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!


  1. Hello!
    I came across your blog while looking for more info on the Professional Internships in Animal Programs. I'd really like to do one of these internships in January of 2012. Do you have any recommendations on how early to apply or should I contact an HR person before applying just to get my name out there? I'd really like a shot at this internship so any info, tips, or anything would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
    ~Joellen (flucke.2@osu.edu)

  2. I would apply as early as possible. I'm not sure how much of an impact that will have on your actual selection, but usually, the earlier you apply, the better. It's also great to make as many contacts with Disney as you can. Not only can they answer any questions you may have, but it's also a way to get your name out there and network! Which internship are you looking at applying for?

  3. Hello Devin!

    Did you get the internship? I just applied this same internship which starts June 2011.

  4. Yes, I did. If you check out the other articles on my blog, I've written about it as well.

  5. I have been looking at the Marine Mammal and the Animal Nutrition internships. These would be the most ideal for me, but really I would take any of them I could get animal programs! Do you know if there's a limit on how many you can apply for?

  6. Disney says that you can apply for up to three internships each semester.

  7. Hi there! I just stumbled across your website while looking for resources on the DPI before applying. I'm probably going to be going for the Living Seas at Epcot. Would you mind e-mailing me and letting me know what the internship was like for you, and how you answered a few of the interview questions? For example, the one about how you would react to animals being in cages. I would be really interested to know what kind of answers they would be looking for. Thanks so much! My e-mail is imdigreg@eckerd.edu

  8. Any help at all preparing for the interview process would be great. Thank you! :)

  9. Hi Devin,
    I just stumbled across your blog and I'm so glad I found it! I currently have a phone interview next week for the Conservation Education Presenter internship, starting in Spring 2012. This blog has helped me to prepare so much! If you have any extra advice for the interview, or the job in general, it would be very much appreciated! Thank you again!

  10. Hello,
    I hope I'm not too late in responding, but if I am, how'd your interview go? As far as extra advice for the interview, just be yourself. I'd suggest going to Disney's Internship website and going through the job requirements and through the explanation of what you'll be doing in your job. If you have a passion for animals, conservation, and education, you're good to go! I'd suggest maybe trying to think of some guest situations that you might have and how you might handle them. For example, what would you do if someone came up to you upset about the animals being in cages? I'd say, most of all, be confident in your abilities, smile when you're talking, and show enthusiasm! You're applying for Disney! Again, let me know how it goes! Good luck!


  11. Thank you so much for the advice, it helped a ton!! I ended up having my interview on the 21st of September, and I got accepted on the 23rd!!! I'll be arriving in January and living at Cumberland! I really hope you continue to update your blog, because I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions and just reading about your experiences makes me ten times more excited. Thank you again!

  12. Hi Devin,

    I wanted to thank you for posting these interview questions on your blog! I applied for the Conservation Education Presenter internship this month, and the questions were exactly the same during my interview! I am so lucky to have stumbled across your blog; I couldn't have been more prepared.

    I'm posting on your blog because I'd love to talk to another education major who has completed this internship! I am graduating the semester before I complete my internship, and I'm afraid that future employers at elementary schools will not approve of my decision to work as a tour guide, rather than a teacher's aide or a tutor, after my college graduation. Have you applied for any teaching positions and, if so, have they commented on your completion of this internship?

    Thanks for your response!

  13. Arielle: Congratulations! I have continued my blog on another website because I was unable to upload any more picture content for this one. I don't update as much as I used to (because of college classes again), but there are more blogs if you look on the right hand side of this page under "Links that I Like." It's "Professional Internship Blog #2." I'll try to keep the posts coming though! I'm so glad I was able to help. :0) I lived in Cumberland too, so if you have any questions, feel free to email me or post another comment!

    Anonymous: I haven't applied for any teaching positions yet because I'm still in college, however, this internship is FAR from being a tour guide. Your role will be Conservation Education. You're position really has nothing to do with the parks other than being in Disney and preserving the "Disney Look." You'll be working with park guests, talking with kids and their families about the environment and working with kids to help them understand how they can help the environment. You'll also be striking up conversations with guests to talk to them about certain animals in the exhibits throughout the park. This position IS education. It's a great internship to support an education major! I'd say that you'll gained more experience as an educator in this position than working as an aide or tutor. You talk to soooo many people in one day, and they're all from different backgrounds and different walks of life. If you have any questions feel free to email me or post another comment! :0) Good luck!

