“Dreams are only dreams until you wake up and make them real.” – Ned Vizzini
Three years ago, I applied for the Disney College Program. I was at a point in my life where I desperately needed a new adventure and I thought maybe a semester at Disney could be a fun experience. It turns out that the DCP was more than just a fun experience- it was a life changing experience.
Applications for the Spring 2018 program are officially open and I see so many people going back and forth on whether or not they should apply. I’m here to tell you that if any part of you feels the urge to apply, just do it.
Maybe you’re feeling lost and need to find yourself. Maybe you want a break from the regular college life. Maybe your goal is to work for the company after you graduate. Whatever the case may be, this program offers you a unique opportunity that is truly unmatched.
I will be honest with you: it isn’t all fun and games. This program is an internship, which means you will be working…a lot. Sometimes you will work 12 hour shifts…three days in a row. Sometimes you’ll work nine days straight. Sometimes guests will be unkind and you will feel underappreciated. Just like with any other job you will have in life, there are minor setbacks and situations that are unavoidable. This will teach you how to handle tough situations, how to be flexible and how to hold your head up high when you feel like you’re about to drown.
This internship is about working hard…but it’s also about playing hard. You will be able to get into all four theme parks for free. You will have the opportunity to earn free tickets to get your friends and family into the parks. You will be able to explore Orlando and the rest of Florida, if you so choose. You will be able to witness changes around the resort and have a role in creating new magic. You will make friends that last a lifetime. You will learn a lot about yourself and where you want to be in life. Don’t believe me? Let me share some highlights from my first college program with you:
I worked at one of the largest Disney stores in the world (World of Disney) as Downtown Disney started its transition to Disney Springs.
I am going to be the bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s weddings next year- and I met her on my college program.
I was able to see my favorite baseball team play against the Atlanta Braves in spring training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
I attended the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival for the first time.
I took a road trip with my friends to Clearwater Beach for the first time and had the time of my life.
I wrote a blog post about my experience that spread across the internet and allowed me to connect with alumni all over the world.
I fell so in love with Disney that I applied for a second college program following my college graduation and was accepted. I was then accepted for a professional internship the following semester.
People don’t realize how enriching this program can be or how powerful it is to have Disney on your resume. I have gotten interviews because employers saw I worked for Disney and they were impressed. One of the most common questions I get asked is if it’s worth doing this program if you’re majoring in something completely unrelated. I majored in journalism and completed two programs in merchandise and attractions, which led to my being accepted for a professional internship with the Walt Disney Parks & Resort Creative Entertainment team. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a resort and hospitality major- this program can open up many doors for you within the company and the company is huge.
Maybe you do the program, you fall in love and never leave. Maybe you do the program and realize this is where you’re meant to be, so you go back and finish your degree. Maybe you realize you don’t want to work for the company long term. But guess what? You’ll never know unless you apply.
I was a 21-year-old girl who was feeling down on her luck and needed an adventure. I didn’t go in knowing I would make lifelong friends, build my resume, have new experiences and get out of my shell. I went in with a positive attitude and started each day fresh, letting go of any negativity from the previous day and thanking the universe for the opportunity that was given to me.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you’re considering applying for the Disney College Program then I suggest you go for it. I am a year out of college and wish I could apply for another program. I didn’t know how much I needed that experience until I looked back after it was over and realized how much I had grown and learned in the five months I spent there.
I encourage anyone who is on the fence to take a leap of faith and fill out the application, today. If you still need a little convincing, I wrote a post about my experience on my first program here. When you’re done reading that, go here and apply for a program that has the potential to change your life.
You can thank me later. No rush.