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Julia Shappert | Official Blog

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Disney College Program

The Ultimate DCP Packing List

Hello, lovely blog enthusiasts!

One of the most important and equally challenging tasks you will have to do as a soon-to-be college program participate is to pack up what you’ll need for the internship – kitchen essentials, bedroom necessities, etc.

Really, my packing list here isn’t that much different from packing for college. In fact, when I brought all my college belongings back home for winter break, I didn’t unpack anything since I intended on bringing 90% of the same things to Florida.

Now that I’ve lived in Orlando for a couple months, I have decided on what are the most important and not-so important items to have while on the Disney College Program. Depending on your method of travel down here (car versus airplane), you may or may not be able to bring as much stuff as I brought. That’s okay. You can buy things when you get here, if necessary. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Clothing

You will be in costume for work most days. The only times you’ll need casual clothes are for your days off, housing events, and adventures to the parks and resorts. Three of the four housing complexes have communal laundry facilities (The Commons is the only complex with a washer and dryer in the individual apartments.), that require a debit or credit card. To save you money and time, bring enough socks and undergarments to keep you set for 2.5-3 weeks!

For Traditions, Disney seminars and educational classes, you’ll also need professional business attire. My advice is to bring clothing that you can easily mix and match to maximize your outfit selections. ย 

  • 14-21 pairs socks
  • 14-21 pairs underwear
  • 2-3 pair pajamas (or oversized shirts)
  • regular (4-5) and sports (3-4) bras (if you work out)
  • 4-6 shirts (You’ll want to buy more down here. Trust me. Especially if you’re going to Cast Connection.)
  • 1-2 pair jeans (I might have worn my jeans one time since I’ve been here so far.)
  • 3-4 shorts
  • tennis shoesย  (1-2 pairs)
  • swimsuit
  • 2 dresses
  • 2 pairs black pants
  • 3-4 professional blouses
  • 2 black shrugs (especially if you get chilly in air-conditioned rooms)
  • Panty hose or “liner socks” for dress shoes.ย 
  • Dress shoes – FLATS or very low pumps (I am not bringing heels since walking in heels in the heat would be a nightmare.)

Bedroom

  • mattress pad
  • fitted sheet, sheets, comforter, blanket, pillow, pillow cases
  • bed bug mattress sheet and pillow protectors
  • Clothing hangers
  • Laundry detergent
  • Hamper or clothing basket
  • Command strips
  • Lamp or lights for the bedroom
  • Wall decor (canvas, pictures, etc.)
  • Bed risers
  • Storage/organizational containers
  • laptop, phone, and chargers
  • journal and camera (Document your memories!)
  • Stationary
  • Notebook and pencils/pens
  • backpack/lunch box for work

Kitchen

The apartments will provide kitchen basics like pots, pans, cups, plates, bowls, and a set of dining utensils. They are not top-quality products, but they will get the job done if you intend on cooking and eating in your apartment. Discuss with your roommates how to divide up the following essential products:

  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Dish soap
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • hand/dish towels
  • Clorox wipes

The housing service centers provide brooms, mops, vacuums, ironing boards for CPs to rent for a couple hours. If this is something you do not plan on utilizing, then I would also discuss with your roommates on acquiring these cleaning appliances. They are IMPORTANT for maintaining healthy, clean, show-ready rooms. ๐Ÿ˜€

Personal

The remainder of this list is what I would like to refer to as the “morning routine and more” list.

  • prescription/over-the-counter medicine
  • vitamins
  • personal hygiene products
  • face wash
  • razors
  • towels and washcloths
  • nail clipper
  • tweezers
  • makeup

If you bring the following items with you, you will be ready for success! Of course, this list is not all-inclusive and only covers the “bare necessities”. If you want to bring a TV, board games, or your origami collection, go for it!

Make sure you discuss with roommates about items you might want to share with each other. For discussion questions with new roommates, check out this article!

Hopefully, this article helps you prepare for the most magical journey you’ll ever have! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can think of something else that would be beneficial to this list, please comment your suggestions below. Happy packing!

Julia

Phone Interview Questions I Was Ask!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I have compiled a comprehensive list of interview questions that I was asked during my DCP Spring 2017 phone interview! I completed my application and web-based interview the first day apps were available on August 15th. My interview was scheduled on Friday, August 26th at 10am. It lasted 28 minutes for (including the questions I got to ask her at the end of the call).

