If you are interested in participating in the Disney College Program for Fall or Spring, read on! I have been lucky enough to be chosen to do the program for Spring of 2016!
Disclaimer: This is information for Disneyland Resort College Program. NOT Walt Disney World College Program.
What is the Disney College Program?
Students from all over the U.S. and International students have the ability to apply to Disneyland Resort* and Walt Disney World and take part in educational opportunities as well as work at the park. This truly unique program allows participants to network with leaders, take part in personal and career development classes, and build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication. – DCP website
From my experience:
DCP does offer monthly opportunities to network with leaders and executives from the company, majority of these leaders are under the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts division. Take full advantage and attend these events, these leaders come to speak to us for a reason. They really want to tell you their story of how they got to their role now (you may meet SVPs, VPs, Managers, Ambassadors, Executives, etc.)
I was placed as a Merchandise Hostess, working in the stores of California Adventure. I have no doubt I gained plenty of transferable skills that was said. I learned how to provide excellent Guest Service, problem solve on the spot, communicate with fellow Cast Members, and gain a better perspective of who I am as a person.
Career development classes/seminars:
The career development classes offered is a like Business 101 for those studying undergrad business courses. You learn how to create resume/business cards, you understand more of your personality, etc. The classes offered are best suited for participants who never has taken a resume workshop before.
- Build a relationship, don’t think of it as a chore to network. Make it a conversation that will last a lifetime, whether its with a CM or an Executive VP. You never know where that may lead to.
- Voluntear. DCP offers volunteer events one in while you’re in the program, I really recommend participating in one event. This is one of the best ways to network with other Cast Members.
- Take advantage of all the events and go to them. This is for my fellow locals, don’t be lazy. A lot of the events are mostly held in Anaheim or at housing. You should go. It will make you feel like you belong as a CP than just a Cast Member working at the parks.
When do you apply?
The program offers a Fall and Spring term for you to apply:
Spring/Spring Advantage (Spring Advantage is for local participants)
- Students should apply/interview late August – mid/late October
- Spring: Program begins mid January/early February and ends in mid August
- Spring Advantage (for locals only): Applicants begin a week after housing Spring participants, must be able to provide their own housing accommodations in the Disneyland Resort area. This session does not offer housing.
Summer* (for DCP Alumni only)
- Eligible Disney College Program Alumni will be contacted via email with specific details about this opportunity approximately in early February. Alumni are encouraged to opt-in to receive information as it becomes available.
- Opportunity begins in May and ends in August.
Fall/Fall Advantage (Fall Advantage is for local participants)
- Students should apply/interview February – late March
- Fall: Applicants for the session spanning August – January must reside in the provided housing.
- Fall Advantage (for locals only): Applicants for the session spanning May – January must be able to provide their own housing accommodations in the Disneyland Resort area. This session does not offer housing.
How do you apply?
- Complete an online application
- Web Based Interview
- Phone Interview
Once you complete the online application it will take a few days for recruiters to review and see if you qualify to take the Web Based Interview (WBI). You will get an email to complete the Web Based Interview or an email saying you are ineligible.
The Web Based Interview is the 2nd step of the application – it’s a timed questionnaire that determines if you are eligible for an actual Phone Interview. You only have a few days to complete the questionnaire.
The Web Based Interview, some tips:
- Read the question thoroughly and choose the best option that describes you
- Keep in mind of the time! Each question you get only 20-30 seconds
- Use “strong” options
- Be in a quiet area. Trust me on this you will need peace and quiet
- Don’t overthink!
- Don’t Stress!
After you complete the WBI, you will either receive notification to continue the next round or it will say you didn’t pass. The last step is the Phone Interview, here you will get an email to set up a time and date.
The Phone Interview:
You get about 20 – 35 minutes speaking to a recruiter over the phone. They will ask you a few questions of your personality and experiences. The most questions they seem to ask is the roles you applied for.
Some questions I remember them asking:
- Why did you apply for the Disney College Program? What do you hope to get out of the program?
- Can you name a time where you had to handle an emergency situation?
- How do you deal with conflict?
- Based on the roles you applied for which one do you think is most suitable for you and why?
Each person may get different questions, they are never the same ones. Just prepare yourself.
- I read in some articles to actually smile throughout your phone interview, it sounds ridiculous but it actually helps your tone of voice and the way you speak to your interviewer. I felt my answers were more positive.
- Answer each question as best you can. Be sure to know why you want to do this program
- Be clear and calm. Phone interviews are slightly different since you aren’t seeing the person who is interview so it’s all about your voice. Your tone and attitude over the phone is more noticeable.
Last thing – relax! The recruiter wants to get to know you, so be yourself and remember you’re going to be working for a corporation that brings happiness and magic to families. If you believe you can continue that tradition I say apply!
Good luck! If you do get too apply and have questions, comment below. I will be happy to provide more details!
It was an amazing experience participating in the program. I have made a lifetime of memories and met the most amazing people. Make the most of this opportunity, it’s worth it. – Fellow Disneyland Resort College Program participant