Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Professional Internship Application Process

Applying for Professional Internships are a little different than applying for the regular College Program. The process is much longer and more stressful than the CP. This is my experience applying for PIs for Fall 2013.

First, the majority of job postings go up on late January to early February. It is important to note that there are 100's of internships, and not only ones related to the parks. There are also opportunities for corporate internships in Finance, Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Design etc, as well as positions at Disney Interactive, Radio Disney, ESPN and ABC.  There are also Animal Programs internships and Managment Internships.

I chose to apply for internships within the "Parks and Resorts" segment so I can't really speak about the process for the others.

When you are looking at each job posting make sure you read over carefully the job description and the application deadline because some have different deadlines than others. You can save the jobs to your "Cart" on the dashboard so you can find them easier later.

You need to apply to each position separately. The online application is basically the same one as for the College Program. You will need to upload a resume, some positions may request portfolios, cover letters or transcripts. There is no Web Based Interview for the PI.

Now a word about resumes. Disney uses a computer to scan resumes for keywords to see if you are a match. This means you can be kicked out of the running before a real person even ever looks at your resume. You HAVE TO tailor your resume to each position you apply for, making sure you use keywords that are in the job description/qualification.

After you apply you can check the status of your application on the Dashboard.

There is a lovely explanation of the Dashboard and the different Stages HERE

If you make it past the computer you may be contacted for a "Screening Interview" this interview generally covers all the roles you have applied for. I applied for Alumni Only PIs as well as some additional graphic design ones. Even if you apply for other positions after your interview, recruiters can look up your screening interview and read it for other roles.

I posted about the questions I was asked HERE.

Then you wait for what seems like FOREVER! I'm not kidding. I had my interview Feb 8th and got an offer on April 15th.  The process moves much slower than the CP application process so if you are applying for the CP as a backup and get an offer, take that, they can always transfer you to the PI and refund your deposit if you are offered a role.

Now I went NLIC for all of my internships at different times during the process, but I was still going strong for Alumni Only. Around March 28th I recieved a new "drop down" for Guest Relations. On April 11th that drop down moved to "Post Interview Stage" and I recieved a request to submit information for a background check.

Then on April 15th I got the call offering me the postion of Guest Relations PI!

So here is my timeline for Applying
Feb 2nd -  Applied for several internships
Feb 8th - Screening Interview
March 8th - Applications Close
March 28th- Recieved a new drop down menu for GR
April 10th - Moved to "Post Interview Stage"
April 11th - Received request for background check info
April 15th - Phone call offering me Guest Relations


  1. Thanks so much for your blog! I know you have soem PI FAQs coming up, but could I request you do a spot on your resume (obviously not the details if you're not comfortable with that)? I'm a senior in college planning on applying for a couple Animal Programs internships, and I'm getting a *lot* of different opinions on resumes. It would be super helpful to get input from someone who successfully nabbed a Disney internship.
    Thanks and congratulations!

    1. Hi Kira! I will definetly try to add some information about resumes before the next application season starts! The key for Disney is that you create a "tailored" resume for each position. Many departments run your resume through a computer that searches for key words. So you could be out of the running before a real person ever looks at it! I'll add more info in a later post. Thanks for the suggestion and for reading!

  2. Kate, this was a huge help! I finished my CP in August and want to do a PI once graduation comes in 2015 and the whole process is overwhelming. Thanks for the info!