Students of the Employment and Labor Relations program at IUP had the chance to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando for an annual leadership retreat on November 14–20. The students worked alongside each other each day to meet learning objectives that they used to develop a greater understanding of theme park regulations and how Disney works to accommodate all of its guests.
On Saturday the 17th, the students had a wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with former WDW Vice President of Operations, Lee Cockerell. His inspiring speech to the students was titled “How to Be a Disney CEO.” Cockerell brought an extremely enlightening personality into the room with him, and all of the students thoroughly enjoyed hearing his perspective of the company and how he achieved his success.
Cockerell worked for the Disney Company for over 20 years and was responsible for over 40,000 cast members, as well as for the operations of 20 resort hotels, four theme parks, and two water parks. He is the author of multiple acclaimed books on his experiences.
On Sunday, the students also had an opportunity to to participate in a leadership workshop hosted by the Disney Institute. They spent a morning walking around Epcot with a Disney representative learning about every aspect of how the company operates in the parks, as well as behind the scenes. Through interactive activities, they also learned what it takes to be a good leader in the workforce today.
The students are very grateful for all of these opportunities and hope that in the future this opportunity can continue.