Meet iSchool alumnus: Dontrail Brinson

Dontrail Brinson graduated from Florida State in 2007 with an Information Technology degree in hand. Seven years later, he works in Burbank, California for the Walt Disney Company as a Technology Analyst.

Dontrail Brinson

The Path to Success

His first internship out of college was for the Walt Disney Company, working for Disney Cruise Line as a business analyst. When his internship ended in 2008, the technology job market was tough and no positions were available. “I took a job inside one of the Disney parks working as a seater for Cinderella’s Royal Table,” he shared. Three months later, he found work with Countrywide Bank as a Systems Analyst. The company was soon bought by Bank of America, jeopardizing his position. “I was told my position could end today or two years from now,” he recalled. Looking for more stability, twenty three year-old Dontrail returned to Disney in the Guest Services Manager training program. After his training, he was placed back at Cinderella’s Royal Table. “At this time, things got so frustrating,” said Brinson. “I still couldn’t find work in the technology realm.”

It was a year and nine months later and Dontrail was still working for Disney when he got a phone call. A friend he met during his Guest Services training remembered Dontrail and offered him a one-year, temp position with Disney’s Labor Operations. For a year, he worked on creating computer commands for Cast Member time clocks inside the parks and resorts. After his year contract ended, he was placed on another year assignment: System Administrator for SAP, fixing defects within the system for the Labor Operations department.

A Different Kind of Success

Dontrail on the film set

It was 2012, five years since graduating, and Dontrail wasn’t doing what he really wanted to do. “I thought I would use another skill I learned at Florida State – acting.” At FSU, he took acting classes to minor in Theatre and competed on the FSU Forensics team for Oral Interpretation. At the end of his Systems Administrator position, he landed a 3-day background role on the film “Frank vs. God” starring Henry Ian Cusick from Lost. While filming in Orlando, he was contacted to interview for another position within Disney – this time with TV and movie studio business in Los Angeles. “This made me really happy because I found a job that dealt with two things I knew about, technology and the film industry.”

On the last day of filming, Dontrail got the job.

California Livin’

Dontrail with John C. Riley at the Wreck It Ralph after party
Dontrail with John C. Riley at the Wreck It Ralph after party

California marked a new journey in life for Dontrail, who has since been promoted to being a project manager, leading a global project for The Walt Disney Company creating a new program for the company that houses information throughout the country. “I finally felt like I was being treated as a team member, rather than a young kid.” Since starting this position he has traveled to Bristle, London, and Paris to help implement the system into the company around the world.

His success at Disney hasn’t stopped his acting ambitions, he’s starred as the main actor in a national USAA Military Insurance commercial and will appear in the EMMY nominated TV show “Shameless” during it’s 5th season.  “I never would have guessed that I would find a job that dealt in the film industry and computer world all in one,” said Brinson. “My job goes from implementing upgrades on computer systems to walking the red carpet with celebrities.”

“Being a Seminole is means so much more than expected. It’s not about whose number 1 in the BCS standings, it’s about building relationships and friendships and taking in those different cultures to better understand life itself,” reflected Brinson. “Most people fight against time, but I believe time is a companion that goes with us on the journey. It reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again.”

Check out Dontrail‘s IMDB or find him on Twitter (DontrailBrinson) or Instagram (@Dontrail_Brinson).