College Program vs PI vs Co-op

Discussion in 'The College Board' started by chilly2336, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. chilly2336

    chilly2336 Earning My Ears

    Jul 29, 2010
    My son is going into Engineering with eventual goal of landing position as an Imagineer. We have been told by engineers we know locally that the best qualification is to come out of college with co-op experience. That would eliminate the college program which is what we have been told by Disney people would be great for him to get to know people at Disney.

    Obviously it would be ideal if he could obtain an internship at Disney in Engineering but since those are very limited that may not be an option either.

    Anyone else have this "dilemma" as to whether or not to try for the college program or take a co-op at a company other than Disney to gain actual engineering experience?
    RaeDisney23_ likes this.
  2. Richard M Nixon

    Richard M Nixon Peacemaker

    May 12, 2014
    Separate the general advice from the specific. In general, getting the most amount of true hands-on experience in your field of expertise (engineering) would be the best thing to do if you're wanting to maximize your options and marketability after college. However, if your goal is specifically to work at Disney, then the benefits of being an intern, getting early/preferred applications, and having professional connections suddenly becomes much more worthwhile. I'm sure it depends on the type of position that Disney could offer, as spending a summer selling popcorn might not actually be valued more than actual engineering experience when applying for a Disney job after graduation, but getting in as a Disney engineering intern would definitely help.
    mustinjourney likes this.
  3. thegoof121

    thegoof121 Earning My Ears

    Apr 2, 2016
    The relevance of the College Program relative to getting an engineering position with Disney will depend a lot on exactly what engineering position your son is looking at. Some of the engineering jobs that are part of park operations are biased towards individuals with hands on Disney operations experience. Understanding how stuff is used in the real world makes it easier to improve. Other jobs don't care, and are biased instead toward people with actual hands on engineering experience. These jobs are generally more design oriented, and would much rather hire someone with demonstrated technical skills. A lot of the interesting problems that Imagineering solves are solved using the exact same tools used in other industries, and they would much rather start with someone who knows those tools than someone who knows theme parks.

    This is all based on what I was told either by hiring managers or HR recruiters I've chatted with at Disney and in the general themed entertainment industry.

Share This Page