Disney consumes my life

Waiting for something you are looking forward to has got to be one of the hardest things ever! I have had everything set up for my internship since February, and that was just torture during school. I do not know how many times I would be doing homework and my thoughts would change to something Disney related. But that is done now, school is out and I have finished my finals. There is nothing to distract me from the pure joys of my fun thoughts before I get down to Florida.

But now the thoughts are getting even harder to control! Now there is no school to occupy my time. All I am doing is working at my jobs as much as I can before I officially start in May. When I’m working all I really get in my head is the thought (yay, I won’t have to do this in about a month). It’s official, I am once again, Disney obsessed.

They make me so happy.

This reminds me of everything that happened before my CP last year. Except that time around, I left right when I was finished with finals, so at least I did not have a lot of free time to sit around and think about the joys of playing all the time at the most magical place on earth.

Either way, it’s coming . . . slowly . . . so slowly. But once it gets here, it is going to be the greatest thing ever.

I have found ways to keep my mind off it a little bit though. Working, although I do tend to think about working at Disney, keeps me focused a little more on other subjects. I have more time to hang out with my friends and I also have been doing that a lot! And just surfing the Internet for random junk makes life even grander!

So if you are in my rut and are anxiously waiting for your CP or PI or whatever to start, distract yourself with shiny jewels or something, just so you don’t go 100% crazy before you leave for the happy place.

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Check-In information email

I recieved my next piece of Disney information:

 

It’s pretty obvious what it is about. It lists the date that I check-in to Disney and at what time. What is interesting is where they ask me to check-in. during my college program they asked me to check-in at Vista Way, the Disney College Program housing complex.  For this one they asked me to check-in at the Casting Building which is located on Buena Vista Drive near Downtown Disney. This time around it looks like I go straight to Casting to get my background check done and then they send me on my way before I start traditions.

The email contains directions on how to get there, which is good because it is actually kind of hard to spot casting from Buena Vista Drive. Not that the building doesn’t stand out, this is Disney after all and the building is very colorful and very unique, the problem is this part of Orlando has a ton of other unique buildings as well so something like Casting that would stick out like a sore thumb in any other location just blends right on in.

Something important to remember before you go over to Casting for your background check, whether it be for a PI, CP, full-time, or part-time position, you need to bring your Driver’s License with Social Security Card or Passport. You need to have at least the two forms of ID, make it easy on yourself and bring your Driver’s License with your social security card. I myself usually use my Driver’s Licence and my Passport, but that is me. If you do not bring the right number and forms of ID, you could put off your initial start date, you cannot start until the background check is complete. They do it quickly, but they won’t start it until they see those IDs to prove who you are.

The email also has the official On-Board paper work that all employees have to fill out before you get there. Fill it out before you get to casting, you won’t be sorry, it will save you so much time! I personally am going to make a PDF that allows me to type and print my information on the document rather then have to write it out by pen. If you want that PDF, go ahead and get a hold of me, it will look impressive if you can turn it in all typed and printed out rather than use ink . . . plus I just hate ink.

There you go, one more email you will get before you arrive at your official start date.

It is coming up, I’ll be in Orlando in less than a month, I am so excited!

 

* It turns out the pdf I got in e-mail is encrypted. So I cannot make it into what I wanted. All one can do is print it. Sorry I could not get that working for you all. But now you get to practice your handwriting!

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The red folder

There it is.

It took several weeks, but I finally got confirmation in the mail that I have been accepted for my internship. Yes, I got an email explaining everything, they even called me to tell my I had gotten it. But those messages had almost no details to what I would be doing or what I must do to get ready. And in reality, the red folder has none of that information either. It really is just a list of FAQ and a book with the Disney look.

Still, it is so fun to get some sort of physical confirmation about the internship! I went over to my parent’s house to pick up some items and there it was, a huge white envelope with the distinct symbol of Disney with Mickey Mouse. I quickly opened it and there it was, a red folder with a letter saying “Congratulations!” I have felt the feeling before, the rush of excitement to know I had did it after a lot of hard work. I felt it when I got my acceptance phone call, even when I got my email, and also when I got my CP confirmation about a year ago. This is exciting!

But this isn’t the end of the information stream. It actually says in the letter that soon my work location will be contacting me with training and work information. Now that is what I am excited to get considering I want to know exactly what my training and work schedule is going to be so I can plan my park trips around it 😛

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Accepting the offer

This was the easiest part for me!

