Early Friday morning, on Jan. 27, five members of the Disney Live Entertainment team came to the Ringling College of Art and Design campus for a day of fun-filled recruitment activities. Disney Live Entertainment is the live theatrical production branch of Imagineering. They are responsible for events such as illuminations, parades, and puppetry. In the morning they met with students from Ringling’s Entertainment Design program, followed by a presentation in the Morganroth Auditorium, and ended their day with an informal portfolio review of Entertainment Design student work, offering them specific feedback and insights on what Disney looks for in a candidate. The series of events was designed to create a low-stress environment for Ringling students to demonstrate their abilities for the recruiters.
The day began with a role playing game in which students broke off into three groups, each assigned a thematic entertainment project to produce. Students planned budgets, chose vendors, negotiated crises, and completed projects for a fictional Disney cruise. Ringling faculty and staff were enlisted to play the roles of difficult vendors, including an incompetent pilot. The exercise demonstrated an emphasis on collaboration, even between groups, as one group was encouraged to seek support from another.
Following the workshop, the Disney Live team gave a presentation at the Morganroth Auditorium bolstering student recruitment. They showed several examples of projects that they had personally worked on as interns or employees. Showing a wide breadth of their assignments, the projects ranged from the development process for a thematic meet and greet building with its minute details to the collaborative and multi-stage progression of a thematic theater stage. Even the smallest detail is given generous thought, such as the design of a heating grate inside a resort hotel room.
Ringling College Computer Animation alumni Sarah Schmidt ’17 led the presentation, offering a transparent explanation of the path to employment with Disney. The tangible relationship between Ringling College and Disney was hard to miss, as three of the five members of the Disney team are Ringling alumni, Schmidt, joined by Mark Lim ’19, Computer Animation and Bailey Maher ’22, Visual Studies. Schmidt furthered that four of their current interns are Ringling alumni, and pointed out work by other alumni employed with Disney Live Entertainment, throughout the slideshow.
More recruitment opportunities and other career services will be available at Career Insight, 10:30 am to 4 pm in the Alfred R. Goldstein Library on Feb. 14, 2023.