Monday, March 11, 2013

My BIG Secret!

So my dear friends. I went through the Cultural Representative Program application process with you twice.  I went through the Cruise Line Interviews with you.  I went through the University of Central Florida application process with you.

I had a gut feeling about all of those. This time I don't.  That is why I am wary to discuss that I even applied.  But with success comes failure, and with failure comes lessons learned to turn those failures into successes later on.  I have not been accepted for many jobs in the past. I have been offered many jobs as well.

The closest I've ever felt to this before was when I was in the running to be one of the West Coast Trainers for Boston Pizza Corporate.  I would have traveled through Western Canada as a corporate trainer for new restaurants and revamps.  I didn't think I had a chance, but I got called for a phone interview. Then I made it to the next round.  Then the last round! I was one in three candidates left.  I had to go to a Boston Pizza and write a report on it.  I poured hours into this report.  Then I had to train the interviewers to do something in 20 minutes.  I chose to teach them the dance to Thriller.

I didn't even know the dance to Thriller. So I learned it.  And then I rocked it teaching it to them.  They were two late 20 something guys, it was intimidating, and perhaps not the right choice (their examples were 'how to put on hockey gear' and 'how to build a card house') but I thought it was interactive and fun.

I really thought I had a good chance when I was in the top three.  I was already imagining myself travelling around the provinces, teaching, learning, exploring and loving life.  I was contemplating not applying for a second Disney program if I got this job and sort of starting a life. (Crazy, I know.)

Then I got an email...that I didn't get it. I tried to justify it to myself that I wasn't really qualified anyways and that I made it way further in the process than I should have, but I was still sad.

Walt said everyone needs a good failure when they are young - hopefully this was mine and now I'm good to go.  I have this weird way of thinking that I should get whatever job I apply for because I know I can step up and perform the role amazingly - it's getting that across through my resume and interviewing that seems to be the problem.

I got through that interview failure, and I survived and am incredibly happy with how everything went even though I didn't get that job.  Plus I learned a lot in the process (besides amazing dance moves).  I learned that I can write reports and overcame my fear of public speaking/shyness by teaching a dance to men in suits.  I learned that even though I may not have gotten the job, I worked hard at trying, and as clique as that sounds, there was just someone else better suited for the position.

So where is all this going?

I applied for the Disney College Program.  I also applied for Disney Professional Internships.

Thank goodness only my family reads this or else it would be way scarier putting that out there. Oh public rejection. Hopefully we won't have to deal with you...but if we will be graceful (mostly).

Let's do the College Program first:

The Disney College Program is a Disney geeks dream.  You get to work in also ANY POSITION PROPERTY WIDE (all non-tipped of course!) and make magic for guests.  You get worked to the bone, with super long hours, and then get to go home to housing! So it's like Le Cellier...but without the restaurant, the tips or the other Canadians.

There are a variety of roles from housekeeping to hospitality to attractions to character performers to merchandise etc. and when you initially apply you rank which you are most interested in.   What made me really want to apply is that Hospitality and Concierge were on the list. CONCIERGE! Can you imagine? (Hello, dream in life being realized!) On the Disney website they pretty much NEVER have this role or front desk because the turn over is so long for part-time and full-time cast members.  Therefore I thought if I were able to get in on the College Program, we may be able to work some Disney magic afterwards.
The problem with this is that I could be offered a role in any of the jobs I listed as interested in, and they include main entrance operations, housekeeping (whoops!) and attractions.  The good thing about this is once you're in, it's easier to stay in, and I've become very talented at making a bed (ask Francel!). So if I do a program in a different role there may be a possibility to switch to a seasonal position in a role that is more relevant to my major.

Now that we have that spiel out of the is the process so far.

I applied online.

I got an email asking me to complete an online interview.

I completed the online interview. Upon completion I was invited to schedule a phone interview.

I completed my phone interview.  20 minutes ago.

It was scary. All interviews are scary.  Why? Because you are trying to sell yourself to someone who listens to thousands of college students trying to sell themselves.  You are trying to make that person see you as someone who should work for the best entertainment company in the world. That's an intense sell.