Catherine, (I’ve mentioned her before, somewhere) called me to tell me that I am awesome and I got the position! Shorty after I received an email that said “Congratulations!” in the biggest and most bold red letters I have ever seen. Disney does not want you to guess on anything I imagine.

The email says how much you will be making, arrival/departure dates, a few perks, a reminder of how you are supposed to be totally involved in the Disney look, and information about housing if you need it.The most important part is the very bottom. The acceptance link. Click the link, fill out your information, and calmly scream as you fill it out “I did it! I did it!” Congrats, you just accepted your offer to Disney. Now you can obsess over Disney for the next eternity while you wait for your trip to the magical land.

Don't get this obsessed

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Got a raise

So it turns out Disney gives out raises to PIs.

The program office sent me an email asking for my transcript from school or else Mickey would hate me or something. Not wanting to offend such a divine being, I sent in my transcript without asking any questions.

Well after a huge collaboration of the greatest minds Disney has, it was decided that I should get a raise! So my pay for my future internship went up! It was less than a dollar, but it is definitely cool to realize I could get a raise before I have even arrived in Orlando. I guess what I have been learning in school actually is good for me!

Ha, I'm rich.

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The interview

Oh the excitement of an interview! I don’t know about you, but I love interviews, either on the telephone or in person! I just happen to be in my element. For Professional Internships, Disney tends to do phone interviews. My experience went down like this:

My Interview Experience

I am a very eccentric person when it comes to getting what I want. To end up getting an interview, I reworked my resume a ton (which is how I beat disneycareers.com), spoke with my past managers as a CP in order to get endorsements, called the Disney Professional Program office to talk with a hiring manger to interviewing tips, and surfed the Disney hub website for the internship’s location to talk to leaders in that area. Basically  I got a lot of great information based on that.

Calling the off was hilarious! I found this random number of a secretary in the Global Business Management Strategy department. I called to speak about the internship. I found out I was already on the list for people to be interviewed and we set up my interview time on the spot, for two days later on that Wednesday.

Two days later, I waited anxiously for 11:00am to arrive. Preciously at 11, I got a call. I spoke with this super nice woman who has been with the company for quite some time. She help implement the hub, some fast-pass operations, and other important technological awesomeness! She asked me about what I have done in my school and work experience and what skills I had to offer Disney. We talked a lot about databases. Of course she asked the all important question “Why do you want to work for Disney?” I talked about how, during my cp program, I loved working for a company that focused so much on satisfying the customer and providing such excellent service. I really want to work for a company that holds the same values as I do and Disney happens to be such a company. I asked her the same question, why has she worked for Disney for so long? She has loved being with such an innovative company with the same values that she does that also always has something different for her to do. After asking a few more questions, the interviewed ended and I hung the phone. I felt that the interview went really well . . . except the interview was only 20 minutes long. Ugh . . . why was it so short? Was I not what they were looking for . . . I began to wonder if I really hadn’t had done as well as I had thought.

Two days later, I got a phone call, from a woman named Catherine (she seems to be the person who always calls me with information about the internship every time!) and she asked me a few screening questions such as if I was actually a student, how I would get to work, etc. Here I thought I was going to schedule my second phone interview. “I have some good news for you, CONGRATULATIONS, you have been accepted for the Global Business Technology Strategy internship!” Yes, I got it! I had never been so relieved.

Interview Tips

There are a few things one should always do to prepare for any interview, not just Disney interviews. Before you get to the interview, do your research!

  1. Research the company. I’m not talking about just knowing everything you know about Disney, you nerd. I’m talking about understanding how the company does business. http://corporate.disney.go.com/ has a lot of good information to understand the business dealings of Disney.
  2. Know the position. I have heard a ton of stories where a persons goes in to an interview and literally does not even know the name of the position they are applying for. At least read the application summary before your interview.
  3. Call the interviewing department and just talk to anyone there about the department. Ask them what they like and dislike about there job, how their interview was, and what do they recommend. I found my departments phone number on Disney’s hub.
  4. Have a few good answers for behavioral questions. Chances are they are going to ask: Tell me about a time when . . . . Yeah, that is going to happen, think up some common situations in your field where you saved 1,000,000 lives or had to lead an army to the defense of your homes and families. The more you think about potential situations, you are going to have better answers.
  5. Prepare questions that you want to ask the interviewer. You should never end an interview without asking questions to the interviewer. You asking questions shows you are actually interested in the company. I tend to ask personal questions of the interviewer such as “Why did you choose to work for Disney?” What is the hardest thing you do at your job?” etc. Questions are golden for a second interview.

