Michelle Montague


Matamata College graduate Michelle Montague has had a busy year, but there’s no rest for this young lady as she gets set to pack her bags for an opportunity of a life time.

Michelle has been studying a Diploma in Tourism (endorsed in International Flight Attending) with us. As part of her course she had the opportunity to apply for a work placement in Disneyworld Florida.

Michelle jumped at the chance of working for the happiest place on earth and her experience working in Matamata was just the ticket, as she explains.  “We went up to Auckland to meet with the Disney employees. I got talking about the lifeguarding I do at the pools in Matamata, and then I got the call – you’re off to Florida to work as a lifeguard in the Disney ‘Typhoon Lagoon’ water park. Wow!”

The Disneyworld work placement includes accommodation and some spending money in exchange for some great work experience for up to a year. The visa also allows for 30 days travel before starting work and 30 days at the end.

Julie Kerry, Group Leader of Tourism and Travel, is a great supporter of the placement programme and sees many career benefits for the students who are successful. “I think the opportunity with Disney provides students to work for one of the best operators in the world,” says Julie. “The experience they gain is simply unbeatable.”

Julie believes the rewards of such an opportunity will be recouped.  “Many students on return show increased confidence, experience and attitude that soon transpire into job opportunities in and overseas - it’s like a springboard into some of the larger tourism organisations who recognise the importance of the Disney experience.”

Michelle has a proven record of working hard – she was a Pacific Coast Scholarship winner at the Polytechnic for 2012 and is already working on four different papers towards a Bachelor of Tourism! This high-flying young lady is going to be a fabulous ambassador for our community.