In the wake of the recent pandemic, students taking part in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World for the 2020 Spring semester were recently hit with a quick departure. Reportedly, members of the program were given only three days to pack their belongings and head home due to the fear of the spread of the virus. Now, Disney college program member Jack Stoler, 22, like many other students in the program, looks back with sadness at a lost opportunity of what could have been a “dream job.”
“It’s amazing how well it fit me,” he said. “People came there from all over the world. It made me feel special to get to know them, talk to them and make their stay as smooth as possible. As a concierge, you’re the first point of contact, and you do whatever you can to make it a memorable vacation,” said Stoler to The Dallas Morning News–upon recalling his time as a concierge at the Port Orleans French Quarter, the position Stoler held in the Disney College Program since January.
Similar to most internships, the position was only temporary. However, due to the fact that Stoler had already earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of North Texas in 2019, Stoler saw this opportunity as his “foot in the door for a dream job.”
“I was hoping they would hire me full time when the internship was over. I was fully committed to moving there,” said the Plano, Texas native. According to The Dallas Morning News, Stoler’s parents Steve and Susan Stoler had even traveled out to Orlando, Florida to see their son in action living out his passion.
“We got to watch him and see how he related to the guests,” said Steve Stoler. “He really loved doing it, and he made us proud. We could tell it’s the kind of work he’s supposed to be doing.”
The future of Stoler’s dream position first because uncertain on March 12, when it was announced that the Walt Disney World theme parks would be ceasing all operations in a temporary closure. Only days later, Walt Disney World’s resort hotels and Disney Springs followed in suit. This was when students taking part in the Disney College Program were given the news their time at the most magical place on earth was coming to an end.
Disney has since stated that students who took part in the program at the time of the shut down are able to reapply to their positions–a bit of news that could bring light to Stoler, who says overall, “It was an awesome opportunity.”
Source: The Dallas Morning News