Every year, January 23 marks the global observance day for International Day of Education, and at Disney Institute, we’re thrilled to be celebrating this year’s calendar milestone all week. Our amazing team of content creators, facilitators and engagement managers continuously bring Disney’s special brand of magic to life across the world as we showcase how to implement our time-tested practices in employee engagement, quality service and leadership excellence within other workplaces. Whether it’s individuals, teams, or entire organizations, our teams help professionals adapt and apply our business insights to improve their own customer and employee experiences.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with two of the incredible experts on the team – who both began their career as educators and teachers – about what education means to them in their respective roles and how their passions for learning propelled them in their careers at Disney and more.
Dawn Kintigh is a senior content specialist who has been with the company for more than a decade and has held various roles within Disney Institute as an instructional designer, writer, editor and one of our lead content developers. Dawn said that meaningful work is important to her, and her team provides that. “Education is the foundation of my role. We create and deliver meaningful content to help businesses all over the world improve the lives of employees and those who lead them.”
Disney Institute offers ongoing professional development courses, learning events for private groups, and advisory services for entire organizations. Spanning a wide variety of industries and disciplines, the team has served thousands of clients and millions of professionals over the past 35 years in more than 45 countries.
Dawn says, “As a creator and editor of learning materials, it is all about our participants and the insights that we can share with them to improve their organizations, based on best practices we have learned over time through our subject-matter experts, processes, and research.”
Of the thousands of learning opportunities she has helped lead and produce, she loves being involved in Veteran’s Institute Summit, which was created to inspire business professionals and organizations to create their own military veteran hiring programs using insights from The Walt Disney Company’s Heroes Work Here initiative and working on Customer Experience Summits.
Christopher Fults, a Disney Institute facilitator who originally began his career teaching middle school English Language Arts in Tennessee, said that getting to work with professionals to highlight how Disney continues to deliver exceptional experiences is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a dream come true. “We are incredibly intentional with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind our work. To see the ‘light bulb’ or ‘a-ha!’ moment in others is inspiring.”
So what does education mean to him? “It means meeting the participants where they are at and delivering content in a way that is impactful and useful for them. It is my goal to deliver a high-energy and engaging program for every participant,” he says.
When asked about what the key Disney differences are when it comes to teaching new clients or professionals about our work and best practices, he says “we learn from the past 100 years and use these lessons in our content. We are not asking nor suggesting that anyone copies us at Disney, rather, we hope that our examples of best practices help lead to incremental changes that they adapt and apply to enhance their operations over time.”
Together, both Dawn and Christopher say that their favorite part of their roles is working in a place that feels like a big family. Christopher said, “each member of the delivery team brings a new idea, approach, or insight into the program made up of their own experiences. It is truly a collaborative space where we are given the ability to tell stories and create connections with our participants in an authentic and impactful way like no one else does.”