Madison Young

Cronkite alumna thrives in Disneyland Resort internship

Monday, April 29, 2024


When Madison Young saw an opening for an extremely competitive internship at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, she viewed it as the perfect opportunity and decided to “shoot her shot.”

Young’s experience at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication—along with encouragement from a Cronkite professor—gave her the confidence to apply, and she was awarded the position, which she began in June 2023. 

She has “always been passionate about storytelling” and feels that’s one of Disney’s strengths as a company. 

Young graduated from the Cronkite School in spring 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. As a student, she worked as part of the digital marketing team in the Cronkite Agency, an immersive capstone course in which students serve real clients with public relations, digital marketing, brand content and bilingual engagement work.

That’s where Young met Cronkite Agency Executive Director and Professor of Practice John Nicoletti, who worked as a global communication executive for The Walt Disney Company.

“I had told John that I had applied,” Young said. “I felt confident and really wanted to take this opportunity if it was presented to me. So he offered to write me a letter of recommendation and the rest is history.” 

Disney internships are full-time, 40-hours per week roles where interns work alongside executives in communications, finance, human resources, strategic planning and other departments. The positions span four to eight months and can be extended up to one year.

“For many, it is their entry into another role with the company because Disney likes to promote people who already know and have thrived within the Disney structure,” he said.

Young works with media relations, crisis communications and produces social media content such as blog posts. Her tasks include planning, filming, editing and producing social media videos, writing media pitches for local and sometimes national news outlets, and helping to lead meetings to discuss content plans and production.

“I’m primarily producing media that helps support and promote all of the wonderful things that the resort does, not only for our guests, but mainly our cast members or our employees here at Disneyland Resort,” she said. 

This role has also provided Young with the opportunity to gain real world work experience with a larger company. 

“I think the main thing I’ve learned is how to best communicate with people and leverage your relationships with people on different teams because I think that’s the best way we can all learn, grow, and accomplish what we’re looking to do,” she said. 

Young said her multimedia journalism and public relations research classes, along with her work in the Cronkite Agency, prepared her for success in her current role. 

Young’s internship ends in June; then, she’ll pursue a role in public relations, marketing communications and media relations. She credits her Cronkite professors for teaching her the importance of having a wide range of skills and experiences that are valued by the industry.

“Without my time in the Cronkite Agency, I don’t know if I would be where I am today,” she said. “It’s never too late to start now, start yesterday, start tomorrow—but start as soon as you can on making those relationships, and making them last.”

By Lauren Boykins