You probably thought that this week's DCP Wednesday post would be about applications because now that you've decided to apply for the Disney College Program that's the next obvious step, right? Wrong! There's still more to do before you log in and click that fateful "apply" button! There's a lot going on with the Disney College Program, and it's good to know what you're getting into and what might interest you most before you get down to business (to defeat the huns).
The initial application for the DCP will ask you common, customary questions you'd expect, like your name, school, and where you've worked, but it'll also ask you to rank your top roles, and that's a huge decision and a crucial part of the application process as a whole. What you write down at this point will impact your phone interview, potentially your acceptance into the program, and what you'd be doing if accepted, so it's important that you rank your options carefully. This blog post doesn't give you explicit descriptions of each role (you have to do some of the research yourself, after all), but I can promise you that, in the future, there will definitely be feature posts from various college program roles.
First and foremost though, there's the decision of which college program you'd like to apply for. Since there are programs running consistently at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and there's several seasons throughout the year, you'll have to figure out which one is right for you. Personally, I applied for both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World programs, but put WDW as my priority location. The Disneyland program is drastically smaller than the Walt Disney World one, so your chances of being accepted to WDW are likely a bit higher, but if you don't have a preference, go for either, and if you do, notate that! I loved that I could apply for both programs at once, and I actually had a short conversation about it during my phone interview with my recruiter later on.
Of course, when you apply makes an impact on the season you're applying for, and the best way to keep track of when applications are open is to sign up for email notifications. That way you won't miss when fall applications open months ahead of time in January. Depending on where you are in your college career and what works for you, it also might work better to do an advantage program rather than a regular seasonal program, meaning that, if you do Fall Advantage, you'll be applying to work from May/June to January rather than August/September to January like the rest of the Fall students. I've included the seasonal chart from the Disney Programs Blog below to give you an idea of what those seasons look like:
Finally, you'll have to do some research on your roles before you actually apply. Doing your research ahead of time makes you more informed about what roles would be best for you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. For instance, I know that I really would prefer to stay out of Quick Service Food and Beverage roles, as well as anything to do with food because, while I love eating food, I just happen to know that it wouldn't be the right fit for me, especially since I have no prior experience in food service. However, after doing some research, other roles popped out as ones that would suit me well, such as Attractions (because of my experience in public speaking and crowd control), Front Desk (because of my experiences as Music Librarian and running Music Festivals), and, of course, PhotoPass Photography because of my experience with photography and videography.
The best way to do research on these is to head over to our old pal Google and search for descriptions of each, although the Disney Program Website does feature an in-depth look at each role in the Earning section of the DCP page. I used these descriptions to get a general idea of what might work best, and then initially ranked each role. From there, I went to YouTube and Google and made additional searches to find out what real DCP Participants have said about each of their positions, getting a feel for what they're really like out on the job so I could make my final decisions on how I'd rank each role (you rank one on a scale of High, Moderate, Low, or No Interest).
It's also important to note that there are different roles at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. For instance, there is only a Park Greeter position available at Disneyland, and Housekeeping is only at Walt Disney World. The available roles for each program are available on the DCP Website as well.
Of course, there's more research headed your way in the future, specifically involving where you'll live and who you'll room with and how everything works in general, but let's just take it one step at a time. Now, go do some research!
Have a magical day!