Today I got an email which marks the start of what could be an extremely exciting new opportunity for me.
I got accepted for a pre-screen interview for Disney’s Cultural Exchange Program.
For those of you who know me well, you’ll know I’ve been a huge Disney fan all my life. It has been something that has always brought me so much joy both as a child and an adult – yes, I got the Lego Disney Castle for my 20th birthday, what do you mean I need to grow up?
I have known about the Cultural Exchange Program for a while but due to me taking part in a Think Pacific Project this past summer of 2018, it meant my one and only chance at applying (due to the application criteria requiring you to be a current University student and not in your first year of study) was this year for the summer of 2019.
If you don’t know what the CEP is then here is a brief explanation. It is a program that enables international students from across the world the opportunity to work at Walt Disney World, Florida for a few months over the summer where you could be placed in areas of work such as Attractions, Merchandise, Quick/Full Service Food and Beverage etc… It provides accommodation for all the participants in Disney housing on site and pays a salary for your work hours. Basically, it’s the dream job of anyone who has a love for Disney.
As you can imagine, it’s highly competitive and the application process is long and generally cuts around 2000 applicants down to a final 200 who actually go to Walt Disney World.
As a UK applicant I applied through Yummy Jobs – www.yummyjobs.com – who are the UK partners for Disney International Programs and who initial process all applications for said programs.
The process requires you to fill in an online application form including an up to date CV, cover letter as well as answering the two following questions: Why do you value cultural interaction and exchange? & What motivates you to do the program?
Applications are open from July-August the year before the program will take place but the Yummy Jobs CEP page gives the exact dates in advance if you keep an eye on the page.
Once you have submitted your application there is a long wait before you’ll hear back from Yummy Jobs (Disney programs are known for their long waits in the application processes!)
The next stage in applying is the pre-screen interviews that are held at the Yummy Jobs office in Epping, London. From the applications that come in Yummy Jobs cut down the number to around 300-400 people who they invite to the prescreens. And I was lucky enough to be one of them!
The pre-screen interview is a group interview and you’ll be given either a morning interview time of 9am or an afternoon time of 2pm. They are held the end of September on weekdays that usually span a week. More on this once I’ve had my interview!
If you are then lucky enough to get through pre-screens the application goes as follows. You will be invited to a final interview with a Disney World representative in November and then if you are successful around Christmas time you will be contacted with an offer of a place on the CEP. Obviously, that is the aim but as I said earlier the process is extremely competitive so as of now I can only try my best to shine my way through the pre-screen interview and hope I’ll end up at WDW.
It is a dream of mine to work at Disney and this could be the time where it finally comes true! I know that it is still a long shot and after having to wait until the last moment for my pre-screen offer email to come through, I know that I can’t get my hopes up, I can only try my best.
I have 3 and a half weeks until my interview and I am extremely excited. I really wanted to document this journey as, regardless of what happens and whether I even make it onto the program, I can’t believe I have even got the chance to take part in this process and I want to keep track of everything as far as I get!
So stick around to find out where this takes me, whether it is just another application experience to tuck under my belt or whether it becomes the job of a lifetime… only time will tell!