The Drive Behind the Dream

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Photo courtesy of Alyse Goodwin

Published on April 10, 2017, at 8:22 a.m.
by Tristen Gell.

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney 

The Walt Disney Company teaches children to dream big. From a young age, Alyse Goodwin had a dream to work for Disney. Through her courage, hard work and drive, Goodwin made this dream a reality.

“As a child, I loved Disney movies and going to the Disney Store,” Goodwin said. “I knew I wanted to work in public relations in the entertainment industry. When I took part in the Disney College Program my sophomore year of college, I fell in love with the company and culture.”

Goodwin is the current manager of technology within Walt Disney Attractions Technology at The Walt Disney World Resort. This role involves a variety of responsibilities, and each day provides new and exciting tasks.

“One thing I love about my job is that each day varies,” Goodwin said. “My main role is to strategically develop and manage the portfolio of projects for marketing and sales within the company. My team executes the planning and delivery of those projects.”

Goodwin is no stranger to a full schedule. From her college days at The University of Alabama to her current professional career, she has always involved herself in anything and everything her schedule could handle. Alyse was highly involved with campus activities and university organizations while a full-time student at UA.

“I was the public relations chair for Ad Team, assistant to the director of fine arts for The Ferguson Center, an intern with media relations, PR participant in the student-run firm — Capstone Agency, external public relations chair for PRSSA and I was a part of the University Honors Program,” Goodwin said.

Photo courtesy of Alyse Goodwin

Bill Gonzenbach, advertising and public relations professor at The University of Alabama, spoke on Goodwin’s hard work and leadership qualities as a student and as a professional.

“Alyse represents the very best leadership qualities instilled by The University of Alabama and our advertising and public relations department,” Gonzenbach said. “She believes in hard work, she is relentless until she achieves excellence, she is a catalyst for teamwork and unity, and she is loyal to her friends. These traits have been the foundation of her outstanding success at UA and at Disney.”

The transition from student to professional can sometimes be a confusing one. Oftentimes students don’t feel ready for the “real” world, and it can be tough making new, life-changing choices. For Alyse, internships were the solution.

“It’s definitely different, but internships help you understand what the working world is like,” Goodwin said. “Students should be prepared to rely more on their team members versus always depending on themselves, and focusing on continuously enhancing that dynamic.”

Internships are the step toward a professional career that can be daunting for students. Students often ask the question, “How many internships will it take to land my dream job?” However, the magic number may not exist. What is important to look for in an internship is the reputation of the company.

Photo courtesy of Alyse Goodwin

“I did about nine internships, and each one was helpful,” Goodwin said. “Each internship landed me the next opportunity, so they were all important. However, I’d say if you can get an internship with a well-recognized company on your résumé, that will always help you stand out the most.”

Goodwin should be a role model for all students. She had a dream, she worked hard and she made her dream a reality. Behind each dreamer is a motivator. For Alyse, her biggest motivator through every stage of life was her mother.

“I grew up as an only child with a single mom who worked multiple jobs to give me the most opportunities and best life possible,” Goodwin said. “A lot of my drive comes from wanting to make her proud. She always encouraged me, and even when I doubted myself, she told me there was nothing I couldn’t do.”

Students studying public relations and other majors should be inspired by Goodwin. An important lesson to learn is to work hard no matter what stage of life you are in. Goodwin said her biggest piece of advice for students is to love where you work.

“Learn the culture of where you work so you can be successful with integrating into it, and in the long term, make sure the culture is a good fit as well as the company,” Goodwin said. “To be happy, you need to love where you work, what you do and what it’s for.”

Dream big, work hard and succeed.

Photo courtesy of Alyse Goodwin

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