How The Disney College Program Changed My Life

You might be reading this right now thinking to yourself “what even is the Disney College Program?” You can find out more information on its website, but my definition of it is one of the best experiences a college student can have. The Walt Disney company accepts thousands of national and international students each semester to work at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Each student is assigned a role which they perform during their program.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jenna (@j_e_n_n_a_99) on

 

Ever since I was eight years old I knew I was going to participate in the Disney College Program. Disney has always been a major part of my life. From the movies to vacationing there yearly with my family, I knew I had developed a strong passion for such a magical company. I can’t fathom that I’m actually sitting here writing this article already having completed the program. It felt so out of reach about a year ago as this was around the time I was submitting my application.

I went into the program unlike a lot of participants because I never had a “real” job prior. I thought that was going to hinder my application, but I believe the company saw potential in me. Looking back at it now I think it is pretty darn cool to say that my first job was working for The Walt Disney Company at Walt Disney World. Not many other people can say that, right? I worked in the merchandise department. I absolutely loved this role because of its flexibility and uniqueness. One of my favorite parts of the role was getting to engage with guests and create magical moments with families, especially young children.

Before the Disney College Program, I did not have that much self-confidence and questioned if I was going to be able to handle the responsibilities of my role. That changed almost instantly after my first day of work. My trainers put me at ease and ensured that I was equipped to complete my job safely and efficiently for guests. In a setting like Walt Disney World, it is almost inevitable for one to build confidence. I noticed a drastic change in my attitude and confidence level after my first day of work. I realized I could do it.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Jenna (@j_e_n_n_a_99) on

 

One of my favorite parts about the program was the people that I met. I got to meet and work with other cast members from around the country and the world from places like Italy, Norway, and France. I had never met so many people from outside of the United States at once. This program introduced me to some of my best friends, who I know will be lifelong friends. I didn’t think I could meet people as passionate about Disney as I am. I finally found a group of people in which I felt like I belonged. I had never really experienced that sense of acceptance before. My friends made being thousands of miles away from home easier. I built another home away from home at Walt Disney World and I’ll forever be thankful for the friends, memories, and opportunities I had the chance to experience. I would highly recommend applying for the Disney College Program today!