The first thing my interviewer did was verify basic information I listed on my initial application to Disney. Some questions included the following:

  • Are you a (college grade), (major/minor), at (college)?
  • Have you ever worked for the Disney company before?
  • Are you familiar with the Disney look? Are you receptive to the Disney look (Do you agree with the rules)?
  • Do you have any tattoos?
  • Do you have any ear piercings?
  • Have you ever lived with roommates before?
  • Have you ever faced any conflicts with past roommates? How did you solve the problem?
  • Asked for details on my past jobs/volunteering responsibilities listed on my application (babysitting, accounting firm, ticket booth, food pantry).

After basic questions were answered, my interviewer moved right into DCP and role-related questions!

  • How will the Disney College Program help you professionally?
  • Do you prefer to work with a team or independently?
  • Do you prefer working in a slow-paced or fast-paced environment?
  • Would you be receptive to working outdoors?
  • Tell me a time when you dealt with a difficult customer.
  • What are your top three roles? (BBB, merchandise, and attractions)
  • Have you ever memorized long spiels? (attractions)
  • Would you mind being exposed to water? (attractions)
  • Are you comfortable getting close to/touching children (hair)? (BBB)
  • What if a mother isn’t happy with the way her daughter’s makeover turned out? (BBB)
  • How is your multitasking?

Questions I asked her at the end of the interview:

  • What is the procedure for registering for Disney VoluntEARS activities during my off-days?
  • Would I be eligible to participant in the Disney Exploration Series or any professional development series without receiving college credit (since I just finished my undergraduate degree)?
  • If I am not selected for Spring 2017, would I be eligible to apply again for Fall 2017 even though I will have completed my undergraduate degree in December 2016?

My Disney interviewer reminded me that most acceptance offers would be decided in mid-October. Lucky, I received my acceptance email and information on Friday, September 23rd. ๐Ÿ™‚

As you can see from the questions above, my interview was not scary! I was so surprised at how straightforward the questions were and how comfortable I was answering her. Practice really helps! To see my tips and tricks in preparation for your phone interview, click here!

Faith, trust, and pixie dust!

Julia

Disney College Program | Phone Interview – Tips and Tricks

In my previous two articles, I discussed the Disney College Program application and web-based interview stages. Assuming you have successfully passed both steps, the phone interview is your third and final stage to sell yourself as a potential DCP participant and future Cast Member!ย  Congratulations!

Lots of applicants–myself included–were extremely nervous preparing for the phone interview. Everyone feels jittery before undertaking something BIG. But, I am here to tell you that the phone interview is not bad! The Disney recruiters are super sweet and make you feel comfortable throughout the call.

The phone interview can last on average about 20-25 minutes. Some applicants may be interviewed for 15 minutes or up to half an hour. It all depends on how much time the recruiter has, whether he or she feels an adequate amount of information on an interviewee has been documented, and how much talking you do. My interview (with questions at the end) lasted roughly 28 minutes long. I had Nancy as my recruiter.

Below are some tips and tricks I recommend 100% before your phone interview occurs!

