This is a page about how I started to think about working in Disney World, till I finally arrived the United States.
Want to apply for a Cultural Representative as well?
http://www.internationalservices.fr/ (they are the company that hires people for Disney and arranges the whole process from interview to departure)
www.wdwip.com (a site about Disneys International Programs, with a discussion forum, a bit outdated with information)
http://www.nav.no/NAV+EURES+mobilitet+i+Europa/Jobbe+i+Europa/87184.cms (where I first read about Epcot, Norwegian)
I was thinking about what to do after high school, and started looking around. Since I was unsure about what to study further, I was looking for something that involved traveling and gaining some cultural experience. My mother told me about the Epcot center and the Cultural Representative Program at the Norwegian Pavillion, and I started looking into that. I was reading a lot about Disney World and Epcot, and I have always loved Disney and amusement parks, so I decided to apply for the CR Program.
I got an email later on that I had to call a lady working for the recruiter company, International Services in France, for a interview and have a conversation in english about Norway. So we talked for about 10 minutes, about me, about what was special about Norway etc, she later sent me an email with the interview date in Oslo, 28th of March. Which suited me excellent since my class was going on a study-tour on the days before…
Really looking forward to the interview, though I was really scared about what I had to know about Norway. Reading about Norwegian history and local history that impacted the Norwegian society… Found the forum for Castmembers working in Disney World or thinking about it, wdwip.com. Here you can find a lot of information about Disney and working conditions…
Early March my school (Akademiet) attended a study day at the University of Stavanger, here I attended a meeting about Disney World and the CR Program actually, here I met Jill Jacobsen (unsure about the last name), a lady working for the International Services. I was talking to her after the presentation about Disney World and traveling business, and told her I was attending the interview in Oslo later that month.
After the class-trip I was put in Oslo for two days to attend the interview, which was at the Reiselivshøyskolen in Oslo centrum. There was like about 200 people there, and I was really nervous. First Jill showed the presentation about Disney and talked for about two hours, then there was some paperwork that needed to be done. I also had to bring my passport, criminal record etc. Later that day there was interview, since there were like 200 people waiting I had some time to eat and relax in the time between the presentation and the interview… My interviewer was actually Jill, which I think was good since we had a good connection already and it helped me stay a bit less nervous. We were also talking about me, my life, future plans, Norway, cultural differences, my skills, how I could represent Norway and Norwegian culture… I was talking about the typical Norwegian, about Stavanger and Sandnes and how the region affected Norway and its historical connection. I think it went really well, but I didnt get a immediate answer, but I think she said something about that I would really enjoy the experience…
I was going around for a long time waiting for some kind of response, and on April the 7th I got the email. (okay, it wasn’t really more than a few days, but felt like forever).
Dear Candidate ,
On behalf of Walt Disney World, we are happy to let you know that you have successfully passed your interview for the Walt Disney World International Cultural Representative Program!
Walt Disney World has a departure date for you on December7th, 2010 for 12 Months and for a Food and Beverage Position in the Norwegian Pavilion.
Please let us know by email before April 12th if you want to accept this position & confirm your departure so that we could explain you the departure process.
I of course answered the mail about 15 minutes after it came to my mailbox. At the time I had a english lesson and I actually yelled out that I was going to the USA. the moment was magic. The only thing I didnt like was that my departure wasn’t until 7th of December… well well.
Ordered plane-tickets and hotel.
Got my Disneypackage.
Made my appointment at the American Embassy.
Got my Q1 VISA and everything was cool for departure.
3th of December I got on a plane, left Norway and headed over to start a magical year in USA… The story continues here!