Here is a post on young professionals in the industry from Andrew Hyde of the Future Theme Park Leaders Association at the University of Central Florida:
In its October 2009 issue, FUNWORLD published an article highlighting several young professional organizations at college campuses across the United States. The article detailed our desire to help make the attractions industry more aware of us, as we share great passion for the industry and, as students, we all are doing everything we can to use our schools as a foundation to help create a career in the attractions business.
Over the past few months a lot has happened within the organizations and the plan to work together grows stronger and stronger. Myself and leaders from the other groups have been talking and e-mailing with IAAPA in hopes of furthering the young professionals program within the association. We plan to post updates here on the In The Queue blog in the future.
In the meantime, here are some updates from several of the organizations:
• The University of Cincinnati Coaster Cats was founded in fall 2008. Starting off as an engineering group, it has since grown into a more well-rounded organization that focuses on all aspects of the attractions industry. The group has been on several facility tours and had one-on-one sessions with several regional businesses such as Kings Island, Holiday World, and The Gravity Group. Some recent projects include the design and modeling of a coaster to hypothetically be placed on campus. The group's future plans include marketing talks, more tours, and a CoasterDynamix project.
• Theme Park Engineering Group at Ohio State is working on a pneumatic-powered robotic bird that can be controlled by their own software; the bird will be able to move and synchronize with various music or audio feeds. The group is also working with CoasterDynamix doing product development and testing for a potential coaster model. They will be going to high schools this quarter to get feedback on an educational presentation they created, which showcases their 10-foot-tall steel launching tower model.
• Future Theme Park Leaders Association at the University of Central Florida recently spent several days in California meeting with leaders of Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios Hollywood. The group is made up of students looking to work their way into leadership in theme parks and many are already participating in leadership internships at the Central Florida parks.
We're all looking forward to IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 in Orlando, but in the meantime if you have any questions or ideas for how IAAPA can serve the young professional community please feel free to e-mail me and I will pass it along. Also, please send me any information on what other schools are doing to embrace the attractions industry.