A Loughborough College degree student said he was thrilled to discover he had secured a dream job with Disney World in Florida.
After a highly competitive selection process Gavin Tranter was offered the coveted summer role at the worldwide flagship– the most visited in the world, with 52 million people passing through its gates every year.
The 20 year old, who is studying for a BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management at Loughborough College, was on holiday at the resort with his family last year when he spotted a name tag which sparked an idea.
“There were lots of young people working there with badges showing their name and where they were from and one said Dundee, UK. I thought, How did she get here? So when I got back home I went on the website and discovered it was possible to apply for paid internships in America.
“I knew there were likely to be hundreds, if not thousands going for this from the UK alone and realized I only had two days before the application deadline.
“As I had had lots of advice and support from the Higher Education Employability team at Loughborough College before, I decided to ask if they could help me with my application.
“Neelum Savania worked with me to get my CV and forms up to scratch and I got it in in time – and the following week I was stunned to get an email inviting me to an interview.”
Gavin and Neelum again worked together to prepare. “I had to travel to Essex for a group interview and it was very nerve-wracking but it helped that we had done lots of groundwork – and a week later I was invited to the Disney Headquarters in London for another interview in November.
‘Neelum and I went over things a lot ahead of time so although on the day I had a whole morning at a presentation on the Disney internship programme before an afternoon one on one interview, I actually felt quite relaxed.
“I had almost forgotten about it when I was checking my phone on my way back from my part-time job three days before Christmas and discovered an email congratulating me. I had got the job!
“I was so shocked that even as months passed and I sorted out visas, criminal checks, booked flights and hotels, even as I gave Disney my preferences of where I would like to work, all the time I was thinking, This is such an amazing opportunity but what if they sent the email to me by mistake? What if this all goes pear-shaped?”
In the end everything was even better than Gavin could have hoped. “I arrived in Florida in June and discovered I was based in the Magic Kingdom. For ten weeks I lived and worked at Disney.
“For a few days each week I worked in the restaurant in a variety of roles. My favourite was when it was a guest’s birthday and we would surprise them with a cake and a song. Everyone looked so happy when it happened.
“I spent the rest of the time visiting the park and socializing with people from all over the world. It was amazing.”
In fact Gavin enjoyed his internship with Disney so much that he is applying again to be considered for this summer.
“Without the help of Neelum and the team I am not sure I would have been given that incredible opportunity – and I have asked if they will help me again this year. This is my final year of my degree at Loughborough College and I would now really like to go into tourism. I can’t believe I have Disney World on my CV now and I would love the opportunity to go back. It really was like a dream come true.”
“It has been fantastic to work with Gavin and see his success with Disney. I have actually seen him transform as a result of the experience,” said Neelum Savania, Higher Education Employability Advisor.
“The prospect of leaving his family and going out to America for the whole summer was significant for him but from that first application form through our preparations for the interviews and all the arrangements for the internship – not to mention ensuring Gavin kept up with his studies – I watched his determination grow and him gradually gain more confidence.
“We are here for all the Higher Education students at Loughborough College to help them in any way we can, whether with part-time jobs, funding, work experience or career advice and preparation.
“I am delighted to help Gavin with his Disney application again. It was a life-changing experience and I am keeping my fingers crossed that he will be given the chance to return this year.”
Pictured: (left to right) Loughborough College's Neelum Savania and Gavin Tranter
Elizabeth Udall, Communications Consultant:
Tel: 07515 852690