Position Acceptance

Position Acceptance

Friday, July 11, 2014

"I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing - that it was all started by a mouse."

Hello again everyone!

It's been a long time since I have actually sat down to write a blog post. Nearly 2 months to be exact. Lots of things have happened since my last post. I have gone from being a quiet, scared person, ready to be done with my program and just go home, to already planning out the next time I can come out here even though my program is nowhere near close to being over. Two months ago I kept virtual calendars on my computer with the amount of days listed on each date and I would put a big red x over the days as they came and went. I was extremely homesick, I didn't want to be here anymore at that point and was just hating everything. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but something just clicked with me eventually. I began loving my job and to this day I still look forward to going to work because I know I will be able to make some kind of magical moment for a guest.

My latest magical moment happened with a little girl. You could tell she wasn't feeling well, and had no hair, so I believe she was undergoing chemotherapy. She stood very patiently at the end of the long line of people I had wanted to look at my pins one night. When she finally made it up to me, her mother informed me that she didn't have any pins, only buttons, but she really wanted to see mine. I smiled, bent down on her level and asked her if she saw one she liked. She pointed to a Cheshire cat mickey hat and said she liked it. I started taking it off and her mom told her that she would have to give me one of her buttons if she wanted that one. I told her mom, that it was ok. I handed her the pin and smiled and said "here you go princess, I think this one belongs with you." She started jumping up and down all excited, her parents and sister started crying thanking me and I kneeled there biting my tongue as this little girl hugged me. I said bye to them and they went on their way. I grabbed my pan and broom and booked it to a backstage area and just burst into tears. I couldn't help it. All I kept thinking is that for all I knew, that could have been their last vacation with her and I just gave them a special memory. I stood back there crying for a few minutes before I finally dried my eyes and headed back to my zone before anyone came past and saw me crying. It's moments like these that keep me loving my job and keep me going strong.

I spend a lot of time with my coworkers as well. I fell hard for a guy I work with, to the point that I would sit up late and talk to him, come to work on my days off and stand with him for hours just talking. I fell harder than I have ever fallen before. I was then informed by him that he had no feelings for me at all, and I took it hard. Without my group of coworkers, I probably wouldn't have been able to make it through. They were there for me with 3:00am Denny's runs, or car ride talks where I could complain and get my anger out. They became my family out here and I couldn't have asked for a better group. We support each other and help out when someone is going through something. It's reached a point where we seem to know each others personalities and when someone goes off from what their normal is, we swoop in and try to figure out what's wrong. They literally are my best friends and I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to spend my 8 months with.

Now, you may think that in 6 months my adventure is going to be over, but that's far from the truth. When I finish the program in January, I am giving myself a year to tie up some loose ends. I need to get my license, save up for a car, hopefully get an RA position with my college and a management position for the cocoa shack, and find an apartment. After those get taken care of, I want to start apply for a management internship and come back as some as possible. If I can get the next internship, and it goes well, I want to come home, finish school and then apply for a full time management position with Disney. I would love to stay on the West side with my family, but I am willing to go anywhere I am needed. Since coming out to Disney, my dreams have shifted from wanted to work at a Videogame company to wanted to stay with Disney. So far this is an amazing opportunity and I know I still have plenty of time left to have some more awesome experiences. Even if I don't make it back to Disney in the future, I can use the lessons I learned from working here to help make me a better person and help me get hired at another company, but we're not thinking about that right now. I totally recommend that anyone who is in college applies for the college program. It is a lot of long hours, unpredictable guests, sometimes it gets stressful, but I would not trade it for the world. I have learned so much out here and enjoy it more than I could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."

Well, I am officially settled into my new life. I went through the check in process and casting yesterday and it was surprisingly very quick and easy. I think the process for me too about 2 and a half hours. I started at 9, and was back with my parents again by 11:30. Today is pretty much a lazy day for me to relax. I have a housing meeting at 4, but other than that I am staying in the apartment and trying to adjust to being away from my family.

I knew I was going to have some homesickness, and it hit me shortly after my parents left. I had called to talk to them a few hours after they left and my dad answered his phone and told me that my mom was driving and they had been on the road about 3 hours. At that point I had to hold back tears because I was officially farther away from my family than I was at college. It hit me even harder today when I called to ask a question and found out that they were in Ohio, about 14 hours away. I am ready to start my training and begin working.

Getting past the homesickness part, I am excited to announce that I will be working in the Magic Kingdom! That was my dream location because depending on the time of day I work, I can watch the fireworks and castle lighting, or parades while I am doing my job. I am excited to get my pass after traditions on Thursday to get into the parks and explore all they have to offer. I start my training this week also on Friday and Saturday and then have a little break to go and play around and take pictures of the parks.

My roommates are awesome. We have a one bedroom apartment in the commons with a bunk bed in it. I am on the bottom bunk. We spent most of last night just sitting in our common area just talking and laughing and getting to know each other. That really helped me with my homesickness, although I still can't wait for my parents to come back out and visit already. Well, I guess I am going to get off for now and go relax. 2 days down, 229 to go for this adventure. :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

"I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter."

Hello again Everyone. :)

It's been a few weeks since I actually sat down and wrote up a blog post. Today I am down to the final 11 days before I make the 25 hour drive to my temporary home away from home, Disney World. I have been keeping myself busy with schoolwork, finishing my exams, and now bugging my mom while my sister is at school. As far as Disney things go, I have finished my paperwork and began to slowly pack up my boxes and bags to make sure I have everything ready to.

