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Walt Disney World® Resort Is Their “Classroom” This Semester


Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fla., is serving as a large scale “classroom” for some students from the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism this semester. They are all interning for six months at restaurants throughout the famed entertainment resort complex and earning credits for Garde Manger, Classical Cuisine, and Regional American Baking courses. It’s an invaluable opportunity that students from the College have participated in for nearly 40 years through the Disney College Program.

Betty Hassinger in her uniform, standing outside in front of restaurant at Disney

Betty Hassinger, Culinary Arts major with a concentration in Baking, is Working at 50’s Primetime Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. She is learning how to make desserts, and working at different stations in the restaurant, making sauteed and grilled dishes.  

“I thought it would be a really good experience for me to learn what they do here and learn some new things. I like being able to get into the kitchen. Each station is totally different. Some are busier than others. They are all generally fun. I’m definitely still learning and I’m enjoying my time here.”

Betty will be back at the College for the Spring Semester and continue to work in the kitchen at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont.

Ngambela Zulu standing outside at Disney, smiling

Ngambela Zulu, Culinary Arts major, is interning at EPCOT Theme Park and previously interned at Satu'li Canteen Dining, located in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. An international student from Zambia, Ngambela is cooking with chefs from around the world. He shared that his favorite food station to work at while at Satu'li Canteen was the grill, making chicken and shrimp. He enjoyed it because it connects him to the Zambian outdoor cooking method using firewood. He has also learned how to make gourmet mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato chips, and dishes using tofu. 

“I never imagined myself here. I never saw myself being here. It’s like a dream. One thing I like about Disney is the place itself – it’s making my experience more beautiful. The people are so nice and they go the extra mile to make sure you learn something. After you learn, they check up on you to make sure you are 100 percent ready to handle the food station on your own. That trust gives me confidence. At Disney, they find a place for everyone. It’s inclusive. They make everyone feel special and that they belong. You feel like part of the team.”

Devin Hershberger in his uniform standing outside in front of Brown Derby Restaurant

Devin Hershberger, Culinary Arts major, is working at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Right now, he’s learning how to make the perfect steak and swordfish. He’ll then head to EPCOT to work at festivals there.

“I really wanted a good resume booster. It’s a really good experience and helps get a lot of hours in for your college degree. It has helped me get my speed up because of the sheer number of people who we serve; we get 500 to 600 for night shift that come in and when it’s a holiday, there are going to be 1,000 to 2,000 people. I’ve never worked the hot side like sautee, the grill, frying and I’m doing all of those things during service. In terms of where I’m living, it’s apartment style and I have a roommate from Germany and two from France. It’s actually really cool. I like to talk to them about their backgrounds, where they’re from, and the different traditions that they have.”

Cassandra Swiecicki standing outside at Disney, smiling

Cassandra Swiecicki, Culinary Arts major with a concentration in Baking, is working in EPCOT helping to move food items from the main kitchens to kiosks around the park. She’ll then intern in one of the kitchens, helping to prepare the food.

“This is a really good opportunity. I like Disney. It’s a big operation and I’m excited to be a part of the company and learn new things from the people here. They all have a lot of experience.”