Giselle Gonzales has the travel bug. The 2014 graduate in communications has passport stamps from Central and South America, Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe — and she’s about to get a bunch more.
“I have always loved the idea of living a life of adventure,” Giselle says, “but I doubted I could find a job that would allow me to combine my passion for traveling, people, and adventure.”
But she did: as an adventure guide for Adventures by Disney.
Giselle says it was the Center for Career and Calling that equipped her to travel and leverage those experiences on her résumé.
“The CCC awarded me with a $1,000 SERVE grant for my internship to Slovenia with Josiah Venture,” she says. “And I’ve always been welcomed in the CCC office to share my questions and news about career prospects.”
An experienced model and actor, Giselle is no stranger to intimidating auditions and interviews. But she says the application process to be a Disney Adventure Guide was one of the most strenuous (and exciting) of her life.
“I was by far the youngest of the group, and after hearing people’s career backgrounds, realized I was also the wildcard. Most people had either graduated from programs like the International Tour Management Institute, or were currently working with Disney in some capacity,” she says.
Knowing the odds were against her, Giselle had prepared extensively by contacting current Adventure Guides to ask about their jobs and reading an entire textbook on tour guides in the tourism industry.
Her preparation paid off.
In November 2014, she received a call from Disney telling her she’d gotten the job. Giselle started in spring 2015, excited to learn about the world and hear the stories of the families with whom she would be traveling.
She credits her success to her family and friends, and to SPU professors and staff, including the CCC, who all offered advice, encouragement, and prayer.
“I always thought of living a life for Jesus as synonymous with living a life of adventure,” Giselle says. “I seriously still have to pinch myself every time I remember what is in store.”