During my time so far at Art of Animation, I have definitely had the opportunity to network. At some point during my internship, it just became natural. It is hard not to network in such a sociable environment where managers and leaders promote conversation and networking while working. I am content with the fact that it is more effortless than I expected. During my time here I have met casts and guest from all over the world and tried my hardest to represent myself and my reason for being in Florida.
I haven’t really had the opportunity to trail a manager. Often enough, it feels like a manager is “trailing” you, but in effect we are trailing them. Throughout my shift I often find myself on the search for a “manager” whether the guest has a question I don’t have the answer to, or I have a question, these “managers” seem to know mostly anything pertaining to Disney and my location.
I have not completed management tasks, but I have been given power over cast members. Being that I often work closing shifts, at a certain time coordinators stop using CDS. In that event, the closers will be given power over their area. In that event, I have been given the power to re-assign cast members and redirect people to aid in the proper pre-closing in my area. This gives cast members more responsibility than usual because it allows for a more efficient close and a more detailed approach than a general coordinator can not provide.
I do understand what is needed to enter a management position with WDW and I am honestly surprised how easy it is. At my location, we have two mangers who are only 23-24 years old and just completed their professional internships not too long ago. For CP’s it is easier to relate to your manager, and socialize, but for part-time and full time, I have noticed the tension. In any work place, it is difficult for a person half your age to give you orders, but this is typical at WDW. I am surprised how little experience you need to be in a managerial position. Compared to what I have learned at school and witnessed in the NYC hospitality industry, you need little to no experience at WDW.
Like mentioned in the article, networking is key. As stated in the paragraph,
“Your networking skills probably played a big role in helping you land your new promotion. Now that you’re a manager, you can use your networking skills to create a shared bond with your new peers – and to begin to build up your managerial skill set. Reach out to potential mentors who are at a variety of different points in their managerial careers — and who don’t mind answering lots of questions!”
this is exactly what WDW has achieved. It has trained young managers in order to interact with young mentors. Being able to answer any question and create bonds is also what is the bridge between CP’s like me and younger managerial cast.