When I was little I was very lucky to have lived with my grandmother and my aunt; that is until they moved to Florida.
In my mind, I thought their moving meant the whole family was moving to Florida with them. While that wasn’t the case at the time, it did mean I would spend almost every year of my life traveling to Florida where I would end up in Walt Disney World. No matter how many times I went, I never got tired of it. The highs and lows of my life have been spent in this happy place.
When I was in High School I heard of this wonderful program and knew that this was something I was meant to do. For those of you unaware of what this program is, it is a paid internship to work at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. You apply to work in the parks or resorts and have the opportunity to take classes for potential college credits. The programs last anywhere from four to eight months depending on the program you apply for. With being accepted into the program you are allowed to live in Disney sponsored housing, however rent is taken out of your weekly paycheck. If you choose to live in housing and do not have a car of your own to bring, there is a bus that can take you to and from work and the parks (I highly recommend bringing a car if you have one!).
In my first semester of college back in 2010 I attended a seminar hosted by my school where Disney College Program representatives came and talked about the application process and the experiences of working in Disney. I was hooked! But like a lot of things in my life this did not come easy. Unfortunately I didn’t even get to apply. I ended up accepting a scholarship for the following semester that would help me out more at the time than maybe Disney could.
Not applying to the program allowed me to figure some things out that I don’t think I could have if had I done the program when I wanted. I had some experiences I needed to go through before I could get to that point. Nearly five years later, an associates degree, and finally getting on the life path I wanted to be on, it was time. While the specific moment of my application process was not the highlight of my life it was a moment that was a long time coming. Before I even applied I spent days studying YouTube videos on the application process. I nervously applied and filled out each section anticipating what would come next.
While it felt like months went by after my phone interview it finally happened. Two weeks after I applied and one week after my phone interview I was accepted for the Spring 2016 program! It was the news I didn’t realize I was waiting my whole life to hear. My childhood thoughts became my reality. I was moving to Florida!
Participating in this program has given me the chance to meet and work with amazing people all over the world. I was faced with situations and decisions that the person I was five years prior could never have handled. The program gave me a group of people who have become some of my best friends. I have gained more of a direction in my life and hope to one day work for the Walt Disney Company in some capacity.
The program not only strengthened my love for this amazing company, but it taught me the most important lesson of my life; everything happens for a reason.