Finally! After what might be months or years of anticipation and weeks of planning out your application, your chance to apply for the Disney College Program has finally arrived. Well, that is, if applications are currently open. As I mentioned previously, the best way to stay up to date on the program is to sign up for email notifications for when applications open up again, and then it's onto that initial application.
Since we've already covered the ranking of roles, this will be a shorter, but no less important post about the journey of the Disney College Program. There's some controversy as to when exactly you should apply for the program once applications do open up, largely because some say that if you apply on the first day you have a lower chance of getting accepted because of the number of applications on that first day. Others say you should apply immediately once applications open up so yours is one of the first ones they go through.
To be completely honest, I'm not sure there's a rhyme or reason to the way Recruiting goes through the applications, at least not that we could ever know about. I tried to wait until the second day after applications open to apply in fear that mine would get lost in the first-day shuffle, but I just couldn't get anything done knowing that there was something I could do on my journey to the Disney College Program. So I applied the first day, and I'm skeptical about the idea that applying so quickly crushes your chances, because I did and I was obviously accepted. In other words, take what you read with a grain of salt. But don't wait until the last day or week to apply either.
When you hit apply, you'll be directed to a pretty self-explanatory application that asks for the customary information, such as your name, school information, and work experience. In fact, if you already have a LinkedIn set up with your resume and work experience, there's an option to log into the Disney system using LinkedIn, and it'll automatically input your top work experience into the application for you. I still highly recommend going through the application with a fine toothed comb.
The biggest thing with this initial application is going to be keywords. Use words that you'd use on your professional resume, and tailor them to the roles that you're ranking highest. For instance, since I knew I was applying for the PhotoPass Photographer role, I made sure to include my photography and videography experience on my application, noting that I'm familiar with DSLR cameras and basic photography skills. I also was sure to include that I have experience with crowd control, specifically in regards to large groups of college students, high school students, and middle school student, and public speaking as well. Regardless of what roles you're interested in, use keywords like "guests," "teamwork," "leadership," "efficient," and "communicate."
After filling out this initial application with your work experience, you'll pick which program you're applying for, rank your roles, and will eventually hit submit. In all, I think the application took me around 25 minutes with proofreading and some thorough contemplation as to how I wanted to word things and what I wanted to include.
At this point, one of a few things can happen. You can immediately get a WBI (Web Based Interview) link and you may be able to take that (which I'll discuss in a later blog post). You could be like me and wait a few days before getting the WBI link, but still be "In Progress" on the website. Or you could fall in "submission." You'll be able to view all of this on your dashboard (which is where you can view your progress throughout the entire application process), and I'll tell you that if you fall into submission, that's not to say you won't be accepted for the program. It's more likely you'll never make it to the WBI, but there have been participants who are put into submission immediately and manage to make their way out. So don't give up, but also don't get your hopes up, because honestly, it could go either way (although to be blunt, it's more likely you won't get accepted).
And then you wait, again. If you're fortunate enough to get send a link to the WBI right away, I suppose you have less waiting to do, but otherwise the best advice I can give is go about your normal life. There's so much waiting involved with the Disney College Program that it's easy to get caught up in obsessively checking your status or your email for any updates. I tried to limit myself to checking the dashboard once a day throughout the process, and I didn't check my email any more than usual, which sort of helped toward the end when I was in the final stages of waiting. Feel as calm as you can knowing that your application, for the moment, is entirely out of your hands, and hope for the best.
Next week: The Web Based Interview, AKA the most stressful test I've ever taken!
Have a magical day!