The lady (I'm a horrible person and forget her name already) was very nice and laid out how the phone cal would go.  She asked me a series of questions to start.  Of course 'Why do you want to do the college program?' was a big one, and she made reference to the fact that I had already worked at Le Cellier ('it's such a great restaurant but so hard to get in to!') Then we talked about roommates and working in the weather (good thing I already live here and did popcorn cart in August!).  She also asked me how I deal with having a ton of things to do at once and I discussed prioritizing and list making. oh dear.

She asked me what my top roles were and I said Concierge/Hospitality then Character Attendant (in my mind character attendants have to deal with a lot of anger...lines being cut off, scared children, saving characters being's like guest relations but in the field!).  She asked me what I thought the difference between concierge and hospitality (front desk) was and I was not expecting that.  I gave my best answer though, and the next question was if I was comfortable putting out food in the club levels, but then answered herself by mentioning all my food and beverage experience...I said yes to and used the example of myself being a banquet captain so I was familiar with the buffet style set up, stocking and take down.

I got asked about a time when guests were upset and I turned the situation around. I told the story about the anniversary couple that was really upset they had to wait a long time to sit, and how I was really excited for them, celebrated their anniversary, and in the end completed their pin set that they had been working on for years by presenting it with dessert. So magical.  (They actually cried and hugged me, and gave me an unreal steamboat Mickey pin, because you 'have to trade').

She asked me about how I would deal with a scared child coming up to a big character and I talked about turning the nervous energy into excited energy, talking about the character, how friendly they are, getting them down to the child's level as well, that sort of thing. Going over to the character together perhaps? I don't know, I've always been a thousand feet tall and only scared of Frolo...who has creepy fake human hands.

She then asked about my student visa and if I had a driver's license.  I think that's about it? She told me I had to wait 2-3 weeks and to continuously check my Disney Dashboard as sometimes the emails get sent to the junk mail folder.  I asked a few questions about the program and extending, and voila - it was over.

Now we wait.

As for the Professional Internships Program:

I applied for a couple of the 'College Program Alumni Only' Professional Internships.  They count the CRP as alumni too thank goodness! The roles vary quite a bit but the two I am most interested in are an International Recruiting Internship and a Guest Relations Internship.  I think everyone and their brother wants to be in Guest Relations so that will be intense, and I think international recruiting would be the coolest thing ever as I've gone through the process twice and being able to be a part of doing that for other people? UNREAL.

I applied and had my interview for those in the beginning of February so I don't remember the questions as well.  I was told (not in my interview but by others applying) that there are about 6000 applications and about 100 Professional Interns, so your chances are slim.  I don't know how true this is, but college program alumni are intense individuals, all with Disney experience and magical examples.

What I wasn't expecting in this interview was all the questions about what I was hoping to gain from the internship.  I had prepared a lot more on the side of what I could bring to them, not exactly what they could give to me, besides experience, knowledge, on the job training and that sort of thing. The interviewer was really nice though (as they always are) and I think it was a good experience.  I have plenty more opportunities to apply for PIs (until the semester after you graduate) so at least I got the chance to see what it was like if I don't get one this time.  I will admit I really want one though.

Applications just closed for the Professional Internships on March 8th (last Friday) so they have to do all the phone interviews for the people who applied recently.  Apparently the individual departments don't even start looking at resumes until about a month from now because of all the phone screen interviews and such.  So we shall see.

I'm horrible at waiting.

So there you have it. I let you in on my big secrets.  My fingers are crossed that something works out, but if it doesn't there are other places I can work until the opportunities come around again.  I can also apply for regular part-time and seasonal positions in a couple months so that's always an option as well.

Plus, there is always Universal? I would look mighty cute in that Harry Potter World wizard hat....


Candace Stewart said...

Hello... I came across your page by randomly clicking the 'next blog' button towards the top of the page and read a couple of your posts. I think it's really awesome that you are following your passion and it hit home with me because I recently started doing the same thing... in a way. I started something called "Our Extraordinary Love." Basically, I would love to travel the world and meet people and hear about / experience their love stories in person one day. Right now I'm starting with the blog and trying to get people to send me their love stories. There is way more information on my blog at I was just wondering if you would want to share the word to anyone you know that would possibly want to share their story, or even if you have your own that you want to share. If you are not interested at all, then thanks for taking the time to read this anyway. Good luck in the pursuit of your dream.



Kate said...

Hey Candice!

I love your idea! I'll see what I can find for you! And thanks for reading :)

Candace Stewart said...

Ah thanks so much!