For those who don’t know, the Disney College Program is an amazing opportunity for all students. During this program, you work at Disney World as a full-time cast member and have the opportunity to take special Disney classes as well as Clemson classes. I knew this was something I wanted to do, so I decided to apply for the spring of my sophomore year. I must have had some magic pixie dust with me because I got into the program! For those of you hoping to apply for the program in the future, here's what to expect!
Step 1: Is this right for you?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself. Can you be away from family/friends for 4-6 months? Should you apply for the normal program or advantage program (advantage includes the summer)? Is this something you really want to do? If so, what jobs would you be open to doing? There are 21 potential roles you could be put into, and there are over 30 places you could potentially be placed! There are so many things to think about before even starting the process.
Step 2: Talk to your advisor
If you decide this is something you definitely want to do, talk to your advisor. Clemson is fantastic and lets you sign up for 12 communications credits while at the Disney College Program (which is only one class shy of a comm minor!) So if a comm minor is something you'd be willing to pursue – and it wouldn't throw you off track for you major – this is definitely something you should do!
Step 3: Apply
The application for Fall/Fall Advantage 2019 comes out on January 22nd! The initial application process is straightforward. You put in basic information, list past/current jobs you've had and the skills required for them, and put what roles you are interested in. I urge you, DO NOT PUT INTEREST IN A ROLE YOU DO NOT WANT! Even if you put low interest for a role, you might still be put in that role! Read the descriptions of each role and see what you would enjoy! I also would not recommend applying the first day. I recommend applying about a week after applications drop!
Step 4: Web-Based Interview
The next step is the Web-Based Interview. I was super excited to get the email saying I had made it to the next step! I waited 2 months for that email! The WBI was probably one of the more stressful parts of the application. Do not take this interview on your phone! Use a laptop/desktop somewhere with reliable internet! The WBI is a series of timed (yes timed, that was the worst part!) questions. It wasn't that hard, however, so just be confident in your answers! A lot of the questions are Strongly Agree/Agree/Neutral/Disagree/Strongly Disagree questions. I recommend putting Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree for most of them! Disney likes confident people. Directly after the WBI, you'll get either a NLIC (no longer in consideration) email or an email asking you to schedule a phone interview.
Step 5: Phone Interview
The phone interview was the big one. I did my phone interview 5 days after my WBI. The phone interview can last anywhere from 15-40 minutes! Mine lasted 25 minutes! In the interview you talk to a recruiter, they ask you some basic questions about yourself, and then they move on to role-specific questions. Everyone's interview is different. For example, I was prepared for my interviewer to ask me my top 3-5 roles, because that's what I found when I researched some potential questions, but she didn't ask me. Instead, she asked me to explain some experience I've had in my different workplaces. For this portion of the application, I suggest having a notecard in front of you with some of your top roles, and any other bullet points you might need. Also, have a place for you to write down your interviewer's name! Disney is very big on knowing peoples name! Have some questions prepared for the end of the interview. The recruiters are super nice and like when potential employees ask questions!
Step 6: Wait
This was the worst. The absolute worst! I am not a patient person, but there are ways to ease the anxiety a bit! There’s typically a Facebook group for applicants (the fall one would be called: DCP Fall/Fall Advantage 2019). There, people talk about their own experience and give advice! Also, follow the DCP recruiters on Twitter! They can give you some insight on when they are accepting people! It comes in waves.
Step 7: Offer and Freak Out
Get offered a position at Disney World! Be proud, the acceptance rate for the DCP is less than 20%! For me, the offer came one month after my phone interview! But keep in mind everyone's timeline is different! Within two days of the offer, you have to accept and pay the program fees (375$).
Step 8: Find roommates and Housing
On that same Disney Facebook Page I mentioned earlier, you can post a bio and start Facebook dating to find roommates. There are different housing complexes and apartment setups you can stay in. You can choose anything from 1 bedroom/2 people to 3 bedroom/6 people! The fewer roommates you have, the more expensive it is. Disney takes your rent directly out of your paycheck, so you don't have to worry!
Step 9: Start to make plans
Plan how you’ll get to Disney and what you will take. If you bring a car, make sure you have all the documentation for it! I recommend making a checklist!
Step 10: Move in and begin the best experience of your life
Move in and have the most magical experience of your life!