So I've been getting some questions from friends considering applying for the Disney College program... and one of the big ones seems to be: What roles should I apply for?
I don't know that I'm really the right person to answer this. I applied for all of the roles(except for the hospitality ones. I knew I wanted to work in a park). And then I got Merchandise, which I'm pretty sure is because I had been working at a grocery store for almost two years at the time of my interview. That said, knowing what I know now, here's what I would apply for if I went again(which I am seriously considering). Keep in mind that this list isn't necessarily in order of which job I would like to have the most. Also, this is a list based on my personal experiences, and what I know that I would personally like.
Attractions. Cast members in attractions are at the lowest possible wage, but it would be awesome to work in one of the attractions. My backstage tour of the Haunted Mansion was amazing, and I would love to learn about all the inner workings of a ride(or multiple rides). If I could choose an attraction, I'd definitely want to work at one of the animal-centric ones, mostly because I really want to work with the Animal Programs at Disney someday. So Pangani Forest Trails, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Kilamanjaro Safaris, or something in The Seas. Or a spieling one, like the Jungle Cruise or Innoventions.
Merchandise. I already know the system, and I already know that I enjoy merchandise. Merchandise cast members get paid a little more than attractions, and if you have merchandise training, you can pick up shifts anywhere at WDW. So if you want to pick up some extra hours, you can. For me, I would absolutely try to get back into my old area, because I loved everything about it(especially the Glow operation). But pretty much all areas have their perks. If I couldn't work in Adventureland... I'd probably want to work... man, I don't even know. Somewhere with one of the candy stores, probably, so I could get production-trained. But again, that's because I already worked there. I really can't think of a bad merch location.
Front Desk/Concierge/whatever this role is called. Apparently these cast members get even more than Merch cast members, and like merchandise, if you're trained on the computer system here, you can pick up shifts at any of the resorts. Honestly, whenever I went on the Hub to look for extra shifts, they all were either in Merchandise or Front Desk shifts. Given a choice, I'd want to work at one of the DVC resorts, because there's some additional training for that.
Custodial. All of the people who worked this said they enjoyed it. I don't know what the wage is, but I do know that they tend to get more hours, even during the slow weeks. The custodians also get to go EVERYWHERE in their area. The Magic Kingdom custodians knew that place, onstage and off, better than just about anyone you can think of. And when I was chilling with my Glow cart by Casey's Corner during Wishes, the custodians from the area were usually there, too, and it felt like they had a cool team thing going. Given a choice of parks, I think I'd actually want to work at Epcot... like I said, custodians get to go pretty much everywhere, and there's some REALLY interesting stuff at Epcot.
Quick Service Food. They get paid a decent amount, and with QSF, you actually can pick up shifts elsewhere(depending on your location). I don't really have a preference for where I'd want to work. I would just apply for this so that there would be a fifth option. And it's not a bad role, as far as roles go.
There are some things to keep in mind. Sometimes, location is everything. There might be a role that you want only if you could get a specific location. But you don't get to choose your area. You don't really even get to choose your role. So if you would only be happy in Attractions if you got to be a Skipper on the Jungle Cruise, and NOTHING ELSE, feel free to apply for attractions. But apply for roles where you feel like you'd be fine anywhere. Attractions roles vary widely in "awesomeness." Other roles also vary... not necessarily as much, but they do. Also, think about what you want from your program. I just wanted to have fun- work for Disney, make new friends, see some behind-the-scenes stuff, play in the parks. Any role was fine for that. If you have more specific goals, remember to factor those in. Lastly, and most importantly, be flexible. And be open to loving whatever role and whatever area you get placed into.