School is finally out and the fall recruiting season will be here before you know it. Since you won’t have any more tests or papers to turn in for a few months, summer break can be the perfect time to start preparing yourself for the upcoming application process.
Here’s a checklist of things you can do this summer during your free time to help get yourself ready to apply for an internship at the Disneyland Resort in California:
Update your résumé
You will not need an official résumé for the Disney College Program, but you will for a Disney Professional Internship. Having an updated résumé makes the application process a lot easier for you because it serves as an excellent resource when you’re filling out your application and preparing for a potential interview.
Are you working this summer or babysitting the neighbor kids? Don’t leave these summer/seasonal jobs off your résumé. Make sure to keep your résumé updated at all times and use these few months that you’re off from school to your advantage!
A lot of our Disneyland applicants have never actually been to Disneyland before, or they’ve worked at Walt Disney World Resort and are looking for a different experience. That’s okay! Make sure to use our official resources (websites, blogs, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook) to help you gain knowledge and prepare yourself for the interview.
The more you know about the program, housing, educational classes (these are mandatory at Disneyland), etc., the more comfortable you’ll be in your interview. Being prepared also means that you should try and find a spot that gets good reception. Plus, you want to find a place that is quiet and distraction-free. Keep in mind that you’ll be a little nervous, so even a few little distractions could make you lose your focus.
Local and Housing, what’s the difference?
It seems like a simple question, but it’s important because our interviewers will ask this in every Disneyland interview.
Our local program is designed for students who already live in the Anaheim area and want to take part in our internship program.
Our housing program is designed for students who live outside of the local area and will live in our housing complex (Carnegie Plaza) during their program. All of our participants must have full availability during their internship.
During your interview, you’ll need to indicate which one you prefer.
If you live out of state and plan on applying for the local program, make sure you have housing arrangements finalized before your interview. Don’t just assume you can live with your friend or distant relative for seven months if you get the internship. And I wouldn’t recommend applying for the local program and trying to find your own apartment at the last minute through online research. The California housing market is much different, and often more expensive, than other parts of the country.
Know the roles you’re applying for
We have over 18 roles available at the Disneyland Resort and when you apply, you have the opportunity to let us know which ones you’d like to be considered for. Now is a good time to research those roles and see which ones interest you the most. Remember, the more roles you’re interested in, the more flexibility we have to place you in the program.
The Disneyland program is much smaller than the one at Walt Disney World, and the roles are a little different, too. Knowing all of the roles you’re applying for and their responsibilities will help you understand where you could be the most successful during the program. Also, keep in mind that not everyone will be placed at the Disney Desk or in Guest Services. We do have a few high need roles that are very important, too, such as Food & Beverage Quick Service Restaurants, Custodial, Custodial Busser, Food Prep, Lifeguard, and Resort Transportation & Parking.
Program fees…What program fees?
In order to accept an offer for the Disneyland Resort, each participant must first pay a fee of $902.50*. I know that seems like a lot, especially compared to Walt Disney World, but I wanted to break down those costs so you’re not caught off-guard and can start budgeting accordingly.
Our Program Assessment Fee makes up $104.50* of that money. This money goes toward all of the exciting events, backstage tours and exclusive celebrations we have planned for you during your internship. We also require each participant to pre-pay for rent for the first four weeks, which is $598*. We also require a security deposit of $200, and if you keep your apartment neat and tidy and do well on your final inspection, you could earn this money back.
*subject to change
Preparing questions to ask your interviewer
Everyone tells you to make sure you ask questions at the end of the interview, but nobody tells you what to ask.
Asking your interviewer how they got their start with Disney, who their favorite character is or what they like most about working for the company is fine…if you want to shift the focus of the interview to them and not you.
Think about this; you have approximately 20 minutes on the phone to talk about yourself and your skills and qualifications. You’ve been dreaming about working at Disneyland your whole life and this interview is your chance to make that happen. What do you truly want to know about the program or the Disneyland Resort? Your questions should be well thought-out and designed to help you gain more knowledge about the internship.
Trust me, the interviewers would be more than happy to talk about their Disney careers with you, but they’d rather focus the interview on what’s most important…you! The more they know about you and your skills, the easier it is for them to make their hiring decisions and role recommendations.