Disney Imagineer says richness of time at UA made career possible10/31/2013
Mike Honeck arrived as a freshman on The University of Akron campus ready to learn — about everything!
Initially, the Buckingham Scholar majored in engineering, then explored other majors before choosing business as a career that applied across his many interests.
During his years at UA, Honeck was involved in several organizations and activities, from Emerging Leaders to Z-TV, where he learned to feel at ease on camera. He, along with several other students, even founded an organization. Akron Film+Pixel, a nonprofit that brings creative people together and exhibits innovative work, is today based at the Akron Art Museum.
"My major was secondary in my life," says Honeck. "What was more important to me was learning the things I was interested in. I did well in the classes, I wanted to do well in the classes, but I also made sure that I explored all the other avenues that interested me. As a result, I have a deep, specific skill set, and then a wide variety of interests and skills that make me valuable to an organization."
By the time he graduated from UA, Honeck's Akron Experience had shown him that his true passion was working in the creative side of the entertainment industry. So, he headed to Carnegie Mellon University to earn a Master of Entertainment Technology degree.
Now, as a Walt Disney Imagineer, he draws on his business acumen to lead projects, and manage budgets and schedules, and his creative side to work with artists and writers, and bring new ideas to life.
"I can honestly say that working at Imagineering is always satisfying, always challenging — in a good way, and the people are wonderful," says Honeck who works in research and development — the wing of Imagineering tasked with looking far into the future. "It’s really just as good, if not better, than what I imagined it to be when I was a 12-year-old at Walt Disney World."
My Akron Experience
"Literally, every interest I had I could pursue here."
The Honors College
“I was able to build the education that interested me.”
“I see fear as a place where I found a deficiency I can work on, and hopefully, eliminate.”
Life Outside the Classroom
"Outside the classroom is where the majority of college happens."
"We develop the tools, techniques and technologies that are going to be interesting to people 10 to 15 years out."
About this series
As incoming Honors College students prepared to start their first year on the UA campus, they received sparks of inspiration from four honors alumni — all recent College of Business Administration graduates — who became more than their majors and found success on their chosen paths.
The four, who had all been all Buckingham Scholars, were brought to campus through the Honors Leadership Summit, which is a program hosted by the Institute for Leadership Advancement within the CBA. The institute, established in 2012 by a $1 million gift from The J.M. Smucker Company, promotes the development of leaders with the unique combination of knowledge, skills and principles needed to make an impact on their organizations early in their careers.
The alumni that returned to inspire, one each week, were:
- Aniqa Feerasta, Amazon;
- Mike Honeck, Walt Disney Imagineer;
- Michael Modon, Google; and
- Jessica Custer, MBAs Without Borders.
Capping off the series as keynote speaker was Richard Smucker, CEO of his family's company. He spoke about wise and ethical leadership.
In wide-ranging interviews before their presentations, each graduate talked about the value of his or her UA education. From mentors to motivations, from goal setting to overcoming fear, from campus involvement to studying abroad, each shaped an Akron Experience that made them ready for everything that has followed.
In this issue
Homecoming is Saturday, Oct. 4
Alumni deal of $10 gets you a general admission seat in section 109, along with a voucher for a hot dog and a 24-ounce drink!
Vote for Zippy to become the Capital One Mascot of the Year (again!)
Zippy, the 2007 national champ, is vying for the 2014 title.
The Investiture of President Scott L. Scarborough
President Scarborough was installed as our 16th president in a modern ceremony
Free service helps you update voter registration
TurboVote and UA have partnered to make registering and updating voter information for local, state and Presidential elections easy.
2014-15 UA Forum Speakers announced
This year's speakers include Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black; broadcast journalist Jane Pauley; and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Putting a name on history
The psychology archives — launched in 1965 at UA – have a bright future thanks to a $3.5 million gift from Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings, for whom the Center for the History of Psychology has been renamed.
Entering class earns high marks for preparedness
They have the highest GPA in University history and a record number of Honors students.
Also seeAkron home Alumni news Zips on Walkabout
The University of Akron Alumni Association The Roo Crew
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