FOR PANHELLENIC WOMEN, IT’S A SMALL WORLD
Who is your favorite Disney princess? I wanted to grow a fin and be a princess in the ocean (Ariel, anyone?). I first read from a Beauty & the Beast wordbook. I grew up with my favorite Disney characters and still feel the magic whenever I visit a Walt Disney park or resort.
Susie Bridges, Auburn, is one of the thousands of Disney cast members who work at the parks and resorts in Orlando, Fla., and create that magic for the millions of tourists that visit each year.
“I wanted to work with Disney because I always loved the company. I thought it would be a fun place to do an internship, and then I realized I could actually make a career out of this,” says Susie.
Susie got started with the Walt Disney Corporation through the Disney College Program. This program offers participants on-the-job experience in Disney parks and resorts and continues to educate them in an Epcot-ly diverse classroom.
“It was important that I was learning about topics I was interested in that would benefit me in my career path in public relations. For my specific cast position, I also had to take classes. We were taught the basic concepts of Disney and what is expected of us as Disney cast members. One time I sat through a four-hour class on how to be nice to guests!”
With a full-time work schedule of being a tour guide at “The Great Movie Ride” in Hollywood Studios and a fulltime class schedule of marketing and leadership management, Susie expected to learn a lot. What she didn’t expect to learn was how her involvement in Kappa Kappa Gamma would help her in this role.
Early summer 2012, Susie packed up her belongings and left her small town in Alabama to make the seven-hour drive to Orlando. In the Panhellenic spirit, Susie quickly befriended her manager, who is a Tri Delta and, like Susie, from an SEC university. The two met on the day Susie “earned her ears,” Disney lingo for passing the mandatory training week and assessment at The Great Movie. Susie’s manager asked about her background and the two of them immediately bonded over their similarities to each other.
“It was that connection that made me realize how truly special the bonds of sisterhood are. I mentioned how I was a Kappa and it was like a whole different door opened for me because most people working at Disney World are not in sororities.”
Susie is currently a senior at Auburn University. She serves as Membership Chairman and is a seasonal cast member at Disney World and is also a campus representative for the Disney College Program at Auburn.