According to Walt Disney, “all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
In this case, Florida Southern College students were granted the dream of working for Disney through the Disney College Program.
The Disney College Program offers full-time and part-time college students the opportunity to work at one of the Disney locations. According to disneycareers.com, students can apply to the Disney College Program in Florida or California. Some FSC students decided to be placed at the Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
“I applied for the program because I want to work with animals for their pre professional program after I graduate at Animal Kingdom,” senior Tara Herczeg said. “They only accept two people a year for their professional program and I found out that I have a higher chance of getting the professional program if I complete the college program first.”
Although more than one FSC student was accepted into the program, the Disney College Program is very competitive.
Herczeg said that the process involves “completing the application, taking an online assessment, and a phone interview.”
“You really have to stand out in your phone interview because out of 15-30 thousand applicants, only three to five thousand students get accepted,” Herczeg said. “When doing the college program, you can choose to live at the Disney apartment complexes or live off property on your own. You get paid weekly, and rent is taken out of your pay check each week if you live at Disney.”
Are students paid to participate in the program?
Although the program is a paid-internship, the students are not all paid the same amount.
“A Disney College Program participant’s wage will vary between $9.00 – $11.75 per hour, based upon the role that he/she is selected to perform,” sophomore Joey Arteaga said.
Arteaga was accepted into the role of “Quick Service Food & Beverage” and Herczeg is working in merchandise.
Does the Career Center have any information about it?
Furthermore, Florida Southern College students have visited the Career Center for advice on interviewing and writing resumes in order to prepare for such competitive opportunities.
“A candidate for the Disney College Program should know all of the areas available and do research regarding what kinds of activities are involved in the area so they will be knowledgeable about the one they will be working in,” Beverly Baehr, FSC career counselor, said.
The areas that Baehr is referring to is which role the student will be working, whether it is in entertainment, recreation, sales, lodging, operations or a more specific option.
If students participate in the Disney College Program, will they graduate on time?
According to Assistant Registrar Renee Beals, students can transfer the credit earned through courses in the program to FSC. Even though it is a college program and students are taking courses, the students often don’t get a full semester’s course load and therefore some will be graduating later, such as Herczeg, who will graduate in May 2016.*
However, other students will still graduate on time and have extra time to spare on this opportunity.
“I am excited for all the perks and benefits of being a part of this major fortune 500 company,” Arteaga said. “Additionally I really can’t wait for the classes, I mean c’mon Disney-taught classes, it has to be fun.”
*Corrected. In its original version, this article stated that no college credit could be earned as part of the program.