Andy’s Disney College Program Experience… Part One
Guest Author: Andy Sorenson
Working for Disney was something I had always wanted to do, ever since I was a kid. I loved the parks and I knew I wanted in the magic. What made this dream possible was the Disney College Program. If you don’t know what the College Program is, it is an internship opportunity for college students to be a Disney Cast Member for a period of time approximately 5 to 6 months, with some participants going as long as a year.
As I mentioned before, working for Disney was something I had always wanted to do. Bethany Lutheran College, where I go to school, also made it a possibility by requiring students in my major (Communication) to do an unpaid internship for a semester. Although Disney does pay the Cast Members, I was able to get credit for my time at Disney because my college had determined that my pay would cover living expenses. In addition to getting credit for my internship, I also got credit for taking a class through Disney on corporate communication.
Applying for the College Program is a four step process. First, you fill out a typical job application asking such things as your name, job history, and so on. After you submit that to Disney, you take something called a web-based interview which can be best described as a personality test. At this point, Disney can either say “Thanks for applying, but you won’t be a good fit”, or they’ll ask to set up the third step, which is the phone interview.
I remember how nervous I was for my phone interview! I was sitting in a study room in the college library with my girlfriend when my phone started vibrating, which startled me. However, these feelings were quickly put at ease when I started talking to the interviewer. My best advice for the interview is simply let your enthusiasm for Disney and the parks shine in your answers. At least in my case, my interviewer picked up on this and we talked about different aspects about the resort and all things Disney during the interview.
The fourth and final part is definitely the hardest, which is the waiting to see if you get into the program. Disney has three areas they can put you in: They can either accept you or deny you outright, or you can be “Pended” which means you have to wait even longer to find out your decision! The time you have to wait is varied; from what I understood, I was on the shorter end and waited a week and a half between my interview and my acceptance. On the other side of the spectrum, I had a friend who was pended over a month before finding out he didn’t make it into the program. Stay tuned, because in part two of my series, I’ll talk about how I found out I was accepted and my reaction, how I met my roommates, and the role I had at Disney.
The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel“