University students land exciting international placements

"These placements are fantastic opportunities for our students, enabling them to gain valuable, hands-on experience in an international setting." Lisa Wakefield, Programme Leader

Date posted: 5 October 2017

Two tourism and events management students at the University of Derby have secured placements with global brands, Disney and Universal Studios Florida.

Susannah Springall, who has just finished the second year of her Events Management degree, has wanted to work for Disney since she was 16. She jumped at the chance when the University agreed to a partnership which allowed her to join the Disney Academic Exchange Programme while she studies at Central Michigan University for a year.

Whilst on her placement, Susannah is working as an Operations Cast Member with the opportunity to change roles regularly so she can experience different parts of the business. She is currently working in attractions in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom.

The University of Derby student is considering a career with Disney after she graduates and she is already looking into potential jobs with the Disney Cruise Line.

Susannah said: “The opportunities on offer here are endless, from educational classes and tours to social activities. I have been given the opportunity to be in The Candlelight Processional 2017 where I will be ‘singing with the Voices of Liberty, guest choirs, a 50-piece orchestra, and fanfare trumpets, while a celebrity guest narrator tells the story of Christmas!’ I am very excited to be a part of this!”

Louis Butler, an International Tourism Management student has also recently finished a three-month placement with Universal Studios Florida. Until now, he had never been to the USA so when the University presented him the opportunity he was straight on the case.

He started off the summer working as a lifeguard with the responsibility for watching over the guests using the pool, and working as a pool attendant handing out towels, setting up furniture and improving his customer service skills.

Louis then progressed onto finishing his summer placement by managing children’s activities, looking after children and organising games for them to play, such as limbo contests and hula hooping.    

Speaking about his experiences, Louis said: “This has been my first time in the USA and it has been a fantastic experience. If I had not been given this chance to come here for three months, I may have never come over!

“I’ve learned so much about the country and I’ve had the chance to speak to the locals and compare how living here is different to the UK. I have had an amazing experience with the company and would be more than happy to work for them again.”

Lisa Wakefield, Programme Leader for Foundation in International Tourism Management at the University of Derby, added: “These placements are fantastic opportunities for our students, enabling them to gain valuable, hands-on experience in the industry in an international setting. We are hoping that some of these positions will lead to graduate management training programmes in the future.”

For more information about studying tourism at the University of Derby, visit


For further press information please contact: Deanna Mathieson, Public Relations Assistant at University of Derby on 01332 591978 or email

Notes to editors