From Belle of Louisville to Full-Time Employee
FROM BELLE OF LOUISVILLE INTERN TO FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE
By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.
Charlotte Mason’s career path became a victim of COVID when the professional internship program she was about to enter at Disney World in spring, 2020 was cancelled because of the pandemic. But little did Mason know at the time that this curve in her career journey would ultimately lead to a job that fit her professional goals.
The May, 2020 UofL graduate (Individualized Major in Social Media Management with a Minor in Communication) from Mt. Washington had participated in the Disney College Internship Program during the 2018-19 school year at Epcot Center. “It was an amazing experience and I also had the opportunity to take Disney seminars as part of my program.”
Mason had such a great experience that she applied and was accepted into the advanced Disney Professional Internship Program. One can only imagine Mason’s disappointment when she found out the program was shut down in spring, 2020, just before she returned to Orlando.
As Mason contemplated how to proceed, she received assistance from the University Career Center. “The Career Center and (career coach) Rosie Shannon were a huge help in my journey. I visited the Career Center several times pre-pandemic and then did video calls with Rosie once things closed down. She reviewed my resume, helped me network, and assisted me in looking for jobs. It was great knowing that the Career Center was there to support me!”
After graduation, Mason took a part-time position with a marketing agency, and then accepted a full-time position but that proved to be an ill fit. So Mason began another search for a position that would move her more squarely toward fulfilling her career aspirations.
In April 2021, Mason was finally able to put to use what she had learned during her time with Disney and her coursework at UofL when she landed a post-graduate marketing and hospitality internship with the Belle of Louisville riverboat. “As the intern, I assisted the Community Outreach Manager with creating marketing emails, writing social media posts, etc. I also had the opportunity to ride on the chaser boat during the Great Steamboat Race to take photographs, which was an amazing experience! I further helped the Guest Services team by booking tickets, taking phone calls, and welcoming guests aboard the riverboat.”
Rather quickly after starting the position with the Belle, Mason’s internship converted into a full-time job. “It was amazing to be offered the full-time position, especially since it perfectly fits with the type of job I had hoped for after graduation. Since being hired full-time, many of my responsibilities have stayed the same like creating social media and blog posts, but I now have the opportunity to take on additional communication projects as well.”
Charlotte Mason’s journey from a cancelled internship with Disney to her rapid advancement with the Belle of Louisville shows the importance of students getting their “foot in the door” with a company. Moreover, it also illustrates how important internship experiences have become in this day and age.
More information about internships can be found on the UCC Internship website. If you are interested in an internship during the fall or spring semester, be sure to talk with your program’s internship coordinator in advance since you may be eligible for academic credit and you can also potentially get assistance in seeking a position. Finally, if you want to look at some current internship position listings/opportunities, log onto Handshake.