On the Job Training

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June 1st, my first day of on the job training, I began at Old Key West. A trainer is assigned to you, and this trainer will check-in guests and give you tips on how to check-in a guest. I started off my training by going ahead and checking in a guest. I did a few check-ins and then watched my trainer do some check-ins. My trainer was always there to assist me and answer questions about the resort that I didn’t know the answers to. The training eases you into working on your own. I had four days of training at Old Key West, three days of training at Saratoga Springs (because I learned that people who are assigned to either Old Key West or Saratoga Springs work at both locations), and an additional day of curbside training (checking in guests on an iPad) at Old Key West.

By the end of training, I felt comfortable working on my own. I had six different trainers – usually people are assigned one or two trainers. There was a bit of confusion with my training schedule, so I had various trainers. It was nice having different trainers because from each trainer, I learned new tricks about the software we use to check-in guests.

So now that the introductions to the Disney College Program have been complete, my next posts will focus on the experiences I had during the college program.

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The Second Week: Disney University Front Desk Training

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disney universityThe second week, my classes at Disney University began. For five days, I had an eight hour class that taught me about the systems used to check guests in. These classes prepared me for my resort training. I learned information about Magic Bands, dining plans, exchanging foreign currency, etc.

I have no background in hospitality; these classes made me feel comfortable working at a hotel. The classes include simulations of different guest scenarios. By the end of the week, I was able to take payment in both cash and credit, exchange foreign currency, add several credit cards on a reservation and link them to separate magic bands, issue new Magic Bands, and so much more. I was eager to work at Old Key West by the end of the week.

 

The First Week

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When I first arrived to Florida on Monday, May 19, I headed straight from the airport to Vista Way Apartment Complex to check-in. Then, I spent a lot of time waiting in different lines to complete portions of the check-in process. First, I found out where I was going to work: Old Key West. Then I received my photo ID, my housing assignment – The Commons, and my schedule for the rest of the week. After I signed the I9 form, I went to my apartment complex.

When I got to my apartment, I got to meet all of my roommates. The roommate I was sharing a room with, Molly, and her mother helped me get settled into my room. Then we went to the store to get a few items for our room – shower curtain, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc. and a few groceries.

Molly and I went to Casting the next day. Casting is where you fill out all of your paperwork. It only took about 2 hours to get through. The next day, I had a housing meeting. At this meeting, you learn the rules of the complex, for example, you can’t have light sabers or candles in the apartment complexes. Later that night, Molly and I explored the hotels we were going to work at with Molly’s mom. We had dinner at Olivia’s in Old Key West. It was nice getting to see the resort I was working at before I started. I got to talk to a CP who was about to end her program, and she gave us a lot of advice about the program and told us what my job would be like. I suggest visiting the area that you will be working at before you start if you are nervous. It was really exciting to see what I would get to be doing.
2014-05-22 12.27.51On Thursday, I had Traditions. Traditions is a class every cast member, including non-college programers, take. This class you that no matter which role you receive in Disney, the ultimate goal is to create happiness for all who visit Disney. At Traditions, you receive your name tag and your work ID, which is your temporary pass to the parks. Traditions is my favorite class because I learned how incredible this company is. Walt Disney created a world from a drawing of a mouse he did on a piece of paper. Through the videos we watched in Traditions, I learned how Walt valued each of his employees, and I realized how lucky I was to be working for Disney:

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world – but it requires people to make the dream a reality,” Walt Disney.

The next three days, I was free to explore the parks with my roommates. My Front Desk training did not begin until the next week.

 

Friendiversary

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I have not had the best time motivating myself to blog. This is my first blog that I did not have to create for a class, so it is hard for me to get myself to routinely blog when I know I won’t get penalized for not blogging. I want to change this though.

I know this is a blog about my Disney College Program, but I want to tell you about my best friend, Katie, who encouraged me to start a blog.

Today is Katie and my ten-year friendiversary. Sometime this year, we realized that sometime in September, we would have known each other for ten years. Katie is the first friend I made when I moved to NC in 2004. It was my first day of 4th grade in a new school, and I already missed 13 days of school because where I moved from, school started in September. I really stood out because my name is not a common name, and I was probably the first of my ethnicity to move into the tiny town.

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Me and Katie

My teacher introduced me to class and mispronounced my name. Right after she introduced me, Katie raised her hand and asked if I would like to sit in a booth with her during lunch. In my class, every week, a student could sit in a booth during lunch, instead of the lunch table, and select a few friends to sit with him or her. It happened to be Katie’s week, and she chose me.

Ever since that moment, we were friends. As we have grown, our friendship has become stronger. I can talk to her about anything. During this Disney College Program, she has always been there for me to talk to.

Thank you, Katie, for always being there for me, even when we are miles apart. You are an amazing friend. Also, thank you for the most incredible present ever!

Best present ever

THE BEST PRESENT EVER

My best friend got me two books by my favorite author, Jennifer L. Armentrout. One, Origin, is the fourth book in one of my favorite series. The other, Don’t Look Back, is a book I haven’t read yet but have been wanting to read – Katie knew this by stalking my Goodreads; what a good friend. The best part is that she got me a SIGNED copy of Don’t Look Back; she went the extra mile and e-mailed Jennifer L. Armentrout asking her where she could get a signed copy.

Happy ten-year friendiversary, Katie!

The Beginning

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I am participating in the Disney College Fall Advantage Program at Walt Disney World – where dreams come true. The journey began May 19, when I stepped off of the plane and into Orlando, Florida. That same day, I went straight to Vista Way apartments to check-in and receive my housing assignment and schedule for the rest of the week. I spent the next few days getting to know my roommates and exploring the areas around the parks with them – since I did not have access to the parks yet.

My roommate, Molly, and I.

My roommate, Molly, and I.

I chose to participate in the Disney College Program (DCP) because I needed a transition into a life of independence after graduating from college. I graduated early from college and was unsure of what to do next. I was offered a position in Hospitality as a Front Desk Cashier at WDW Resorts. I decided accept the position because I would be working at and living near Disney World. As a DCP intern, I would be exposed to the working world of Disney. Life as a DCP intern has been exciting and unexpected. I will do my best to keep you updated on the rest of my journey.

Have a magical day!