  • Do your research on the Disney College Program and the Walt Disney Company. You will impress your interviewer with your knowledge of the company whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  • KNOW EXACTLY WHY YOU’D LIKE TO DO THE DCP. Many applicants are passionate about the Walt Disney Company. How will this opportunity help you professionally? What are you most excited for during the program? What are your goals? What makes you qualified as a Cast Member?
  • Look up typical interview questions that other DCP participants were asked during their phone interviews. Some blogs I would recommend for possible interview questions include The DCP Life, The Disney Den, and One Girl One Mouse! Questions may be general or role specific, so make sure you practice both! Also, check out interviewing advice from the official Disney Internships & Programs blog.
  • Jot down a couple points you want to touch for each question. Practice interview questions out loud but don’t over-rehearse or rely heavily on notes. You’ll want to sound natural yet professional.
  • PRACTICE interview questions. I highly recommend mock interviews! Give friends, parents, teachers, and others a comprehensive list of questions to randomly ask you. This will test your ability to answer on your feet and ask for advice on how to interview better!
  • Your phone interview may be conducted up to 15 minutes earlier or later that when it is scheduled for. When I had my phone interview scheduled for 10:00am, I had my phone ready to go from 9:45-10:15am.
  • Check and double check the TIME ZONE you select for your phone interview before confirming through email. I would advise allowing yourself at least an hour of free time to look over last minute questions and have adequate time for your call to begin and end. If you have a class or work that ends 15 minutes before your interview, you will feel rushed!
  • Make sure you use a reliable phone with a strong connection and charged battery. You don’t want to get disconnected in the middle of your interview! However, if that happens, Disney recruiters will call you back.
  • Although not for everyone, practice your interview standing in front of a mirror. This is what I did. The mirror will remind you to SMILE! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, you can tape your bullet points on either side of the mirror as quick references if you need them.
  • DRESS UP! This is an actual interview. Even though you are not face-to-face with a Disney recruiter, looking professional will help you FEEL professional and focused! I wore dress pants and a simple blouse for my interview.
  • Disney recruiting will call from a “restricted” number. Don’t be alarmed if that appears on your caller ID. That’s for you from Disney! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • ย WRITE DOWN YOUR RECRUITER’S NAME as soon as he or she introduces him or herself. Address your recruiter by his or her first name! People like to hear their name and will be impressed that you remembered!
  • SMILE! SMILE! SMILE! ๐Ÿ™‚ This will positively affect the inflection of your voice and energy levels when speaking!
  • BE YOURSELF!ย Don’t give cliche answers that you think Disney recruiters want to hear. Let your Disney enthusiasm and love shine through and genuinely answer what’s from your heart! That will make a more memorable impression in the end.
  • Have a glass of water beside you in case you need a quick sip between questions.
  • If you want to record yourself from a video camera or laptop during your phone interview, then you’ll have a chance to review how you did. This will be a great resource for future interviews! You’ll have a chance to critically analyze what you did well and work on areas to improve.
  • ย ASK QUESTIONS at the end of your interview that you have about the DCP! I would stay away from asked questions geared toward the recruiter (e.g. How did you get involved with the Walt Disney Company? ). They want to get to know YOU!
  • Thank your interviewer at the conclusion of the interview (using his or her first name ๐Ÿ˜‰ )!
  • If you feel so inclined, you may send a “Thank you” email to your interviewer at wdw.college.recruiting@disney.com for Walt Disney World
    dlr.college.recruiting@disney.com for Disneyland with the subject line reading something along the lines of “Attention to ____________ – Phone Interview: Thank You”. It’s not required but may be nice to do.

In a different blog, I will share the personal questions I was asked by my interviewer and the questions I asked her!

Be prepared, practice, be yourself, smile, and ask questions!

GOOD LUCK! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope this blog has been insightful!

Julia

Disney College Program | The Web-Based Interview – Advice and Tips

After submitting your DCP application, the next step is to wait for Disney recruiters to send you an email to complete the Web-Based Interview (WBI). The Disney College Program is a selective process, so not all applicants are guaranteed to move forward to this second phrase.ย 

What is the Web-Based Interview (WBI)?

The WBI is a series of timed personality and situational questions to determine whether or not an applicant has the Disney Cast Member “It” factor. This second stage is a crucial step that determines whether or not an applicant moves forward to the phone interview.

According to the Disney Careers email I received prior to completing my WBI, the instructions were listed as such:

“There are two (2) sections to the interview. You will be asked two types of questions. Some are multiple-choice and some ask you to rate items on a 1-to-5 scale.

The interview is timed. If you do not answer a question in the allotted time, the interview will proceed to the next question. Choose the response that best describes you. Do not hurry through the questions.”

Web-Based Interview Advice, Tips, and Things Disney Doesn’t Tell You

From thorough research prior to completing my WBI to physically this portion of the DCP process, I have listed a number of helpful information that will be vital for anyone wanting to do well on the WBI.

