Kaitlyn Feniello is majoring in Marketing and graduating in May 2018. After graduation, Kaitlyn will be working at The Walt Disney Company as their Vacation Planner.
What is the position you have accepted? I accepted a position with the Disney College Program as a Vacation Planner.
How did you find this position? The Disney College Program is something I’ve wanted to participate in since I was in elementary school, and I originally found out about it through a conversation with a cast member while in line for a ride at Disneyland. Since then, I’ve done lots of research about the program using the Disney College Program website and talking to people who have done the program before.
Tell us about the process of interviewing with this company. The interview process for the Disney College Program begins with a normal online application in which you submit information about your work experience, skills, and other basic information about yourself. Then, if chosen to move on, you would complete a web-based interview which is a series of timed behavioral and personality questions. At this stage, they’re mostly looking for consistency in your answers and the right personality to work at Disney. After the web-based interview, you would be invited to a phone interview which is a 20-30 minute call with a Disney recruiter. The questions in the phone interview range from discussing your work history to asking “tell me about a time” and “what if” questions.
Overall, the interview process is very structured and simple. The recruiter I spoke with was very nice and relaxed about the interview. Disney theme parks are “the happiest place on earth” so they are looking for people with the right balance of excitement for Disney and being a quality employee.
What previous experience have you had that you think contributed to your success securing this position? (ex. campus involvement, leadership, past internship): Last summer, I interned at the Master Builders Association, which is a home builders association in Washington state. I was a marketing intern, but I got a taste of many departments including PR, MarCom, and Events. I think my experience working with the Events department at the Master Builders Association was my most applicable experience to being a Vacation Planner at Disneyland. I told my recruiter about my experience working with a ticketing system and dealing with the various event planning logistics while also keeping a smile on my face. As a Vacation Planner, I’ll be working with complex ticketing and computer systems while also keeping a customer service orientation as I work with guests.
What are you most looking forward to about your position/company? I’m most looking forward to getting my foot in the door at The Walt Disney Company and learning the business operations from the ground up. My long-term goal is to work in the corporate marketing side of Disney theme parks, and the Disney College Program offers a weekly executive speaker series to the college program participants in which we get to hear from and network with executives at Disney. This program is also a great way to meet college students from all around the US and get a taste of what it’s like to work for such a renowned company. Plus, I get to go to Disneyland whenever I want for 6 months.. hard to pass that up!
Any word of advice you could give to your fellow Eller Students? Network, network, network! I almost didn’t apply for this program because I felt like it was a step down from a real career after I graduate. However, I decided that instead of just assuming, I’d reach out to people who had done the program. I used LinkedIn to find past participants of the program, and I reached out to them through LinkedIn messager to set up informational interviews. I spoke to a range of people at Disney from students who just recently participated in the program to people who work in Disney’s corporate office now. Their advice and stories about their experience helped me realize this was the right decision for me and expanded my network in doing so.