Courtesy / Elizabeth Stolz
Grand Valley State University alumna Elizabeth Stolz uses statistics to help make guests’ experiences a lot more magical at Disney Parks and Resorts.
Stolz graduated from GVSU in 2014 with a double major in math and statistics and is currently working as an experience insights senior analyst at Disney Parks and Resorts in Orlando, Fla.
“I take all the data that we can find about our guests and bring it together to get a holistic view of the guest experience,” Stolz said. “We are the eyes and ears for the guests from the business perspective.”
She said that they take that data and analyze it in order to help them predict and describe the guest experience. Stolz is a part of a team that helps improve the experiences of their guests and gives them the best Disney visit possible.
While this is a dream come true for Stolz, she said that when she started at GVSU she had no idea that she would be where she is today working for Disney. Stolz believes that part of the reason Disney hired her was all the opportunities that were presented to her during her time at GVSU.
Stolz said that her activity within the Honors College combined with her work for the writing center and involvement in study abroad programs helped her culminate her skills and passions and gave her the edge she needed to go further in her career.
“Disney is a company of story tellers and I don’t think I would be able to be here if I hadn’t had the awesome communication liberal arts focus that Grand Valley has,” Stolz said. “The fact that Grand Valley is so focused on the undergraduate experience I think is something that is really rare to find.”
She said these opportunities helped her become qualified in what she really wanted to do in her career, which wasn’t just math related, but also had to do with helping people.
“Don’t get hung up on one position that you are going for or one company or one area of the U.S.,” Stolz said. “Focus on what you really like to do and then do stuff that is relevant to that.”
Her advice to students is to take advantage of all the opportunities that GVSU has to offer, as well as office hours with professors, as it is important to build relationships with professors because they really want the best for their students and can help them in the long run.
“Professors are one of the big things that makes Grand Valley stand apart from other big universities,” Stolz said. “The fact that professors can write me very personalized letters of recommendation, I guarantee that is something that helped get me into graduate school and helped me get this job at Disney.”
Stolz said that the journey won’t come easy and that everyone will have to work hard for it, but “as long as you stay true to yourself and do what you like, you will hopefully end up in a position that you love.”