Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Under the Sea - Voyage to Disney: Phone Interview

The Phone Interview. Now this was something I knew I could do. If there were any two things in the world I could talk about it was myself and Disney. I was not going to be a POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL due to a bad interview. I scheduled my phone interview for March 4th, 2014 at 9:45p.m. I did a bit of research for the phone interview and preparation. I looked at the information on the Disney college website and had some notes on my computer for during my interview. I gave Disney my office phone number to call.

Disney said to be ready for my interview 15 minutes early, and so I was. I wore a pink Minnie Mouse shirt to get me in the Disney mood and kept a bottle of water on the desk. To calm my nerves a bit, I played Disney Pandora before my phone call. I was told they usually call any time 15 minutes before or after the interview time. At about 9:55 I got the call! A woman introduced herself as Renee from Disney recruiting and asked if this was still a good time for the interview to which I responded “Of course!” Renee was very pleasant and made me feel comfortable for my phone interview. Instead of feeling like a GUPPY I felt like a shark, ready to answer with as much enthusiasm as I could muster! No COLD FINS here!

Renee asked questions about my work experience, role preferences, different work environment and conditions, crisis and emergency management, working in a team, handling money, and of course why I wanted to participate in the program. I’m not going to write any specific questions in order to protect Disney’s interview process. I will, however, share my answer for why I wanted to work in the program. This was basically my response: I've grappled with whether or not to apply for the program for a long time because I was concerned that working for Disney would ruin the magic I've always believed in. Then I realized that a lot of people think that Disney is an escape from reality, but in actuality, it is reality at its finest. It isn't the films or the rides or the characters that make Disney magical. It's the people behind the scenes creating them that make Disney magical. I believe in magic, but I believe it needs to be made. I want to be a part of a company that has created so much magic internationally. I want to be the reason that people be
lieve in magic. I've tried to bring some Disney fairy dust to other places that I've worked in but I know in my heart that I truly want to immerse myself in an environment where everyone is doing that!

At the end of the interview, I had the opportunity to ask Renee a few questions. I mostly asked about her experience with the program because any other questions I could find an answer to online. She spoke very passionately about her experience working for Disney and I really appreciated her taking the time to share her experience with me. After my questions, we thanked each other and that was the end of the interview! It wasn’t anything like SEBASTIAN’S experience with CHEF LOUIS – I didn’t feel grilled or roasted in anyway! I received a follow up e-mail the next day thanking me for my phone interview (which accidentally addressed me by my last name instead of my first name). I instantly grew impatient about finding out whether or not I was accepted. All I wanted was to be PART OF THAT WORLD!

One Last Hope: Disney College Program Application Number Two

February of 2014 came around. After a year I saw signs about the Disney College Program, heard stories from students at the school I worked at, and received ads on facebook about the program. Every time something came up, a felt a small pang of remorse in my heart. I decided not to give up because GIVING UP IS FOR ROOKIES!

I re-applied for the program on a whim. At first I really just wanted to see whether or not I could pass the Web Based Interview. I filled out the application on February 27th and received another e-mail to complete the web based interview the next day. Well – I passed it! I was offered a phone interview. After being notified that I passed, the tears poured out of my eyes. There are very few things in the world that make me cry, so I knew this was no longer about finding out whether or not Disney loved me back. I decided I was really going to try to GO THE DISTANCE and become a Disney Cast Member! This was my big chance to go from ZERO TO HERO! I was not going to mess up my ONE LAST HOPE!

Frozen By Disney: The First Application

I applied for Disney in February of 2013. After completing the initial application with all my information and work experience, I received an e-mail the next day with an invitation to complete the Web Based Interview. I completed the web-based interview and was mortified to see “You are not a good fit for Disney.” My dream was frozen in time. How could I not be a good fit for Disney? My life was pretty much all about Disney! My MENTAL SYNCHRONIZATION with Disney made me think that there was ONE EXPLANATION – WE WERE MEANT TO BE. I guess I was wrong. I was willing to give up a full-time professional position to work a college internship in order to fulfill a dream, and Disney was telling me I wasn’t the right fit. This was the start of my unrequited love for Disney. *Spoiler Alert* I felt like Princess Anna when Hans told her he was never actually in love with her. I could have really used a warm hug from Olaf after this.

After being dismissed from the rest of the application program, I wrote a letter to Disney in the midst of my heart-break. I never sent it. I don’t think I ever intended to send it. Basically it consisted of my thoughts on how it was decided who was and wasn’t a Disney FIXER-UPPER. I also wrote that the rejection did not hinder my love for Disney and everything it has given to me growing up. I wrote the letter more for myself than anything, knowing that it wasn’t actually Disney’s fault I did not get accepted. Maybe it was fate. Maybe I wasn’t meant to work for the company. Maybe someone knew it would shatter my glass house of fantasy. At that point, I just decided to LET IT GO. I could pretend like it NEVER BOTHERED ME ANYWAY.

Down the Rabbit Hole: My Decision to Apply to the Disney College Program

Every Disney fan has played with the thought of working at Disney World. I always wondered what it would be like to work for that WONDERLAND we call Disney World and I debated for a long time whether or not to apply for the Disney College Program. I was concerned that working for Disney or even having a Disney application rejected would be like throwing stones in the glass building of fantasy, imagination, magic, and youth that I’ve lived in my whole life.  After visiting Disney and seeing all the wonderful opportunities cast members have, and hearing from friends and co-workers about their unforgettable Disney College program experience, my consideration of the Disney College Program increased – I became CURIOSER and CURIOSER.

At this point in my life, I already completed my bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University in 2012 and was currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education administration part-time in Stony Brook University’s online program. I had also already started working full-time as a Residence Hall Director at SUNY Cortland, a job that I worked very hard for. I was quickly running out of opportunities to work for Disney and the risk of leaving my current professional field was growing. Finally my eagerness and excitement was CONTRARY-WISE to my fear of taking a risk for something I love. I fell, well more like jumped into the Disney College Program RABBIT HOLE. I looked at the application and READ THE RIGHT DIRECTIONS AND DIRECTLY I WAS DIRECTED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.