While I was biking home from my first final during my Spring 2017 semester, I received a phone call from a number from Anaheim, California. I thought nothing of it as I continued to bike home. After about an hour of the “post-final-I-might-have-to-retake-this-class” episode, I decided to return the missed call. I had applied for an internship position via email and I
Everyone around me was incredibly passionate
didn’t really think of it in great detail as I know that this company is incredibly prominent and would never select an undergraduate to do an internship with them. Fast forward after the phone call, I was shocked and jittery because I didn’t know what had just happened to me in the past hour. I just got my first internship with none other than Walt Disney Imagineering!
Mind you, I am not a big Disney follower. I did, however; play video games on the classics of my era, as I didn’t really enjoy the movies, such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin just to name a few. But that is the full extent of my Disney knowledge. Within Walt Disney Imagineering, I was under the Disney Research group and what we did was more academia focused where we write papers and patents. Essentially, we are pretty far away from the actual implementation in the parks.
One of the most, if not the most, magical experiences in my life
was not strictly confined to the scope of my job. My boss and I were essentially full-time researchers and part time optics consultants.
Day-to-day work life at the company is amazing, to say the least. Everyone around me was incredibly passionate about the things that they are doing and also many of them are leading scientists or professors in their field. As an intern, work life was also incredible. There are many events for interns such as overnight tours at the parks, lunch meet-ups with other interns, lunch meet-ups with an assigned mentor within the company, “take the day off and go to the park while you are getting paid” day, ping pong tournaments, I can go on and on.
Now that my internship has ended, I am officially a fairly big Disney fan. Trust me it is hard to resist the atmosphere of happy ending movies, the song “Let it Go,” crazy state of the art animations while putting a story behind it, and of course the free admission to the parks as an intern. Trust me it was incredible! Please be weary that I am about to use some face palm worthy clichés. All in all, this summer has been a fairy tale to me. A lot of people might not believe it but it was one of the most, if not the most, magical experiences in my life.
Feibien Cheah is an undergraduate at the University of Arizona studying Optical Engineering with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. Previously, Feibien worked with Pierre Blanche under the CIAN fellowship on 3D heads up displays and optical switches. Currently, he is working with Roger Angel at the Steward Observatory Solar Lab doing research on CPV and off axis interferometer systems.