Guest Author: Cheryl Maahs
************************The opinions are of my own, not of the Walt Disney World Company. **********************
Spring 2000, the pressure was on. I was going to graduate from college, time to get serious, fun was over, or so I thought. I drug myself down to the university career center and started thumbing through the job announcement binder under agriculture. Page after page I saw many opportunities I could apply for but none that I wanted to apply for. Just at the moment I decided that I wouldn’t settle for “good enough” and would find something that fit me, I turned another page in the binder and laaaaa, the clouds parted and the page lit up like a pot of gold, there was an internship with Disney. My heart leapt and I couldn’t get the application started fast enough. I applied for the Spring 2001 internship and by December 2000, I was moving to Florida. Still now as I am writing this, 13 years later, I get tingles all over my body.
The professional Plant Science internship with The Land at Epcot was a fantastic experience and one that university students can set their eyes on today. http://profinterns.disneycareers.com/en/default/
There are various professional internships with Walt Disney World however, I chose to apply for the Plant Science one as I had studied Agriculture Science in college. For any readers that haven’t yet been able to visit The Land Pavilion at Epcot, you are in for a treat, for those who have been able to visit I bet you can smell the fresh tomatoes now. The Land Pavilion houses several hydroponic greenhouses showcasing different climates. Hydroponics is a growing technique which plants grow without soil but are provided all the necessary nutrients through the water they receive. The greenhouses at The Land are one of the most innovative growing environments in the world. As an intern I was responsible for growth and care of the greenhouse crops. In 2001, I selected to tend to the Temperate greenhouse which at the time displayed crops such as corn, sunflowers and cotton. Besides the planting, tending and harvest of the temperate crops, I also was able to assist in the other greenhouses. In total there are 4 greenhouses and the Aquaponics display: Tropics, Temperate, String and Creative. Visitors can explore the greenhouses by a smooth boat ride called “Living with the Land” or get a more in-depth 1 hour walking tour to physically go through the greenhouses. Interns lead the “Behind the Seeds” tour, this is a must for avid gardeners and anyone interested in a sneak peak and details about the greenhouses.
Before my eyes get all starred up with visions of Mickey inspired veggies, back to internship details….a Professional Internship is an unmatchable learning experience. I was able to get hands on training with agriculture science technologies, public speaking experience as a tour guide and enforced my teambuilding skills working with other interns from all over the world. In my experience as a Plant Science intern, I was able to take part in off-site tours of industry greenhouse professionals and Florida highlights as well as learn on-site through classes given by Disney Plant Science pro’s.
Needless to say, I had an unforgettable 6 months living the dream. I recall one day sitting near the pool at my apartment saying to myself “I’m 21, living in Florida and working for Disney,life can’t get any better”. In closing of this blog entry, I want to leave you all with a side note, never ever settle for just good enough, believe in yourself and seek for what your heart is telling you. After all “If your heart is in your dream, No request is too extreme” – Jiminy Cricket
The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel“