Tag Archives: Disney College Program tips

College Program Alumni Describe Their Experience In One Word

It’s that time of the year again! Disney is now recruiting for the Spring and Spring Advantage Disney College Program, where college students intern as front-line employees at the parks and resorts.

As an alumna, I can’t recommend the program highly enough. If I could describe my DCP experience in one word, it would be “sensational.” But don’t take my word for it.

Last week, I asked other members of the Disney Alumni Association to describe their Disney College Program experience in one word. Here’s what we came up with:

DCP Word Cloud

If you want an experience that’s magical, life-changing, unforgettable and more, apply for the Disney College Program today!

You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me: How to Make Friends on the DCP

It’s time for another season of the Disney College Program! Some of the firstRoommate Best Friends Spring and Spring Advantage folks have checked in this week. Congratulations! Your DCP will be an amazing experience, and you’ll make friends that will last a lifetime.

As some of you know, my sister is participating in the Spring 2015 program, and she told me that some people are pretty worried about making friends. First off, let me say that it’s totally natural for you to feel that way. I was nervous myself! Turns out, I didn’t have to be. Here are some sure-fire ways to make friends on your College Program.

Be open to meeting new friends anywhere and everywhere.
Friends can pop up in the most unexpected places. I met three of my best friends on my DCP because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking, and I ran into one of them on my way to Traditions (Disney orientation). Literally. I ran into him. After apologizing profusely and introducing myself, we all sat together and chit chatted. And just like that, a friendship was born.

Spend the first few days really getting to know your roommates.
RoommatesYou won’t have access to the parks immediately, so take some time to bond with your roommates those first couple of days. My roommies did a whole bunch of things, from eating dinner at Rainforest Cafe to shopping at the Outlets, from staging a Traditions fashion show to watching Wishes from the beach of the Polynesian. Your roommates might just become your BFFs – literally, best friends forever.

Have an open door day at your apartment.
My roommates and I left our door open so our neighbors would feel free to come in and introduce themselves! We may or may not have bribed them with snacks, too. Thanks to our open door day, my roommates and I met our neighbor who joined us to watch our favorite show every week.

Be yourself around the people you’ll be working with.
The people who work at the same location as you know EXACTLY what you goBoat Dock through every day. They deal with the same guests, witness the same wacky and magical things…they get it. The team-like atmosphere at Disney really lends itself to building long-lasting friendships, so add to it by being personable and outgoing from the get-go. If you want to go the extra mile, plan group dinners or pot lucks. That’s what my location did, matching outfits and all.

Introduce yourself to the people in your classes.
This one is kind of a no-brainer, and your instructors will probably make you do it anyways. You’re spending quality time together every week, and you might be required to do a group project. Greet your classmates with a smile and a “Hi! My name is ______, and I’m working at _______,” and BOOM, automatic connection.

Be social at housing events.
Housing EventAttend the DCP housing events, and introduce yourself to the folks dancing by you, eating at your table, or waiting in line to see a character with you. You never know; you might just work right across from each other

Remember, there’s no wrong way to make friends. Go forth and prosper, new CPs!

Disney College Program Application Tips 2.0

The application process for the Disney College Program can be STRESSFUL. Trust me, I know. I’ve been through it.

Now, a year and a half after I completed my Disney College Program, I’m watching my little sister try to navigate through the application, interviews and waiting. I posted some of the tips from my experience, but I think times are changing. Observing from an outsider’s point of view this time, here are my Disney College Program Application Tips 2.0.

MadisonUse your resources.
Do you know people who have done the Disney College Program before? TALK TO THEM! They’ve gone through it, so they know what it’s like. My sister asked me tons of questions while she was applying and before she interviewed. She also asked for tips from two of her friends who have done programs. If you don’t know anyone personally, ask bloggers. My email is always open to anyone interested in the DCP!

