“All you need is faith, trust, and pixie dust.”
Every child raised on Disney has heard that phrase at least a dozen times in their life. Every applicant in the Disney College Program has heard that phrase at least a dozen times in the past week. It seems to be the motivational phrase every cast member turns to when they enter the competition of being selected for the Disney College Program. When in doubt, just wait and see. Have faith. Trust Disney. Believe in magic. Although I believe that a little faith and trust could go a long way, I have found you need more than pixie dust to be accepted into the Disney College Program: you need some good ol’ fashioned hard work.
My application process for the Disney College Program did not start on Aug. 20 when I filled out my online application. It actually started a lot earlier than that.
Two weeks into the month of June, my college adviser informed me that after my first year of college, I was already one term away from achieving my Associate’s Degree and needed to begin looking at possible internships that would make me more desirable in the job market. I remember sitting there, in his overly air conditioned office, listening to my adviser tell me how my assertiveness put me two terms ahead of my peers. At nineteen, I had to accept the responsibility of controlling my future, while everyone else my age focused on getting a tan at Diamond Lake. At that moment in time, the word “pressure” was the lightest term any person could use about my feelings.
I went home and sat on my back porch in an attempt to clear my head. I looked across my family’s property towards the Cascade Mountains, thinking about life and where I exactly fit. In the blink of an eye, I was at a crossroads with no memory of how I got there and it was time for me to choose the path for my life.
Instead of addressing my possible internship opportunities head on, I chose to do what so many college students do: procrastinate. I pulled my cell phone out of my jeans pocket and began scrolling through Pinterest. Between the “re-pins” and “likes,” I came across my friend Shae’s profile, in which I noticed a substantial collection of Disney related pins. As I looked deeper into the pins, I noticed how the pins were all about the same topic: The Disney College Program.
I had heard about the Disney College Program before through my friend Jesse, who worked in Disney World during the Spring of 2013. I remember seeing her adventure unfold on Facebook. She had fun, she got experience, she got a name brand on her resume that made her more appealing to employers.
Right there, in that moment, without consciously realizing it, I found the internship I wanted to participate in: The Disney College Program.
With that, I went to work. I researched the Disney College Program in depth for the next two months. Utilizing my resources provided by the internet, I gathered information from personal blogs, to Disney sponsored websites, and even YouTube. My parents and I developed a “business plan” where I proposed the idea of participating in the Disney College Program—calculating flight costs, possible paychecks, and other miscellaneous expenses. Every day, I checked in on the Disney College Program Facebook page to see updates regarding applications and the application process. When I updated my resume, I went as far as researching the psychology of color to develop the theme for my document. My mom and I reviewed possible Phone Interview questions and ran mock scenarios.
To sum it up: I spent a majority of my summer researching and developing my resume so I could be selected for the Disney College Program.
I believe that is what separates the 7 percent of applicants who are accepted into the program from the remaining 93 percent. Contrary to many applicants’ beliefs, Disney is not going to be a vacation from school where every night is a party. You have to put in hard work, you have to apply yourself, and you have to be willing to do the job correctly to the best of your ability on a regular basis. That is what Disney is about. That is what they are looking for in applicants. Hard work. Dedication. Professionalism. That is the magic to getting accepted into the Disney College Program.
Okay, and maybe just a little bit of pixie dust.
Emily Kalei | The Broadside