Networking. Everyone says it’s a must-do on your program and I can’t say it enough – it really is an extremely important part of the Disney College Program experience, especially if you’re looking for a professional career with Disney after your internship.
But let’s face it – networking isn’t easy. In fact, it can be really challenging and sometimes even awkward. Who do I contact? What do I say? What should I wear? Am I wasting my time? Worse yet is am I wasting their time?
If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts about setting up meet and greets or about networking with other professionals, you’re not alone. Here at Disneyland® Resort, we help our participants network with other cast members as much as possible, and our goal is to
set you up for success.
Throughout the season, you’ll have opportunities to network with your leaders, with our housing team and with contacts we have for you based on the areas you’re interested in. But my favorite networking opportunity each season is definitely our Disney College Program/Professional Intern Mixer where our participants have the chance to chat and mingle with over 50 of our current professional interns.
This event gives you the perfect chance to make a connection with other cast members from around The Walt Disney Company. Many of our participants apply for Professional Internships after their program, so getting the opportunity to speak with other professionals in that area and learn more about their role is something you’ll find to be very helpful and beneficial.
Think about this: you know exactly which Professional Internships you’re applying for and it’s your dream to land one of them, but you just wish you knew more about the job or could speak to someone on the team. That’s where our mixer comes into play and it really is the best networking opportunity you could ever ask for. You’ll learn skills you can use for the rest of your life and make meaningful connections that could pay huge dividends down the road.
But our exclusive networking opportunities don’t end there. At the beginning of the program, we survey our participants and ask them what lines of business they’re most interested in as a professional career, and we do everything we can to bring in leaders from the most popular areas to share knowledge with everyone and answer questions.
Let’s say you’re interested in working for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings, marketing or Imagineering. If you didn’t participate in the Disneyland College Program, would you ever have the chance to network with any of those cast members? Probably not, but there’s a good chance you will on your internship.
Not only will you have a chance to meet some of these cast members, you’ll be able to ask them questions and learn about their career path. One thing you’ll be surprised to learn is that most of these cast members began their Disney journey on the Disney College Program.
Just remember, we may provide the opportunity, but it’s up to you to take the situation and use it to your advantage. Engage in the conversation, ask questions and maximize the opportunity to the fullest. You only get one chance to make a positive first impression. Make it count!