I Want A Career With Disney

I Want A Career With Disney

August 5th can't come quick enough.


Sometimes I get dirty looks or weird stares. Sometimes these reactions are caused by one statement:

"I want a career with Disney."

When most people think of Disney, they think animated films, oversized mice, princesses, and rollercoaster rides. However, this top employer is so much more than that.

"The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, creative minds and innovative technologies that make ours the world's premier entertainment company."

To those who tell me that my goal is silly or just a childish fantasy, you couldn't be more wrong.

I recently got accepted into the Disney College Program, a prestigious internship that will take up my upcoming fall semester. It's kind of like starting college all over again. New dorms, new roommates, new social system. I will admit, I am nervous, but I couldn't be more excited to add The Walt Disney Company to my resume.

So to make things more clear, here are just a few of the reasons I want to land a career with this amazing company:

1. The attention to accessibility.

This is so important. A company grows when all types can use and enjoy their products and services.

2. The messages behind each and every one of their films.

Disney has been adding new meaning to family, friendship and true love for decades.

3. The company values.

4. The attention to detail, big and small.

5. How much they care about every single one of their guests.

I could go on and on, but I think my point is pretty clear. Disney is an incredible company to work for, and I'm so excited to start my journey with them in a few short months.

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100 Throwback Songs Every Nostalgic '00s Kid Will STILL Jam To

Here's to never growing up.

If you were anything like me, you came home from school, plopped on the couch and jammed to Radio Disney. You've heard these songs at school dances, parties and on the radio, and you probably still know all the words. Despite most of your favorite childhood artists pursuing different careers (or different styles of music), these throwback hits will always be there to comfort you!

1. "SexyBack" - Justin Timberlake

2. "Oops!... I Did It Again" - Britney Spears

3. "Party in the USA" - Miley Cyrus

4. "Replay" - Iyaz

5. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz

6. "Girlfriend" - Avril Lavigne

7. "Beautiful Girls" - Sean Kingston

8. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO

9. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heros ft. Adam Levine

10. "Titanium" - David Guetta ft. Sia

11. "Classic" - MKTO

12. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen

13. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg

14. "Down" - Jay Sean ft. Lil Wayne

15. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry

16. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" - Beyonce

17. "I Gotta Feeling" - Black Eyed Peas

18. "Umbrella" - Rihanna ft. Jay Z

19. "Fergalicious" - Fergie

20. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5

21. "Drive By" - Train

22. "Hoedown Throwdown" - Miley Cyrus

23. "Want U Back" - Cher Lloyd

24. "Love You Like A Love Song" - Selena Gomez & The Scene

25. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga

26. "TTYLXOX" - Bella Thorne

27. "Firework" - Katy Perry

28. "Low" - Flo Rida ft. T-Pain

29. "Halo" - Beyonce

30. "Tik Tok" - Ke$ha

31. "Animal" - Neon Trees

32. "Mr. Brightside" - The Killers

33. "We Are Young" - fun. ft. Janelle Monáe

34. "Airplanes" - B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams

35. "Hollaback Girl" - Gwen Stefani

36. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 ft. Ludacris

37. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster the People

38. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train

39. "Ain't it Fun" - Paramore

40. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher ft. Pitbull

41. "Boyfriend" - Justin Bieber

42. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha

43. "Forget You" - CeeLo Green

44. "Starships" - Nicki Minaj

45. "Say My Name" - Destiny's Child

46. "Baby One More Time" - Britney Spears

47. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

48. "Hey Ya!" - Outkast

49. "Bye Bye Bye" - *NSYNC

50. "Poker Face" - Lady Gaga

51. "Last Friday Night (TGIF)" - Katy Perry

52. "Bring Me To Life" - Evanescence

53. "Teenage Dirtbag" - Wheatus

54. "You Belong With Me" - Taylor Swift

55. "Seven Nation Army" - The White Stripes

56. "Thnks fr th Mmrs" - Fall Out Boy

57. "Empire State of Mind" - Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys

