You’ve joined Facebook groups, talked to previous interns, made a list of all the past internships offered, and signed up to be alerted when applications become available. If you’re really hardcore, you’ve even looked up potential interview questions just in case you get selected for a phone screen.
If this sounds like you, you’re probably vying for a coveted Disney Professional Internship.
First, let me start by congratulating you on taking the first step toward kickstarting your career! These internships look fantastic on your resume and offer you the opportunity to work on some amazing projects while learning from the best in the business.
It’s no secret that the application process for these internships is competitive. Normally, there is only one intern chosen for every internship (with the exception of internships such as Guest Relations or VIP Tours). That means if you want a shot at getting an interview, in the very least, you have to be on top of your game. If you’re getting ready to apply for a Disney Professional Internship, here are five tips to help pave your path to success:
Apply As Soon As Possible.
For anyone who has ever applied for the Disney College Program, this process is not the same. While that job listing will be active for at least a few weeks, listings for Professional Internships could be taken down as early as a few days after it’s posted. Because most of these internships are only available for one intern, once they have enough qualified candidates to start the interview process, the recruiter/hiring manager will close the job. That means if you see an internship that you’re interested in, your safest bet is to apply as quickly as possible in order to get your name in the pool of applicants.
There’s No Magic Number. Apply to Internships You’re Qualified For.
One question that comes up every application season is how many internships you should apply for. The answer I’ve gotten, and what I tell people when they ask me, is that you can, and should, apply for the internships you are completely, or mostly, qualified for. This means that if you read the qualifications and you can mentally check off the majority of the items listed, you should apply. If you can only check off one or two, you might want to consider not applying. You should also be cautious about applying for just any internship. If it looks like you’re applying just to apply, it’ll be obvious to recruiters that you’re not passionate and it could hurt your chances of being selected to interview.
Tailor Your Resume For Each Internship You Apply For.
I can’t stress this one enough. Normally, your resume is one page long. If you’ve had a fair amount of experience, whether it be jobs or volunteer experiences, you’re probably going to have to leave some things out. However, if you’re applying for a position where something you left off your resume would be relevant to include, go ahead and upload a revised version! Tailoring your resume to hit keywords mentioned in the role description and qualifications will give you a better chance at landing a phone screen, so it’s okay to have a few different iterations of your resume.
Write a Cover Letter. Tell Your Story.
While a cover letter is not required, I highly recommend you write one for each and every internship you apply for. Much like your resume, tailor each cover letter to the particular position you’re applying for. Your resume is a good way of determining if you hit all the bullet points they’re looking for, but your cover letter is where you can let your personality and passion shine through. It’s also a good opportunity to mention anything that you couldn’t fit on your resume that you feel is pertinent information.
Keep Track of What You Apply For.
Application season is stressful enough without having to try and remember everything you’ve applied for! Each time you apply for a new internship, make note of the name and job number. I’d also recommend printing out the job description and qualifications for your own personal use, as it’s helpful to reference when preparing for an interview. I know many applicants put together a spreadsheet to keep track, but you can do whatever works best for you.
As a former Disney Intern (Social Media & Character Strategy, Spring 2017!), I know how stressful this process can be. As long as you stay calm, do your research, present yourself in a professional, and friendly manner, and exude confidence, you will be fine! And if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer in the comments or via email. You got this.
Happy applying, future interns!