Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Interview a CP: Alyssa (Housekeeping)

Alyssa was lucky enough to spend her college program working in one of my favorite resorts in Walt Disney World. Here's what she had to say about her experience in housekeeping at the Wilderness Lodge!

What role did you have during the DCP, and where did you work?
I participated in the Spring Advantage 2011 Disney College Program. I was a housekeeper at Wilderness Lodge. Wilderness Lodge was very home like to me because I grew up in South Jersey surrounded by woods and I love the outdoors.

What was a typical day like at work?
A typical work day for me started at 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.  One awesome fact about housekeeping is that once you hit 90 days working, you get to leave at 3:45pm (if your rooms are cleaned and checked by a manager!)  On a regular day, housekeepers are given a board (just a piece of paper) with a maximum of 16 rooms to clean .  The rooms are categorized by linen change (every 5th day of stay), check-out, and occupied.  The occupied rooms were the easiest because it was a basic clean and check-outs were the hardiest.  Besides cleaning rooms, I was also trained in the telephone room.  This job contained answering phone calls from guests, managers, and other housekeepers.  It was also connected to Fort Wilderness Resort so my co-workers and I got calls from both resorts.  The phone room is always busy.  The housekeepers would call the phone room if they needed something in the room that they were cleaning and the same for the guests.  It was also another way for a guest or housekeeper to get ahold of the managers.  Another role I was trained in was custodial.  Sometimes I would help out the custodial team in the public areas in and area the resort.  The cool part about the custodial role was that sometimes I got to ride around in a golf cart all day going from Wilderness Lodge to Fort Wilderness. 

Is this the role you originally wanted? If not, are you happy you got it?
Yes. Housekeeping was the first role I chose.  I was definitely happy about it because I enjoy cleaning.  I was brought up in a household cleaning all the time.  To some people it may sound funny, but cleaning helps relieve my stress.  It was very difficult at times since it is Disney World and guests expect nothing but the best.  It is hard work, but the managers make sure you are getting help if you need it.  There were only a few College Program girls in housekeeping so we were able to get to know our managers on a personal level.  It was fun going to work knowing how appreciated you are.  The best week was housekeeping week.  We played games, got prizes, and even food... for free!  Sometimes the managers would make us breakfast! 

What are your favorite and least favorite parts about your job?
My favorite parts about housekeeping would have to be getting to know the different managers and housekeepers.  Every single morning I would clock into work and every was smiling and saying 'Good Morning'.  It was very different where I am from.  The other college program girls I worked with were just as fun and outgoing as me so we got along pretty well.  Everyone knows that Florida is very hot and humid in the summertime.  I was lucky enough to get placed at Wilderness Lodge where it was inside and air conditioned. It is also the prettiest resort to look at. A least favorite thing about housekeeping would HAVE to be being away from home during the holidays for the first time.  I was definitely feeling sad around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but 90% of people in the program are in the same boat.  Don't think that you're the only one missing home during holidays. 

Any specific magical moment you want to share?
A magical moment for me was when myself and five other friends were walking around in Animal Kingdom and got selected to ride on Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade.  Everyday guest service cast members select guests to be a part of the magic and ride in the parade.  We were on Mickey Mouse's float and if you know me Mickey Mouse is my all time favorite Disney character.  I cried for days and told all my friends back home how famous I was for being in guests memories of that day's parade.  I waved to everyone like I was in the Miss United States pageant. I couldn't have asked for a better day!
Alyssa and friends in Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade!

What made you want to do the DCP?
One of my professors at Community College told my class about the Disney College Program.  I've never heard of it before she announced it to the class.  She said that her daughter did the program and fell in love with the company. I figured why not? Even though housekeeping had nothing to do with my major (Education).  It was for me all about the experience of being away from home for the first time.  I never went away to college so I never got to experience being on my own.  Also, networking is definitely a reason I wanted to do the program.  The people I met through this experience shaped me into the person I am today.

Is there something you wish you would have known before doing your program?
I wish I would have known more about the Disney classes you can take during the program.  I definitely should have looked into doing so before I started my experience.  I feel like I would have learned so much more about the company historically.

What advice would you give to those who want to participate in your role?
To the future CP housekeepers: network, network, network!  Meeting new people from all over the world will allow you to travel and make friendships that last a lifetime.  Work hard, play hard (not too hard though).  I worked a lot during busy times; the whole month of a June I had off three days.  Working holidays and weekends are a must.  My two days off were usually Monday and Tuesday.  Also, Disney VoluntEARS is another great way to network and get to know different parts of the company.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in doing the DCP?
I would advice people who are interested in the program to follow the rules! Disney is a well-rounded atmosphere and has many strict rules.  If you are a rule breaker, this may not be the best internship for you.  Other than that, the Disney College Program Internship is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  After my program, I became a Campus Representative at my University.  I was still a cast member, but in order to get my maingates (passes to the parks), I had to go to Orlando and work at least one shift.  I have several friends that stayed in Orlando after the program so I made my work trip into a vacation.  I went down every January and stayed with a friend for about five days (worked one day) and played the rest of the days.  However, Disney no longer has the campus rep program anymore.  I graduate in two weeks from college and plan to work for the Walt Disney Company in the near future.  Disney created a whole new life for me and I can't wait to start a career (hopefully) with the greatest company of all time!

If you're a current or past college program cast member and would like to share your experience, email your name and role to to participate!

I hope everyone has a magical day!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this interview! It is extremely difficult to find CPs who did Housekeeping, unlike other roles which have a plethora of information such as vlogs on YouTube and posts such as this one. In fact, Housekeeping seems to have the worst reputation out of all the options for the DCP, which worried me since I listed it as one of my only high interest roles. Reading this really helped life my morale though and ease my anxieties just a bit before my upcoming phone interview!