58. "Crazy in Love" - Beyonce & Jay Z

59. "Mine" - Taylor Swift

60. "Toxic" - Britney Spears

61. "Since U Been Gone" - Kelly Clarkson

62. "Milkshake" - Kelis

63. "Part of Me" - Katy Perry

64. "Yeah!" - Usher, Lil Jon and Ludacris

65. "Wannabe" - Spice Girls

66. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey

67. "Stayin' Alive" - Bees Gees

68. "Survivor" - Destiny's Child

69. "Beautiful Soul" - Jesse McCartney

70. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera

71. "Just Dance" - Lady Gaga ft. Colby O'Donis

72. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris

73. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars

74. "The Climb" - Miley Cyrus

75. "Price Tag" - Jessie J ft. B.o.B

76. "You Make Me Feel..." - Cobra Starship ft. Sabi

77. "Don't Stop the Music" - Rihanna

78. "Paper Planes" - M.I.A

79. "In Da Club" - 50 Cent

80. "Get the Party Started" - P!nk

81. "That's Not My Name" - The Ting Tings

82. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry

83. "Umbrella" - Rihanna ft. Jay Z

84. "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" - Soulja Boy

85. "So What" - P!nk

86. "Hit 'Em Up Style" - Blu Cantrell ft. Foxy Brown

87. "Bootylicious" - Destiny's Child

88. "Baby" - Justin Beiber ft. Ludacris

89. "On The Floor" - Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull

90. "The One That Got Away" - Katy Perry

91. "All Star" - Smash Mouth

92. "Jenny from the Block" - Jennifer Lopez

93. "Superbass" - Nicki Minaj

94. "Tonight Tonight" - Hot Chelle Rae

95. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna

96. "Like a G6" - Far East Movement ft. The Cataracs & DEV

97. "What Makes You Beautiful" - One Direction

98. "We Found Love" - Rihanna

99. "Mr. Saxobeat" - Alexandra Stan

100. "Here's To Never Growing Up" - Avril Lavigne

Did I miss any of your favorites? Comment below!

Cover Image Credit: Jive / YouTube

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10 Things You Should Expect When Applying To The California Highway Patrol Academy

While it's one of the greatest police forces in the United States, it doesn't come without its challenges.


I decided to apply for the California Highway Patrol in 2015. I believed with my background in the Air Force as Security Forces, I would be prepared for the tough demands that came with a paramilitary training environment. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the CHP's methods of training were closer to the Marines than the Air Force. I understood this from the start of the grueling and in-depth application process for the academy. Although I had a mental understanding of the challenges coming, I was not as prepared as I believed myself to be.

If you are considering applying for CHP (or any police force for that matter) here are 10 tips to keep in mind for that first day. Be aware, within the first week of training, on average between five and 10 cadets will drop out. On my first day, one person decided to not show up at all.

1. Mentally preparing yourself is the key. 

The training environment at the academy is controlled and relatively safe. The average cadet is in no real danger throughout his/her stay as long as the cadet pays attention to detail. That being said, a lot comes into play when starting at the academy.

Unlike other police academies, the CHP is a live-in training environment, meaning the cadets that get into the program will live in dorm rooms with other cadets five out of seven days. They are away from the familiar and subject to strict rules set in place. There are cadets that come with a military background and can handle this change. There are others that can break because of the added stress. The key to surviving the mental battle is to take it one step at a time. In my case, it was one meal at a time.

2. Chow time doesn't mean you get to relax.

Where the majority of people find that food calms them or relieves stress, the cadets find those times as probably the most mentally stressful. There are two ways to get to the dining facility on the grounds: the main path being directly in front of huge glass windows to the Staff Office. This office is housed by CHP officers in charge of day to day goings-on at the academy.

