Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Journey to the Purple Acceptance Letter

A dream is a wish your heart makes
I took what you may call a "roundabout approach" to the Disney CP. Or proactive as I chose to call it. I knew going into college that I wanted to the do the CP. My only real concerns were when to do it and how to get it. When I learned that you could apply the semester after you graduate, I decided that would be the route I'd take. But then a little panic struck. What if I don't get accepted?? What if I had one shot and I blew it?

Well, I'm not the kind of person who can hangle that much stress or leave things to chance. I talked to a Disney Recruiter at my school's career fair about this exact topic (It was the 30th Anniversary of the CP, and I got a soap as a handout!) . He was really helpful, moreso than I even expected. He told me that the Web Based Interview is something that some people may have trouble with. If you don't pass that, you're done with the process. So he advised me to apply a semester early. If I passed the Web Based Interview and moved on to the Phone Interview, I could decline in the end and they would save my Web Based Interview results. If I did not pass the Web Based Interview, I would have another shot when I tried again for the semester I wanted.

I took his advice and applied twice. Below I made a brief timeline of how it went. Also after the timeline I added some hints/advice for future CP applicants. Feel free to skip ahead to that, I won't be offended!

First Applied: September 20, 2011
Web Based Interview: September 20, 2011
I completed this the same day I applied. Why procrastinate your future dreams? I did not have much trouble on this part. I answered honestly and submitted. Within a few hours I was "invited to continue the interview process for the Disney CP." The email had information to schedule my phone interview. I also signed up for my interview the same day.
Phone Interview: September 25, 2011 at 10:45pm
So funny story. I completely forgot my phone interview was happening. It was a Sunday at college, which I typically used to recover from the weekend, as well as try to get ahead for Monday. At this point in the evening I was watching TV in the living room at my apartment. Luckily I had my cellphone on me because at about 10:30pm I got a call from an unlisted number. In that split second I realized I had totally spaced the interview. I grabbed the phone, raced to my room, and had one of my best interviews ever.
Acceptance: October 5, 2011
Yes!! I received the congratulations email, forwarded it to my mom and then declined it that day.

TAKE TWO FOR FALL 2012 (the real thing!)
So after getting in the first time around I was a lot less worried about my chances for the next round. I also applied for a Professional Internship this time around (Recreation Management and a Hotel related one..I think). So on top of the process I went through before, I also had an extra phone interview for those, which went really well! I obviously did not get it, but I hope to apply for another Professional Internship down the road.
Application Submitted: January 23, 2012
The first day I could! I was anxiously waiting to be apply, checking the disboards constantly to find out when exactly I'd be able to.
Web Based Interview
I did not have to complete another web based interview this time around. Since I had applied for the last semester, they still had the results of my web interview saved, which allowed me to skip ahead to...
Phone Interview: January 28 at 10:15pm
You're probably wondering. "Julie, are you sure it's a good idea to schedule such a late phone interview, especially when you FORGOT it was happening last time?" You raise a valid point, but I definitely did remember this one! I was ready and waiting for this one starting around 9pm. The recruiter didn't call until 10:30pm or so. I tried to calm my nerves and distract myself by trying on my old prom dress and dancing around (it's Cinderella blue!). It did help, so I'd definitely suggest it. :)
Acceptance: February 9
I DID IT! I'm going to Disney!
I did it!
I did it!
 As you can see I've actually been through this process 3 times (counting the Professional Internship), which means I've done 3 phone interviews. So if you're looking at this blog for advice for when you do it, here are the cliff notes.

Interview Tips
  • Be early! Apply early, do your web interview early, schedule your phone interview ASAP, etc. You may have better odds the sooner you apply.
  • Have privacy. If that requires you to do your phone interview in your car (or someone elses) do it!
  • Be ready at least 15 minutes before your interview. Recruiters may call before or after your scheduled time. Don't let that throw you.
  • Write out your Top 3 Choices and a list of your previous work/volunteer experience (or have your resume) ahead of time. This will help out if you get nervous and your mind goes blank.
  • Think of a few questions to ask the recruiter (write these down too!). It shows that you've done your research and that you are serious about this opportunity.
  • Calm yourself, however you need to, before the interview. Like I said I actually danced around in my old prom dress while I was waiting for the recruiter to call. Also during the interview I doodled a lot and wrote things the recruiter said. This also helped.
Things they may ask:
  • Why Disney? Why are you interested in this program?
  • What are your Top 3 Role Choices?
  • Do you have related work experiences for this/these roles?
  • Give me an overview of your work history.
  • Do you meet the Disney Look guidelines? (Tattoos?)
  • Are you okay with living with roommates?
If you have any other questions feel free to ask me! Good luck to those applying!

Much Affection,

PS: If you want to see pictures of my Cinderella blue prom dress...ask. I might just post them =)

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