  • Some of the questions will list answer choices that range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Don’t be lukewarm by choosing “somewhat agree (disagree)” or “neutral”. Disney likes to see that you have a strong opinion on who you are, what you believe, and what you would do in given situations. If you are punctual, put “strongly agree”. Don’t question yourself.ย 
  • At the same time, you need to consider what Disney is looking for in a Cast Member.ย Disney seeks to hire the best of the best. These Cast Members should be polite, punctual, positive, outgoing, hardworking, guest-oriented, and focused on safety among other characteristics. If you know that marking down an option CLEARLY goes against what Disney is looking for (e.g. “I am always punctual” being marked as strongly/somewhat disagree), your chances of receiving a phone interview are slimmer.ย 
  • At the same time, DON’T LIE!ย Be honest with yourself . . . just not TOO honest. For example, maybe during a couple days you’ve worked at a previous job, you were so tired of dealing with customers or coworkers. But, most days, you enjoy helping and interacting with others. We all experience those less-than-happy work days, but don’t let one or two small setbacks shift your “strongly agree” to “neutral” when answering if you enjoy working with guests and coworkers, for example.
  • KNOW YOURSELF BEFOREHAND! Are you outgoing or quiet? Do you enjoy working with others or prefer to be independent? Are you responsible? Timely? Enthusiastic?ย 
  • Don’t psych yourself out on the questions and what answers you choose. Most of the WBI questions need to be answered within 20 seconds. Answer what describes yourself keeping Disney in mind and move on. It’s OKAY if you accidentally miss the 20-second time frame for one or two questions. I’m a slow reader and very meticulous in my responses, so the WBI honestly pushed me to not spend too much time thinking about which choice to pick. I still missed a couple questions but passed the interview. Just don’t miss too many!
  • BE CONSISTENT with your answers!!! Many questions will be variations of other questions that were asked before. For example, “I’m never late to work” and “I consider myself to be a punctual person” should have the same responses. “I love interacting with people” and “I am outgoing” should have the same responses. If you’re inconsistent among similar questions, you’re dissimilar responses will seem kind of fishy to Disney recruiters.
  • Use the bathroom before you start the WBI. Have a glass of water beside you in case you get thirsty during this section of the DCP process.
  • Make sure you allow yourself roughly 40 minutes on a desktop computer or laptop with good wifi connection and away from distractions. Trust me. Disney will also recommend you to do this in the WBI email you’ll receive with instructions.

Know yourself and be yourself with Disney in mind. Make sure you have strong, consistent responses. Don’t freak out! Be prepared. Get excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember, there are thousands of applicants vying for the same opportunity to intern with the Disney College Program. Not everyone gets accepted on their first try. I’ve heard of some people finally getting accepted into the program by their third or fourth attempt. Even if this season isn’t in your favor, you should never give up on your dreams. Hard work and determination really do pay off in the end.ย 

I wish all of you aspiring Disney College Program participants the BEST of luck throughout your application and WBI process! If you have any questions for me, please comment down below!ย 

Take care, Disney pals.

Julia

Disney College Program | The Application Process – Advice and Tips!

This August, I applied and have been accepted into the Disney College Program for Spring 2017. This was my first time ever applying! I am beyond excited to begin this new and magical journey!

What is the Disney College Program?

The Disney College Program (DCP) is a selective 4 to 7 month paid internship at either Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida or Disneyland in Anaheim, California. As a program participant, you will have the unique opportunity to work within a Disney park or resort, “network with leaders, take part in personal and career development classes, and build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication” (Overview). Living, learning, and earning are the three major components the DCP focuses on.

  • Living – By participating through the program, Disney provides on-site housing for its Cast Members (CMs) in four different housing complexes close to the parks and resorts.
  • Learning – Although not mandatory in Orlando, Disney does provide academic courses for college credit in areas like human resources, communication, and organizational leadership with the Disney point-of-view in mind. If you are not interested in registering for an academic course offering, there are a variety of seminars, alumni series, and other networking opportunities for Cast Members to learn more about the Walt Disney Company and develop professional skills.
  • Earning – Working full-time in the parks and resorts and providing magic to guests worldwide is what I am most looking forward to! DCP pays at an hourly rate. There are multiple roles to choose from, which I will get to momentarily.

Application Requirements

There are a number of requirements you must qualify for before applying to the DCP. Some are listed below. A more comprehensive list can be found here.

  • Students must be enrolled and taking college classes OR have just completed their degree within 6 months prior to applying. You don’t have to be a full-time student. Even if you are taking a single college class, you are good to go. Even though the DCP is geared towards undergraduate students, graduate students and those in adult programs are eligible to apply as well. If you are finishing your LAST SEMESTER before graduation, you are still eligible to apply because you are currently enrolled in your final semester. You just have to be enrolled and taking a college class.
  • Some schools have GPA requirements for participating in the program. Check with your school.
  • Be at least 18 years old when the program begins.
  • Unrestricted work authorization

Roles

This is the list of possible roles that a DCP participant may be employed as a Cast Member. Click on each role for a comprehensive job overview as provided through the Disney College Program site.

Walt Disney World

Disneyland

Important Things to Consider

Ask yourself and any specific people the following questions before you decide to apply.

