So I know that I always start out a new adventure in my life saying I’m going to post about it in a semi-regular fashion and never end up following through with that. This will be yet another take at that promise, with high hopes this time!
As I said in my previous blog post, I was recently accepted into the Disney College Program and will be starting off post-grad life as an Attractions Cast Member at Disney World in Orlando! I’ve gotten the coolest college experiences, from Nashville to NYC to Orlando and am determined to make these four months count for everything they’re worth.
I’d always said I was going to apply for the DCP solely because I was graduating early, sort of as a reward for my hard work. Then, I went to NYC and that dream kind of faded into the background as new dreams of NYC came into being. That was the new plan — graduate in December and then be living in NYC by January. I had roommates planned out and a tentative date to go look at apartments. Then came August 22. I saw a post on Facebook from DCP saying that applications had gone live and applied on a whim. I knew a ton of people apply every year and there was probably a slim chance I’d actually get in, so why not apply right? Well, not 6 hours later did I have another email inviting me to complete the next step of the process: the web-based interview.
The WBI was similar to most of these kinds of interviews — it asked me a series of questions in which I had to rate my comfort level in certain situations. It asked the same question quite a few ways which I found strange, but later learned that it was to see if I was consistent in my answers. I’d heard horror stories about people failing this interview by simply saying they’d miss their friends and family, so the nerves were real when I finally sat down and completed this step. About twenty minutes later, I’d completed and passed the second step and immediately set up my phone interview for about four days later: the final step of the application process.
That following weekend before my phone interview, I was at a sorority meeting and talking to a few girls I knew who had also applied. They informed me that they applied the same day I did and still had not been asked to complete the second step. Apparently, it was crazy that I did it so fast. I found out later on that every person has their own timeline in regards to the process and being offered to complete steps was not determined by how “good” of a candidate they found you to be.
I had my phone interview on August 28, just 6 days after sending in my initial application. I won’t lie, it was one of the easiest phone interviews I’ve ever had. First of all, my recruiter was the NICEST woman and made me feel so comfortable. She asked me to confirm a LOT of logistical information and asked me further about the roles I’d expressed interest in on my application. It was a lot of “This role requires you to be on your feet and lift things, are you comfortable with that?” and similar questions. I told her about my tattoos. She asked me my top 3 roles which were PhotoPass, Character Attendant, and Attractions. I also would have loved Children’s Activities, which we actually talked a lot about in my interview because of my camp and babysitting experience. The only question that threw me off was, when talking about Character Attendant, “If a child was super excited to meet a character while in line, but once getting to the front, got scared and didn’t want to meet them anymore, what would you do?”. I won’t lie, I kind of word vomited on that one and was absolutely sure I would not be offered that role (which I wasn’t!). The interview lasted just over 20 minutes and I hung up feeling really good. She told me final decisions would be made by November 17, but I’d probably hear back by mid-October. That felt like a lifetime away.
After that, I kind of forgot about it for a few weeks. I kept applying for jobs in NYC and wishing my friends well on their interviews. Then, the waves started. So a “wave” is essentially days where the recruiters send out massive numbers of offers. There are three recruiters who live-tweet these waves (@DCPKirk, @Disney_Oscar, and @ChristyRecruit), so I turned on notifications for them on my phone so I wouldn’t miss a thing. These waves happened once a week, and I sat through three of them before finally getting mine. I was a part of a bunch of DCP Facebook groups, and it was SO hard watching people who’d interviewed WEEKS after me hear back before I did, especially when only days separated their interview and acceptance.
The biggest thing we were told was that no news was good news. Not receiving your NLIC (no longer in consideration) email meant you were still in the running, no matter how long you’d waited. Finally, five weeks after my phone interview, October 5 came about and I came out of my scriptwriting class to an email from Disney with the subject “Congratulations!”. I’d felt my phone buzz a ton of times during that class and because my watch didn’t go off as well, I knew they were emails coming in, so I was hoping for the best all throughout that class. I logged on quickly to find out that I didn’t get PhotoPass, my top role, but was offered one of my top three (Attractions), so I immediately called my mom, excited.
Honestly, the best part of this whole process was getting my email and realizing that I just pushed the post-grad job hunt stress back four months. Instead of entering the real world right away, I get to go spend four months working at Disney World. What could be better? I’ll get to worry about the stress of job hunting in the happiest place on Earth, so can it really be that stressful (see: yes)?
I won’t find out my park/area until December and won’t find out my specific attraction (which could also include parking or park greeter) until I arrive on January 22, but wow I’m so excited. It was a tough process, but so worth it in the end. I’m so, so excited to start this journey and can’t wait to see what it brings me and where it takes me!