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Juliana's CA Trip

20 Miles of Walking: Steps into Lifelong Relationships

As I sat with my team, ready to recap my whirlwind week, I glanced down at my watch and noticed that I had walked over 20 miles while on my trip. I mentioned this to my colleague Cindy, who was sitting next to me, and she couldn’t believe it. “Wow!” she exclaimed. “You know…it doesn’t even feel like we worked at all this week. We’ve been out of the office all week attending events, and meeting all these people…”

I paused and considered what she said. “You’re right, but it’s just a different kind of work. It’s just as important.”

Although I travel to California often, this time was different. I spent most of my time traveling around Burbank and Glendale, with an after hours midnight soiree at Pixar Pier, visiting with my friends and colleagues within Disney. I should disclose that although I promise this wasn’t planned, the fact that I was going to be in town for quite a few key events made for a very exciting week–especially because if you know me, you know I love events!

To kick off my week, I joined my colleagues from Mas+ and Voces Business Resource Groups (BRG) for a few of their Hispanic Heritage Month events. The next day, Cindy and I had the privilege to see a “Trans Can Work” panel, where we gained valuable insight into how to create an inclusive environment for transgender people in the workplace. Our next event was near and dear to my heart; we had the opportunity to attend an executive panel featuring executives from ABC who discussed how they approach developing Hispanic/Latino content by with the Hispanic/Latino community in mind.

As a fellow Latina, ally of the LGBTQ community, and a leader of the Walt Disney World Diversity Resource Group, HOLA, it was great to experience the partnership, camaraderie and support amongst the cast members and employees within the corporate community. Having the opportunity to build those relationships and to see and live the passion for the Diversity and Inclusion work, truly inspired me to continue to push forward and to continue to offer learning and engagement opportunities such as these for our cast members at Walt Disney World Resort.

A few days later, as part of a new relationship with the College Program team in Anaheim, I was invited to their “Mid-Year College Program Celebration” at Disney’s California Adventure Park. And this event easily was the most fun…I really felt like I got the royal treatment. It was night of rides, characters, dancing, and yes, you got it—churros! Amidst all of the fun, connecting with my new friends from the College Program was the best treat. Standing on Pixar Pier with the group of new cast members, reflecting on everything I saw and heard made me so proud to work for this company.

As someone who has been with Disney for over 10 years, sometimes I can lose sight of what makes this such a magical place to work; I know it was just one week and a few miles, but being able to have these experiences and build on these relationships while learning and being inspired by them makes me realize just how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to work for such an amazing company. The passion, excitement, and dedication that our cast members have for the work they do and the people they serve, is indeed what makes this organization one of a kind and is what motivates me to want to continue to build on that today and for years to come.