Friday, October 22, 2010

The Second Interview = Accepted!!!

I received an email the other day asking me to schedule a second interview for the Conservation Education Presenter Internship! I emailed back the dates I would be available, but I was more nervous for this interview than the first one! I had no clue what they were going to ask me. They called and basically reviewed questions that I had answered as part of my online portion of the application. Was I currently enrolled and taking at least one class in a University or recently graduated? Will you be able to provide your own transportation? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Are you able to provide documentation proving that you are eligible to work in the United States? Are you able to comply with the "Disney Look"? Do you have any tattoos? Basically all yes or no questions. At the end, she offered me the position! I was (and still am) supper ecstatic! I accepted and she said that she'd be able to take care of switching my acceptance of the Disney College Program over the the Professional Internship, so that was great! What a fantastic early birthday present! I can't wait until move-in day!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Disney Professional Internships-Conservation Education Presenter

Today was my interview with Disney's Animal Programs Conservation Team for the Conservation Education Presenter Professional Internship. I think it went well, but it definitely had more intense questions than the Vet Medical Records interview did. There were three ladies from the Conservation Department present for the interview, and for those of you that are curious, these are the questions I can remember being asked:

  • Why did you choose the Conservation Education Internship?
  • How would you define integrity? 
  • If you were asked to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
  • If an employer was asked to describe you in three words, what do you think they would say?
  • What does biodiversity mean?
  • Good guest service is really important to Disney. How would you define guest service? Give an example of when you provided good guest service.
  • What do you think are some major conservation issues today and how would you share that with Guests?
  • What is your experience with education, and what were the age ranges of the individuals involved?
  • Looking at the different styles of teaching, which two do you feel work the best and how would you use them to educate guests at Walt Disney World?
  • What do you believe is the role of a zoo and/or aquarium?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What would you do if you were selected for the position and the role was not meeting your expectations?
  • What would you do if a guest were upset about the animals at our parks being in cages?
  • If you were a Disney character, which character would you be and why?
  • Do you have any questions for us?
Again, the ladies were very nice and made the interview very comfortable (though I was still nervous and ended up pacing around the room anyways!). They told me that they make their final decisions at the end of October and the Casting Department would be replying to applicants by the middle to the end of November. Now its just a matter of waiting! Again, if anybody has any questions, feel free to ask away!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

SCUBA Diving

As a Marine Biology major (and as someone who wants to work at an aquarium), I thought being SCUBA certified might be somewhat beneficial... okay, really beneficial! So I started taking SCUBA lessons this semester with PADI, Professional Association of Diving Instructors. It's been a lot of fun! I've had a 3 hour class, once a week, where we go over skills and learn how to dive, obviously. Each week we also did a pool dive, where we were able to practice the skills we needed to master in a controlled environment. We learned about breathing, how pressure and buoyancy effect our dives, how to remove cramps, alternate air sources, etc. It was great. Now, as the class comes to an end, we have the option of doing our open water dives. As the year turns to fall, I thought it would be best to do the dives as soon as possible. Diving in a lake in the northern states is not something I'd really want to do just after the ice has melted! Today I completed the first half of my open water dives, with one more to go tomorrow! The water was a little over 60 degrees, but our wet suits, boots, gloves, and hoods helped a lot! I was surprised how insulated they were, but I was still shivering by the end. It's somewhat awkward with the wet suit on; you feel like your being pulled in 50 different directions, but you get used to it after a while. Your calf muscles also cramp up more in the cooler temperatures, so pay attention when they teach you cramp removal! You'll need it! Weights are another important aspect of diving. With the wet suits on we tend to float a lot more, so the recommended weight estimation is about 10 lbs. plus 10% of your body weight... not fun on land, but beneficial in the water. If you decide to do it and are nervous for your open water dive, don't worry about it. If you've paid attention in class and read the book like you're supposed to, you'll do fine. Your instructors are there to help you and will if you have any trouble. I highly recommend SCUBA diving to everyone who's ever even thought about it. You can take classes like I did or check out the online classes PADI offers. My instructor has been great and I can't wait to check out the ocean (and the sea turtles)! Hopefully I'll be able to dive in Florida!

 (Leatherback sea turtles I helped release from Gandoca Hatchery in Costa Rica this past summer.)

If anybody has any questions, ask away! I'd be happy to help.

Here's the link to PADI:

PADI The Way the World Learns to Dive

Friday, October 8, 2010

Disney Professional Internships-Animal Programs/Vet Medical Records

Before applying for the Disney College Program, I had applied for two if Disney's Professional Internships. The Professional Internships give you more of an opportunity to explore and learn in the field of your major. After waiting for several months, I decided to go ahead and apply for the College Program.

I was surprised a few days ago when I received a phone call from a lady with Disney's Animal Programs. She wanted to know what time I would be able to schedule a phone interview for the Vet Medical Records Internship! Woah! I was so excited! Not that I don't want to do the College Program, but the opportunity to work for Disney in a position related to my major is what I've been dreaming of; it's more specified towards my long-term career goals! I quickly called back and scheduled my interview.
That same week I also received an email from the Animal Programs Conservation Education department! They also asked when I would be available, so that interview is scheduled for Tuesday!

