Friday, March 15, 2013

Disney Discussion: Would I do it again?

A little while ago, someone commented on my previous blog post summerizing my Externship as a Disney College Program Culinary Assistant II experience. They said:

"Thank you for posting about your experience at Disney! I just got accepted into the Culinary Program for Baking/Pastry, and I've been thinking about whether to accept it or not. I found your blog very helpful! Thank you for sharing."

I spent some time considering their words, and what I could say to them; especially since I don't know if my previous comments left them with a positive or negative view of what could be in store for them. And so, while I have no way of knowing if this will get back to the original commenter, I thought it was worth sharing with everyone else. Because I care deeply about this, and want future College Program participants to succeed. Because it is so very worth doing. Better yet, it is most definately worth doing well.


Dear Anonymous,

I would like to thank you for your feedback. As hoped, lableing the blog posts with the Disney College Program made it possible to be found by others who might be wanting to know more about the program from someone who has been there.

Before I embarked on my own journey, I scoured the internet for videos, letters, articles, blog posts, anything that I could find that might give me some idea of what I was getting myself into. While I found several "apartment tour" videos by generic CP cast members, I found very little about the culinary porgram itself.

And that was why I vowed before I left that I would put something out there for those that follow to find; which was intended, of course, to be helpful.

I don't know if you will read this reply, or if it matters to you, but reading your response made me immediately think, "Ack! Wait, what did I write?? Did they get good advice?? I don't want to mess up someone else's opportunities or experience!!"

So, with that in mind, I hope that you were able to read in to all of my disclaimers and caveaughts about how my particular experience turned out, and that it doesn't reflect necessarily negatively on the Disney College Porgram itself.

I was the first and only Baking & Pastry student from my school accepted into the CP program, and it was difficult to know what I was getting myself into. Though I had completed all of my B&P courses, and worked in two bakeries previously, obviously Disney is a whole new level of excellence.

The work itself was not difficult or overly demanding. But I was not in the best place in my life to go when I did. So, if you have two small kids and a husband in a strained marraige waiting at home and you find yourself pregnant while trying to do this... then I'd seriously suggest you reconsider if this is really what you want to do right now. But, that would be a HUGE coincidence, and not likely how your experience would go.

Of the other Culinary CP that arrived when I did, there was one other B&P student. She was placed where I had wanted to be and doing what I had hoped to do, and she did spectacularly. She came from a stronger background, having grown up in her mother's bakery. She also graduated from her school. And, she clearly did much better on her interview because her foundation was stronger, so she was placed better.

I am so very proud of her. She is living the dream with three of my other roommates from my CP days who all became full-time Cast Members.

Also, there has not been a single day that has gone by that I havn't felt anxious and remourseful about how things turned out for me. I spent most of January in shock. I couldn't believe it was all over, and I kept replaying every moment over and over in my mind; wishing I could go back and get it right this time.

And, I miss everyone I worked with in that Bakery. They are some of the most talented, kind, hard working people I have ever had the pleasure of associating with. And if I was given the opportunity to work there again, I would be there at the drop of a hat.

So, bottom line, I think anyone who has an opportunity to do so, should persue participation in this program. I'd advise them to evaluate if they want to do it at that time or not. Because, you can always re-apply or go as an actual intern instead of a CP later. But if you're in a place to do it, then I encourage you to try.

It was one of the hardest, most amazing, life altering expereinces of my adult life. I wish circumstances could have been tweaked better... But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Incidentally, I plan on going back once I'm finished with Culinary School. And since I'll be taking my family with me, there won't be anything left to keep me away.

Besides, that's where dreams come true.