Q&A with Jared Hanel

Current Job: Photo Imagining & Entertainment Specialist at Walt Disney World in Orland, Florida

Major: Marketing and Public Relations

Graduated: 2013

By Lauren Manecke

HanelJared Hanel couldn’t resist the magic. After participating in the Disney College Program, and he ended up back with Mickey after graduating from Drake. He moved to Florida, leaving his home in Burlington, Iowa, to work with photo imaging at the Magic Kingdom.

How did you get to where you are today?

Well, I got my job at Disney by doing the Disney College Program during my second year at Drake, and then I reapplied and moved back down to Florida after completing my degree. Now, I am currently working on photo imaging for the Magic Kingdom, but I’m on the fast track to take a position with Disney Photo Imaging marketing the moment a position comes available. This would mean I would be doing the marketing for our photo products, merchandise and services.

Why did you choose to work for Disney?

I chose Disney because it has always been the company I am passionate about. It’s not the easiest company to work for, and at times, it will challenge you more than you ever thought possible. The experience you gain from your employment here is beyond rewarding and entirely unforgettable.

Did you always know you wanted to work for Disney, or did your decision become clear after you went through the Disney College Program?

I knew I always wanted to work in entertainment marketing, but I didn’t always know what company I wanted to work for. I started exploring my options while at Drake, and the opportunity for Disney came up with the Disney College Program. I took on that opportunity for the fall semester of my sophomore year and found the company where I had the opportunity to turn making magic into something I could get paid to do. And really, who doesn’t love getting paid to have fun?

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at Drake that helped you prepare for the job you have today?

At Drake, I was involved with the International Students Association, Rainbow Union and Residence Life. The mass of diversity opened me to being able to work with people from all walks of life and break through barriers of communication, which really propelled me to where I am today.

As a recent graduate, what advice would you give to journalism students to prepare for a job in the real world?

The quote, “It’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”—that quote is garbage. It’s actually a quarter what you know, a quarter who you know, but most importantly, half about who knows you. Knowing what you know means nothing nor does knowing anyone, unless you take the crazy leap to get people to know you.

Keep up with Jared on LinkedIn.