Erica Arthur, 2011 graduate of Van Buren, recently accepted the internship of a lifetime. Now a resident of Orlando, Florida, Arthur has a lodging management internship in housekeeping at the lavish Grand Floridian Resort and Spa in Walt Disney World.
Arthur is remembered for her musical talent in high school, as she was involved in every section of the music department. She was a four-year member of marching band, concert band, show choir, women’s chorus and concert choir. Arthur was also an active participant in JSA, NHS and was a freshman mentor.
After high school in the fall of 2011, Arthur started her college career at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She began her schooling with plans to major in education. At the end of her first year at Miami University, Arthur decided the school and the major weren’t for her. In the following fall, Arthur started schooling at the University of Findlay where she planned to major in hospitality management.
“If I had not transferred schools, I would certainly not be in the same place that I am today,” Arthur says. She is happily in her second year of schooling at the University of Findlay.
The journey to Walt Disney World, also known as “The Happiest Place on Earth,” was a long one. Arthur applied for the Disney College Program twice; once on Sep. 5, 2013 and again on August 28. After a series of complications, Arthur turned down the first internship opportunity. On Dec. 18, 2013, Arthur found out that she landed the dream internship, and quickly took the chance to pack up and head to Florida.
After being accepted into the program, Arthur promptly left for Florida on Jan. 1, 2014. She arrived in Florida on January 3, and quickly started her internship on January 8. “My experience so far with Disney has been incredible,” says Arthur. “The level of training I've gotten is beyond anything I expected, and my job is very interesting. I've also been able to meet incredible new friends and start making some amazing memories.” Arthur also enjoys the perks of being a Walt Disney World employee. When she’s not busy working or studying, Arthur takes a short trip to the Walt Disney parks and spends her day exploring.
Being a Walt Disney World employee has been a dream of Arthur’s since she was a little girl. “Sometimes I'm at a loss for words at how lucky I've gotten,” Arthur says. “It's literally every facet of the dream that I specified for myself: I wanted to be in management at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for as long as I can remember. Being able to say that I've followed through on this is such an incredible feeling--and that's putting it lightly.”
Arthur’s life has been nothing short of a fairytale since she left Findlay. She shares her advice with us in hopes the we can find our “happily ever after” just as she did. “I want everyone out there to read this: If you have a dream, PURSUE IT. As my friend Walt Disney once said, ‘All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’”
Arthur was last seen wearing her Mickey ears, catching a late night fireworks display in front of Cinderella’s castle.
Favorite Disney Quote: “Do as dreamers do." It's from the fireworks show "Wishes", and it was my motto on my journey to get here.
Favorite Disney Character: There are SO MANY. I'll go with Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she's been a favorite since I was little.. and I sport her crown in the parks a lot.
Favorite Disney Movie: This week, it's UP, but ask me in a few days and it'll be different.