Monday, February 28, 2011

Best Kept Industry Secret

I recently had the pleasure of attending the ASTM International F24 committee on amusement rides and devices bi-yearly conference held in New Orleans, Louisiana. There were more than 125 attendees of the event which included individuals from Canada , the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US. The ASTM F24 committee is the best kept secret in the amusement industry. Why? If you're looking for a job in the industry everyone tells you that you have to attend IAAPA, the yearly colossal expo show. From what I've heard, the park representatives present are under huge pressure to try and sell or purchase new rides, so it feels like you are getting in the way if you want to hand someone your resume. At the ASTM conference there is no pressure, everyone is totally relaxed and open and friendly. Not to mention nearly every attendee (except for myself) seemed to have a vice president, director, manager, or president attached to their job title. And they were all willing to sit down and have a conversation with me. How awesome is that? If you're looking into a job in ride design or engineering you need to join ASTM and participate in these meetings.

I will let you in on another piece of information. Nearly all of the engineers I talked to expect new employees to have at least six months of actually working at and amusement park under their belt, especially working hands on with rides. Oh, and Disney expects students applying for internships to have at least a 3.0 GPA. I hope that helps some of you young engineering out there looking to get into the amusement park industry.

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