  14. hi!
    i was just wondering how long it took you to hear back about getting the internship. Also for the marine mammal interview, what kind of questions did they ask you? i had my interview for conservation education presenter last tuesday, so i'm hoping that's why i havent heard back....and i haven't even been contacted for the marine mammal interview yet.
    thanks for your help!

  15. Hello,

    I think I heard back in about a week. It really depends on when you interviewed though. For the marine mammal internship, they asked me a lot of the same questions. I'd recommend looking over the job description and thinking about what qualifies you for each individual requirement. They asked about which I'd enjoy the most, teaching, program designing, or guest interaction. They also asked about what age groups I'd enjoy working with the most. The best advice I can give you is have fun with the interview! Smile and let them know you have that Disney enthusiasm! Good luck! Let me know how things turn out for you! I hope I could be of some help.

  16. thanks for responding! one more question...what do you mean it depends when you interviewed? I think i was one of the last people...does that have any effect on the time i may have to wait?

  17. Devin,

    Thank you so much for your blog. I have just been accepted as a Conservation Education Presenter with Walt Disney World and reading your experience has made me even more excited for this opportunity! I did have a couple of questions for you. Do you know if there where any opportunities to market yourself while there in hopes of getting a full time position with Disney after the internship or would it be more beneficial to apply for a consecutive internship? Also, would you suggest the housing that Disney provides or should I look for something on my own and try to find a roommate or two?


    I was wondering if maybe we could chat by email or facebook? I would love to talk to someone who is going to be down there and going through the same experience as me before I get there. It would be nice to have a friend. :)


  18. Hello,

    They tend to interview in sections and make selections as they go. If you interviewed at the beginning of their selection period, it takes longer to hear a response because you have to wait for all the other people to be interviewed before they make their finial decision. If you're interviewed at the end of the selection period, everyone else has pretty much been interviewed, so you tend to hear back sooner, simply because they don't have any more people to interview.

    There are lots of opportunities to market yourself! Throughout the internship there are 5 seminars you attend, teaching you about the various positions in Animal Programs (at least there were for us). During the seminars you have the opportunity to interact with Animal Programs Cast Members in various positions. How well you market yourself is really up to you. If you take an active role, the opportunities are endless. Lots of Cast Members are willing to talk to you about their positions and help you out. As far as looking for a career vs. applying for an internship, I'd do both and see what happens. If your accepted for more than one, you can always turn one opportunity down. Personally, I'd rather do that than apply for one and find out I wasn't accepted.

    I stayed in Disney housing (at Cumberland Apartments) and really enjoyed it. I stayed in a 2-bedroom so I believe it was around $135 per week (the apartments were furnished, had appliances, laundry, cable TV, wireless internet, a gym, a pool, AC and heat, and even someone to vacume and wash the floors of the apartment once a week... lots of stuff)... I really enjoyed staying there. Some people feel that that's too expensive though, and I did have some co-workers who decided to find roommates and apartments for themselves and were perfectly happy. I guess if you're looking to stay in Florida beyond your internship, I'd recommend finding an apartment by yourself, but if you're looking to stay for the duration of your internship, Cumberland is a great option.

    If you have any more questions feel free to let me know!

  19. Thanks for the info Devin! This was really helpful! I will definitely have to take advantage of getting to know the higher ups there. I'm really hoping to start a career with this internship. If I think of any other questions I will let you know! :)


  20. How much does the Conservation Education Presenter make hourly if you don't mind me asking??

    1. Because of Disney's rules and regulations, I can't tell you specifically how much you get paid. I can tell you, however, that it is above minimum wage (though not a whole lot.) It's enough to pay for the Disney sponsored housing and earn a bit of a paycheck beyond that. The housing was about $235 per week. I hope that helps somewhat. The internship is largely focused on the experience. You definitely won't come home rich after your time there, but you'll be enriched by everything you learned and the amazing interactions you have with Guests. Let me know if you have any more questions!