Making Magic at Disney (and Elon)!
Ten Elon students participated in a Spring Transition Strategies course focused on creativity, innovation, and leadership from the lens of Disney.
This semester Student Life Associate Directors, Laura Arroyo and Dana Carnes, were able to share their passions for Disney and leadership through a Transition Strategies course entitled Infusing Creativity and Innovation into the Workplace. Through the course, ten students explored leadership, teamwork, creativity, and innovation through the lens of the Walt Disney Company, culminating in a four day experience in the Walt Disney World Parks.
Students learned about Disney’s leadership philosophies and practices by reading Lee Cockrell’s Making Magic: Ten Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. Coursework included a Strengths Finder seminar presented by the Student Professional Development Center staff, a discussion of authentic leadership with Psychology professor Dr. Chris Leupold, and hearing about Jaimie Biermann’s experience as a former Walt Disney World employee.
Students participated in three Disney Youth Education Series workshops, focused on leadership strategies, teamwork through improvisation, and creative problem solving. These workshops, taking place in the information-rich setting of the Disney parks, gave students a hands-on educational experience. When asked about their experience, sophomore Paige Edwards shared, “Not being afraid to ask questions and clarity among team members is essential. You don't always need to accept the information that is given to you and questioning it can often lead to the success of a team. An important aspect of being a leader is to ensure everyone feels valued in the company/organization and you do not need to know all of the answers. If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.”
Walt Disney World cast members led engaging activities that allowed students to practice teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving skills while participating in one-of-a-kind moments that use the magic of Disney to make learning even more impactful. Thanks to the Center for Leadership and Rhonda Kosusko for supporting this innovative, educational opportunity!