For as long as I remember I have loved Disney and, most importantly, Walt Disney World. For the longest time, I have wondered how people ended up working there and if, as a college student, I could have the opportunity of working for them. Up until two years ago, I didn’t think it was possible, but thanks to the Disney College Program now I know it is. I had no idea thousands of students a year applied for it! Applying to the program was fairly easy and they have various positions within the company you can work at. After that came the most terrifying thing of all: the Phone Interview. Luckily, UPRRP has the tools to prepare you for this. Once again, the key to passing this interview was being honest and letting them know I was open to new experiences.
That’s what this program was all about: new things and a new chapter in your life. Keep in mind that working for the Mouse is not for everyone and I had that ingrained into my brain early on in this process. I had second thoughts, I will not deny that, but the hope of new things and new doors opening had me too excited and shoved those thoughts far back into my head.
I was in Orlando for roughly 5 months and I loved every single minute of it. I got accepted into the Merchandise role and worked in Epcot (one of four parks within the Walt Disney World Resort), and you know what the best part was? Meeting people from all over the world that share the excitement of creating magical moments for others. Meeting people that have ambition in their lives and remind me each and every day of why I study at UPRRP: because I want to leave a mark in the world and I want everyone to know that Puerto Rico is here to stay. When guests asked me where I was from, there was no way of describing the feeling I got in the pit of your stomach whenever I replied with an: “I am from Puerto Rico,” and saw their smiles.
I miss my coworkers calling me desperately only to find out all they wanted was for me to translate, because there’s no word to describe the way I flaunted my Spanish around. Amazed is how I felt when I took my bus to work and next to me would be a girl from Spain, in front of me one from Japan, and behind me would be an Italian boy listening to music on his phone. If I had to say something about the Disney College Program right now then it would be this: It is not a waste of time if you want to meet others like you. It is not a waste of time if you want to create a network with people already in the “adult world” because all of the people there have the best advice for youngsters like us.
I get chills when I think of how much experience I gained there because I did one tiny little thing: I opened myself to a new experience and I took advantage of every second of it. Be open to new things and, if you’ve wanted to do an abroad internship without going too far, then maybe the Disney College Program is the right place for you! Applications are closed for Fall 2016 but be on the lookout for Spring! This may be YOUR chance. Take a risk and come work for an AMAZING company. It will be hard but don’t worry, you’re an UPRRP student and you can handle it…