I’m currently experiencing my final semester in college, which can imply a few things: Classes are demanding, group projects are abundant, a social life is minimal, and you have the ever-looming question of “What am I doing after graduation?” constantly pestering you in the back of your head each day.
After my Disney College Program, I thought I had my entire future planned out. I knew I needed to finish my marketing degree, gain experience in an internship, network, and then apply for Disney Professional Internships for immediately after graduation. In the meantime, I’d work in Disneyland part-time to keep my foot in the door with the company (and honestly complete a few things off of my bucket list, like work at Tower of Terror).
However, as the years went by, my plan hasn’t necessarily worked out as expected. This is by no means something bad. My Disney blog grew in popularity, I developed a deep love for editing Youtube videos, and I absolutely fell in love with my job, earning a promotion as a trainer at one of my attractions.
The most unexpected event was one morning waking up to an email notification about an interesting comment left on one of my blog posts for The Disney Den:
Fast forward to January 2015, and I’ve officially published my first book.
Writing a book was always something I’ve wanted to do. I never expected to actually publish one before I graduated college, nor did I think my first book was going to be about my life working in Walt Disney World.
If there’s one thing I realized about my future after this huge project was this: I needed to write. Actually, I needed to write all the time.
It’s interesting because when I was first thinking seriously about what to study back in high school, I told everyone I wanted to major in English or Creative Writing. Everyone would respond with, “Okay…now what are you going to do with that?” At the time, I wasn’t sure, besides the fact that I wanted to publish a book. I had considered becoming an English teacher, but that didn’t quite seem to fit.
When I started college, I had my heart set on majoring in psychology and minoring in creative writing. My goal was to eventually become a counselor of some sort and write on the side. After a trip to Disneyland with my best friend, I knew I needed to change this plan, and in turn discovered Marketing.
I’ve loved my marketing classes. Some of them have some more numbers that I would have expected, but I’ve learned so much through my time with CSUF. One aspect of marketing that I love is the variety of options that come from this kind of degree. You not only can work in sales, advertising, or promotions, but you can also focus on a more analytical side of business, conduct research on prospective consumers, or even create a website and learn all of the tips and tricks to creating a successful web page to appear in the first few searches on Google. I personally love the social media and content creating aspects of marketing, which probably comes at no surprise.
Now that I’m actually nearing the end of my college career, I understand why my already-graduated friends felt anxiety through their final semester. Not only are family and friends frequently asking for my post-school plan, (or if I’m going to stay with Disney,) but I find myself asking the same questions.
It’s funny, throughout all of this, I’ve still held firm to one thing: I want to write. The difference is I now know how to gear my writing in a different way than simply creating a fantasy world. I’ve learned the benefits of content creation for other companies, and how you can connect with your consumers to create brand recognition and loyalty. This may seem like a lot of business mumbo-jumbo, but let’s just say it’s something I really enjoy.
Even though I have an idea of what I want to do after I graduate, I’m not entirely sure how or when this is all going to happen. Thankfully I have amazing friends and family members who encourage me to do my best, and to follow my heart to do what I feel is right. This may lead me to a job or internship right after school ends, maybe I’ll want to take a semester off to focus on my Disneyland job and writing, maybe I want to travel and see the friends I made in Florida that have scattered all over the country.
Either way, I firmly believe that everything that’s supposed to happen, will happen. This by no means implies that I’m going to sit back and watch Netflix for 10 hours and expect the opportunities to fall into my lap (as much I’d love for that to be the case). I know that if I want something, I’ll need to work hard to achieve it, and that not everything will go as planned. But that’s the fun — and terrifying — part, not knowing what’s going to happen, who you might meet, and what opportunities may lie ahead.
I’m excited to see what’s in store.