Just a little over 8 months ago I was sat in Orlando International Airport, slightly teary-eyed at the end of my Disney Cultural Representative Program. Two days ago I received the amazing news that I have the opportunity to go back!
I have been applying in secret since August, not wanting to tell anyone in case, as I thought was somewhat inevitable I would be rejected. Very few people get a second bite of the apple and I was pretty sure one of them would not be me.
Things have changed quite a bit since my last application. Phone Interviews have been replaced with face-to-face pre-screen interviews with Disney’s In-Country Agent Yummy Jobs and all of the application process has moved to online systems of filling in forms and scanning documents.
The process started on August 1st when I applied on the brand new, and admittedly slightly buggy, Yummy Jobs website. This has not changed too much, upload a CV, a covering letter, fill in some basic information and few pre-screen questions and you were good to go. The only difference was at this stage you now needed to upload scans of passports and visas as well.
I didn’t hear anything for quite a while and was fairly content to just let it go but eventually I was to my surprise invited to a pre-screen interview in early October which was at a restaurant on the South Bank in London. It was a really lovely afternoon where I saw a few familiar faces. This was all entirely new to me so I was not entirely sure what to expect but it consisted of an hour-ish presentation about the program (which actually included photos of me and many of my friends) followed by splitting in to groups for the interviews themselves. These were really group discussions on the program, Disney and things like that. All very casual and pretty good fun. We also had to bring an item that represented our home town or country – I went for Tea, obvious, but I am not very good at that sort of thing!
From that I heard fairly quickly that I had been invited to a face-to-face interview with Disney. Cue a LOT of online form filling – there was an application form for Disney, a form to choose the date and time of your interview, a site to upload scans of all your documents. It took a while but none of it was that difficult apart form uploading scans of previous visas, I don’t think they had thought that people would have more than one, I uploaded one thinking it would give me the option for me, but no, I had to email Disney and ask them to delete my upload so I could upload a single file with all of them, which it turned out had to be in pdf format and less than 4mb in size. Several attempts later I finally got it to work.
My interview was the beginning of November back at Disney EMEA HQ in Hammersmith. It was nice to be back in the building again and thankfully this time I knew where the back entrance was (It’s on Butterwick Road), so not too much wandering around trying to find it.Sue and Jill were over and gave the presentation on the program and dragged me up on stage to talk about the roles in F&B… I think I did an OK job, Sue seemed to like it. I had one of the second time slot interviews so I went and grabbed a coffee in the break with some other interviewees before heading back up to HQ. Sue took me as the first interview of our group. It was a really nice chat, she thanked me for helping with the presentation and we talked about my last program and what I wanted to get out of a second program. I would love to say I remember any of the questions and could write something to help future applicants but I can’t! In 10 minutes or so it was all over and I was heading home just after lunchtime.
Sue had said it would be a long wait for results as she was off recruiting for a while, the Thanksgiving holiday was then in the way combined with the fact they were recruiting for three programs simultaneously. Well finally almost 6 weeks later the email dropped in to my inbox at about 20:30 and the rest is history. 12th August 2014 – Food & Beverage… Here we go again!