Located within the heart of Central Florida, Orlando is at the center of this state's tourism industry. While many would think that the paradise beaches of the Gulf Coast, or the brash and bold urban panache of Miami's South Beach would be the top draw of visits to the Sunshine State, it is this interior city that attracts throngs of families each year to its vast array of amusement parks.
From the moment Walt Disney made the fateful decision to locate the theme park of his dreams here, growth in this urban area has often been exponential, causing the population of this former orange growing town to skyrocket to around 2.1 million in the present day.
While you might expect this place to be a bit straight-laced and crawling with little kids, most parks are located at the outskirts of O-Town, leaving the remainder of the city for those that prefer more mature pursuits. While the internships you seek here may be centered around family-based attractions, it's great to know that you have an urbane city in which to live it up after the day's work has concluded.
What’s Orlando like?
Orlando was originally much like the rest of Central Florida – studded with innumerable lakes and swamps. Aggressive terraforming and land reclamation have created much of the city that exists today, but many bodies of water like the stunning Lake Eola still remain. The land is almost perfectly flat, making the task of getting around O-Town via bike an easy one, in spite of occasionally aggressive traffic.
The weather here makes Orlando a very agreeable place to be in the winter, with day time highs hanging around the low 70's on average. Despite its southerly position relative to the rest of the United States, it is not fully tropical though, as occasional invasions of arctic air can plunge morning lows perilously close to the freezing mark on a handful of days per year.
Summers are a different matter entirely, as the average daily maximum flirts with 90, with a heat index pushing past 100 on many days. When you select your apartment or home in the Orlando area after landing your internship, ensure that it comes with an air conditioning unit, and that it is in good working order, as you don't want to be left suffering in a puddle of your own sweat come July!
Orlando's economy is dominated by two sectors: tourism, which everyone knows about due to the presence of Walt Disney World here, and manufacturing, which is mainly focused around supplying the military. Lockheed Martin is the primary employer in this area, while other manufacturers that do similar work in the defense manufacturing industry include General Dynamics and Raytheon Systems.
What kinds of internships are available in Orlando?
Being one of the Goliaths in the American entertainment and tourism industries, there is a wide variety of internships that the Walt Disney Company offers applicants. Internships for highly specific fields like digital animation, tourism and hospitality, and creative positions relating to stage production can be found alongside placements for more common fields like sales, marketing, and other business functions (HR/accounting/biz development/etc).
Those looking to kickstart a career in industrial or software engineering will find what they are looking for at Lockheed Martin, as they offer many opportunities to shape your academic knowledge into real world skills in a highly professional environment.
How to find internships in Orlando
While getting an internship with the Walt Disney Company might seem to be child's play at first glance, this highly profitable corporation didn't get that way by happenstance. Walt Disney values applicants that are mature, detail-orientated, and innovative, all while carrying themselves with an attitude of lighthearted optimism.
If you can communicate this through your prior experiences, it will improve your chances of getting to the interview stage of the hiring process. For those seeking ground level contact with the paying customer, past volunteer and employment experience that had you working with kids and families will help a great deal as well.
Lockheed Martin is another massively successful American corporation, and as such, it has a fine-tuned hiring process. They use filtering mechanisms that screen applications for keywords and typos, so be vigilant in insuring that your submission is relevant to the position that you are applying for, and is free of spelling errors.
Interviews for many candidates involve multiple rounds and can last for hours. Prepare by anticipating questions that they will ask, and come up with creative answers to the sample problems that they will pose to you.
For coders, you may have to solve a programming error on a whiteboard, and engineers may be asked how they would fix an efficiency or injury problem on the assembly line. By realizing this, you will fare better than others jumping through the same hoops as you, which will improve your chances of getting a/the position.