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Meet the graduate who used her ITC education and the Disney Exchange as a springboard for her business career!

Posted on 16/05/2023 by

Emma Morris had an incredible time during her Disney Exchange.

We are once again full steam ahead preparing our graduates with their applications for the next Disney Exchange Program opportunity happening in August this year. 

Our level 4 & 5 graduates are all so excited to meet the Disney representative who will soon visit to discuss this life changing experience.

To celebrate this amazing opportunity we reached out to a number of ITC graduates who were lucky enough to be a part of the Disney Cultural Exchange. We’re calling this project ‘Adventures after Disney’, and will be following up with where the graduates are now, and how they feel that the exchange impacted their lives and careers.

ITC takes pride in supporting and communicating with graduates over the 26+ years we’ve been in business, this is so exciting for us to once more re-visit our students’ adventures. 

To start, we spoke to graduate Emma Morris.

What was your fondest memory of ITC?

 I loved hanging out with all my friends and learning new things about the tourism industry.

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

I had never lived away from home by myself before; but you’re going into that with hundreds of other people around the same age and going through the same experience. 

I know there will be many, but if you could let us know the top highlights of your experience all those years ago?

I made some of the best friends I have or will ever have and still keep in contact with them every day. They’re bonds for life. 

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

I became much more confident in myself, moving so far away, alone with very little in terms of expectation allowed me to find out who I am and who I want to be. 

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

I won’t lie, Disney isn’t a cakewalk. Some roles are easier than others but it’s a very hands-on and demanding role. Around Christmas we were doing 70+ hour weeks, 6 days a week. It’s hard but it’s the best customer service training you can or will ever get and learning to navigate talking with people is so important. 

What has your career pathway been in the last 7 years? How did the skills you learnt prepare you for your career now?

When I came back I decided to go to university to get a Business degree. I graduated in 2022 and am currently working in a bank in the lending department; but am working towards more of a purchasing role in other fields.

Tourism and my time at Disney showed me I do have a love of talking with people and I want to continue that in my future roles. 

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Living overseas. I am going to apply for the Japanese English Teaching programme at the end of the year and if I am not successful in that I will be moving to the UK to continue pursuing my Purchasing/Buying career. 

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

Be confident. Disney is one of the best experiences I have ever had and loved every second of it.

One thing I would like to say to anyone who is thinking about applying is, just do it. Even now, 5 years after my intake and my various other roles, it is still one of the strongest things on my CV and one of the things everyone talks about in interviews.

I have my life-long friends who I could not imagine being without and could not imagine my life had I not done it. It is not an easy job, you are there to work, and some of the roles can be extremely challenging (Quick Service Food and Beverage is the worst!), but I loved every second of it. 

The college that takes you places – literally!

ITC cares deeply about each student – and that support doesn’t stop once they graduate. We support students in applying for experiences such as the Disney Exchange Program, and we cheer you on and follow your success through the years.

The Disney Exchange Program often hires from our pool of graduates thanks to our fantastic reputation in the industry, so if going overseas and earning valuable work and travel experience is a dream for you, our courses could be the perfect stepping stone for achieving your goals.

Contact our friendly team today to learn more about our qualifications and how they can be the first step towards an incredible career – whether that’s in tourism or practically anything else!

Campus Study – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.itc.co.nz/contact-us/

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