Keisha & KirkCHILL OUT about the phone interview.
Yes, you always want to do your research for any job interview, but you don’t have to go as far as writing out your answer to EVERY question. If you do that, you might sound like a robot in your interview, reciting what you wrote down earlier. You don’t have to go so far as to look up the questions, even. It’s a good idea to have a general idea of what roles you want to talk about, do a little research on those roles, and trust in your personality to shine through. Just smile, be yourself, and you’ll be fine.

Join Facebook groups AFTER you’ve been accepted.
I know, I know. That sounds weird. Why wouldn’t you want to be connected to a bunch of other people who are in the same boat as you as soon as possible? Because you’ll go crazy, that’s why. You’ll see what other people are doing and might try to copy them. Also, when other people start freaking out, it might rub off on you, too. That’s a no-go. Be yourself!

Look for roommates AFTER you’ve officially been accepted.
Trust me. You don’t want to be that person who counts his/her chickens before they hatch.

Go forth and prosper! I wish you all the best luck in your application process. Don’t forget to look at some of my other application tips!

“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney

The Dos and Don’ts of receiving a NLIC

NLICDisney’s deadline for sending out job offers for Professional Internships has come and gone, and a lot of us are out there with a big, fat “No Longer In Consideration” on our dashboards. But guess what? THAT’S OKAY.

Yes, you read that right. It’s okay that we didn’t get offers. That goes for everyone out there who has ever applied for a Disney position, whether it’s full-time, part-time or seasonal work, a Disney College Program or a Disney Professional Internship. An NLIC is not the end of the world. You know why? Because Disney will always be there. You can always apply again, and you have the opportunity to beef up your resume so you have a better chance next time.

I’m looking forward to applying for more Disney positions in the future! As such, I’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for those of us who are trying to work through our NLIC.

Do

  • Keep your chin up
  • Apply again next time
  • Congratulate others who have received offers
  • Try to contact a recruiter to see what you can do to improve
  • Gain more relevant experience to better your chances
  • Network with Disney employees in the area you’re interested in

Don’t

  • Be too gloomy
  • Give up on your dream to work for Disney
  • Complain about your NLIC on social media
  • Bring others down or make them feel bad for receiving an offer

At the end of the day, you’re still awesome! Don’t let your NLIC get you down. Share any of your dos and don’ts in the comment section below.

The Look Book: Creating Your Own Disney Look

When you’re offered a job in a Disney park or resort, you’re not only signing a contract to show up to work; you’re also signing a contract to adhere to the Disney Look. The Disney Look is a compilation of the company’s dress guidelines so that all cast members maintain a clean, classic appearance.

When you’re working in the parks and resorts, you are given your costume, so you don’t have to worry about putting a Disney Look outfit together on a day-to-day basis (unless you have a non-costumed role). Even though you don’t have to worry about your clothes, you do have to worry about your appearance in general. Here are a few of the most common Disney Look rules in terms of general appearance.

  • You can’t have any visible tattoos.
  • Ladies, only one piercing per ear. Guys, no piercings allowed.
  • Glasses and sunglasses have to be a conservative color and style without any logos.
  • No wacky hair colors or styles. Classic only!
  • Guys, if you choose to have facial hair, beards and mustaches must by fully grown and look neat. But no Duck Dynasty beards! Facial hair can’t be more than quarter of an inch long.
  • Ladies, makeup has to be neutral and conservative. Also, nails have to be short and neutral-colored.

At your Disney orientation – Traditions – or any other Disney professional workshop that allows you to ditch your costume for the day, you’ll have to abide be the above rules and more. Disney College Program participants, this means you if you take any classes; you’re required to dress in Disney Look when you go to class.

When it comes to Disney Look clothing, ask yourself this question: Would I wear this article of clothing to a job interview? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t wear it. Now we’ll explore the next set Disney Look rules for company-approved clothing.

  • Always have a blazer or sports coat at the ready; some jobs require them on occasion, but they’re always acceptable.
  • No sandals, no exceptions.
  • Khakis are okay as long as they’re ironed.
  • Polo shirts are a no-no.
  • Ladies, you can wear sleeveless dresses or tops as long as the straps are at least 3 inches wide.
  • Skirts and dresses can’t be any shorter than three inches above the knee.
  • Got a thing for paisley? Leave it at home. Patterns can’t have any large graphics or logos.

