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Alumna Making Dreams Come True
Alumna making dreams come true in Walt Disney World
By Brittani Tuttle
Students in the School of Communication are always encouraged to follow their dreams and pursue their goals in their careers. They are told to expand upon their skills, persevere and never stop until they achieve something great.
Amanda Riddagh, a 2011 graduate of the Production Technology concentration, is doing just that, except, she is actually in the one place where dreams do come true every day.
Riddagh is currently an Entertainment Technician and the Production Planner for the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. She operates three positions for the Wishes Fireworks Show in the Magic Kingdom, as well as pyrotechnics for various parades. Her success, however, did not come immediately to her.
Riddagh paid her dues from the bottom up by participating in the Disney College Program in 2009 and again in 2011. The Disney College Program is a semester-long internship operated by The Walt Disney Company, in which participants work, and occasionally play, in the parks at Walt Disney World, all while gaining valuable work experience and networking within the company itself.
Riddagh began her climb during her first program in the company’s food service, called Quick Service Food and Beverage. She then moved to Attractions during her program in 2011 while waiting to apply for an Entertainment Technician Internship that was only available to Florida residents at the time.
After about eight months of waiting in a pool of other applicants and two and a half years of working full time in the park, Riddagh was selected for her position in the Magic Kingdom.
“It took a lot of dedication and perseverance but paid off in the long-run,” said Riddagh.
She now has training and experiences that she would never have been able to gain anywhere else, and attributes that to her undergraduate experience at Radford.
“The experience has been a whirlwind,” said Riddagh. “RU definitely helped me gain a well-rounded experience not just inside the classroom but outside. I filmed sports games for RU Athletics, […] I worked in a theater on campus for 3 years […] All of that helped me get my Entertainment Technician job down here.”
Riddagh is just one example of how Radford prepares students for success within the Media Studies program; it can even lead them to magic kingdoms and make their dreams into a reality.