March 3, 2016
On February 19, I finally received the life-changing email that I have been waiting a year and a half for! This was my third time applying to the Disney College Program and I was finally accepted!
For those who are unaware, the Disney College Program is an internship for college students to work at the Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. One can apply to work during:
Spring Semester: Jan-May
*Spring Advantage: Jan-Aug
*Fall Advantage: May – Jan
Fall: Aug- Jan
*Advantage just means you work the summer as well as the semester you applied for
I got accepted to be a lifeguard this Fall 2016 semester at the Walt Disney World Resort. However, I don’t know where my work location will be until our check in day on August 8 when I make my move to Orlando, Florida!
In addition to working for one of the best companies in the world, you also have the opportunity to take classes with Disney through Disney University. Whether or not these classes count as credits or towards your degree is up to your home institution; however, they are sure to contribute to your professional and academic growth regardless.
The Application Process:
1. Fill out an application online @ http://cp.disneycareers.com/en/default/ and click the big green button that says “APPLY!”
2. If you get passed this first online application part, you’ll be asked to take a WBI (web-based interview). If you aren’t asked to take a WBI, you may have been NLIC’d (No Longer In Consideration), or may be put in submission. What is submission? Submission means that they have reviewed your application, but have not chosen to move you forward with the application process just yet. The first time I applied, I was placed in submission for an entire month before I received my WBI and then phone interview. The second time I applied, I was placed in submission for a long time, then NLIC’d.
3. Web-Based Interview (WBI): The WBI is basically like an online personality test to see if you’re compatible and the right candidate for Disney. There are three parts to the WBI with some parts being timed. They’ll ask you questions where you may have to pick “strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree”to questions either pertaining to yourself or a situational question. **TIP**: Try to ALWAYS choose either strongly agree or strongly disagree. It really does help… It looks better when you have a firm stance on something. Be honest, but also.. remember who you’re applying to work for. If they ask you to answer on something like: “I’m always late”, it probably wouldn’t be in your best interest to put “strongly agree”, even if you are. No employer is going to hire a person who is never on time, and sure as hell not the Walt Disney Company. You can fix your irresponsible ways before you get to Disney. You will be notified right after your WBI is complete whether or not you have passed and will be able to move onto a phone interview.
4. Phone Interview: You’ll receive an email shortly after passing the WBI that requests for you to schedule a time for your phone interview with a Disney recruiter. Give yourself enough time to maybe look up some sample interview questions, or to do some soul searching within yourself and figure out why you are so passionate about wanting to do this program. *** FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE BE YOURSELF *** Let your personality shine through! Smile on the phone, it really makes a difference. Remember your recruiters name when they first say it on the phone and refer back to it. Prepare questions to ask your recruiter at the end of the interview. During this past interview, I prepared like 5-7 questions to ask my recruiter. Pick original questions too, things you might be genuinely interested to know! Not the generic: “Why did YOU choose to do the Disney College Program?” Yeah, you can ask that.. I did.. but follow up with some interesting ones too.
A couple of the questions I asked was:
Did you create any life-long friendships or relationships during your program with people you still know today? What advice would you give to an accepted CP about the program? What was your most challenging guest interaction you had working for Disney and how did you handle it? Have you ever been to any international Disney Parks and what was your favorite? What was YOUR most magical moment in the parks?
Kind of interview them back. They’ll ask you things during your interview like: “How would you make a guest’s day magical? How would you deal with this challenging situation?” After you answer, take the time to ask them those same questions because they’ve already dealt with those situations first hand. Be personable and stand out. This is your time to connect and kind of get to know your recruiter.
There’s blogs and blogs and videos and videos all over the internet pertaining on how to prepare for your DCP Phone Interview. You can refer to all of those if you’re still concerned, but for your own best interest, relax and don’t over prepare. And if you write notes, DO NOT READ OFF THEM during your interview. You’re a human being, not a robot. Don’t be weird.
5. The Waiting Game: This is the worst part of the entire process. You’ve completed the online application, passed your WBI, and completed your phone interview. Your fate rests in the hands of the Disney Gods (a.k.a. your recruiter). I waited over a month after my phone interview to hear back about an acceptance or not, but some people may hear back just a couple days after their phone interviews. There’s really no logic to it.
6. Acceptance, Pending, or NLIC email: You’ve finally received an email saying “Congratulations!”, letting you know you’ve been accepted to work at the Happiest Place on Earth! Or, you may have received the pending email. Pending isn’t bad at all! It just means that they just need a little more time to decide about your acceptance. Or, you may have received the dreaded NLIC email, letting you know that you haven’t been accepted. If you received the latter, I promise you it’s not the end of the world. I received the NLIC email twice, and I know what a disappoint it is when all your hopes and dreams come crumbling down around you. However, I want you to know that everything happens for a reason. There is a reason you weren’t accepted to the Disney College Program just yet. For example, the second time I applied, I didn’t even get a WBI before I was NLIC’d. However, if I never would have been NLIC’d, I never would have applied to volunteer abroad in China and have the most life-changing semester of my entire life. I was supposed to go to China. I was supposed to grow, change, become a new person, and experience all that I did while I was living in Asia. I wouldn’t have had that experience had I gotten into Disney for that semester instead. I wouldn’t trade my time in China for anything. It was truly the best four months of my entire life and I have a NLIC email to thank for that. If you receive that email, know it’s because at this current time in your life, something better is waiting for you. You may not understand it just yet, but you’ll see it in the future for sure.
There you have the Disney College Program Application Process. It’s a roller coaster of emotions, no doubt. Here is the time frame of my most current application process:
Applied: Jan 12
WBI: Jan 12
Phone Interview: Jan 17
Acceptance: Feb 19
I received my acceptance over two weeks ago and it still doesn’t feel real that in 5 months, I’ll be moving across the country from Arizona, to Florida, and working for The Walt Disney Company! Growing up with Disney and making annual family vacations there makes it even more surreal that I’m finally going to be apart of such an important contribution of my childhood happiness. Even now at 20 years old, I can’t go to Disney without butterflies in my tummy and my heart dancing! The feeling you get when walking down Mainstreet USA is indescribable.
I’ve been accepted for the Fall program and knowing I’ll be spending my favorite season of the year at the Happiest Place on Earth is almost too overwhelming! In September and October the parks will be decked out in Halloween decor, and in November and December, Christmas decorations will make a complete take-over! I’ll be spending Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and my 21st birthday down in Disney World! The Epcot Wine & Food Festival takes place from September-November, and since I turn 21 in October, I can’t wait to eat and drink my way around the world during the festival. Signing up to do another Run Disney half-marathon doesn’t sound like a bad idea either.
The new adventure I’ll be taking part in is unreal, and I can’t wait for all the experiences I’ll go through, the personal and professional growth of mine that will take place, and all the amazing new friends I’ll make! I will continue blogging about my DCP experience on here, just as I did during my time in China, so if you’re interested in following along, click follow at the bottom of my page!
SEE YA REAL SOON!