Former Walt Disney Executives Share Industry Experiences with Point Park University Students Tuesday, March 29, 2022
"It is not every day that you have the opportunity to speak with a person who was the president for three different Walt Disney World parks or ran a hotel with more than 10,000 rooms. These types of events at Point Park give students motivation and inspiration as we work toward earning our degrees."
"It was incredible to learn from two successful professionals and leaders who have earned a lot of valuable experience during their lives," said Vitor Lo '23, a business management major from Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil who aspires to work in professional sports. "One of the best lessons I learned from them was being patient and amassing as many experiences as possible. Dan talked about how he went from a parking lot driver to an executive for three of the biggest parks at Disney World. I feel extremely motivated to put my skills to work and get involved after listening to these types of real-world examples.
Point Park offers the Disney Leadership Seminar, a three-credit interdisciplinary course designed to immerse students within one of the most iconic and recognizable global brands. Additionally, students can take advantage of the Disney College Internship program. Through these partnerships, faculty like Patrick Mulvihill, D.Ed., assistant professor and chair of the Department of Management, have built valuable relationships that benefit students.
"It is not every day that you have the opportunity to speak with a person who was the president for three different Walt Disney World parks or ran a hotel with more than 10,000 rooms," Lo said. "These types of events at Point Park give students motivation and inspiration as we work toward earning our degrees."
Read more takeaways from Cockerell's visit below:
"Dan and Lee talked about how they got to where they are through their career journey and discussed key lessons they learned. They discussed how management works and the processes that go into management. My key takeaway from their lecture was that when it comes to trying new things in my education and career, whether it is an internship or a job, I need to just go for it because you never know what can come out of such opportunities. The thing I found most inspiring was the dedication they both had to whatever they did through both of their entire careers." – Logan Gonzales '23, Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management major, Connellsville, Pa. native
"Dan visited my Principles of Marketing class and discussed his career path and some of the frameworks he used in managing at Disney. He spoke extensively about his early career working in parking, food and beverage and customer relations. He took each position with an attitude of positivity and wanting to learn. Although he hadn't planned it, that path was the perfect set of experiences to become vice president of operations. Students can see that although they don't start at the executive level, each position offers a building block in their career path. Dan's real-world experience helps them visualize their own path." – Paige Beal, MBA, associate professor of Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management
"Learning is enhanced through experiential opportunities, such as the Disney Leadership course Point Park offers in the fall semester. Dan and Lee Cockerell provided business insights included in the course and the Disney experience. When students are presented with the opportunity to see and analyze concepts learned in class in the work environment, their careers are enhanced." – Sandra Mervosh, M.S., SHRM-SCP, SPHR, assistant professor and director of the Human Resources Management program
"In our senior jazz class, Dan offered tremendous insight regarding the importance of work ethic, process and fulfillment. What was most profound to me was his perspective on the importance of understanding that a long-term success does not include taking short cuts." – Kiesha Lalama, M.F.A., professor and director of jazz unit
Read more about Point Park's relationship with Disney in the stories linked below:
- The Business Behind Disney: Students Learn Best Practices Through Disney Leadership Class, Trip to World-Famous Parks
- Disney Corporate Hires SAEM 2018 Graduate for Prestigious Professional Internship
- Business Students Travel to Disney World for Leadership Seminar Focused on Human Resources
- Business Professor Interviews Disney's Former Executive VP of Operations