While most students spent last semester in traditional classrooms, one very special ALC student got to experience the “wild” side of life—as in, wildlife! Kestin Howard, the son of Jerome and Reta Howard of Mousie, Kentucky, spent last semester as an intern for Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, where he served as a Kilimanjaro Safari tour guide. In addition to working at the Disney theme park, Kestin was also taking multiple independent study classes through Alice Lloyd College and a Corporate Communications class at Disney University.
To be an intern at Disney, Kestin had to undergo a very strenuous interview process, all beginning with attending a Disney seminar, followed by completing an online application and interview. After making it through the first round of interviews, Kestin then had to complete a phone interview and a cast audition before learning that he had been selected for the program. Kestin’s job as a tour guide at Kilimanjaro Safaris is considered one of the most difficult positions at Disney due to the vast amount of information each safari driver must memorize prior to conducting his or her own tours. However, Kestin’s years of experience with speech and theater came in handy for this particular assignment.
Kestin’s days at Kilimanjaro Safaris brought him into contact with thousands of park visitors and numerous species of animals. Seeing giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, and elephants all became a normal part of life; even when a rhino charged at the safari car, it was all just another’s day work for Kestin! Upon completion of the internship program, Kestin received a set of graduation “ears” from Disney, as well as a diploma for all his hard work.
After returning to campus, Kestin prepared a multimedia presentation for other Alice Lloyd students to learn more about the Disney program and to encourage them to apply. As a senior Business Administration major, learning first-hand how a large company such as Disney operates was invaluable. According to Kestin, the experience was one he will never forget.
Alice Lloyd College is proud of students, such as Kestin, who take initiative and strive to make the most of their college careers. Kestin has certainly taken advantage of all the opportunities which have come his way. He has toured the United States with The Voices of Appalachia (the college choir), participated in the ALC Theater program, supervised younger student workers at WWJD-FM (the campus radio station), maintained outstanding grades, and found time to write and record his debut country music album, My Daddy’s Dream. Kestin is truly one of ALC’s brightest and best students!