought the rare Robin Hood characters back into the parks who had not been out for many years. This “limited-time magic” inspired many locals and annual pass holders who normally would not come to the parks, to come out in order to get their pictures with these rare characters.

Overall, interning at Disney was an amazing learning experience. Not only did I learn how to create top-quality customer satisfaction, I learned many key marketing techniques to encourage repeat customers. Upon completing my internship, I was pleased to learn that Disney also offers professional internships that are limited to people who have previously completed the college internship program. After graduating from Salisbury University with my marketing degree, I plan on applying to become a part of this professional internship program, which will help bring me another step closer to my dream of being on the Walt Disney Company marketing team.

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