My journey into the Disney College Program began in the fall semester of 2016 when I first walked through the halls of my hospitality department at New York City College of Technology. As I waited to speak to my mentor about my career goals, I read a poster that advertised an internship that would allow me to work for the Walt Disney World Company. For the next couple of weeks, I had done some research, and spoke to a college professor that had worked for the company for a couple of years and was in charge of connecting college students with the collegiate classes. She advised me to apply to the program after taking some college classes because it bettered my chances of getting in. I completed my first two years of college, and decided to take my chances and fill out the application for Spring 2018. One winter afternoon, I was hanging out with a couple of friends, when I got the email that congratulated me on getting into the program; as you can imagine filled me with joy, excitement, and anxiousness. I immediately paid the fees for my acceptance and waited for the next steps. Unfortunately, the week before my arrival date, something came up that did not allow me to take part in the program. At this point in time, it felt like things were not going to work out. At some point in February; however, I got a notification for the DCP of Fall 2018 which I briefly glanced at and decided not to apply. A week later, a good friend of mine posted that he had gotten accepted into the program for 2018. I saw this as a sign and on a whim, I applied. This time the application process was much quicker. The interview process took about a week; within two weeks I paid my fees and booked a flight. At this point in time, It didn’t seem real; the first time around was such a bummer and I was constantly thinking that something was going to come up again and I wouldn’t be able to move down. As I said my goodbyes to family and friends, went through airport security, and got on the plane, it still didn’t feel real. Three months later, it still has yet to hit me.
The disney college program has been filed with so many challenges and sometimes it seems so unreal. I look back to how scared I was getting into the program about three months ago, and I can’t believe how much I’ve grown. One of the ways I know I have changed is in closings. I remember when I was first given the task to close a station with a partner, It took us the entire shift and it was exhausting. At the end, the trainer explained to us that we were supposed to close the stations on our own. My reaction to that as full disbelief; there is no way that I can get all of that done on time. A couple of weeks in, I was finally put to close a station on my own and it took me about forty-five extra minutes to close. At this point in time I was completely discouraged and was so hard on myself. Getting to work became hard because it just seemed like I was being set up to fail. Fast forward to three months later; boy have things changed. There are days when I am late by a couple of minutes, but for the most part I have learned to work efficiently. I made it a goal for myself to finish on time every time I closed and sooner or later task became less intense.
As I look into the future, the most important thing I take with me is the notion that “I can do it.” As cliche as that may sound, I didn’t think myself capable of closing beverage island in the span of a couple of ours. The things that seemed daunting before are more manageable now. This notion that things will get better, I can get better, and I can do it is so important to me because half of the battle I face is how hard I am on myself. Disney has given me more confidence. Perhaps is because of the many mantras written on the walls, because they give us seemingly impossible tasks and expect us to get it done, but disney has definitely taught me to believe in myself and my abilities. In the future when I get a new job filled with daunting tasks and impossible work, I will think about the holidays at Port Orleans French Quarters and know that I can get through it.