When she was accepted into the Disney college program, Mercedez Kalp, freshman elementary education major, realized she could cross the most important item off of her bucket list.
“I’ve actually never been to Disney,” Kalp said. “That’s the number one thing on my bucket list for my whole life.”
The Disney college program is an on-the-job experience that allows college students to work in either their California or Florida parks, network with leaders and build skills such as teamwork, guest service and effective communication, according to disneycareers.com.
“I love Disney, I have a huge passion for it, so when I heard about it (the internship) I literally got tears in my eyes because I didn’t even know it was a thing,” Kalp said.
Kalp went through a three step application process for the internship, which started with an online application. Once that was accepted, she had a web based interview and then a phone interview.
A month ago, which was three weeks after the phone interview, she recieved an email saying she was accepted, Kalp said.
“I had just walked into my dorm room and got the email and all I read was ‘congratulations’ and ‘Disney college program’ and I fell to my knees and started bawling because I was so excited,” Kalp said. “I really didn’t think I would get in. In between bawling and gasping for air, I called my mom and my dad and all of my friends and family. It was really exciting for me.”
According to Kalp, approximately 35,000 students apply and only 4,000 are accepted.
To receive her job placement for the internship, she ranked every available job from “a lot of interest” to “low interest,” in the early stages of the application process.
She was placed into a custodial position, but has heard it’s one of the best jobs, she said.
“I got custodial, but I’ve also heard that that’s one of the best jobs to get, because you basically just get to walk around the parks and sweep up popcorn and stuff,” Kalp said. “It’s a lot of guest interaction.”
Kalp will be interning in the Florida Disney resort during this upcoming fall semester. The internship dates are August to January, according to Disney Programs.
For Kalp, being accepted into the program was a way for her to follow her dreams.
“I just like the movies and the whole ‘make your dreams come true’ and this was such a big dream of mine, I never thought it would come true and now here I am going to work for Disney,” Kalp said.