If College or International Program participants on the East Coast have questions about the living component of their program, they are referred to Housing. But what is “Housing?” Did you know that Housing is actually comprised of several different teams, all with the same goal of ensuring our participants have an unforgettable and seamless program experience? Although we share a common goal, the responsibilities each team has are very different.
This post is the fifth in a series that will highlight each team within Housing so you know how you can best direct your inquiries and become more familiar with the friendly faces that are here to assist you.
Many of our Housing cast members assist our participants “onstage,” but we do have some teams in Housing that work diligently behind the scenes, as well. If you’ve ever wondered who forecasts how much space we have for incoming participants or who collects Housing payments, there is a small but mighty team called Housing Administrative Services located by the pool at Chatham Square that does all of this and more. I spoke with Joe, one the team’s coordinators, who told me more about his role supporting Housing:
What does a typical day for you look like?
No two days are exactly alike for our team of three coordinators and one leader. Mondays are usually filled with welcoming new arrivals to their programs and checking them in at their Housing complex, as we have arrivals for College and International Programs most weeks of the year. Additionally, our team supports Housing through administrative and DORMS tech support. For example, we report on occupancy levels, meaning we partner with Casting and Workforce Management to make sure we have enough space in Housing to accommodate all of our participants. We are also responsible for collecting payments. For instance, we partner with payroll to deduct Housing fees out of cast members’ paychecks as well as other fees, like a charge for a replacement Housing ID. Finally, we run audits to make sure participants are checked out of DORMS on their departure date and verify they have left property.
In what ways do you assist or interact with our participants?
If we are not at arrivals, we mostly interact with participants through emails and phone calls. Participants are also always welcome to come by our office in Chatham Square if they have any questions that we can assist with. One topic in particular that participants have questions about is early releases. For example, if participants need to leave their program early for a school-sponsored event, like being in an athletic program or job, we can walk them through that process while they are on their program.
What is your favorite part about your role?
I really love when I am able to help a participant to feel more comfortable on their program. Sometimes our company can be large and intimidating, and it is always gratifying when we are able to send someone away from our office knowing a little more how to navigate their program experience.
What is the most challenging aspect about your role?
I think that the most challenging part of our team’s role is the fact that no two days and no two issues are exactly alike. We are constantly needing to evolve and update practices and procedures to make sure we are increasing in our efficiency and staying up-to-date with the needs of our guests (meaning our Housing participants!) and partners.
What has surprised you most about your role?
I think the most surprising part of my role is the number of departments and people that we interact with on a daily basis. From Housing events, to the Disney Service Centers and Casting, to Scheduling, in some way our roles and responsibilities are very intertwined and dependent on each other.
Joe is just one of the many cast members in Housing who is here to help you along your College or International Program journey. No matter what team in Housing is assisting you, we are always one team, one dream!