Marilyn Gasienica

Marilyn Gasienica hopes to use her hospitality management degree to one day work at Disney World. When she isn't planning her next Disney trip, she spends time watching movies with her roommates or rewarding herself with a sweet treat from Dairy Queen.

Marilyn Gasienica dreams of Disney

Imagine going to Disney World once or twice a year, every year growing up. That is Marilyn’s life. During one of her regular trips to Disney with her dad, Marilyn figured out what she wanted for her future career.

“I realized that I really like to help people and always want to make their days a little better,” she said. “Working for the Walt Disney Company is something I strive to do because it is what helped make my decision in what I wanted to do in life and it is a company I am very passionate about.”

Marilyn doesn’t have to wait to earn her degree to work at Disney. Iowa State University partners with Disney’s College Program for student internships. Marilyn has applied for this opportunity, which could lead her on a January to May Disney adventure with a possibility of the internship extending through August.

“Working for Disney, I’d get to see both sides then,” Marilyn said. “I’ve seen it as a guest and now I can see how it all works and all the ins and outs of the company.”

To prepare for her potential internship, Marilyn knows she needs experience. She began gaining experience by working at two different hotels' front desks. 

“Going in on the first day, I had knowledge of what my managers and co-workers were talking about,” she said. “Also, as the summer went on, I had to handle certain situations and having the background knowledge from my professors really helped me to succeed.”

Marilyn values the confidence in both herself and her abilities that her classes and professors have instilled in her. She knows working for Disney will only expand her knowledge. She advises other students to make sure they are also taking advantage of the opportunities given to them if they hope to be a good applicant for Disney.

“Figure out when you want to go and what you want to do while you’re there,” she said. “From there, you can figure out how to boost your experience in those fields and get the position you want. Just be confident.”