Every year, NIC students head to Disney where they gain paid work experience and academic credit. NIC tourism and hospitality management student Hiroki Asai is currently working at Disney as the Character Performer Goofy while NIC business student Amissa Funk is working in merchandising and on the attractions. Both students say it’s the experience of a lifetime.
“I was looking for a unique experience, something to really set me apart when I’m done school,” said Funk. “I know Disney is recognized for its customer service and I want to learn more about that. I’m so excited to be part of the Disney culture, that idea that we’re all Disney no matter what job we’re doing.”
Asai and Funk return to the Comox Valley this December.
NIC is one of six post-secondary institutions across Canada to offer paid co-operative education opportunities with Disney International’s Academic Exchange program.
The six-month program is a partnership between NIC and University of California, Riverside. NIC business and tourism students leave in July, spend two weeks in California to begin their Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management or a Certificate in Management and then move on to supervised, paid training at Walt Disney World Resort, Florida.
The program gives students internationally recognized hospitality skills with a Disney twist.
NIC business alumni Kristin McColl says she will carry her Disney experience with her for the rest of her career. She worked in the Animal Kingdom, helping cast members with everything from basic uniforms to elaborate apparel. Her jobs included brushing Baloo’s fur coat and preparing Pocahontas’ costume.
“Having Disney on my resumé is incredible because the company is so well known around the globe,” she said. “It was an amazing opportunity to impact guest experience with a tourism industry leader.”
The exchange is one of many of NIC’s applied learning opportunities that support student success through networking, hands-on learning and industry insight. Visit student employment services for more co-op and internship opportunities at NIC.
The information session takes place Friday, October 13, 1 to 2 pm at Village J on NIC’s Comox Valley campus. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. For more information, visit www.nic.bc.ca.
Media Liaison, North Island College
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