Hello! My name is Deniz Onal. I am 20 years old, and I left France with only one idea in my mind: reach my goals!

Q. What were some of the unexpected benefits of your program?

A. I wanted to develop my skills to give myself the best chance possible in professional world. UCR was a place where I could flourish, and we could all feel good. We had a perfect balance between classes and activities. I didn’t expect to meet such attentive and interesting instructors. It was a great surprise! I learned a lot through the courses, but also through the people and friends I met.

Q. What professional and personal achievements are you most proud of, and why?

A. The most important point I learned was that I could achieve my goals and that I could complete my projects, no matter how big and crazy they were. This internship allowed me to gain confidence in myself and confidence in my professional future. I discovered another part of me that I’m sure will help me achieve my professional goals and be even more ambitious in my life. My best memory was during the graduation ceremony when I became emotional as I realized how much we all had accomplished. I was so proud of my friends and myself.

Q. What are your hopes and aims for your future?

A. I would like to work in another country for a year after I earn my bachelor’s degree. Then, do a master’s degree in international business and a second subsequently in luxury. Ideally, I would like to return to the United States to do my second master’s degree.

My ultimate goal is to work internationally in business relations.

Q. Was there a particular department, staff member, or instructor memorable to your experience?

A. Everyone I have met at UCR has been memorable. But there were a few who left a deep impression on me. First, the program coordinator, Buket Gonzalez, was an important person for me and all the students. She listened, she attended to our needs, she was always present and responsive to her students from all over the world.

Also, Gilma Anderson, my instructor who I had classes with until the end of my program. Gilma brought us a lot of information, was very interested in our work, and always asked how we were doing with the program. She showed care and concern for us as young people far away from home. She made sure that we were able to take time for ourselves, and not become overwhelmed. I will not forget her.

I’m so grateful to have met these two people who helped me accomplish my project and goals in my courses and internship at Disney. It was an unforgettable experience.

Deniz Onal body Deniz Onal
BA Candidate
Tours, France
Graduate, Applied Management for Hospitality and Tourism and Disney Academic Exchange Programs, UCR University Extension