  • Will I lose any college scholarships by taking off a semester at my institution to do the DCP? Ask financial aid.
  • Will I still be able to graduate on time? Talk with your advisor.
  • Doย  I want to receive academic credit? How much will my school offer? Talk with your advisor and check with the Provost Office.
  • How will participating in the DCP help me professionally? For me personally, I am a business administration major and want to learn how to provide exceptional service through one of the most respected company brands in the world.

If you are satisfied with the answers from the questions above and meet the application requirements, then you are all set for completing an application! Hooray!

When are applications available?ย 

Applications for Spring (January – May) and Spring Advantage (January – August) programs are released late August – early September and due in October.

Applications for Fall and Fall Advantage programs are released late January – early February.

The Application Process

The Disney College Program is competitive to get into. Thousands of students fill out applications and, unfortunately, not everyone is accepted into the final stage. There are three steps one must take to potentially get accepted into the DCP: Application, Web-Based Interview, and Phone Interview. In this article, we will be focusing on the application process and how to do well on it!

What is the Application like?

It’s fairly straightforward! You fill out your personal information like many other job applications. From what I remember It asks you for basic information (full name, age, college attending, grade level, graduation year, home address, etc.) and you rank the order of Cast Member roles that you’d like to have. You’ll also have the opportunity to list and detail up to 5 job-related experiences that you have completed previously, which is like your online resume.

With all of that being said . . .

Here are my TIPS to PASSING the application process!

  1. Research all the roles ahead of time.
  2. Pick the top 3-5 roles you honestly believe you would love to do and have experience in. You don’t want to be sad and stressed in a role you dislike–even for Disney!
  3. Identify KEY WORDS used in the different role descriptions and implement them into your FIVE job-related experiences that you’ll include in your application. RESEARCH THE ROLE DESCRIPTIONS!
  4. Provide FIVE job-related experiences that enhance your skills related to particular Cast Member roles you really want. If you haven’t had five paid jobs in the past, don’t worry. Include volunteer experiences, too. For instance, I knew that I wanted to work merchandise, so I included my experience as a pantry assistant for a local food bank where I stocked shelves with food and maintained a clean pantry. FILL OUT ALL FIVE SPACES WITH RELEVANT WORK/VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCES!!! One particular experience could be the determining factor between you and another equally qualified applicant. Don’t leave anything vacant!
  5. During the ranking portion of the application, don’t select “high interest” for all the roles if you sincerely do NOT picture yourself working that role. Yes, the idea of working at Walt Disney World really can sugarcoat jobs you never would’ve considered otherwise. But, this is a FULL TIME JOB. You want to enjoy yourself and what you’re doing since you’ll be working long and hard hours. Plus, there will always be roles in “high demand” such as custodian, quick-service food and beverage (QSFB), lifeguard, and housekeeping. If you select even “moderate interest” for any of these four choices, you are more likely to be chosen in one of those roles since these roles need to be filled consistently. Rank wisely.
  6. Attractions and Merchandise are in my opinion “SAFE” options to choose. Theme parks have multiple rides that need to be run and merchandise that needs to be sold. Thus, a constant supply of Cast Members will always be needed from these roles. If you choose either or both of these roles in your top 3-5 picks, you’re in a safer position than an applicant who only picks roles in low demand! With that being said, there are many roles in “low demand” since there are fewer positions available overall. Some of these roles include Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (BBB)/Pirate League (PL), children’s activities, recreational activities, character performer (requires audition), convention guide, and floral. This doesn’t mean they are not impossible to be employed as but are definitely harder!ย By all means, if you have the experience and know-how to stand out among other applicants vying for the same high-interest positions, go for it!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

For those who are interested, I only marked “moderate” to “high interest” for 6 ROLES of the possible 22 roles!! I didn’t even rank the other 16 roles because they weren’t options Iย  wanted to work in. The top roles I picked were BBB, merchandise, attractions, children’s activities, vacation planner, and convention guide! Yes, I took a little bit of a risk by not ranking more roles. The good thing is that when I received my acceptance letter, I knew that I would be accepted for one of the select roles I ranked as “high interest”. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember to do your research; tailor your job-related experiences using key words from the job descriptions; and be selective about which roles you see yourself as a future Cast Member.

I hope this blog has been insightful! If you have any more questions about anything regarding the Disney College Program, definitely write in the comments below!

Much love and Disney magic,

Julia

 

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