AJ Pope grew up in Westchester County, New York, where he lived until his early 20’s. While attending Tuckahoe High School, AJ was active in his student body, and took the initiative to make change in various ways. He founded the Italian National Honors Society for his high school, which still continues on today. He also founded “Tuckahoe First,” a student-run organization under the National Honors Society, which aimed to beautify and take care of the school which gave back to them.
AJ graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and a minor in Engineering from Fairfield University in 2018. While studying during his four years, he interned for Make-A-Wish CT and the Walt Disney Company. He was an active student on campus, holding positions in various groups and boards. Some include, Tour Ambassador for the Admissions Department, a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Council for the Dolan School of Business, and Director of Events for Fairfield’s student body government.
In 2017, AJ was promoted to Director of Programs for the Westchester Italian Cultural Center. The largest of it’s kind in the nation, the non-profit aims to keep the Italian culture alive by hosting Italian language courses, cooking classes, lectures, and special events. The Center celebrated it’s 10th anniversary that year, and has grown stronger and bolder ever since, welcoming hundreds of Members from far and wide.
Upon his graduation in May of 2018, AJ pursued his dreams and moved to Florida to work for the Walt Disney Company, where he made magic for thousand’s of Guests every day. Starting out in Entertainment, he was a part of the world-class entertainment sector of Walt Disney World and performed in all 4 parks and resorts. He was 1 of 20 out of 2,600 Cast Members to be selected by management to be cross-trained into Character Attendant while still performing. Guest Relations was the next department AJ moved into, where he learned the basics and complexities of Disney’s standards for customer service. He was then selected to join the newly introduced Guest Experience Team in Magic Kingdom. What was once a “test team,” eventually and successfully rolled out into all 4 parks in Orlando and overseas in Disneyland Paris. New technology, procedures and ideas allowed the team to “make magic” on the fly in the parks, while still providing Disney’s high expectations of customer service. A short time later, AJ was selected to be a Guest Experience Manager in Park Operations of EPCOT. Ensuring the operation of 300+ Cast Members while still interacting with Guests on a daily basis allowed AJ to learn and understand how to balance ensuring the team ran efficiently and effectively, while still interacting with Guests and their needs on a daily basis.
While his time with the Disney Company came to an end due to COVID-19 and it’s restrictions, AJ looks forward to putting his Disney skills and operations experience to use in a way that will benefit a company and its customers.