Roller coaster careers - advice needed!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 12:25 PM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

That's ironic.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 1:56 PM

Getting a full time job in operations is hard. Take the rides department, for example, with hundreds of seasonal employees. Granted most are only there for the check, but there is a lot of competition to move up into supervision. From there the full time opportunities are even less, so you have to be good enough for the gig and have the right timing to be there when the position opens up. Since the industry is small, you may have to relocate to where the jobs are.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

Friday, July 12, 2013 11:49 PM
TTD-120-420's avatar

ThatStrangeKid42 said:

Being one of the "select few" underage enthusiasts on this site (as far as I can see), I 1) do indeed consider myself to be coaster fanatic, and 2) am unemployed at this very moment. It didn't take me long to put 2 and 2 together and decide I might want a long-term career related to coasters and/or theme parks.

I was just wondering if anybody had any suggestions or advice. But first, here's some important things to know:

1. The most important point to make - I have difficulty working in groups, just keep that in mind. In other words, I work best in and prefer solo work.

2. I consider myself a decently creative person (no egotism intended). I've played and very much enjoyed using RCT and NoLimits.

3. I live in the Cleveland, OH area, in case if anybody was wondering.

Any suggestions or advice is and will be highly appreciated. Thank you!

I have read this site for about 7 years now, but just now created an account because I was in your spot when I was younger. I'll help as much as possible.

I'm not sure how old you are, but you can never start too soon. Email multiple parks, ask what they offer. If you are in college, ask if there are internships available. Apply for everything you can. Through these emails, you will begin to develop relationships with people at the park. Ask if you can job shadow, or pick people's brains about the industry and what their job actually entails. Get your name in people's heads. This is a step in the right direction. The phrase "It's not what you know, it's who you know," is 100% true.

Anytime someone contacts you and helps you out in anyway, send a thank you card. Not an email. An actual handwritten, well thought out thank you card, and mail it to them. This is not only polite, but the people will remember you. Not many people (especially our age) will take the time to do this, which will make you stand out.

I have yet to do this, but go to IAAPA. You will meet a lot of people, and see a lot of things that may give you ideas for what you exactly want to do.

I was in the same boat you are about not working well in groups. Since 8th grade I have suffered from extreme cases of social anxiety. Anytime I had to talk to people or even sat in a room with people (even with my friends) I would sweat like a maniac and even throw up. It was bad. Even though I was terrified, I threw myself out there, and now have no problem at all in groups. You get used to it, and even begin to prefer it.

If you like RCT and No Limits, maybe you would prefer a job in operations. Face it, you aren't going to design coasters. Never, and that is fine. There are many other jobs out there that involve parks, and are probably more fun.

I'll show you how all of these things work by telling you my story. I joined PointBuzz when I was ten. KICentral when I was 14. I still post on both regularly. I was (and still am) obsessed with amusement paks, but not just the rides. I loved the industry. I love the business side. So I went for it. Last year, during my senior year of high school, I applied for 20 different internships at 15 different amusement parks and countless other regular jobs in over thirty different parks. The first to contact me was Ms. Zelm at Cedar Point. We emailed back and forth for a good three months, and while I did not get a position, I got my name out there and even got a private tour of the Gatekeeper construction site.

After a lot of interviews, emails and traveling, I landed a business operations internship at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I've been here for two months now, and I love it. I'm already set to come back next year, and I believe I am in a good position for future full time employment.

I will be a sophomore at Ohio State in August, and I am the youngest person here in the internship program. I was told I got this job because of my passion shown in the interview, through emails and through my thank you card.

To wrap up this enormous post, (sorry everyone) the key is to put yourself out there, be respectful, don't be afraid and if you really are serious you will do whatever it takes to get it.

Good luck to you, sir.

Last edited by TTD-120-420, Saturday, July 13, 2013 12:10 AM
Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:42 AM

TTD, welcome to the CBuzz family!

Now, your advice is proably the best given on the site.

I too work at a park, at least part-time.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Sunday, July 14, 2013 10:35 AM
ThatStrangeKid42's avatar

TTD, that's great advice! I'll definitely consider what you've said. Also, thanks to anyone else who gave advice in this topic so far. I'm now able to see more clearly what I'm supposed to do.

Sunday, July 14, 2013 12:08 PM
LostKause's avatar

My advice for any topic is to always be grateful for what people do for you, which you just did. Always be there for others too when they need something. Good luck. I support you.

Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:01 PM

I do too, good luck.

Oh, and please get us all in for free when you start working somewhere nice. Thanks!

Last edited by RCMAC, Sunday, July 14, 2013 4:02 PM

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