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Interview

The value of an internship at The Walt Disney Company: A Q&A with Allison Claire, Group Sales Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Portland/Vancouver

By Cecilia Hoxeng

Sept. 13, 2019



Allison Claire, Group Sales Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Portland/Vancouver

Photograph by, Picture Perfect Photography

In 2014, Allison Claire interned at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, for “one of the most prestigious internship programs,” according to Forbes. In June of 2015, she graduated from Washington State University with a Hospitality Business Management Bachelor’s Degree, and has been working at Hampton Inn by Hilton for the last four years. During her five months of participation in the Disney College Program, she gained working experience in the park, while participating in college courses in a very unique environment. Interns of this program network with leaders of the Disney organization while learning new skills.


Why did you decide to apply for an internship with Walt Disney Co. over any other company?

Allison Claire: I have loved Disney since I was a kid. It holds a lot of memories and was more about nostalgia. My family and I always had a “Magical Experience.”

What type of training did you receive for the position you applied for?

Once I passed the application process, I had an interview. When I got to Disneyland, I received two days of orientation followed by training.

Do any of the skills you gained while interning at Disney apply to your current job?

“Yes!” Guest services was an easy transition for me. Going above and beyond really helped.

Is Disney a fan culture?

I don’t think so. Every business has its way to it, but it never felt that way.

Is Disney an environmentally friendly company?

Yes, Disney has recycling programs all around its parks.

Did you feel your contribution was valuable for them?

Yes, I had so much fun working in the park at Flo’s Cafe. Seeing kids’ happy faces made a difference for me.

Are you limited on what you can discuss about Disney as a former employee?

I don’t think so. I wasn’t in a manager role when I did the internship college program.

What do you think about the Walt Disney Company now?

“I love it!” I think it’s an amazing company, they do a lot of “volunt-ear” programs to help the community like the one I participated in. During my internship, Disneyland made a playground area for a nearby neighborhood and they always provided a great experience for people, and I truly loved that.

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