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From Denny’s to Disney: Meet the ITC graduate chasing her Disney dreams

Posted on 22/08/2017 by

ITC graduate Sharon Beardsmore exploring Alaska with her travel kiwi. Sharon is now living and working at Disney World.

Just a few months ago, Sharon Beardsmore was working as a waitress at Denny’s while she saved for the trip of a lifetime.

Now, Sharon is living and working at Disney World in Orlando, Florida – a childhood dream come true.

We caught up with Sharon just before she left to Disney to learn about her studies at ITC, her passion for travel, and what the future has in store.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi, I’m Sharon! I finished my Level 3 and 4 tourism courses with ITC in March 2017, after about a year of study, and I graduated in July. Since finishing my studies, I worked as a waitress at Denny’s, doing several shifts a week. It’s a great job to keep up and improve my customer service skills.

What inspired you to study at ITC?

I’ve always loved travelling, ever since I first went overseas when I was ten years old. Studying tourism at high school made me realise that’s what I wanted to do as a career. I stumbled upon ITC at a taster short course (on which I got to do my first bungy jump!) and I really liked the place. The people and the tutors were all so lovely and so keen to talk about travelling – the places they had been to and dreamed of visiting – and it was such a fun environment on campus. It was the perfect place, and I could see myself being there every day.

What inspired you to apply for the Disney Cultural Exchange Program?

I have grown up with Disney movies and stories; it has been and continues to be a big part of my life. When the opportunity arose to actually go work at Disney World, I jumped at the chance!

What will be your job at Disney?

I will be doing Quick Service Food and Beverage. I don’t know in which of the parks yet – I’m excited to find out! I chose this role because of my work as a waitress, which I enjoy.

What is your dream job?

I’m still figuring that out, but a job at Disney World is right up there! I would also love to work on a cruise ship, and after doing a Contiki tour around Europe in 2016 I think I’d like to try being a trip manager on one of the coaches.

What travel destinations are on your bucket list?

My family and I just went to Alaska and did a cruise, so that was a big one ticked off. My list includes St Petersburg, more of Europe and Scandinavia (especially Germany and Finland), New York, more of the United Kingdom, Chicago, Monument Valley (USA), Chateau de Pierrefonds (a castle in France), and places such as the Pyramids of Giza, and Petra. There’s just so much to explore, it’s hard to know where my travel list ends!

Do you have any tips for future ITC students?

Go to class, keep up-to-date with your work, get all of your assessments done and hand them in on time. Having a good work ethic while you study will really help you later on. Also, make the most of any work opportunities, including volunteer work. It’s great experience whether you’re paid or not, and looks good on your CV. Work hard and you’ll be top of the list for any field trips and work recommendations.

Can you share any final thoughts about your experience at ITC?

ITC has been a wonderful place to study. I feel like I have really grown as a person there, and studying tourism around classmates and tutors who are just as interested in it as I am was fantastic. It created such a great environment.

Thanks for such an awesome year, ITC!

Would you like to follow in Sharon’s footsteps? ITC is enrolling now. Get in touch today to learn how we can kickstart your career in airline, travel and tourism.

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