There’s something special about working for The Walt Disney Company, whether you’re in the parks and resorts or working diligently in an office. Every cast member is an integral component of the company and we all work hard to keep the magic alive and well.
So, what is the appeal? Why do so many people want to work for Disney? Why do thousands of students apply for the Disney College Program every semester? Why do people check the career website every day hoping for an opening?
Maybe it’s the perks. Maybe it’s the desire to make magic.
I think it’s something else, though. It’s a reason that you don’t know until you’ve made it into the company and have experienced it firsthand.
It’s the Disney culture.
Do you remember when you were in school and you were told that it’s all about who you know? Yeah, that’s true. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can’t network then you’re going to have a tough time landing that dream job. However, it can be hard to get to where you want to be if no one is willing to help you.
You will never have that problem when you become part of the Disney Ohana.
The Disney culture is all about working together and helping one another achieve success, whether it’s personal or professional.
There will always be someone willing to help you as long as you’re willing to make the first move. In the short time I have been in my professional intern role, I have had several meet and greets with people in various departments who are more than willing to guide and assist me as I continue my journey post-graduation. And all I had to do was ask.
If you have a goal, someone is willing to do whatever they can to help you reach it. Whether it’s setting up a meet and greet, looking over your resume or simply giving you advice, you will never be alone in your journey.
Every cast member I have met with is overjoyed to speak with me because they’ve been where I am. They know how it feels. And, believe it or not, they want to see me succeed just as much as I do. Not every company will work that way, but that’s the way it works here.
I think that we tend to forget that the people we look up to started where we are and that they had to work their way up. And if you made it to where you want to be, wouldn’t you be more than willing to help someone do the same?
There are a variety of clubs for cast members to join so they can get to know people who have the same interests as they do. There are intern communities so that they have a chance to interact with each other on a monthly basis and experience things outside of the office. There are housing events for college program participants to have fun and get to know each other. There are networking events so that cast members can make connections and learn about other roles. Disney is all about inclusion and it’s awesome.
Even when you leave the company, the Disney name will follow you, in a good way, forever. I met someone on Twitter and we became friends simply because we both did the college program. We didn’t even do it at the same time, but knowing we had that in common sparked a conversation and, eventually, a friendship. (He happens to be a fantastic writer and travel blogger, and you can check him out here.)
I have never been part of anything like this. I have never felt more supported and looked out for. Even if my journey with Disney comes to an end soon, I will always have these connections and experiences. I am forever grateful.
When you decide you want to work for Disney, you can’t possibly know that this is all waiting for you when you get hired. But it is, and as long as you’re willing to put yourself out there, someone will always be there to help you. I guarantee it.
The perks are great and making magic is rewarding, but nothing beats the Disney culture.