The Disney College Program recently announced that applications will be excepted up to one year following one’s graduation date! Previously you could only apply within six months of your graduation (and back in my day you could only apply while you were still in school!). I completed both of my programs after I graduated, and am so happy I did!
Since the Disney College Program has gotten so competitive, I do recommend applying while you’re still in school just so that if you do not get in on the first try you have plenty of chances to try again. Still, even if you’ve already completed an earlier program, doing this internship after you graduate can be just as or even more rewarding. Here are four reasons why you should consider doing the DCP after you graduate:
You’ll be over 21
I don’t say this to mean that your program should revolve around partying and drinking, but being over 21 during your program is just easier. We’ve all heard horror stories of CPs being termed because their underage roommates brought alcohol into the apartments and the only way to really avoid this is to be over 21.
Disney used to have wellness/under 21 and non-wellness/over 21 designations for apartments, but they’re getting rid of this within the next program season. Since this is an entirely new concept for the program, the details for how this will work really aren’t clear yet, but being over 21 certainly doesn’t hurt for instances here disciplinary action may be taken and alcohol is involved. Likewise, there are so many ways to enjoy being of age in Disney and in Orlando in general and you may end up just having more fun going out if you wait until after graduation.
You’ll have a better understanding of your finances
For many CPs, the program is the first time they are 100% responsible for their own finances. The older you get (and the further out from school you are) the more experience you probably have in managing your own money. For CPs still in school living by a dining plan, the program can be a real financial wake-up call. But for CPs doing the program after graduation, they’re probably already used to dealing with their own finances and this doesn’t necessarily sting as much.
You can skip classes
During my first college program, I took one seminar-style class just for fun. I wanted the “full experience” of the program but I definitely was not looking to take up chunks of my time in Orlando with a collegiate level course. I took Exploring Marketing, a seminar with no homework or any real commitment outside of class, but I learned a lot about the way Disney markets its products and am so thankful I took the time to attend this class.
That being said, I can’t imagine spending the time on an actual college class if you don’t have to be taking one. Your schedule on the DCP is already all over the place, so if you can avoid mandatory classes that will help you free up some time. And if you do still want to take classes, you can always sign up for a seminar style class like I did.
It’s easier to stay in Orlando if that’s what you want to do
If you’re looking to continue working for Disney or simply not move back home, it’s easier to do this if you’ve already graduated. Without school at home hanging over you, you won’t need to coordinate making it home in time for graduation or struggle with moving back and forth the extra time. If you want to continue working for Disney, you could always try to go seasonal while you’re still in school, but these positions are increasingly difficult to come by and you would then need to coordinate seasonal housing.
Instead, do the program after you graduate and plan to go part time or full time with Disney (or whatever other companies are hiring when your program ends if that’s what you need to do in the meantime). You’ll save the time and money of moving back and forth the extra time and you’ll be more focused on what you actually want to be doing.
Are you applying to the Disney College Program? Let us know in the comments, and as always feel free to ask any DCP-related questions below or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.