Dear Future CP Participant,
Congratulations on being accepted into the Disney College Program! You are part of the chosen few (thousand) that Disney felt would embody and exemplify what it truly means to be a Disney Cast Member, and that alone is reason to be proud of yourself.
As you prepare to embark on this life changing journey, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
This is an internship.
This should go without saying, but I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen not take it seriously and end up ruining their own experience.
It’s an internship–a paid internship. This means that, yes, you will have to go to work. Sometimes you’ll be working morning shifts, but more likely than not you’ll be working night shifts. Your hours may be long and your weeks may drag, but don’t get into the habit of calling out so often that you wake up one day with so many points/reprimands that they have no choice but to terminate you.
However, with that being said, take care of yourself.
It is so easy to get into the habit of eating poorly, or just not eating at all. And yes, it’s hard to make health conscious decisions when you only have time for quick meals most days, but do the best you can. In the very least, drink plenty of water and try to get some decent sleep for the majority of your program (There will be days where sleep is lost, but these will also probably be some of the best days of your life).
Come with an open mind.
Do not come into this program closed off; your experience will not be as fulfilling. What if you’re meant to meet the love of your life? What if you’re meant to meet your best friend(s)? What if you’re meant to meet someone who will help set you on the career path you’ve always wanted? You have to open yourself up to these opportunities or else they will pass you by. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because the rewards are priceless. And even if you get hurt or get rejected, you can always get up and try again–and you always should.
This is your chance to explore the ‘real world’ without being fully immersed in the ‘real world.’ This is your chance to travel, to try new things, to meet new people and to become the person you’re meant to be. Don’t just stay within the confines of Disney, either. There’s a ‘whole new world’ to be explored and you owe it to yourself to get out there and see it all.
The great thing about the Disney College Program is that you are given the opportunity to attend seminars, classes and events that are taught and held by cast members who work in several different departments within The Walt Disney Company. Take advantage of this! Go to professional networking events; attend a marketing seminar; take a Disney heritage class. Make connections, present yourself in a professional and friendly manner and take the necessary steps to move forward in the company once your program ends- if that’s something you’d like to do. Even if it isn’t, having more connections will be helpful once you start looking for and applying to jobs once your graduate.
I say this all the time, but this program is what you make it.
The way your program goes is different from the person next to you; your journey’s are your own. Do what YOU need to do to ensure you have a successful, but fun, experience.
Work hard and play hard. Be open. Be flexible. Be adventurous. Be professional. Be friendly. Cry when you need to and ask for help. Pick yourself when you fall and fight the fears and obstacles. Laugh and smile because your happiness is contagious. Don’t be afraid to get close to your peers. Be yourself and I promise that will be enough.
From a former cast member, welcome to the Disney Ohana. I am so excited to welcome you into the family and I know you’re going to do amazing things.