By: Beatriz Cabrera
The Disney College Program
MAYAGUEZ, PR–Once a year, the Disney College Recruiters honor us with their presentation and liveliness. This wonderful opportunity has been open to students of all majors and all talents since 1981.
Through out the week, information about the event was everywhere: walls, chalk drawings on the floor, sent via email, etc. In Oct 24, 2011, at the Nursing Building at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez campus(UPRM), the recruiter, Mel Morales, organized the activity to inform students about working and internship opportunities with the Disney company.
He began the activity by asking the audience, “Does anyone here know anything about our company? Aside from being related to Micky Mouse? Does anyone know how many companies Disney owns?”, he asked, “ Whoever participates gets a cool pen.” After a few pen giveaways, he began to discuss about the companies Disney is affiliated to: Marvel, Pixar, ABC, among others.
Students who receive an “invitation” to become a cast member have a chance at meeting or working with people from those renowned companies. The internships offered are paid internships; they may also include housing (which would be within a resort and can be shared with roommates.), and you get paid on a weekly basis. Housing and resources(electricity, water, internet, etc.) are already deducted from the check, so the money the student would be receiving would be his or her total earnings.
Other benefits of being a cast member for the company include discounts at many of the stores, park admission, earning college credit, and sneak previews of new attractions. The uniform is also provided.
Karla Monzon participated in the program in the year 2009 from Jan.-May; she took the stage to tell the audience about the kind of work a student cast member would be doing in the parks. She spoke of the different kinds of internship areas: Animation, Entertainment, and Food Service. Karla told us how working at Animal Kingdom as a tour guide in one of the rides was one of the best experiences of her life, it helped her overcome her nervousness and open up to many people in a very short amount of time.
After Karla gave us her story, Mel took the stage once again to speak to us about the applocation process. On completing the
application process, students would be expected to take a web-based interview which would take a total of 25 minutes to complete. If a student did well on the web-based interview he or she would receive an email between 3-4 weeks later to plan a day for a 25 minute phone interview; in a few weeks the student would receive a response from the company that indicates whether they have been offered an internship or not.
He introduced Leyda Ponce de Leon, who is to be the student contact with the program and if students are to receive an invitation she will help them with finding the housing and picking the classes that they are to take once they arrive. “Since you meet and help so many people in one day,” she said, “You are taught to practice your socialization skills, making it easier in the future for when you have an interview, or in any event in your life actually.”
The activity concluded with a brief good-bye and the offer to get in line to apply right on the spot. Well over 50 students quickly stood up to talk to the student representatives and Mel Morales to ask them a bit more about the program and how it worked.