I may be getting excited about working at the happiest place on earth, but the stress is beginning to get to me the same way it did my first year of college. After everyone is in bed I find myself thinking about how I will be missing my sister's black belt testing for Tae Kwon do, and going to Teal Lake to see the fireworks with my family. I will be missing nighttime campfires and grilling, birthdays, family visits and more. I know that I am going to have the time of my life at Disney, but at this moment I go back and forth between "Yay! I get to work for Disney! This is going to look great on a resume. Etc." to "What in the world am I doing? How am I going to make it on my own? Will my family forget about me?" I know perfectly well that I am going to great in Florida and am going to make the most of the opportunity, and my family is not going to forget about me in the 7 months.

I am constantly reminded of a message that my intro to business professor talked to us about. She told us about a time where she went skydiving and almost didn't jump, but ended up having the time of her life. She told us that in life we should put ourselves in situations where we normally wouldn't go in. In these situations we will learn more about who we are and grow more than in any other situation. For me that situation is Disney. I have always been a quiet person who doesn't like to be noticed. I would rather sit quietly in the back of the room and get through school easily. I wanted to put myself in a working situation while still in college to see how I could handle it. I also wanted to put myself away from my family and try to work on my homesickness as well.

I am looking forward to working for my dream company and also working through some issues with homesickness that I may have. I figured my nerves were going to start up eventually, but I will not be letting them get the better of me. I am going to succeed in my program and learn so much about myself, working, and how I can relate my experiences back to my degree, plus, this is my first time in Disney World and I am going to make as many magical experiences for myself and others around me as I can.

Well, that's about all that has been happening lately. Now I just have a lot of packing, printing, and final preparations to deal with as I get closer to leaving. I hope to post more once things start to get more eventful and exciting, but I wanted to make sure I kept my family friends from near and far up to date on how I was feeling and what I was up to.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

Hey everyone,
This is my first post on my DCP blog. I guess I can use this post to discuss what to expect from this blog and also what I have gone through already. I apologize in advance for the length. I want to get as much information about the past month as possible. I promise they will be less excessive in the future. Well, here we go. :)

Today is March 13th, 2014. Exactly one month since I started on the rollercoaster ride that is the Disney College Program. Technically I began earlier, but I thought nothing of it until I made it to my phone interview on the 13th. I applied for the program on February 7th and within a few hours I was sent and email to move onto the web based interview. At this point I started to get excited since I learned from my research that most people don't make it past the WBI. As soon as I finished filling it out, a congratulations message popped up on the screen telling me that I was a strong candidate for the program and letting me know that I would get an email to schedule a phone interview soon. At this point I lost it. I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried some more. I debated calling my mom at midnight when I found out, but decided that could end badly and I just waited.

The day of my phone interview (and the days leading up to it) I over reacted. I booked a library room and went down nearly 45 minutes early and paced. I walked circles around the room, checking my phone every few minutes and doing some last minutes research. I downed a few chocolate bars to try and calm myself down, it worked. I sat for a while and relaxed until the moment when my phone rang. I answered the phone and my nerves disappeared. My interviewer was nice and made me feel calm and I was able to be myself. I slipped up on a few questions and I one point I thought I made a complete fool out of myself, but I was overall confident about how I did and again cried after I finished, before having to clean up, turn in the room key and head to class.

Now I start the fun part (or not so fun part). I spent the next 2 weeks going back and forth from my dashboard to my email to the DCP Facebook page constantly checking to see if I made it in. Part of figured it was a lost cause since only about 1/3 of the people get in. I annoyed my mom and sister who put up with my constant complaining and met sooo many nice people while waiting to see if I made it in. I feel like I have made many friends before even getting into the program and couldn't wait to meet them if we all got in.

March 1st, 2014. A day that will forever be etched into my brain. It started the same way as everyday for the past two weeks. I woke up and checked my email. The only difference this time was that I had a congratulations email from Disney. I was given a custodial position from May until January. I cried for the third time since this journey started and began shaking uncontrollably. I realized that my phone was still up on my bed and I needed it to call my mom, so I climbed onto my chair still shaking to grab it from my loft bed. A dangerous thing to do, but at that point I wasn't thinking straight. I called my mom, still crying and at that point all I could get out was "I'm going to Disney." My mom was happy and surprised at the same time. Little did I know that one day was going to cause me so much stress in the coming week.

After getting accepted, I had 7 days to complete 3 steps. The first one was to simply accept the program, the second was to pay your fees, and the third was to select a date. I had to wait until my 6th day to pay the fees once I got paid, so I used that time to get things figured out. I was bounced around from my academic advisor, to the financial aid office, to career services and back again as I tried to make sure I was cleared to leave. It was my understanding that as long as I take 6 credits, my loans don't have to be repaid and I can use them to pay for the classes and if I take 12 credits I can still use my scholarships that semester, and if not I get them back in the spring. I still have a long road ahead of me before I figure everything out, but the way I see it, I am a test dummy for my younger sister who because of my acceptance now has the dream of getting into the program as a character performer, her friends, and many other people. By the time they get to that point where they can apply, I will be ready to help make things less stressful for them.

Well, that brings everyone up to date. Now I have the fun of trying to find roommates, getting supplies and of course buying Disney bedding (Who is going to pass up the chance to have Disney bedding without being judged. Lol.) I apologize for the fact that this post is so long. I am writing this blog not only to keep my friends, family, and other interested people up to date on my daily experiences, but also to help me remember every detail of my program. In order to get credit for the internship from my school, I have to write an 8-10 page paper on my experience and I want to include as much detail as possible. It is my hope that after I check in on May 19th, that I will keep up with a daily blog post to keep their size down and also include some pictures to keep them interesting. I am going to get back to enjoying my spring break while I have the chance to relax before my classes start again. Congratulations to any other accepted applicants, Good luck to those waiting, and to my friends and family thank you for your continued support!

I plan on using a new Walt Disney quote as the title of each of my posts depending on which ones I feel fit with the contents of the post. Some of them may end up being repeated throughout the time of my program.