For the Veterinary Medical Records Internship interview, I spoke with two of the wonderful ladies who work on the veterinary team. The current intern was going to be present as well, giving me the opportunity to ask her questions; however, she had a sick child to attend to. The questions I was asked in this interview were not as general as the questions for the College Program, and the interview was very comfortable and conversation-like. For those of you looking into this type of internship and trying to prepare, these are the questions I was asked:

  • What is your graduation year?
  • Why did you choose this role?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you believe you will be doing in this role?
  • What are your qualifications for this position?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What frustrates you?
  • What computer programs are you familiar with?
  • Are you comfortable with creating and working with graphs in Excel?
  • How open are you to learning about new computer programs?
  • Are you an independent or team worker?
  • Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you, or are there any questions you'd like to ask us?
I've found that making notes really helps me. It gives you the opportunity to think through your answers, and, when you're on the spot, its nice to have something to focus on and calm your nerves. Once the interview was over, they told me that they had about a week and a half of interviews to go yet. She said that they have to have their decision to Casting by the end of October and that I should hear back by November 29th at the latest, so we'll see! One more interview to go!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quick Service Food & Beverage?

Okay, so a little bit more about what I'll actually be doing in Disney...

While on the College Program, you can choose from the Spring/Fall Advantage Program or Spring/Fall Program. (They also have a Culinary Program, and, if your school is on a quarter or trimester system, they also have a Quarter Program.) Basically the difference between the two is that the Advantage Program is about 3 months longer. I'll be doing the Spring Advantage Program 2011, so I'll be there from January 26 to August 12! Disney used to offer a Summer Program, but it is no longer available to new College Program participants. From what I've heard, alumni, however, are offered that option. 

I'll be working in Quick Service Food & Beverage, so basically, I could end up working at any food place that doesn't take your order from your table, including snack carts. Lots of options! I wish we knew where we'd be working before we arrived, but oh well, part of the anticipation I guess! According to the Disney College Program website, my responsibilities may include:

  • Selling food and beverages at outdoor carts and/or indoor restaurants
  • Taking and filling orders, multi-tasking
  • Preparing and assembling food items in a kitchen area, including the use of a fryer, grill, broiler, and other industrial cooking equipment
  • Cash handling - both manual and using computerized registers
  • Bussing tables, washing dishes, cleaning kitchen equipment, and emptying trash cans
  • Dispensing and selling alcoholic beverages
  • Setting and stocking tables, outdoor carts, and restaurants
  • Heavy lifting, pushing heavy carts
  • Working with cleaning chemicals
  • Working independently or as part of a large team
  • Standing for extended periods, working outdoors
That's all I know about my position for now. We are told who our roommates are beforehand, but it seems like we receive most of the information once we arrive. I can't wait to start! Now the question is, to fly or drive?

Friday, October 1, 2010


I returned from class today and checked my email and there it was! "Disney College Program: Your Invitation"! I'm so excited! I barley got past "Congratulations! You have been selected to participate as a Quick-Service Food & Beverage Cast Member on the Disney College Program in the Spring Advantage 2011 Season." before I whipped out the phone and started dialing. I'm not exactly sure which restaurant I'll be working in, but I'm looking forward to it. Now I just have to wait until January for move-in day!
For those of you that are interested in the Disney College Program, you may want to know a little about the interview process. First Disney asks you to take an online interview. Once you complete that, you'll either be asked to call in to set up your phone interview, or kindly told that your responses do not meet the requirements for their roles. If you are instructed to set up the phone interview, you may want to prepare a little. It really helps to have an idea of your responses to the questions before your call. Even if you aren't asked the exact questions you prepared for, they're probably similar, and you'll at least have a little something to base your answer off of. The interview starts off with a review of your application. They want to make sure you'll be able to comply with the "Disney Look." They'll also verify that they're interviewing you for the right location (Walt Disney World versus Disneyland), and ask which program you're applying for (the regular season or Advantage Program). There were a few other questions in there as well, but you get the general idea. Then came the actual interview questions. This is what I can remember:
  • Why do you want to participate in the Disney College Program at this point in your life?
  • Of the roles that you applied for, which 3 appeal to you the most?
  • What did you do in your previous employment?
  • What challenges did you have in your previous employment?
  • Tell about a time in your previous work experience you made someone feel special.
  • What challenges do you think you will face while living with a roommate?
  • What would you say if I asked you if you're an independent or team worker?
  • If your working or focussing on something and someone interrupts you, how do you feel?
The rest of the questions are tailored more towards the top 3 roles I chose. Attractions was my first choice, followed by Food & Beverage, and then Merchandise.
  • When you go to a restaurant, what do you look for in a host or hostess?
  • What do you think makes a good host or hostess?
  • Have you ever served someone as a host or hostess before?
  • How comfortable are you speaking in front of large audiences?
  • What experience do you have handling and counting back money?
At the end she had a few more yes/no questions for me about the College Program and gave me a chance to ask any questions I had at the end. Overall, the interview lasted about 15-20 minutes. I was really nervous but glad that I had thought through some of the questions other Cast Members had been asked ahead of time. She told me that I would hear back from them in 3-4 weeks and that was that. Thank goodness I got an email after about 3 days! I was dying to know! They ask you to complete the acceptance online, pay the activities fee, and choose the dates of your arrival and departure. After that you're able to access a page through the College Program website that gives you more info, now that you've been selected. Now I'm just waiting for my brochure in the mail, with more College Program details. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Here are some great websites to check out with some more interview questions: