Hospitality student helping to make dreams come true at Disney

Student Spotlight
Henry Malina, fourth-year hospitality management

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Henry Malina is a fourth-year hospitality management student. He is currently at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., where he is completing a six-month internship. During his time at RIT, Malina has served on the executive board for the Hospitality Association at RIT, the annual RITz dinner event and the Interfraternity Council. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I am from Chicago.

Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: I originally started school at Roosevelt University in Chicago but decided I didn’t want to stay there for all four years. I had a friend who was enrolled at RIT who recommended it to me. I came to visit the campus and knew it was the place for me.

Q: What have been some of your favorite experiences at RIT?
A: It’s the people that make RIT everything that it is. I honestly love going to class every day because I get to see my friends and talk to my professors and advisers. It is so amazing to me to be able to talk to all these individuals who are also trying to find themselves or have gone through so many unique experiences. It helps inspire me to try new things.

Q: How did you get involved with Disney?
A: I have wanted to do the Disney College Program since I was in high school. It’s an amazing opportunity to try something new and exciting. Anyone who knows me knows that I will try anything once. I was just lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time to get this position.

Q: What are your duties during your internship?
A: I am a concierge at the All Star Resorts so I have to try to know everything about everything at Disney. From tickets, dining or even the easiest way to get to North Carolina, it’s always something new and exciting.

Q: What has been your favorite part of working for Disney?
A: Again, it’s the people. I love how much diversity they have here. There are interns from all over the world and you have to learn to live and work together. It’s like I have another family now and I can’t imagine how I am going to feel when we all go our separate ways.

Q: What advice would you have for someone looking to go into the hospitality field?
A: Get involved. I was never an outgoing person until I came to RIT. I have been fortunate enough to intern for some amazing companies and study abroad since I started RIT. It really just comes down to making an effort to show that you are interested. We have an amazing faculty and staff in the hospitality department and they are the reason I am where I am today.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: I still have at least one more internship I would like to try to do before I graduate but I am open to anything. I am doing everything I can to scope out what fits me best so it’s just a matter of finding what works best for me.