Summer Internships

Monday, September 19, 2005 2:41 PM
Hey, I just had a quick question whether or not any of you have ever done internships at local parks, or national chains. I'm looking into possibly getting into the "business" but I'm having trouble finding internship possiblities close to home. Which is Rochester, NY. So any previous experiences or assitance is appreciated.
Monday, September 19, 2005 2:47 PM
You might want to consider taking a Hospitalities course- most colleges offer them. From there you might be able to get a summer internship at a park.
Monday, September 19, 2005 2:53 PM
I'm currently enrolled in a Sports/Recreation Management major at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY...but they only really help to get Sports team and Recreation (municiple) type internships.
Monday, September 19, 2005 3:02 PM
Mail or Email a request to all the local parks Human Resources departments. Just go here and look up Rochester then find out where to send the request from the parks websites or call the parks and ask.
Monday, September 19, 2005 3:26 PM
If a company/park does not already have an internship program in place, then you have to convince them that it is of benefit to them. In my industry (computer animation/graphic design), these tend to be very personal decisions. If they like you, then they'll do their best to make it work.

I would recommend contacting an HR Manager at X park (like dragonoffrost suggested), and requesting the opportunity to have a business lunch with them to discuss their role at the park. This is your chance to connect personally with them, and for them to get a feel for what it may be like to have you around. Effectively communicating your interest in working there without frightening them is also important, and your willingness to do it for free is a MAJOR incentive.

Internships are great opportunities for many reasons, it would be wonderful for it to work out for you. Best of luck.

-jason (not speaking with any expertise for this particular industry) *** Edited 9/19/2005 7:28:02 PM UTC by Semi-Addicted***

Monday, September 19, 2005 3:40 PM
Like Semi-AD said. My company (computer animation/graphic design) doesn't 'do' internships, but we have had many interns. Very often it's a matter of getting a contact person who thinks you'd be good to have around, then they go through the rigamarole to get it approved internally.
Monday, September 19, 2005 3:52 PM
Internships are a great way to gain pratical experience. I just completed one this spring and summer as an engineer at the gas and electric company at their gas turbine peaking plant. Some colleges like the one I go to have mandatory internship programs, so that makes it easy, you have to get one.

However deciding to do one on your own is not a bad idea, and at least gives you some experience and idea of what type of field you might like. So if your college has a program in place for internships or people to advise you, I would suggest talking to them.

I was interested in working as an engineer in some capacity for the amusment park industry. However most roller coaster design firms are small, and thus do not hire interns/co-ops at this point.

I previoulsy was a ride operator on a wooden coaster for a major park chain. This is a great way to gain hands on experience with roller coasters and amusement park industry. If you really want to learn hands on about control systems, safety restraints, and just a better understanding of the business I would recommend doing it. Most roller coaster engineering firms suggest working somewhere in the amusement park industry just so you get a behind the scenes look. Even if it is something a the bottom, like a ride operator, it is a good start, and will allow you better opportunities once you get your college degree.

So I would recomend trying to get some internship that relates to your field of study. Either that or work a seasonal job at your local amusement park. And if your lucky you might be able to land a job at a roller coaster engineering firm, but most are not hiring at this point, so I would just be patient with that. I just think to get that type of job, you will have to have real work experience after colilege and won't just walk right in. Probably for me, I would need several years of experience and a profesional engineering liscense and a masters in mechanical or civil engineering. Having all of the above is not something you can obtain right out of colllege, so it might take some more years to get exactly where you want to be.

Monday, September 19, 2005 5:23 PM
I did the same thing when I was in school back in the mid 90s and your best bet is to call around to human resources. I had to complete 2 internships to graduate, did one with WDW and another with Six Flags. When I was looking most parks had some sort of program in place - SFOG, SFAW, SFGA actually had housing available where you lived in a complex with the international employees. Since there's been a lot of changes in the company and that SFAW won't exist next year I'm not so sure these programs exist any longer but it's worth a shot.

Also just make sure you find out exactly what is expected of you in the internship and what the company will provide. Some of these internships I came across at the parks were basically glorified operations postions, so not sure if your school will give you credit to pull trash in a park all summer. I had a great experience with mine and actually landed a scholarship out of the second one so get to work, get a resume ready and something should pan out.

Monday, September 19, 2005 7:16 PM
Walt Disney World has an intership, known as the College Program. The first one you go through is working like a basic worker, in any of many roles. Then, you can complete an Advance Intership where you can work directly in your field.

Both internships are not summer though, they each take at least one semester. for more information.

Monday, September 19, 2005 8:47 PM
^Not sure how it is at other colleges, but Iowa State defines an "internship" as a semester-long job during the spring or fall semester; a summer job is called a "summer job"; and a "Co-op" is the combination of the two--a summer + one semester. From my experience in interviewing and searching for a job in the field, companies, who actively have these positions available, use the same terminology. Just FYI. I was offered my current job based entirely on my summer job experiences using AutoCAD.

Companies tend to care much more about your experience than your grades, so make sure you get some kind of internship experience before you graduate or you may find it very hard to get a job, even if you have a high GPA.


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