During the interview, be yourself, what I mean by that, is be your best confident self. If you had prepared like I suggest above, you should have little trouble answering even questions you did not prepare for, basically because your mind is more prepared on answering real questions with real answers. And in all honestly, do not make anything up in your interview, the interviewer is going to see right through that. You have always heard this, but it is true, during your interview, smile! It is amazing how the tone in your voice changes while you smile. It will make things a lot more positive, and it will send a good vibe. At the end of the interview, get your interviewers email address or even their phone number. This is come as important later.

Soon after the interview, email your interviewer! Tell them thank you for the interview and just send a nice, genuine email and reiterate your excitement to work for Disney. This will help you s you move along in the process. Plus if you have any questions later, you will have someone to contact about the position.

The Process Laid Out

Every interview process is different, but after just talking with several other people interviewing for other PI positions, I have noticed a pattern to what goes down for people who interview.

  1. Apply
  2. Receive an email or phone call to set up an interview.
  3. Pre-screening questionnaire before the interview.
  4. First interview.
  5. Phone call or email to set up second interview or rejection.
  6. Second interview.
  7. Phone call and email with instructions on how to accept the internship offer or rejection.

I have even heard of people having three interviews, I myself only had phone one interview. It completely depends on what you are applying to, but the basic process is how I outlined it above.

Once you get that acceptance, congratulations, you have just gotten past the hardest part, and now you can rest easy! If you get a rejection, no worries, you probably still have five more interviews coming up for other PIs you applied to considering you are a freakin’ Disney nerd!

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Getting past DisneyCareers.com

You have probably heard it before if you have had any friends apply to a lot of Disney professional internships; “I applied to so many different internships, but I didn’t get one interview!” That’s hard to have happen to you, but it does happen! Hundreds or even thousands of people can apply to one open position, Disney is a popular company and many people want to work for it, you are just going to have to accept that. It doesn’t help that the thousands of CPs on location at Disney World are planning to do those as well, and since there are only about 300 PIs and about 6,000 CPs at one time, it can be really intimidating to see how you are going to get past all those numbers and get an interview.

Too. Many. People!

When I was a CP, I spoke with a few professional interns, educational advisors, recruiters, etc about how to get an interview for a PI position and they all had a lot of great tips, but there was something they said that was consistent amongst all of them. That was how to get your resume past the recruitment filter Disney uses to select resumes for interview.

Like I said, Disney sometimes gets thousands of resumes for one position. They don’t have time to look at each resume one at a time to pick the most qualified people in the lot. So they use a computer system that uses certain keywords found on resumes to pick a good number of them, and then they look through those to pick people for interviews.

This means if you are super qualified for the position, but do not have the right keywords on your resume, you probably will not be getting an interview. The good news, you already know where the keywords are!

The job postings for internships on http://disneycareers.com list a lot of the words they use on the filtered search. What I did was I took the job posting, and highlighted all the important words that were very unique to my line of work (mine is totally a tech field industry, and my internship’s job posting had words like SQL, database, java programming, etc). If you are marketing for example, it will probably list words like “Qualified in SEO, research, etc”. Chances are, if you are qualified for the position, you have the skills listed in the job posting. What I did was I took those highlighted words in the posting, and I worded my resume almost exactly like the job posting was. So when the recruiters searched for the key words on the internship I was interested in, my resume would have a lot of those same key words and show up really high on the search results of the resumes.

Remember, you are doing this ONLY to reword your resume to the same way the job posting is listed so you have the key words you need to get past the filter. You are connecting these key words with skills and experiences you have already had. You are NOT making up stuff or just adding these words with out some sort of substance on your part to back it up. If you just add the key words and you are not qualified for the position, you are going to be in a world of hurt when it comes to your interview.

Once you get past the filter, your gorgeous resume will pop out like gold to the eyes of humans who can tell you are qualified, rather then trying to get through a computer that only knows “Hey, look, this document has words that I am looking for.”

Use the key words in your resume, and your chances at getting an interview are that much better!

By the way! Do you want to test your resume to the Disney filter? Then use the “Concept Search” on this link (https://disney.recruitmax.com/main/careerportal/default.cfm?szUniqueCareerPortalID=d806a3ad-06f5-4622-b614-74475b752e8e&szIsJobBoard=0). Scroll to the bottom until you see the title “Concept Search”. See the white box there?

See?

Copy and paste your resume into that box, and click search. If the internship you are looking for appears on the search results, you are in good shape and on your way to getting an interview . . . in most cases 😛

Just make sure you upload the same resume when you apply!

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