What makes something good? What makes something great? For Brittany Conrad, that’s the question at the heart of her work in customer service at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Conrad, a 2015 UNI graduate, is one of our local success stories and the perfect example of how the Gallagher Bluedorn provides experiences that offer transferable skills.
Conrad worked as a house manager for Event Management Director Chris Kremer. Kremer says one thing Gallagher Bluedorn prides itself on is providing students with a chance to handle large responsibility in their work, while developing real-world, applicable skills.
“We know that not all of our students will work in a performing arts center – certainly some of them will, but we also know that all of them will be in the customer service business in some form and many of them will become top level staff in the hospitality industry,” said Chris Kremer. “Not everyone knows the turns their career will take, so our job is to prepare them and help them stay open to all possibilities.”
Being in the customer service business is what sparked Conrad’s present interest in the event industry.
“I’m a restaurant manager now and it relates to what I do day to day working with people and the dynamics between them,” Conrad said. “I think the biggest thing was being able to practice delegating and handling high adrenaline situations competently. I loved having the variety of events including school events and celebrities. I enjoyed the dynamics of the different age groups such as the Kaleidoscope series with all the kids and ushers.”
Conrad said she enjoyed working with her student team and has maintained long term connections with her friends and colleagues from the Gallagher Bluedorn.
Conrad participated in the Disney college program in Anaheim out of high school, and a similar program at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in food and beverage management after graduating from UNI.
During that time, she also got experience in outside vending at Hollywood Studios. Once the internship ended, she was hired permanently and took a restaurant position at Hollywood Studios, where she was then promoted to a manager in the Animal Kingdom. She’s been there for three years and has already worked in three of the four parks at Walt Disney World.
She isn’t sure where she’s headed next, but Conrad knows that her customer service experiences from Gallagher Bluedorn have laid a great foundation for her current success.
Written by Margaret Empie