Working for The Walt Disney Company was the best experience of my life. Last spring, I participated in the Disney College Program, a program that allows college students or recent college graduates to intern at Walt Disney World or Disneyland as frontline employees. I was a character attendant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the semester I spent there changed my life.
Applications for the Fall 2014 Disney College Program have been posted, and I encourage anyone who is interested in a career with The Walt Disney Company to consider participating. Here are the top 10 reasons I think you, as a college student, should apply.
10. You get to work for Mickey Mouse.
I mean, come on. How many people get to say that?
9. You get to experience some awesome seasonal celebrations.
Ever been to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Have you seen The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios? What about Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade? The Candlelight Processional at Epcot? If you apply for the Fall or Fall Advantage program, you can see it all!
8. You get to see what happens behind-the-scenes at Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
Did you know there are tunnels beneath Magic Kingdom? You could see those with your own eyes.
7. You get free access to Disney Parks.
Have a day off of work? Chill out at Magic Kingdom. Or Animal Kingdom. Or Hollywood Studios. Or Epcot.
6. You receive college credit for the classes you take through Disney.
Ask your advisor to see a list of transient credits you could earn by studying in Disney. Disney classes only cost $10, a whole lot cheaper than taking a class at your own university. When I did the Disney College Program, I took Corporate Communications and received three credit hours toward my graduation.
5. You can put a unique experience on your resume.
Even though you’ll only be a frontline employee in the parks and resorts, you can say you worked in a Fortune 100 Company and have observed the way it successfully runs its business.
4. You can network with professionals in a Fortune 100 Company.
During my college program, I went to a panel discussion about social media and marketing. When I was there, I networked with several marketing professionals that work in the parks and resorts who then helped me network with the digital media manager for Disney On Broadway. Disney Theatrical Group public relations is my dream job, and I was able to set up a tour of Disney’s New York City offices after my program ended.
3. You get to make magic for other people and thus experience magic yourself.
One time, I asked a group of teenagers some Disney trivia questions to help make their wait time to meet Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore faster. By the time they got to the front of the line, they not only asked the characters to sign their autograph books, they asked me to sign as well. You can experience something like that, too.
2. You make lifelong friends.
I still talk to my DCP roommates and friends on a daily basis. One is a performer at Walt Disney World, one is a Photopass Photographer at Disneyland, and several are back at their colleges across the country.
1. Your life will be changed.
You can’t help but be changed by the magic of Disney, the amazing guests and your fantastic fellow Cast Members.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch Kenny’s Work Hard Play Hard documentary about the Disney College Program to help you decide if you should apply.
Have you ever participated in the Disney College Program? Share why you think college students should apply in the comments below.