8th Jul 2011

Cultural Representative… Or what has been going on for the last 5 years

This week marks 5 years since I first made contact with Yummy Jobs. I was a naïve 17-year-old looking to arrange a gap year and a leaflet about the Disney Cultural Rep program was lying around in my school library. It looked like great fun but I was not sure so I left it a few months until December before I finally got my CV and cover letter together and emailed them (yes life was much less technological in those days) to the good people of Yummy Jobs. I did not hear anything for a few days but then I got the terrible news in a short email:

Due to limited positions and the extremely high volume and standard of applications, the next interview session for the 12 month Cultural Representative Program (positions in the United Kingdom Pavilion in EPCOT) is planned to be held at this time next year, interviewing for positions starting from February 2008 onwards.

Well that was too late for me I would be at University by then. Another email and I found out there was a summer program that I could apply for when I was at University – but that was quickly forgotten as I could not apply for months.

Summer ICPs

Well school came and went and I was off to Leeds for Uni and Disney was forgotten until December 2007 when I got an email from Yummy asking if I wanted to apply for the Summer program. Immediately I remembered what I had been told and shot off an application. To cut a long story short this was the beginning of the journey to my 2008 ICP – Merchandise at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Sunset Boulevard/Animation Courtyard area – an amazing 3 months. Before I had even left Orlando I had arranged to change my 2nd year modules to avoid a summer field trip so I could apply again.

The day after I returned the CV and cover letter were off again to apply for ICP 2009. To cut a long story even shorter this led to another amazing summer working in Operations at Big Thunder Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, the subject of every blog post on this site before this one! For more info see the ICP 2009 blog. In 2010 I applied for another Summer ICP but unfortunately had to drop out after being offered a F2F interview due to a clash with my university work which was totally gutting.

It has been nearly 2 years since I last posted on this blog returning from ICP Summer 2009. Since then I have graduated from University and started a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science – yeah exciting I know! But deep down I have longed to return to my spiritual homeland and work for the mouse. While 3 month summers were great fun they did not really give me a chance to see the Resort in all the different seasons and in my second program working up to 80 hours a week during the peak season I did not have as much time to enjoy the parks and the Orlando area.

So What’s New?

January 2011 – I decided it was time to give the CRP one last shot, do or die. The CV and cover letter went off and the wait began. Originally Yummy were taking applications for the end of 2011 – perfect just when I finished my degree but  due to changes in the recruiting process this changed to dates throughout 2012 – still fine just a bit of a long wait, a really long wait! Finally on April 12th I got an email from Hannah inviting me to a phone interview, I was busy revising for my exams but of course made time for a lovely chat with Amy. Minor drama with my bank calling my mobile just when she was meant to be ringing but we got sorted in the end and after a 10 minute chat and 10 day wait I got an email from Chloe inviting me to a F2F at Disney HQ in Hammersmith. Typically there was another drama with the date I was offered clashing with my dissertation presentation but an email to Chloe soon got me switched to the Saturday and all was well.

The other bonus this time around is I had managed to persuade, well encourage, one of my friends from university Kristen Blackshaw to apply as well. A year of me going on about how awesome it was probably made her apply just to make me shut up! Kristen (henceforth known as Keb) also had an interview on the Saturday so we arranged to meet at Hammersmith tube station and find our way together. Both my earlier interviews had been in Liverpool so I did not really know where I was going! After the always enjoyable presentation including the inimitable Valerie and a few new videos I had my interview with Jill Jacobsen. To be honest it did not go great, I was pretty tired and did not say half of the things that I wanted to – I did not leave very confident. This was the 4th June and we were told we would hear the results on the 15th. It was a nervous few days and I was slowly persuading myself I would be embarrassingly rejected.

The Waiting Game

The 15th came and I woke up to an email sent at 5am (!) from Nick at Yummy with my result. It was not what I was hoping for.

The Walt Disney World International Recruitment Team has reviewed all applications from the interview sessions in London and has now extended its first wave of offers for the Cultural Representative Program with start dates in 2011 and 2012. At this time we would like to inform you that you are currently being considered for the additional offers that Disney will be making for arrivals in 2012. Disney was impressed with your application and will be bringing you further news of the outcome of your interview by no later than the end of August 2011.

Not a No but not a Yes and another 2 months of waiting – not ideal. Keb was offered a date for September 2012. And the waiting game began… I should point out I am not well known for being a patient person and I started convincing myself I would be rejected. Over the last few days a few offers started going out to other people who were in the same position as me. Not really sure if this was the august offers or just some extras I sent a quick email to Nick. He replied that these were extras and the bulk would still come in August. Slightly more relieved I got about the dissertation writing in the University library ready for a long wait ahead.

I came home this evening and settled down in front of the TV when my phone pinged with an email. Not really expecting much I checked it and immediately dropped my phone on the floor.

Congratulations. You have been offered a position on Disney’s Cultural Representative Program. Your role in the show will be in Food and Beverage. Your program dates will be March 20th 2012 to March 15th 2013

So here we go again… 7 months to wait but I reckon I can manage it. A countdown clock will be appearing here soon. Feel great to know that I am going to be working for the mouse again.

Enjoy this post? Click Like to share it with your Facebook Friends