Online Application

So the first step to apply for the program is to fill out an online application.

As soon as the online applications went live on the 18th July 2016, I was straight onto it! I’d remembered reading on blogs that people had started hearing before the applications closed last year, so I thought the earlier I submit it, the earlier I’d hear if I got through to the next stage.

For people from the UK, you fill out the application through a recruitment company called Yummy Jobs rather than the through the Disney website. I’ve put a link to the Yummy Jobs website below:

https://www.yummyjobs.com/work/disneyculturalexchangeprogram

The application was fairly long, although they’d cut out a couple of questions from previous years. I’d suggest that you spend time tailoring the application and making it as best as you can as I think Yummy Jobs make a lot of cuts at this stage.

Personal Information

The first section is all very straight forward where you put in your personal information and education. You also have to upload a profile photo and as this is for Disney I thought it’d be best to smile in my photo rather than sticking to a traditional passport style.

For the education bit, there isn’t much room to go into detail so I just laid it out like this:

3 A-levels in Media Studies, English Literature/Language and History – Grades A*AB and 1 AS-level in Music Technology- Grade C

For my GCSEs I put even less detail like this:

10 GCSEs at A-B and 1 DiDA Level 1 ICT at Merit

Work Experience

The next section is all about your work experience. I took quite a lot of time over this section to tailor it to suit what roles I could be doing on the program. For each different job you’re required to put your job title, your employer, the department you work in and your start and end date (or whether you are currently employed).

You then have a box to talk about your main responsibilities. I did this in bullet point form and I elaborated on certain points that would link to what Disney might be looking for.

In total I had four different jobs in my work experience section: They were my part time job that I’ve had with an insurance company for a few years, my volunteer work at a zoo, a volunteer job at a Barnardos charity shop that I did for 3 months as part of my DofE and I also put in this section that I am a student ambassador at my university.

This was everything that I’ve done so even if your experience wasn’t for very long, just put it in this section anyway. Don’t worry if you don’t have much work experience, this isn’t the main section of the application!

Additional Questions

The next part is called additional questions which in the past included some longer answer questions I think. However this year, it just asked you for your availability for the program i.e. the earliest you could start.

I think this was also the section where it asked you if you have any tattoos or piercings. Disney are very strict on this but as long as you can cover up any tattoos it’s perfectly fine.

Documents: CV & Cover Letter

There was then a section about your documents, where you’re required to upload a copy of your CV, cover letter, any previous visas and a copy of your passport. You then have to input your passport information e.g. number and expiry date. At this stage, don’t worry if your passport is due to expire, you’ll have plenty of time to apply for a new one at a later date.

I had some technical issues with my application because it said that I had already uploaded my CV and cover letter when I obviously hadn’t. So I had a little panic and tried to contact Yummy Jobs.

Firstly I used the contact section of the Yummy Jobs website where you submit a little form but after a couple of days I didn’t hear anything back and I think it was because it didn’t send properly. I couldn’t find an email address anywhere so I contacted them via their Facebook page which was really helpful as I got a response from Luke at yummy jobs really quickly and he was able to resolve it for me by emailing him my documents.

Turned out I didn’t have anything to worry about as after a few days my application was now letting me upload my CV and cover letter anyway!

Ok, so I think the CV and cover letter is a really important section of the application so I took my time to make sure they were right!

I created my CV in Canva, which is a free website where you can design things like posters, leaflets and other graphics. I’d used this website a lot at college so thought it’d be a good way to make my CV look all smart and pretty.

At the top of my CV I put in a little personal statement paragraph (about 3 sentences) that just summed up my best skills and why they were suited for a role on the program. I then went through my work experience which I laid out slightly differently to the work experience section in the application as it was in slightly less detail. I made sure I put the most relevant at the top. I then had a section with my key skills and how they would relate to the the working environment in Disney World.

On the second side of my CV I put my eduction with my grades etc. and then a section on my personal interests where I emphasised my love for planning my family holidays to Disney and I also mentioned that I like helping people out on Disney trip forums. Finally I put any achievements that I had got.

All in all, my CV was two sides and I added colour throughout in a hope that it would stand out that way.

My cover letter was 1 side long and I laid it out in a traditional format and I included these things:

  • Why I wanted to do the program
  • What my university course is and how the program would benefit me and my degree
  • Why I wanted to represent my country on the program
  • Why I was a suitable candidate and what skills and experience I have that is most relevant. I mentioned in this bit some of the roles that I was very interested in and why my skill set suits these as I thought this would show that I’ve researched the program.
  • I then did a little conclusion

Additional Information

The last section of the application is called Additional Information and I think this is the most important part to really make your application stand out! The only question we had to answer was ‘What is your motivation for this program?’ and you get a certain amount of characters to answer in, I think it was 1500.

If you’re like me, you’ll have a million reasons why you want to do the program but you need to be able to structure it and make it sound good!

I said various cheesy things that’s quite cringe looking back at, but I guess it was alright as I got through! I said that it was my dream to work for Disney and that I have been inspired by the hard work that cast members put into creating magical holidays for me and my family in the past.

I think it is also very important to emphasise the cultural aspect of the program as that’s what it’s all about after all! I also mentioned how I haven’t moved away for university so this was my chance to experience living in my own.

The only bit that’s left of the application is to answer whether you’ve worked for Disney before, been on a Yummy Jobs Program before and where you heard about the program.

So after days and days of making sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything to mention and proof reading it about a million times, on July 28th I was ready to submit and let the waiting begin!

Confirmation of Submission

Straight away after you submit your application, you get a confirmation email that it was received by Yummy Jobs and you can also view your application via your Yummy Jobs profile which displays a version which you can’t edit (so make sure you are 100% happy before you submit as you can’t edit it later).

I viewed my application only to realise that my profile photo didn’t upload properly! I was getting a little stressed and emailed Luke at Yummy Jobs, who I’d emailed a few days earlier about something else, but he said that there was nothing he could do now that I’d submitted the application.

Luckily he said not to worry as if I got through to the next stage, we had to bring a copy of the photo anyway and that I’d hear if I was successful within the next four weeks before the application deadline closed!

On the 17th August 2016 I heard that I’d got through to the first interview stage!!!!!!