News & Stories

August 30, 2019

Disney dreams do come true

Being surrounded by 27,000 acres of idyllic forests, pastures, and castles of our own, it’s hard for anyone to lose their love for fairy tales and the wonders of imagination here at Berry. 2019 graduate Ally Smith used her passion for the Walt Disney Company and the resources provided by Berry to turn her desire to work for the Mouse into a reality.

Ally’s knack for hard work and leadership was exemplified during her time at Berry. She served as a First-Year Mentor and SOAR leader, ushering in new freshmen and helping them understand the opportunities that awaited them as Berry students.

Ally was a member of the women’s golf team and has been on the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll each year at Berry. She was a recipient of the J. Wilson Mixon Jr. Outstanding Senior in Economics Award, as well as the Gordon L. Foy Award for outstanding women in the Campbell School of Business.

As a double major in mathematics and economics, Ally created meaningful connections with Berry’s faculty and staff. She is most thankful for the mentorships with Assistant Professor of Economics Jamie Sharpe, and Associate Professor of Economics Lauren Heller.

“I got a 100 on my first test in ECO 210, and Dr. Sharpe wrote a note on my test saying, ‘You should be an econ major!’” Ally says. “I was already considering it, but just that intentional push and notice of my hard work and achievement absolutely was the final decision I needed to pursue the major.”

Dr. Sharpe also gave Ally the push she needed to pursue an internship with the Disney College Program.

“He took the time to get to know me, his advisee, and he never once discounted my Disney career goals,” Ally says.

With a Disney internship on the brain, Ally was able to work closely with her advisors to rearrange her schedule for the time she would need to take advantage of the experience.

She was placed at Disney’s Pop Century Resort, ensuring customer service and promoting the Disney experience for park visitors.

“While I was in Orlando for the semester I also took the time to go out of my way and meet other Disney executives who worked in corporate offices doing analytics which was my career goal after graduation,” Ally says.

Dr. Heller also connected Ally with a Berry alum who works as an analyst for Disney.

“I went into the Disney College Program nearly two years ago with a goal to receive a professional internship with the company upon graduation and thanks to my amazing mentors, my very supportive parents and friends, and a lot of hard work, I was able to achieve this dream” says Ally, who is now a Pricing, Planning, and Forecasting Professional Intern for the Walt Disney Company.

sophomore Faythe Choate

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