Wednesday, 5 January 2011

There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow...

So far I’ve been focussed on what happened last summer. I had originally (back in December) planned to do a big video announcement about my application for the Summer 2011 program. BUT things happened in my life that kinda took priority. So, for anyone that doesn’t yet know....

I got accepted for WDW ICP Summer 2011!!!!!!!!

I haven’t really discussed my interviews this year with anyone so here’s a rough summary of what happened.

The entire length of process was almost exactly the same as last year with phone and face-to-face interviews happening at almost exactly the same time for London/South based applicants. Last year I knew no-one else applying. This year I knew quite a few. Some who were alumni and others who weren’t. This meant that I knew people at the same interview as me which in general, I found made the whole process a little less overwhelming.

This year the interviews took place at Chez Gerard (a restaurant) rather than Disney HQ in Hammersmith. Slightly disappointing but a lot easier to get to. especially as it was located 2 minutes away from my uni. By the time I arrived there were already plenty of people there and if I’m honest i found it fascinating to see the different types of people that were being interviewed.

When we entered the presentation room there was a trailer of sorts for the various programs playing. This featured CRPs, CPs and ICPs. I know this because I actually knew several people in the video. One of whom worked in Norway (who I met a lot thru doing Glow) and the other who worked with me in Towers. This provided much amusement for me while we waited for everyone to shuffle in.

Once again Jill (the Disney International Programs Recruiter) kicked off proceedings with a mini-Disney quiz. The questions were almost exactly the same as last year and once again I won a Disney prize. Put a quiz in front of me and I get competitive. I have mentioned this previously in my vlog where I mentioned Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Moving on...

I was paying a lot closer attention to the presentation this year in terms of what people had perceived had been said. Several people that I met over the summer had said that we had been told this and not that and I have to say that I actually found the presentation to be fairly honest about what to expect. It is hot and you do work long hours at a job that is rarely glamorous or dream-like, but it is what you make it and it is the experience of a lifetime.

Presentation over, interview times were announced and thankfully mine was fairly early on at about 1ish. I apologise right now to people that had to travel a lot further than I did because that is two years in a row that I was given an early interview time. I’m sure it must be a pain in the neck for people that have travelled further and have to wait until 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

I went and had lunch on the Southbank which was quite nice and double checked the paperwork. I will rarely comment on exact questions that are asked but here I will make a small exception because I think it is constructive to the process for people to be forewarned. At the beginning of the presentation you are handed a sheet of paper that describes the type of roles available. This list is very similar to the one found on the Disney International Programs website except it goes into slightly more detail about each role. You are then asked to tick/rank the roles that you would be happy to do. I would advise thinking very carefully about your answers to this question. Don’t panic tick all of them or feel that you have to tick any particular role. It is YOUR program. The #1 reason that people will fail to enjoy the program is because they were not happy with the role they picked. You could be placed ANYWHERE within that role’s description.

By the end of lunch I had developed a migraine. For migraine sufferers everywhere I will say that they are not merely headaches and usually all you want to do is lie down in a cool, dark room. So needless to say an interview was not the place I wanted to be heading, not to mention the fact that it was for a job I really wanted to do again.

On return to the interviews I got to meet the girl that I would be interviewing with. I confess that I am absolutely useless with names but I met her initially before the presentation, she is currently on a year abroad in Spain and she had previously worked for the Disney Store in London. I was quite relieved that she had visited WDW a lot because I was slightly apprehensive about being interviewed with a non-alumnus. This is mostly because i feel that it is slightly unfair to both parties but in our case I think it worked out well.

There are a lot of standard questions they ask in these interviews and I won’t say what they are but because I’d done the program before I wasn’t asked a lot of them. For this and various other reasons I felt the interview hadn’t gone particularly well for me. Again, though we were asked about the roles we had said yes to.

For the record my top 3 were:

1) Character Attendant
2) Character Performer
3) Attractions

Merchandise was #4 on my list. Last summer I had an amazing time at Towers, so amazing in fact that I didn’t want to risk repeating it in case it didn’t live up to the previous summer. I also wanted to do something slightly different. During the interview I was asked how tall I am which I knew would be the thing that would stop me being a character performer. 5’7“ is not the most ideal of heights for the role but I knew that there were opportunities out there for people that height. Unfortunately for me there apparently weren’t any slots available in that height range this year. :( I had dabbled with both performing and attending during the summer (something that I will explain more in another blog) so for me those were by far my top 2 roles. I had made a point of not ticking QSFB because I knew that personally I would find it difficult doing that role. With what had effectively become a top 2 list of Character Attendant and Attractions as well as not including QSFB I knew that my chances of going back would be fairly slim.

Post-interview I literally went straight home and into bed, feeling rather sorry for myself.

Fast forward to December 2nd when the results were e-mailed out to candidates. I was nervous and apprehensive reading the e-mail because for me it wasn’t just a case of whether I got in but what role I had been given. I’ve already said that I got accepted so.. the role I was accepted for was....


I won’t lie and say that part of me wasn’t disappointed. I REALLY wanted to be a character attendant. You are given a week to respond and last year it took me all of 5 minutes to do so. This year it took me 4 days. I don’t think I was ever not going to say yes to that e-mail, it was more that I wanted to be 100% sure of what I was saying yes to and needed those days to get over not being selected as a CA.

A month later and I’m really looking forward to going back. A lot of bad stuff has happened in my life since I went out there last time and a dose of magic is just what I need. I can’t wait to be back out there again and although this week saw the end of a lot of my friends’ CP experience i’m really looking forward to seeing the ones that extended, went seasonal or went on to do a Professional Internship.

So now I’m looking forward to the moment that I finish that exam in May, when, after 6 years this can happen...

Suzie, you’ve FINALLY finished University, what are you gonna do next?

I’m going to Disney World!!!!!!!!!!!

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