Tis’ the season for Disney to start recruiting new people for the Fall 11′ semester College Program. Last year I was one of these students with the wide eyes about the oppourtunity of working for the big cheese himself.(Mickey Mouse)
Now, don’t get me wrong I highly reccommend working for Disney. They give you great opportunities if you really do well, and you’ll have the chance to go back and do it again and again. Here are some of the things though that I did not agree with.
Housing- I lived in Vista Way, the oldest (and cheapest) of all the aparentment complexes that you are REQUIRED to live in. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. There were six of us altogether in that apartment. You can choose who your roommates are if you already know people doing the program, other then that you are stuck with random people. I didn’t mind it at all because I am fine with meeting new people and funny enough those random people I lived with I now consider to be my closest friends.
The thing about the apartments is that you pay rent for them, at Vista it was $79 taken automatically out of your check every week AFTER taxes. Sometimes College Program (CP) students didn’t work enough hours one week, because of calling in or scheduling, that they owed Disney money for rent. When that happens it just carries over into the next pay period. In Chatam Square and Patterson Court depending on the type of room you get, rent can increase up to $110 a week. One CP that I met said that she is from Orlando and already had an apartment and still got charged for rent on an apartment she didn’t even have. It did get sorted out though and she was able to keep her own apartment.
Jobs-I loved my job. The people I worked with were awesome and the easiest way to do well is to just do your job and do it well or at least put effort towards it. The issue with jobs and I know this happened to a couple people, one being my roommate, is that they switch your job without you knowing. What had happened to my roommate is that she applied and got accepted in retail. When we all went through Traditions (Disney orientation) and she got her schedule it said that she was now in sanitation. No matter who she called or talked too they all said that they would get back to her but never did. After a while she tried to just make the job work so she didn’t have to leave the program but it wasn’t what she was accepted to do. When someone from Disney finally got back to her they told her that she had to stay in that position because there were no open spots in retail any longer. Bottom line, she left in the beginning of November, half-way through the program.
School credit- YOU DO NOT GET ANY COLLEGE CREDITS FOR DOING THE PROGRAM. The only way you will get credits is if you take a class through the program. Be warned though, if you are working a 50+ hour week you will still have to work out with your scheduling manager the fact that you are taking a class. It seems that one does not automatically effect the other, you need to make sure your professor and your scheduling manager knows about your classes. This is an “internship”. Though you do not actually work within the major your currently in, you can do a professional internship through Disney for a year and have a job closer to what your degree is. Internship is used loosely because you are getting paid for this and not receiving actual class credits.
Now, I’m not trying to be negative about the program, but I just wanted to speak of the bad ALONG WITH the good. The good of the program is:
Transportation- I was able to bring my car down with me, so getting to and from places was easy. The busing though is really great unless they are running late, but that’s how it is with any public transportation and in going to and from parks there are always buses going. The only time that you will hit a snag is if you are going to one of the resorts, there are no buses that go directly there. Bring your own car though if you decide on going, you won’t regret it.
Perks-Free park admission, 50% off Disney merchandise around the holidays, discounts on hotels and free admission for family and friends that come and visit and free gifts from Disney for Christmas. For example this past year everyone got a copy of Toy Story 3 that was exclusive for Disney employees.
Resume- Having Disney as a company that you worked for and are still in good standing with is amazing because they own and influence so many things. Almost all of the companies and T.V. shows you see is owned by Disney. By having that as a reference as well as a previous or current position is sure to put you one step above the rest.