As far as amazing part time jobs go, this one goes beyond our wildest dreams.
Maximum Pop! recently caught up with YouTuber Jess Medley. She’s a 21-year-old student who is currently studying a BFA in Musical Theatre and, up until recently, had the most magical part time job ever.
Imagine spending your Saturdays selling Bertie Bott’s in Honeydukes or helping young wizards choose their wands in Ollivander Originals.
That’s right, Jess worked at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios in Orlando – call us Slytherin because we’re seriously green with envy.
Jess recently left the park to focus full-time on her studies and as gutted as we are for her, it did give us the opportunity to find out more about what it was like working at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
We asked her what the most surprisingly thing is about working at the park and whether she had any tips for others who want to work there.
Here’s what Jess had to say…
Hi Jess! Always lovely to meet a fellow wizard. Could you introduce yourself?
Hey guys! My name is Jess and I’m a 21-year old student living in Orlando. I study Musical Theatre at university, have a beta fish named Poseido, and I love making Youtube videos. I started my channel a long, long time ago, but really decided to start taking it seriously and upload consistently last winter. My channel consists mainly of vlogs, music covers, and sit-down videos about anything from veganism to my time working at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
What Hogwarts House are you?
Lately, I’ve seen myself as a Ravenclaw. I value creativity, individuality, and knowledge as very important, and so I see myself as a part of that house. However, my friends are dead-set on calling me a Hufflepuff, so I guess it just depends on who you ask!
So how did you get a job at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
It was really on a whim that I applied actually. Universal Orlando was only about 30 minutes away from where I was living at the time, so I thought, why not? I applied online for a merchandise position at like 2am on a Saturday night. The next day I was emailed about coming in for an interview and went in a few days later. The first interview was mainly about the merchandise position in general, but at the end the man interviewing me asked “So do you know anything about Harry Potter?”. And after a second interview, including a trivia quiz about the books, I had been hired in Hogsmeade at the store Dervish and Banges!
BEST. JOB. EVER What kinds of jobs did you do there?
Being in the merchandise department of the Wizarding World was really cool because I got to work at all of the stores in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley if I wanted. I got to help guests pick out their wands, fit their robes for them, and of course discuss anything magical that they were interested in hearing about!
What was your favourite place to work?
I loved helping the guests choose their wands because all of the Ollivander Originals wands have a specific wood type that is matched to a set of dates and people would get so excited when I’d show them their “birthday wand”. I was also able to help them figure out how to do their first spells at the window outside our store and watching their smiles as they cast their first spell truly was a magical feeling.
If you could pick one truly magical, out of this world, memory of your time there, what would it be?
I loved when I got to talk to guests who really loved the stories as much as I did! The Harry Potter Celebration was my favourite time of the year because for three straight days, guests came dressed up in all of these amazing cosplays that most had made themselves. It is such a magical time in the park and everyone was all nerding-out together.
Speaking of nerding-out, how important are the Harry Potter books/films to you?
I grew up reading the books and watching the movies, so they’ve been a huge part of my life for a long time. I’ve definitely learnt that friendship is so so important and being able to rely on others is so integral in having a healthy and happy life. I’ve also learned that magic can exist anywhere, you may just need to step outside of your comfort zone to discover it.
110% agree with you there. We’ve gotta ask… Did you meet any celebrities whilst working at the parks? Did Dan, Rupert or Emma ever pop in for some Bertie Botts or have a craving for a Chocolate Frog?
I got to meet Steven Tyler from Aerosmith one day while working, but I never did get to meet any of the Harry Potter actors, sadly enough.
Boo. If you could meet any of the Harry Potter actors, though, who would it be?
Definitely Evanna Lynch! Luna was always my favorite character and I always felt most like her growing up. Evanna is also huge advocate for animals rights, and being vegan myself, I think we’d have a lot to talk about!
And if you could go for a Butterbeer with either J.K. Rowling or Daniel Radcliffe, who would you pick?
Oh my gosh, I guess I’d have to say Daniel Radcliffe. As an actor myself, I think it’d be cool to get that perspective from someone who has been so immersed in that industry for so long while still being able to talk Potter things.
Great choice. What’s one thing that would surprise people about working at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter?
I think a lot of people think that the magic is ruined when you work at a place like Universal or Disney. I can assure you though, that there was so much more magic created by working there than any amount of visits I could take. When I go and visit now, I get to see all of my friends working around the park and having fun, and it reminds of what a magical time I had working there!
And lastly, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to work at the park?
Go for it! If you do really want to work here, there are many opportunities available! Just know that you’ll probably need to move to Florida, and it’s pretty hot here! But if you can’t uproot your life, visiting once in a while is such a great experience as well!
Someone book us a plane ticket ASAP. Orlando here we come! Would you like to work at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Let us know in the comments below.