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Communications and Marketing

Inside look at Disney World

Students in the Disney, Music and Culture class got an insider’s perspective on Walt Disney World, thanks to an afternoon interview via Skype with alumna Katie Lackey ’02—an award-winning Disney employee.

From her office in Florida, Lackey and the class met via a laptop hooked up to a classroom projection screen and speakers in Assistant Professor of Music Scott Edgar’s classroom in Reid Hall.

After explaining what her job as an international relations manager at the entertainment complex entails, students introduced themselves over Skype before asking Lackey what they most wanted to know about her work, the mega entertainment company, and how Lake Forest College prepared her for working there.

“She really brought wonderful insight into the Disney company,” Edgar said. “It brought depth to what we’re talking about in class and there was relatability that occurred.”

Arsh Shah ’16 is an Asian studies major and double-minor in international relations and economics who took the cross-listed Disney class because he wanted to explore the corporation as a business as well as an American pop culture icon.

“Having the opportunity to connect with an alum through academic study was priceless,” Shah said. “We got an inside scoop not just on how life at Lake Forest College changed her,  but her ability to function in a career setting after she graduated. That was really important.”

Just days after Skyping with Lackey, the class traveled to the Disney Store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile to see some of the company’s marketing strategies, cast member engagement, and guest relations protocols firsthand.

“She gave us a wonderful preview and guided questions to look for once we got down there, which made it a more beneficial experience for us,” Edgar said. 

And the conversation with Lackey didn’t stop there. Some students reached out to her with follow-up questions, which the Forester gladly answered. 

“On top of that, she’s connected us with a several colleagues who are doing really cool work at Disney Corporation—production management, animation, the creative side, and imagineering,” Edgar said. “She’s been a wonderful contact person to just explode our connection with Disney.”