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Cynthia's story

Graduates of Bournemouth University have often ended up doing weird and wonderful jobs all over the world; from working on Oscar-winning films to working on archaeological digs, but one graduate can boast to work at Disney’s newest resort location, in Shanghai, China.

Cynthia Hong studied MSc Events Management at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2016. As a part of her course, Cynthia was required to undertake a work placement, and when the opportunity arose to be one of the first staff members at Shanghai Disney Resort.

The resort only opened to the public on 16 June 2016 but Cynthia was already in place to help customers. She said, “It’s open for everyone now and it’s a wonderful place to work and have fun, it’s a really happy place.”

Cynthia’s role as Guest Liaison helps to support visitors to the park. Cynthia continues, “[It] involves a variety of work, for example, helping guests to buy tickets, reuniting lost children with parents and showing people places with baby facilities. Its meaningful work I think. People are so happy when they have found their lost item or child.”

Cynthia Hong

Cynthia credits her course with helping her get her job at Disney, saying, “The course helped me by introducing me to different cultures and people. I learned about interesting things from all over the world, which is really helpful because we have so many different customers come through our lobby every day. Some people come here from London to the Shanghai Disney Resort and I can say yes I’ve been to London and that’s exciting for them and helps to welcome them here.”

Speaking more about her course Cynthia continued, “The course helped me learn about management, particularly managing my time and prioritising, and I can absorb more information in less time. I think I’ve become more independent and the course given me more confidence, and so my work is much better than when I started my Master’s degree.

“I think when studying Events Management we need to understand so many different kinds of events, for example music festivals, water-sports, conferences or parties, you need to know different events and when you work by yourself you need to know how to do them all. I think you learn to be more confident and have different skills. I think I was shy before I studied this course and when I finished my Master’s I was more confident dealing with different people and different kinds of events.”

While helping customers at Disney, spending time with Mickey Mouse and testing out rollercoasters represents something of a ‘dream come true’ for most people, Cynthia makes her time in Bournemouth sound just as dreamy, “Bournemouth is a beautiful city and it has good weather, blue skies and sunshine which I enjoyed! The food is delicious; you have to try the fish and chips. It’s close to the beach. And the ice cream I enjoyed as well. I’m crazy about ice cream.”

Cynthia will return to Bournemouth in November 2016 for her graduation ceremony, and the beach will be her first stop when she arrives back in Bournemouth, “I like Bournemouth beach I miss it very much. I will go back to the beach with my parents next time.”