Work at Dollywood can range from a summer gig to a long-term career

J. H. Osborne • Feb 16, 2017 at 1:30 PM

PIGEON FORGE — Whether you have dreams of stardom or are looking for work in a fun environment, your chance could come this weekend as Dollywood holds both auditions for entertainers for the upcoming season as well as a job fair for non-entertainment positions at the theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.

Audtions will be held Saturday and Sunday. A job fair will be held Saturday, with a second job fair scheduled for Feb. 25. Interviews are scheduled in advance. Information on how to sign up can be found below.

Many performers have launched their careers in Dollywood’s world famous shows and productions. Janelle Arthur, an “American Idol” alum, started her career by playing a young Dolly Parton in Paradise Road at Dollywood. She has returned to the park on multiple occasions following her time on “American Idol” to entertain guests. Eric Martsolf, Brady Black on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives,” also spent time on the stages of Dollywood.

While many people might think of Dollywood as only a seasonal employment opportunity, getting your foot in the door with a summer job could lead to a long-term, full-time career with the Dollywood Company.

And it also can help you get through college, not only by offering summer work, but by providing internships in your field of study.

Hannah Grese, a 21-year-old 2013 graduate of Sullivan South from Colonial Heights, will graduate in May with a degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee.

Grese, the daughter of Richard and Rebecca Grese, has worked summer jobs at Dollywood while in college and this semester is completing an internship in Dollywood’s marketing department.

“I chose marketing because I like to talk to people and I knew I wanted to do something in business,” Grese told the Times-News earlier this week. “I feel marketing allows me to express my creativity.”

Last summer Grese applied for two different internships at Dollywood, one at DreamMore and the other at Splash Country. She received offers from both, but chose to go with Splash Country because she knew it would allow her to spend time outside.

“I worked at Splash Country with the merchandise team,” she said. "From day to day, I worked in the retail store at Splash Country helping customers and working at the register. I had peers who would come to me if they needed anything. As an intern, we had summer classes once a week to go over different leadership possibilities within the company and speak with company leaders about their career paths. I also had a summer project which I had to present to the senior leadership team about insights into what we could do to better support our guests’ needs.”

Grese said she encourages others to consider the opportunities of working at Dollywood.

“I have learned a lot about not only the working environment of a company, but the people I’ve met here have helped me grow and learn,” she said. “There are a lot of great people who work here, it’s a fun summer job and I know I’ve made a number of contacts who can help me in the future. Being able to say you’ve worked at Dollywood is a great way to start a conversation, and to have it as a resume builder is a big plus. I’ve really learned so many great things that will help in the future, and I’ve made a lot of great friends along the way.”

Dollywood employees receive a variety of unique benefits including access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, along with complimentary Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country admission for family and friends as well as various community-wide incentives. A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, also is available for qualified full-time employees.

“There really are a number of great benefits to working at Dollywood,” Grese said. “If you do apply and get a job here, be sure to take advantage of the perks. We get free admission to a lot of area attractions and that is awesome. I even get them when I’m home at the Barter Theater. Because of that, I was able to take my mom to see ‘Mamma Mia’ last summer when I was home.”

Non-entertainment job openings include positions for the entire length of the 2017 operating season, as well as shorter peak season openings which are perfect for applicants looking for a fun summer job. Applicants must be 15 years of age or older.

Positions are available on several teams, including opportunities in Dollywood’s fast-paced food and ride operations. Among the openings at Dollywood’s Splash Country are lifeguard and food service positions. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa also has a number of openings available including cooks, waiters and housekeeping positions.

Interested applicants may view opportunities, as well as job descriptions and basic requirements for each position, at dollywoodjobs.com. Applicants must signify their interest in a position by following the online instructions to complete the process. Applicants are encouraged to apply online first. They will be contacted to schedule an interview following the completion of their online application. If unable to apply online, applicants may call (865) 428-3386 to arrange an interview time.

The Feb. 18 job fair takes place at Sevier County High School from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., while the Feb. 25 job fair is at Pathways Church, Sevierville Campus from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

On Feb. 18 and 19, registration for entertainment audtions begins at 9 a.m. each morning. Auditions are from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Performers must be at least 17 years old.

“We have an impressive level of quality talent at Dollywood,” said Paige Bales, Dollywood entertainment director. “Each year we challenge ourselves to continue our high standard of entertainment, and it all begins with the people we are able to find at each of our auditions. We’ve helped a number of entertainers launch great careers and we’re excited to see who we’ll discover next.”

During the open call auditions, Dollywood Entertainment is looking for singers with experience in country, musical theater or pop. The auditions are only for singers or singers who move. An audition call for small, roving bluegrass groups takes place at the Feb. 19 Dollywood audition only.

Additional details and audition requirements can be found at www.DollywoodAuditions.com.

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