The fourth-year NIC student recommends anyone interested in the experience to find out more at a free, public information session Friday, Oct. 19 at NIC’s Comox Valley campus.
“Anytime I’m interviewing, all they want to ask about is my time at Disney,” said Funk, who is just a few courses away from graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
The college is one of six post-secondary institutions to take part in Disney’s International Academic Exchange program – a unique learning opportunity that gives NIC business, tourism and hospitality students a competitive edge.
Funk was in her third year of school when she noticed a similar information session last year. She started the program last summer and finished in December, with a refined career goal – to pursue a management career in the tourism sector.
“I felt like I wanted to do something to get me interested in school again and I committed to it,” said Funk. “The funny thing is, I was not a huge Disney fan – but I am now.”
While on co-op, she earned a Certificate in Management from the University of California Riverside, which also meant the chance to take a corporate communication course through Disney.
Funk and her fellow students also gained hands-on experience working in the resort’s attraction and merchandise operations, serving patrons in official Disney shops as well as staffing rides and other venues.
“You also gain admission into the parks, which are the best ever,” she said.
Another bonus: getting to share housing with other co-op students from across the world. Funk says she now has friends across the world from her time at Disney.
“You can get homesick that first month, but when you push through that and meet friends, it broadens your horizons and becomes a lot easier,” Funk says. “At Christmas and we all got to watch the fireworks together. It was nice to share with people I’d been working with for the last few months.”
Funk’s fellow Disney co-op student Hiroki Asai also looks back on his time at NIC fondly and hopes to one day work at the famous resort as a permanent employee.
“Before participating in this co-op, I was wondering what kind of job I would want in the future,” said Asai. “But after I experienced this co-op, I knew I wanted to work at Disney. Disney has attractions that are indescribable, but really, it’s about people. And for me, it was experience and connection.”
The information session takes place from 10 to 11 am at Village N.
For more information, contact an NIC employment services advisor at 250-334-5076 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.