How I landed my dream job


Annie Norton, Staff Writer

When I was a little girl, I used to dream of being in a world where magic filled the streets, where people don’t have to grow up, and where everyone is greeted with a smile and a wave.

When I was two years old, I discovered that place actually existed and it was called Walt Disney World. When I was growing up, Disney World was a safe haven for me.

However, as I continue to grow older, I have come to realize that Disney is more special to me now than it has ever been before.

When people grow up they seem to forget about the little and simple things that make life joyous and happy, simple things such as holding a bright red balloon, flying a kite, smiling so hard your cheeks hurt or picking out a stuffed animal sitting perfectly on a shelf.

I found that there are only a few places in the world that allow you to feel an enormous amount of joy in such little things. I know that when I go to Walt Disney World, worries are forgotten, laughter is everywhere, and my heart is once again refilled with hope.

Let’s fast-forward a little bit — the Disney magic that inspired me made me a girl filled with many dreams. My dream that I thought of almost every day was to one day create magic at Walt Disney World.

Me being from Illinois, and then moving to Massachusetts, I didn’t know how I was going to do it or how I was going to get there, but I was determined to find an answer.

After many years of research and starting to find out what I needed to do to work there, I found a program called the ‘Disney College Program’. The Disney College Program is a 4-6 month internship for college students and recent college graduates to work for the Walt Disney Company.

When I first found this internship I was 17 years old and it was the summer before my freshman year of college. I was determined to find out every detail and fact about this program. I soon became an expert on the Disney College Program, I knew what it entailed to apply, interview, and get accepted.

Now begins the waiting game.

What I mean by that is, the perfect timing. Some debate there is no such thing, but I knew I wasn’t ready to apply as a freshman because I was aware they rarely accepted freshman for the internship, and I knew I wasn’t where I needed to be in life to be fully ready to do this internship.

Every paper, presentation, and group project I did in college (if I had the opportunity to pick) was about the Walt Disney Company. It felt like everyday I was falling more in love with my dream of working at the company, but at the same time it felt like I was so far away from ever making that dream a reality.

Fast-forwarding a bit more, moving from Illinois to Massachusetts, here I am at AIC — loving my job, this school, my program, meeting new people, but always in the back of my head my Disney dream never left my heart.

I knew it was still my deepest goal and dream to work there. Every day I was on campus and every assignment I turned in, I knew where I wanted to end up and what I was working so hard for. This dream was so deeply rooted in me, it created a fire in my belly so big I knew I couldn’t extinguish it until I landed my goal, or at least tried.

I felt ready and determined now to go after my dream…and so the chase begins.

On Tuesday January 22nd, 2019 at 9:30 am I received an email that I felt like I have been waiting for my entire life. The title of the email was “Apply for a Walt Disney World Internship Today!”

I applied that very day applications came out; I made sure my resume was perfected months before this day came and would check it every day for any errors.

After I submitted my resume, about 20 minutes later, I received another email from the Disney Company thanking me for my application and stating that they wanted to learn more about me.

Tears of relief poured down my face and I called my mother and father right away. They were both completely elated for me (almost more than me). The next step of this interview process was a web-based interview, (WBI).

The WBI is a 30-40 minute personality test that you take online. It is extensive, intense, and completely nerve wracking. It is especially nerve wracking because you go into the web-based interview knowing you are either going to pass it and move on with the next interview process, or fail it and be no longer in consideration to work for the Disney Company.

I took a deep breathe before my WBI. I took it and 40 minutes later after completing it, I found out I passed and I was moving onto the next, and final interview process… a phone interview.

I scheduled my phone interview, this is when a Disney Recruiter from the Disney Company calls you at your scheduled time and they will give you a full interview as you were there face to face with them.

I will never forget my phone interview, it lasted 35 minutes and it was one of the happiest job interviews I ever experienced. We chatted about my job history, why I wanted to work for Disney, what Disney meant to me, and many other things. At the end of my phone interview the recruiter let me know that this was the final step of the process, and now all I had to was wait for a decision.

I thought waiting was going to be the easiest part for me.

Knowing I completed the entire application process successfully, and I knew there was nothing left for me to do, sounded easy.

However, this was easily the most agonizing wait in my entire life. It felt as though everything was on the line, I was second guessing myself wondering if I did things right, and wishing I would have changed what I did or what I said.

I took my phone interview Thursday, January 27th, 2019 at 9:30 a.m., everyday after that my days consisted of waking up in the middle of the night checking my email, waking up in the morning to check it again, and checking it though out the entire day, every day.

One week went by, still didn’t hear anything.

Another week goes by, still nothing.

I was feeling so defeated and devastated because I convinced myself I didn’t get my dream job. I was thinking after all of the dreaming, praying, and hoping I did, I might not get this dream after all. I lost all hope and didn’t know how I was ever going to move on from this.

On Monday, February 11, 2019 at 1:20 p.m., my life changed forever.

I checked my email like any other day, not expecting anything, and there it was — the email and acceptance I have been waiting for since I was a little girl.

I received an email from the Disney Company with the title “Congratulations!” I felt as though time stopped and I was just dreaming when reading that email.

The email contained many things such as, my contract and saying I needed to be there by June for my check in date.

After I read my email, I couldn’t process what just happened, I just cried for the rest of the day. I began calling my entire family and they were all over the moon for me because they all know how passionate I am about this and have been for so long.

Through all the tears that were shed that day, I never felt more joy and peace in my life and I realized that was the Disney magic coming to life within me. I knew it was my turn to go to Disney and make magic for other people just like how I experienced it when I so desperately needed it. My dream came true, because I had the courage to pursue it and believed in it with everything I had.

Disney’s motto is for everyone to find a dream and fight for it. Whatever your dream may be, I encourage you to go after it and fight for whatever you want to be in life.

The late Walt Disney himself once said, “The recipe to being successful is to be curious, have confidence, have courage, and be consistent.”

He also says that, “The greatest of these is confidence. Without confidence, you wont get past the critics that stand before you.”

This speaks tremendously to me, I had people who indeed try to steer me away from this dream and if I wouldn’t of had the confidence and courage to ignore my critics, I could of easily never have gotten that email, and wouldn’t be moving to Florida to go live my dream.

I am honored to work for a company that knowingly holds their cast members to a high standard, a company that believes in the magic of simplicity and detail, and a company that lives by Walt’s words of “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started by a mouse.”