Beyond the Classroom

Our roles as advisors to our client families are constantly expanding. We have always toured colleges around America and the world to investigate trends in college admissions and novel academic options, but we now find ourselves providing a great deal of guidance about the finer nuances of learning and living.

Almost every day, we receive a call from a student or parent about where to study abroad, what to do in summer, or how to make an engaging family travel plan that incorporates students’ summer plans. In just the last six months, we have helped students select enrichment and study trips to Italy, Spain, France, China, Japan, England, and Peru. We even helped one student find a Semester at Sea that took her through Southeast Asia, India, and up into Europe! And, we helped them figure out the right time and place to connect with their siblings, parents, and grandparents along the way.

Our insights have developed through our own travels, which I’ve chronicled for years through photos and blog posts with the intention of launching a separate site. But, this is really the right place for it – the All-in-One Academics site – since all of our travels have become so integral to our ability to offer a unique advising service that empowers students and their families to seize opportunities near and far and to make the most of their journeys.

  • Disney College Program
    • We came to Orlando with the intention of checking out Rollins College and the University of Central Florida because so many of our students list staying in the South as an important criterion in their selection of colleges. We checked out those schools and found them to be viable options for Texas students hoping to broaden their horizons, but we also found something more intriguing: The Disney College Program.
    • Almost everyone we met working in and around the Disney properties started off as a Disney College participant, which meant they applied to work at Disney as interns during college. They took six months to a year off from school to come to Disney to work, live, and learn, and many of them chose to come back after college. The people we met who were former program participants (and there were loads of them) had been with Disney for years, proud to discuss all of their various roles as Disney employees. I was curious about the program because it struck me as odd. Why would so many people want to work for a theme park?
    • And then I took a moment and thought about it. It’s a pretty good gig. First, it’s more than a theme park; it’s a giant company that employs almost 100,000 people in Orlando alone. You can work in pretty much any area that appeals, from management to customer service to IT. Second, Disney offers amazing benefits, giving its employees (cast members) free entrance to the parks and passes to their nearest and dearest. I’m sure they get great health insurance and 401k plans. I have to hand it to Disney; somehow they’ve found a combination of benefits, employee appreciation, and company culture that fosters a very happy workforce. So, I thought it was worthwhile to share Disney College Program information with our clients and anyone else looking for an interesting internship option.
    • I also thought it was interesting that there are additional professional internship programs, design programs, and international work programs available. In a world where every potential employer wants to know what you’ve done lately, these unusual resume boosters and special experiences could give you a real edge.