Enterprising Business student Sarah Molnar has three passions - Disney, tourism, and marketing.

Sarah is in her second year at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and Tourism Management.

So when she heard Disney offered internships, she knew she wanted to do work placement at one of the most magical places on earth.

I’ve loved Disney since I was little. I’d always wanted to go back to Disneyworld after going there on holiday. I thought it would be amazing to go back and get work experience at the same time.

Part of the internship was a "cultural exchange", giving Sarah the chance to explore iconic US sites like Yosemite, pictured.

Sarah applied and soon found herself travelling back to the United States to start work at Florida Disneyworld, where she interned for almost 12 months.

“They have interns coming there from all over the world.

“There’s so many different things you can do on the internship. I was doing hospitality, but interns could do anything from entertainment, to lifeguarding, to food and beverage.

There was a lot of intensive training at the start, then it was basically working and getting experience, and getting a really good insight into hospitality.

Sarah worked on front desk reception at two of the hotels within a park, a role that included guest service and assisting VIPs.

“The Disneyworld I worked at was huge, with four theme parks, two water parks, a massive shopping and dining area and more than 30 hotels. 

It was a very multicultural place. I was working with guests and employees from Europe, South America, and Asia. It was great to work with people from other cultures who spoke other languages.

Sarah with some of her Disney internship colleagues.

Sarah’s workplace was just a five minute walk from one of the theme parks.

“Some staff who were really keen would go into the parks on their lunch break, grab some food, and come back to work. And every weekend we would be out and about, going to the parks!

“The internship is actually also a cultural exchange, so we were allowed to have time off to experience the US as well. I got to do some travelling over there, which was great.”

Sarah said her Business studies helped her placement go smoothly.

Studying tourism and marketing definitely helped me get into the hospitality side of the internship.

Sarah said the best part of her experience was the people.

“I definitely love meeting new people, and I loved assisting the guests. It was really nice being able to meet lots of people and make them happy.

Sarah and a colleague "graduating" from the Disney internship.

There were a few times where you were able to make magic for guests. Sometimes parents would be in tears because they were so happy about something you were able to do for their family.

Sarah said “little things” helped make the guests’ experiences memorable.

“Things like an upgrade on their hotel room, sourcing merchandise from a park that they couldn’t get; and once I got to play Santa for a guest over Christmas.

“When we greeted people outside the hotel, we had lists so we could address them by name. The kids said, ‘oh my goodness, it’s magic!’ I said, ‘Tinkerbell told me your names.'

It was really good work experience and it really complimented my degree.

And she wouldn’t say no to returning to Disney one day.

“They look highly upon having done the internship. It definitely opens a lot of doors to continue with the company,” she said. 

“It would be really cool to go back to Disney.”

Sarah hopes to keep enriching her Business studies with work placement.

I’m definitely looking at doing the Corporate Internship unit in my third year.

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