When you first begin the Disney College Program, your managers will sit down and talk with you about all the ways you can get fired.
It is extremely intimidating! However, they never say that, if you manage to complete the entire program, you will be evaluated on your performance on your last work day.
I actually had no idea until Elly told me that her DCP friends had started asking around the managers to see if anyone would do it for them.
This is important because, although Disney looks great on a resume, Disney will not say anything about you. The only thing you can out get of Disney Human Resources is that Casting can confirm/deny that you worked for Disney at some point. They can’t say how you were as a cast member or the reason you left. Nothing. So this evaluation is something that you can keep as a record of how you were while you worked at Disney.
[Need to verify your time as a cast member? Click here: Disney Employment Verification]
My work location, Discovery Island, was nice because all the managers were able to put in comments about me so their evaluation was a complete representation of how they liked working with me for two semesters.
On my last day at work (it’s always done the last day in case it goes badly, so you can’t freak out on them!), I was pulled off stage and got to sit down with one of my managers.
She showed me my evaluation by revealing each topic one at a time while covering the rest of the paper. I basically stared at it trying to read ahead the entire time! So nerve-racking!
As you can see, I obviously was a competent, hard working person. I came in every day determined to create magic for guests and to provide positive experiences for everyone I came in contact with. Because there’s nothing worse than a grumpy CM!
I am extremely happy with my “scores”. However, I was a little surprised when I asked my manager to explain why I was only rated “satisfactory” on some.
One manager described me as “quiet, reserved, takes a lot of time to think things through and to speak up”. I was really surprised!
Literally, no one in my family or friends group would describe me as “introverted”. Haha! And I think if you polled the managers and the people I worked with, who really got to know me and were my friends, they know my real personality outside of my professional attitude at work, which is not shy and reserved at all.
I would not normally take that as an insult, because there’s nothing wrong with being introverted, but this personality type was being used to explain why I did not really have it in me to take on leadership possibilities/responsibilities at DAK.
Retrospectively, I really don’t mind how she described me. I think that I made it a point to not be seen chatting with my coworkers, but to be seen doing my job – talking with and assisting guests, organizing and refolding clothes, and making sure everything is show-ready. I am glad I was not seen by some of my superiors as a person who needed all this attention and couldn’t shut up! Good!
Here’s a screenshot of my Record Card. It shows just some of the Four Keys Fanantic Cards that I got during the Fall DCP semester.
Anyway, that was why I was marked down from “outstanding” to “satisfactory” in initiative/problem solving, teamwork, etc. I didn’t do anything wrong, per se, but when people thought of me, they thought of my time spent interacting with guests, not leading my peers. I’m still unsure of how I could have “led my peers” seeing as we were told what to do and how to do it…I also agreed with how my manager explained that the college program is set up in a way that there is no forgiveness and they would rather fire you than work through an issue, so there is little room for CP’s to be “brave” in that aspect.
Also, in case you’re wondering, I only have one point on my record card. It was from when I went back to Colorado for spring break and couldn’t find someone to take my shift on the day I flew back to Florida. I challenged that “satisfactory” ranking, because I have been here more than ten months and only have ONE point! It turns out that you can only be judged as unsatisfactory/satisfactory for that one.
Elly decided on not getting an evaluation done after hearing about how mine went. Her work does not have every manager put in comments so you really just have to pick the person who liked you the most. I’m sure hers would have looked similar to mine because, after all, they did pick her to be a relief coordinator!
The best part of my evaluation was getting to hear the nice comments all my managers wrote about me. All of them talked about how great I was to work with, how hard I worked, and how it was clear that I came in every day to work and was happy to be there. And, most importantly, the effort I put in to each guest interaction. I am so proud that my superiors took notice of all my efforts over the past ten months and that most of them think so highly of me!
This is my favorite manager, Mara. I love her!! She is literally the nicest person you will ever meet. I have no idea how I could have made it through the college program without her willingness to listen to my issues and give me great advice. If you ever meet her, be sure to ask her about her “pumpkin pies” (her two adorable little boys!).
This is my manager, Karen, who introduced me to the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund and was always a great and helpful friend! Thank you for waiving points when the bus made me several hours late and I was all stressed out! And thanks for all the delicious DWCF cupcakes! 😉
And then there was my manager, Mary, who was my homeroom manager. There are so many CPs that they split us all up between all the managers so that at least one manager really gets to know their CPs. Mary was considered to be a tough manager by some, but I loved her! It was always a great day when we had our ‘basics walks’ and we could talk. 🙂
And last, but not least, this is my favorite DAK coordinator friend, Carolyn, who was a lot of fun to work with!! I will miss her so much!
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale