Question for Paula?(Or any other help in the field

Wednesday, February 5, 2003 12:00 PM
Hi Paula and CBers. I have wanted to be a roller coaster designer since I was about 9 and still want to, but I know that field is limited, so I definately want another plan in case this one doesn't follow through. Here is where my wuestion comes in. I would love nothing more than to work in the amusement park indusrty, and you being a PR person from Holiday World I was just wandering like what kind of college classes you took if any to be qualified for the position and how you went about being hired. Did you do any internships or anything else of that sort? If anyone else could also help out with any information in this field, it would be greatly appreciated. As of now I am only a ninth-grader so I have some time to think.
Cameron Parker
------------------
Beast-Crew 04'
+0
Thursday, February 6, 2003 5:16 AM
Hi Cameron--

Well, I may not be the best example of how to end up working in the industry...since it was never my plan.

My background is in journalism...I was a radio and TV reporter and even editor of an international trade magazine for the pizza industry (before I was the Raven Maven, I was the Big Cheese. :)).

Early on in my career, I interviewed an angry young farmer fighting the government to save his family farm. That was 22 years ago next Monday. What can I say? He was such a good interview...here I am all these years (and three sons) later.

It just so happened the family farm is about seven miles from the town of Santa Claus. Over the course of doing some volunteer work for a community project, I met Bill and Pat Koch. Several years later, when I was home (between jobs) with a new baby, Mr. Koch left me a job offer on my answering machine--they felt it was time to add a PR person and offered me a crack at it. That was 12 years ago.

Not exactly a career track that could be adopted by a high school student. :) But I can give you the following advice--if you want to get into PR, get to know journalism inside out. It's relationships with writers and editors (plus a great product and exceptional story) that will lead to success. If you waste their time and get all wrapped up in "spin" (puh-tooey!), you won't go too far. You also need excellent communications skills (writing and speaking) and the ability to prioritize repeatedly throughout the day.

It's also important to truly like people -- and to not take things personally. And a "fire in the belly" helps...it makes it continually fun.

I certainly can't speak for any other parks...but at Holiday World, we hire a lot from within. In fact, nearly all of our Directors started out as seasonal employees. They worked their way up the "ranks," got experience in several departments, earned appropriate college degrees and ended up being offered a career here at the park.

The one caveat I do offer, though, is a coaster enthusiast might want to think twice about a career in the industry. Because...you don't have a lot of free time to travel to other parks.

Hope this helps...and good luck! Paula
------------------
Paula Werne
Holiday World PR
www.holidayworld.com/srm

+0
Thursday, February 6, 2003 5:25 AM
As a journalist, I can say: Journalists hate when PR folks do the "spin" thing. :)

------------------
A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

+0
Thursday, February 6, 2003 8:37 AM
Along with Paula's advice and story, you can read Janice Witherow's interview on www.onridecentral.com. One of the first questions was how she got into the industry. I'd take afew minutes and read that too.

------------------
Corey
"his rod and staff comforts me" - and catholics say that gay's are bad! :)

+0
Thursday, February 6, 2003 11:25 AM

Raven Maven said:

The one caveat I do offer, though, is a coaster enthusiast might want to think twice about a career in the industry. Because...you don't have a lot of free time to travel to other parks.


Thats exactly why I want to be a teacher... you get the whole summer off ;)

------------------
Emerging from the ashes of Eric 013...

*** This post was edited by 3r1c 2/6/2003 4:28:37 PM ***

+0
Thursday, February 6, 2003 12:14 PM
Thanks for all the help so far guys. Especially you Paula. I thank you for responding so quickly. Also, what is pay like at this kind of position? It really matters very liitle to me because I think I would love position by I want to get an internship and am planning on starting as a ride-op next year at PKI.

------------------
Beast-Crew 04'

+0
Friday, February 7, 2003 10:08 AM
I guess that's a question for PKI if you're asking about ride-op and interns' pay rates.

Regarding full-time positions, maybe IAAPA has some general info on that. It probably varies quite a bit from park to park.

Good luck! Paula
------------------
Paula Werne
Holiday World PR
www.holidayworld.com/srm

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...