Love of Disney Leads to a CareerJason Van Dyn Hoven ’10 grew up loving Disney. He was just three years old when he first set foot in that magical world, and estimates 30 visits throughout his childhood.
What’s the result of having that much Disney on the mind? You set your sights on working there.
Van Dyn Hoven says he always knew he wanted to work for the Walt Disney Corporation and “see for myself what it was like.” His older sister participated in the Disney College Program so, during his junior year at St. Norbert, Van Dyn Hoven took the opportunity to do the same. For one semester, he worked in Monorail Operations in Orlando, Fla. He took advantage of networking events while there and was able to stay with Disney as a campus representative when he returned to De Pere.
Still a cast member, Van Dyn Hoven was able to transfer back to Orlando after graduation and begin full time with Disney.
Now a guest talent coordinator with Disney Performing Arts, Van Dyn Hoven’s passion for Disney hasn’t wavered. With an office in Epcot Center, one of the perks of his job is that he can see the parks whenever he wants; He often experiences new attractions and changes in the parks as they unfold. He says, “The environment and experience working at Disney is so unique that I don’t know if I could see myself working anywhere else.”
Growing up, his fascination with Disney centered mostly on its characters and movies, with Goofy, the beloved toothy dog, as his favorite. Now, though, Van Dyn Hoven’s excitement is more about understanding the philosophy behind why Disney does what they do and meeting people from all over the world. “Every day is different,” he says. “You never know what to expect!”
One thing he did expect, however, is that his family would visit. His parents and sister are annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members, so they still come to Disney two or three times a year. His 20-month-old nephew, Collin, is about to make his eighth trip.
Come September 2014, the family will have another reason to visit. Van Dyn Hoven is getting married to fiancée Brittany Walls. Guess what? It’ll be a Disney wedding.
Feb. 4, 2014