Friday, May 15, 2015

How I Became a Disney Cast Member

On May 9th 2005, I saw a flyer on the message board of the architecture building at my university. It was about the opportunity to participate in Disney’s International College Program. Needless to say I was thrilled. The flyer said there would be a meeting held somewhere on campus at a certain time and so I was ready to be there. I had class but was planning on ditching when my teacher arrived in the classroom and I was stuck.

By the time my class was over, I headed to another building for a different class, which happened to be the same building where the meeting was being held. I chose to ditch said class and went ahead to try and get into the meeting, when a French guy, Eric, stopped me.

-Where do you think you’re going? 
-Uhm… to the Disney meeting thing
-Do you have an appointment?

And so I panicked. I didn’t have an appointment. I had seen a flyer. That’s what I told him. 

I don’t know if he took petty on me, but he gave me a phone number and said to call some woman named Roxana. He said she would give me further instructions, whatever that meant. I went on ahead to class.

As soon as I got home, I called her. I mentioned what had happened earlier and then she started speaking to me in English, she asked me a few questions and gave me further instructions. I needed to write a cover letter and bring along a few documents to another meeting that would be held the next day at my school.

Looking back on this, I can’t believe I hesitated. My birthday had been the day before and my then best friend wanted to take me out to celebrate that day. I didn’t think I’d have time to gather any documents or write letters. Moreover, May 10th is mother’s day in Mexico, I didn’t have to go to school and my family was having brunch to celebrate, so the idea of going to bed late to do the things they asked of me and getting up early when I didn’t have to, really bummed me.

But it was Disney. It was the dream. And so I sucked it up. I went out with my friend and then I came home late and wrote a letter where I explained why I wanted to work at Disney. I gathered my birth certificate, High School Diploma and typed a Resume. I got up early the next morning and wore jeans, a stripped pink blouse and a navy blazer. Everyone else wore a suit.

That’s how I met Doris. She wasn’t wearing a suit either. We bonded over the fact that we were both underdressed for the ocassion. I remember her saying that we still looked polished even though we weren’t in suits like everybody else and that we would stand out because of that. Doris, always the optimistic fashion enthusiast. 

We were called inside by the same French guy from the day before. The Disney people showed up, did their magic and we were all in awe. There was a presentation, a pop quiz (I won a pen and a refrigerator magnet!) and then individual interviews. They would let us know in a few weeks whether we had been chosen, but I’m pretty sure you already know what happened :).

So that’s how I ended up working at Disney! I’m curious as to know how all my friends found out about it, as there were people from other cities there that day. It kind of makes you think that some things are just meant to happen to you. What if I had studied at a different university? What if Eric had told me I couldn’t attend the meeting the next day? I probably wouldn’t have found out about this program, spent my summer in Orlando and met a lot of great people, etcetera. 

Have you ever participated in a Disney Program? Which one? How was your process? I’d love to hear all about it!


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