They also ensure the mental and physical torture of the cadets on a daily basis for their own amusement. Of course, if you are not the subject of attention, the blow-up is amusing. However, the cadet that is circled by five or so officers like they're in shark-infested waters feels anything but humorous. From the window of the staff office, officers can see the endless line of blue-uniformed cadets walking to chow. They can see if cadets are talking, out of step, looking sloppy or acting nervous and awkward. Once an ideal target has been identified, the officers go in for the kill.

Other times, the staff officers are loitering the path to chow and stopping cadets at random to ask an array of knowledge questions. Cadets have to always be prepared for the unexpected and chow time is one of the opportunities the staff office will use to gauge how much cadets are studying or retaining from the training.

3. Physical training is a different kind of fun than you're used to.

Being physically fit is part of being an officer. Yes, there are officers that have let themselves go for the worse. However, at the academy, letting yourself go is not acceptable. The physical training standards are tough and the instructors expect cadets to be at their prime shape while at the academy.

Prior to attending the academy, there is a physical performance test that applicants HAVE to meet in order to make it one step closer to being accepted into the academy. The standards on applying are not anywhere close to the physical training regimen cadets undergo throughout their six months of training.

PT is completed in the early hours of the morning before the sun decides to make its appearance. Training consists of calisthenics and running. The instructors are preparing cadets for the graduation run, a five-mile-long run to the Capital. An average PT session will include the standard push-ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and sit-ups. There will be times when a PT instructor wants to have fun with a class and come up with some new method of physical torture.

If you are considering applying, make sure you move with a sense of urgency. Of course, the entire class has to be on the same page. One slow cadet makes the entire class slow delays the entire process,

4. Be willing to accept tough criticism.

Part of the process of the academy is to prepare cadets for facing disgruntled citizens on the road if they are ever so fortunate to graduate from the academy. The training environment is controlled, so cadets only experience so much. It is the staff officers' job, as well as other training officers, to be tough with cadets.

This helps gauge how soft or hard a cadet is and if they would be taken advantage of on the outside or if they could handle themselves. Staff officers will use that opportunity to critique cadets from their uniform to the hairs on their face (or nose/ears). The officers watch with a stern eye to look for any weakness and to exploit it and hopefully, make the cadets turn it into a strength.

There are cadets that cannot handle criticism. My advice to those individuals is to listen to what these men and women have to say, don't question it and as long as it is not unethical, illegal or immoral, do what they ask (or demand).

5. Learn to accept that there is no such thing as personal space.

From the very beginning of the academy, I had to accept that I would be getting close and personal with the other cadets. While waiting in line, in formation, in the classroom, during PT or when a Staff Officer decides to get in your face, the personal space or bubble is non-existent.

I remember on our first legitimate day after week zero (or otherwise known as the stress-free week) the entire class was lined up. My front was literally on someone's back and the person behind me was on my back. These two classmates ended up being my neighbors in class and during PT. You can say that we definitely got familiar with each other because of that day.

6. Dorm living is just another part of life.

Part of the academy involved living on the grounds for the week, with weekend liberty starting Friday and returning Sunday night (if you were so fortunate as to live close enough to go back home). There were cadets that required flights to go back home. I was fortunate to live just 40 minutes from the academy.

Living on the grounds meant abiding by the dorm rules. For the most part, the rules were pretty basic: maintain a clean living area, make the bed, line up the shoes, keep your locket in order, no personal belongings outside of the locker when no one was in the room and absolutely no food in the rooms.

The staff office provided the class with a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) book, outlining all of the rules and how the rooms were to be maintained. Therefore, no excuses were allowed regarding breaking any of the aforementioned rules. Another thing, we were subjected to room inspections whenever the staff office saw fit. This gave cadets enough incentive to maintain the rooms as written in the SOP.

7. First impressions are lasting.

The CHP is known for their sharp uniforms and driving skills. In the academy, we are taught that first impressions can make or break us. In a job like the CHP, it could make the difference between life and death. How we look to civilians tells them a lot about us. If we are overweight or sloppy they see us as weak and easily taken over.

