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Julia Breland
Julia Breland
Education: Hopewell Valley Central High; Mercer County Community College
HomeTown: Hopewell
Occupation: Jewelry store owner in training

Julia Breland

M-I-C...See ya real soon...K-E-Y...Why? Because we can help prepare you for a career! Internships are a great way to test drive careers and learn valuable skills that can help you go far in the workforce. It's important to know that internships come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, imagine interning at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for a semester? For one New Jersey college student, this creative kingdom offered career inspiration in Space Mountain proportions.

Julia Breland, a 2002 graduate of Hopewell Valley High School, can display Disney on her resume not only once, but twice. A small business management major at Mercer County Community College, Julia first learned of the Disney internships when the company handed out information and held a presentation at her college. She decided to apply, was interviewed and became one of 14 Mercer students chosen to work at Disney from January to May in the spring of 2004. She also participated in a second Disney internship from January to August a year later.

"The first time, I was placed in Magic Kingdom at Pinocchio's Village House in Fantasy Land," explains Julia, who had requested a spot in quick food and service. While she wanted to be a server, Disney has strict rules that people working directly with guests can't show any tattoos. Julia has a tattoo on her leg that would be visible when she wore her skirt. Therefore, she worked as a bus person. "It was a lot of fun. It's the environment that you really enjoy. There are little girls dressed in princess outfits and you want to make their day," says Julia, who lived in Disney's college student apartments with five other roommates.

On her second internship, Julia worked on Main Street East in various retail positions, including at The Confectionary and the Uptown Jewelers. It was this land of baubles and bows that tapped both her creativity as well as her business sense. "I loved Uptown Jewelers because I'm trying to go into the jewelry business and open my own jewelry store," explains Julia. "I got very good experience there and was one of the top sellers." Julia, who already has friends lined up to help her design jewelry, says she plans to incorporate some ideas she learned at Disney into her own business.

The Disney internship, which pays $6.25 an hour, was not all work. Julia loved the experience of meeting lots of young people, interacting with the Disney characters and, of course, hitting the rides. Her Magic Kingdom favorite? Pirates of the Caribbean.