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Biology Junior Working to Become a Doctor Takes on Walt Disney World Resort Internship

A biology junior at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, Maeesha Maliha returned from her internship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida in Spring 2022.
Headshot Maeesha Maliha
Maessha Maliha

The experience Maliha gained from participating in this program have impressed upon her many valuable skills and cemented her desire to pursue a career in medicine. While working as a cast member, she continued taking online courses virtually at the university to that end.

She first heard about the internship while working as a Blue Coat Ambassador in A&M-Central Texas’ Student and Civic Engagement (SCE) department, a role she still serves in today.

As a Blue Coat, she is responsible for giving guided tours, assisting with events around campus, and being a point of contact between the university and the community.

It was her friends and coworkers within SCE, as well as Career and Professional Development (CPD), who helped her decide to apply for the internship at Walt Disney World Resort.

“I thought I should go for something different. It’s something to get out of my comfort zone,” she said.

The CPD team was even able to help Maliha during the application process, working together to create the perfect LinkedIn profile that would give her the best chance of getting accepted.

She met with Jessica Doner, student engagement coordinator for CPD, who guided her through the process. Doner explained the importance of having a professional online presence as a student:

When opportunities for in-person networking are scarce, she said, “LinkedIn, with its robust virtual networking tools, is a great place for students to connect with alumni, faculty, staff, and industry experts.”

Before long, Maliha’s work with Doner paid off.

“Within a week, I got an acceptance letter. You just really have to make sure you’re using the right words, you’re being professional about it,” Maliha said.

Arriving in Orlando, she found herself surrounded by many new adventures and experiences.

Even the internship itself provided a great variety of activities things to do because, as she explained, “there’s not just one job or one role you would be placed in.”

As time passed, Maliha came to understand that the things she was doing were also preparing her for a future medical career. She was able to work hands-on with guests, attending to their needs and making their stay at the resort the best that it could be.

A big part of doing so that she talked about as being extremely important Disney’s Five Keys: safety, efficiency, courtesy, showing up, and inclusion.

As a cast member, it was her job to ensure that all these keys were present in how she conducted herself at work. However, she expressed that these do not just apply for employees at Disney Parks and Resorts:

“I have learned that they would be major keys that I could use when I do get into my medical world.”

These same principles inform Maliha how she wants to treat patients in the future. She is even more certain now than before her internship that she wants to be a doctor, and she is quickly moving towards that goal.

Her progress in her undergraduate degree was not halted while she was away.

“I was able to take classes online to see that, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do, I could still come back and still be on track,” she said of the Disney internship.

Working to chase her goals, Maliha is now equipped with all of the lessons she learned in her internship and more.

That includes the ones she gained from the other interns and coworkers, such as this one that she shared:

“Talking to people with high ambition, and just courage, made me realize that anything is possible.”

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