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Theme Park Related Internship Thread


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Hopefully this is the correct spot for this kind of thread as I was unable to find a similar one regarding this topic. I'm currently a senior Mechanical Engineering student at Penn State University and recently accepted a summer internship position with a well known ride manufacturer within the United States. I'm not exactly sure what exactly I can say regarding the internship yet, so I'll just leave it at that. What I was hoping to get out of this thread was to see if there was anyone else within the TPR community that have done similar types of internships. I know several of the past (and maybe current?) GCI interns post here on occasion, but was interested to see if anyone else here has professional (related to your schooling) experience within the amusement industry. I've also worked a Professional Internship with the Walt Disney World Resort at DAK Facilities Engineering last year, but considering I don't post here much, haven't really had a chance to meet anyone that held similar positions. If you've held such a position, I would definitely be interested in hearing about it!

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I'm also currently a senior at Penn State University, but majoring in IT. I interned for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts IT Department last summer... it was pretty hectic having to resolve issues at Hershey Lodge, Hotel Hershey, Hershey Links, etc. all in the same day. Then there were days where I would spend all day in the park fixing point-of-sale machines, other registers, etc. It was really, really fun, though... I enjoyed it.

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Good to see another Penn Stater interested in the theme park industry. There are actually several people in the group I'm in up at school (PSU Theme Park Engineering Group) who have internships with Tech Services at Universal Studios Orlando for the summer and fall, and I think one or two of them post here occasionally. Hopefully I'll be able to share more information about my internship once it starts, I'm just not sure what information I can actually discuss as of right now!

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I'm one of the Penn Staters that EastCoastn spoke of above, and I'm really excited to finally get some engineering experience in this field. Any stories anyone has of past internships in the industry would be great to hear, and meeting and connecting with new people is always awesome too!

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I interned with Great Coasters for six months in 2007 assembling Millennium Flyers, and then for 10 months in 2008 in the engineering office. If you're not familiar with the Intern Blog, Adam and I started it in 2007, and all of our interns since have posted about our experiences interning with GCI. That's at www.greatcoastersinterns.com.

 

Good luck at the well known ride manufacturer within the United States, EastCoastn07.

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Good luck at the well known ride manufacturer within the United States, EastCoastn07.

 

Thanks!...I guess there's no harm in me saying that I'll be doing a mechanical engineering internship with Premier Rides for the summer. As for specifics for what I'll be doing, I'm not sure I'm able to go into much detail just yet. I'm definitely excited for this awesome opportunity, and if I'm allowed to share any information on what types of things I'll be doing, I'll be sure to fill you guys in.

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I have had the privilege to internship at IAAPA for the three previous shows, and while it is not a full fledged internship, it has provided some wonderful opportunities to me. During the show, you get the opportunity to work side by side with many of the executives in the industry, as well as network with anyone you can imagine. I recommend checking out the website and learning more about the opportunity.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! It was the best week of my year for three consecutive years and has lead to some of the best friends in my life. I highly recommend.

 

IAAPA - Show Ambassadors

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I took the more traditional route and interned with Cedar Fair in Ride Operations for four summers. The college program I was in required three internships already, but after the three I loved it so much I interned again for another summer. I actually got my start at Cedar Point in 2007 on Maverick, and joined the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at my college the following semester. Looking for an internship and wanting to stay closer to home, I transferred up to Michigan's Adventure and started my internship as a Team Leader. My three college-course internships were done as a Team Leader, and then the final summer (last year) I did a management internship as a Zone Supervisor. I wouldn't have traded it for anything, since it's now landed me a position as the manager of an FEC in the area.

 

Cedar Fair doesn't really advertise their internships a whole lot, but I know Michigan's Adventure alone hired people as interns in pretty much every department. It never hurts to make a phone call and ask if they do internships.

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I did two internships with Six Flags. I was an Ride Operations Lead Intern in 2008 at Six Flags Great America and worked at V2 and Batman as my units. I had the best time of my life there and made some awesome friends. I then interned at Six Flags New England as Ride Operations intern as a Lead again over Padenmonium and Blizzard River and before I left I ended up a Supervisor over all of crackaxle canyon, ship wreck and flashback. I transfered to Six Flags America as a Supervisor before the 2011 season started to be closer to home where I was the Supervisor of Gotham City and Whistlestop. I would highly recommend doing any internship with Six Flags. I must however say that the best program is at Six Flags Great America, I traveled from my school in Boston, MA to work there. They offer housing, and transportation for those without cars. They let you tailor you internship to your interest! I got to shadow the Director of Design and several members of Management there. SFGAm and many other Six Flags parks offer several different internships each season! Also SFNE has an engineering based at its park so if you go there you can possibly shadow him like I did. Overall each experience has provided me with a vast network of industry professionals. My next goal is to hopefully land an engineering opportunity with a Manufactuer. The key is perseverance!

 

Feel free to contact me if you want more info.

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I"ve never done an internship, but I have had quite a few work for me and with me in the past. Best general advice I can give...

 

- Work your butt off. Often you will be in a position where you won't have a ton of supervision and the easy way out is to wait for the work to come to you. Find projects, make a name for yourself. You should be working 3-times as hard as everyone else because you are competing for a job.

- Don't assume the networking will come to you. You need to take the initiative to network and get your name out there, your boss will probably be too busy to assist.

- Be professional. Your not in college so read over emails 2 or 3 times before sending them to make sure they sound like something you would send to executives in your company.

 

Good luck!

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  • 5 months later...

Been a few months since I've seen action in this thread, and figured I'd bring it back to life to see if anyone else out there has been able to land any internships in the industry. I know one of the current GCI interns is a member on TPR, but are there any others out there who have landed internships since the summer? Is anyone planning on attending IAAPA next week to try their luck? IAAPA is not known for being a place to get these kind of opportunities, but companies certainly notice when the same people show up every year and make an appearance. Hopefully there's others out there who have been lucky!

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