I initially applied for the Cultural Representative Program back in 2013, while I was in my final year at university. My flat mate had already completed a summer program in Disney World and, while suffering some serious withdrawal after a magical 2 week vacation, she pointed me in the direction of Yummy Jobs.
During my first application I benefitted from what can only be described as “Beginners Luck”. I applied for CRP within hours of the midnight deadline, taking no more than an hour on my application, CV and Covering Letter. Within 2 weeks of pressing submit I was invited down to London for my pre-screen interview. I was gobsmacked, and invited my mum to come down with me on the train for a cutesy little day out.
I don’t remember much from that day – it was all very new to me, and I definitely didn’t take it as seriously as I now wish. We navigated ourselves all the way down from Durham to London, leaving the house about 6:30 that morning, taking our very first trips on the underground to Waterloo, and then wandering to Pizza Express (which was fortunately, next door to the interview) for a quick lunch and mirror check. I then left my mother to aimlessly wander the streets of London, as I went into the destination restaurant. Dun dun duuunnn…
The rest of the day was pretty chaotic! I congregated amongst a group of other pleasant strangers in the restaurant waiting area, making a couple of acquaintances that I am still friends with today (on Facebook at least). A little while later we were all called into the back room decked out like a cinema with rows for seats pointing at a big presentation screen. They asked us upon entry if any of us had any particular travel arrangements that needed taking into account which – travelling from way up yonder North on a strict schedule – I did.
As a collective sat together and watched a very inspiring video and presentation about life as a Cultural Representative. Which by all extents of the imagination – seemed truly magical – the dream, if I were to speak frankly! I believe (from past past memory) that this took no more than a half hour. We were then given our interview groups, and called out 3 groups at a time. Luckily I was in one of the first groups 🙂
I was interviewed by Louise, in a group of maybe 8 other girls. We were positioned in a cute sort of circle time circle and had to introduce ourselves 1 by 1. I ended up sitting next to the first person in the line, which was the best place for me to start – not being the first person to speak, but not having to be too overwhelmed with what anyone else says first. Perfect!
All in all the interview was pretty cool, it was my second group interview that year so I wasn’t too worried, it was all very relaxed and friendly and I left feeling pretty damn confident. The questions were all pretty generic: Introduce yourself to the group, tell us something interesting about yourself, what is your idea of good customer service, example of bad customer service, how would you make the experience magical for families, which Disney character do you most relate to? – And the ever popular: show us the item you brought to best represent your hometown, and tell us about it.
From what I can remember I brought a mini statue of York Minster – not exactly Durham – but I made it work. Explaining Durham was also a cathedral city, and that, as a history student, I had a massive interest for heritage buildings and the Middle Ages etc. waffling on a bit more. I completely WON the Disney character question after a brainwave on the train down to London, announcing that at that moment in time I felt a lot of sympathy with the Vanelope Von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph; holding my shaky hand up and claiming I was clearly “glitching”. Although seriously, I related most to Peter Pan, as even though I was a week away from turning 21 – I still look like a 14 year old. The group loved it, and it was one of my proudest moments 🙂
It didn’t take long to hear back from my pre-screen at all. My interview was on the Thursday evening, I met up with my mum and travelled back to Durham straight after, getting home a little after 10pm and collapsing into a well-earned slumber. On the Friday I got the train back up to Uni in Newcastle. I believe I spent most of that day in bed with my flatmate watching movies; the email came through quite late that afternoon and I didn’t even expect it!
I was successful! And invited back down to London three weeks later to meet with a Disney Recruitment team….
Beginners Luck indeed!