If we are sharp and in shape, we exude confidence and control. The staff office will use the same thought process on cadets. They look for everything: ironed and pressed uniforms, clean and polished boots, that your belt buckle is lined up with your pants and blouse buttons, that your hair is in order (male and female), you maintain your facial hair, you're free from food stains, you have your gear and the list can go on.

The staff office's mission is to prepare the cadets as much as possible for the outside with the end goal being to go home after every shift. As an officer, that first impression can make the difference.

8. Expect yelling, and lots of it. 

If you are the average civilian with no background in the military, and your parents coddled you, you are in for a very rude awakening upon stepping onto the CHP academy grounds. A lot of parents nowadays shelter or baby their children and those children grow up to be adults that cannot function once someone gets in their face.

In the CHP, there will be a lot of in-your-face experiences with the staff officers. They don't do it for their own amusement, but to get you, the cadet, to maintain your exposure and bearing when faced with an irate civilian. The yelling has a purpose. Keep your composure, keep calm, answer the officer professionally and that officer will allow you to carry on. Break, and they will all jump in. There is no way around it.

9. Approaching the Staff Office is exactly as complicated as you think it is, but it isn't as intimidating as you think.

There are many stressful situations the average cadet can experience while attending the academy. One of the most stressful for some cadets is making that first approach to the staff office. For me, every time I had to approach the staff office, I went over every step and rehearsed the exact verbiage that was expected up to the part where they tell us to step up.

I will be the first one to say that we overthink the staff office and it is not as hard or intimidating as we make it out to be initially. There is a process that is mandatory to follow and the officers will watch you like a hawk eyeing its prey, waiting for any misstep or saying something off-script.

Cadets enter the staff building and will make their way to the staff office door that is labeled "cadets only." Once there, stand parallel to the table with your boot toes right in behind the line where the carpet meets the tile. Knock on the table loud and clear, stating "Cadet so and so at the staff office" then wait for further instruction. There are a few ready-made phrases we will need to say depending on the situation such as, "I have information," and, "I have a question," or reporting as ordered.

The officer will step up to the window, give you a hard look and say to proceed. This is where it gets tricky. You will need to take two rather large steps forward, make a turning movement to face the door, make a side-step to be center with the window, stare pass the officer (never look them in the eye) and state, depending on gender, "Sir/Ma'am, cadet so and so at the staff office (insert one of the necessary phrases)." They will instruct you to continue and when the dialogue is complete, there is another process to leave. Be mindful, you will be watched until you walk off. If you make a mistake, it will be addressed.

10.  If one person fails, everyone fails. 

Like the military, the CHP is considered a sisterhood/brotherhood. We are each other's support. In the academy, we learn this the hard way. 150 or so cadets are thrown into a room and expected to work together with no issues from day one. It is a lot harder to do since each person comes from a different walk of life, different mentality and different way of doing things.

Some people are team players and others are more independent. When at the academy, cadets have to forego the individual mindset in order to be successful. It can be hard for some to accept and that is when they will face the most challenges. If one is too slow during PT, the entire class is too slow. If a cadet cannot fill out the paperwork correctly, the class will be outside in push up position until that cadet completes the forms correctly. There is no such thing as "I" when at the academy.

I entered the academy February 2016 and failed out at the end of July 2016, just a few weeks shy of graduation due to not meeting the demands of the driving course that is set out for CHP cadets. A month after my expected graduation (had I passed), I was able to go back to the academy and graduate with the next class (CTC 2-16).

My second time around did not make it any easier when it came to weapons training and driving, but it did give me a better understanding of what to expect at the academy compared to my first time. Having that academy experience does not guarantee success. I have heard of some cadets going through three or four times until they finally graduated. I was fortunate enough to not need that third or fourth time.

I learned not long after graduation and reporting to my office that I did not have what was needed to make a great officer and ended up not making it through Field Officer Training. Despite that, I am extremely grateful for the experience I gained.

My daughter and I at my graduation, November 2016. Photo courtesy of Robert Seawright

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