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Catching up with Tobius Charnley: The Disney alumni who is now working in his dream role!

Posted on 28/06/2023 by

We catch up with Tobius Charnley, a Disney alum who landed his dream role.

In 2015, Tobius Charnley won a scholarship to ITC, and later that same year, he was one of just three students to be selected for the Disney Exchange Program.

Tobius clearly had a bright future ahead of him, which is why it was no surprise (but a great cause for celebration!) when he landed his dream role with Air New Zealand.

As we lead up to our August Disney Exchange intake, we thought now would be a great time to touch base with Tobius, see how he’s doing, and find out more about his experiences with the program.

And he got back to us during his down time on a trip to Houston!

Here’s what he had to say, and his advice for students.

What was your fondest memory of ITC? 

My fondest memory would have been the last day of the course. After spending the last year with all my amazing class mates and growing together to all pass together and share the love in the room was just amazing. 

If you could give any person considering applying for the Disney Cultural Exchange Program any advice for their application, what would that be?

My advice would be, be prepared to work very hard. At times it can feel scary and stressful but it’s all worth the fun. It’s a lot of fun to work at Disney and you make small families with people from all around the world. Make sure you have an open mind and don’t be afraid to take that giant step out of your comfort zone. 

What were you most nervous about before embarking on your Disney adventure?

I was nervous about leaving my family and friends and basically moving to a country that was busy and fast paced. Knowing I had to grow up quickly was nerve-wracking. But I loved the challenge.

What are your top highlights of your experience all those years ago?

My highlights would have to be the friends I have made for a lifetime. I still chat to many of them and with my current job I get to catch up with them when I go overseas. 

 Did Disney change you at all? If so, how?

It sure did change me. It taught me so much about myself and my values. I got to be who I truly am and express myself and not feel like I had to hold back from anything. I am very thankful for Disney. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today. 

How did your experience better prepare you for the workforce on your return?

The working laws in USA are so different in New Zealand. So it prepared me to not take everything so seriously to have fun with your work. And that it’s okay to have bad days and good days. But mostly to make sure you look after yourself and have fun. 

What has your career pathway been since Disney?

I have jumped around the jobs since coming home from Disney, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. So I tried a little bit of everything, until the start of 2020 when I got my big break working as a flight attendant for Air Chathams. Then with covid I managed to hold onto that dream job and let it take me further. To moving onto Air New Zealand regional to now six months into my career on the widebody jet fleet. 

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Honestly, I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years. Hopefully still flying on board planes with one of the best employers out. But hopefully in a more senior role on board.

Will the Disney Exchange Program lead to you to your dream job?

For Tobius, the Disney Exchange Program was just one step in his journey towards his dream job. Perhaps it could be for you, too.

At ITC we support students in their journeys through their studies with us, through exchange programs and job opportunities, right through to their careers.

Get in touch to learn more about our qualifications. Our next course dates begin in July, so you could take the first step on your own journey as early as next month!  

Campus Study – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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