Now that you’ve read the rules, I have some unsolicited advice for you: Don’t let the Disney Look bust your chops. Yes, the rules seem restrictive, but there’s actually a lot of leeway if you’re willing to get creative. Show your style with your clothing. Ever heard of DisneyBound? It’s when you dress up like a Disney character using every-day clothes. Here are two of my favorite Disney Look-appropriate DisneyBounds (sans hat in the second Bound).

Photo courtesy of outrageousdoughnutlevy.tumblr.com

Mary Poppins DisneyBound courtesy of outrageousdoughnutlevy.tumblr.com

Photo courtesy of Duy at cafeduy.tumblr.com

Aladdin DisneyBound courtesy of cafeduy.tumblr.com

For more information about the Disney Look, visit the Disney College Program’s Disney Look guidelines for males and females. If you’re still struggling and looking for ideas, visit the Disney Internships and Programs official blog to see some outfit examples. (Shout out to Jesi, one of my DCP roommates who is in the photo at the top! She’s the young lady in tan. Read Jesi’s blog about her adventures as a communication student.)

Leaving Your University: Four Things To Check Before You Do the Disney College Program

When I participated in the Disney College Program (DCP) last year, I used the DCP website to guide me through a lot of my program-related questions about packing, check-in and housing. That was great; I really needed guidance for that sort of stuff. But I had a really hard time figuring out what I needed to work out with my own university before I left. There’s no guidebook for those sorts of things, so I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything ready.

I thought I’d share with you some of the things I had to think about and work out before I left for the DCP.

Kent State Disney

Information Sessions

If your college offers information sessions about the DCP, make sure you attend! Not only are you able to hear from DCP alumni at your university, you are also able to meet an actual Disney recruiter. If you haven’t applied yet, it’s a great opportunity to pick the recruiter’s brain about what he or she looks for in a DCP hopeful. If you have applied and have been accepted, it’s a great opportunity to ask alumni for any packing, housing and transitioning tips.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

I am at Kent State University on scholarship, and I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t lose that money when I did the DCP. I went in and talked to my financial aid advisor several times both before and after I applied. My university’s financial aid policy says that students must attend school full time for an entire academic year in order to keep their scholarships. For me, that meant I had to take at least 24 credit hours a year. I took some summer classes to supplement my fall classes to reach that number before I left. If you receive financial aid, make sure you have this discussion with your financial aid advisor so you don’t lose your scholarships.

Disney Courses

Disney offers a wide variety of collegiate courses, and I really recommend taking at least one of them during your DCP. Before you sign up for a Disney class willy-nilly, do a little research. Chances are, if people from your university have done the DCP before, your university may have a list of transient credits you can earn. Transient credits are classes you take at another learning institution that are equivalent to classes at your home university. For example, Kent State allows students to take Disney Communications in the place of Introduction to Human Communications. Make sure you double check that transient credit list first, though. I accidentally took Disney Corporate Communications instead of Disney Communications, and it caused a mini crisis I could have avoided if I was more careful when registering.

Here’s the kicker: Disney classes are only $10, and you are provided with a binder, notebook, pens and any other learning materials your professor decides to hand out. Let me repeat: A class at Disney – something you could get credit toward graduation for at your own university – only costs $10. Let’s break down the math here: According to the Kent State website, one undergraduate in-state credit hour costs $447. Introduction to Human Communications is a three-credit-hour class. If you took Introduction to Human Communication at Kent State, it would cost you $1,341. If you take Disney Communication during your DCP instead, you’ll only pay $10. That’s less than one percent of the price at Kent State. So what am I saying? Take a class at Disney!

Additional Credit Opportunities

Sometimes your university will give you credit for participating in the DCP without taking classes. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to count the DCP as my official internship for my major, but I found a loop hole so that I could still receive credit; I asked my Honors College advisor if I could count my experience as an honors credit. Sure, I had to write a three-page paper about my work, but it was well worth it for a much-needed opportunity for credit.