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From Holmesglen to Disney World

Walt Disney once wisely declared, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." It is advice that now takes on greater personal meaning for Holmesglen graduate Taylor Doyle.

Fittingly, Taylor will soon immerse herself in the company that does, in fact, identify itself as the place where these dreams do come true. The hospitality alumna, as part of the Disney Australia & New Zealand Cultural Exchange Program, will travel to Orlando to work within the iconic organisation's merchandise department.

"I love Disney and always have, ever since I could understand it, because it always manages to bring a smile to my face," Taylor says.

It was through her Holmesglen studies and, more recently, her overseas travels that Taylor started to gather a sense of the "bigger picture." Accordingly, she gained appreciation for how hospitality, as an industry, represents a universal career option. The skills are neither restricted to one location nor are they ever limited to just one role.   

"Travelling to Europe, Canada, Japan and Egypt taught me that you can work anywhere in the world should you put your mind to it," Taylor observes.

Having initially enrolled in a hospitality management course, Taylor refined her leadership skills in the classroom; then taking this knowledge to the workforce. Opportunities at the Geelong Cup and Grand Prix resulted, and her subsequent qualifications allowed her to become a manager at Village Cinemas. Primarily, though, Taylor cites teamwork as the main factor in any successful role.

"No matter what role you get assigned at major events, like the Geelong Cup and Grand Prix, it's important to know that a business or event cannot be successful and carried out without each component in place, working with and respecting the other. This mentality is something I will take with me to Disney World."

Essentially, the best way to understand if an interest is truly a passion is by doing instead of merely talking about it. Taylor's introduction to hospitality saw her work casually as a waitress and barista. It was the broader context of her jobs, however, that encouraged the Holmesglen graduate. She quickly understood that restaurants are more than the sum of any simple parts. They are an experience.

"I really enjoy the atmosphere of hospitality environments; people sharing stories over drinks, sharing food among friends. Hospitality brings people together," Taylor says.

It's these types of experiences that Taylor is now continuing to chase. With the education and practical experience gathered, a role with Disney is representative of a gateway to her future goals. "I'm taking on life as it happens."