It's one of my most frequently asked questions.
"How do I get your job?" Or, "How do I get a job at Cedar Point?"
Let's call this my personal guide to breaking into the industry. Since this is my personal advice, your mileage may vary.
Here at the park, we have two main job categories: seasonal associates and full-time associates.
Our seasonal associates are extremely important to the team and they keep the park running smoothly all summer. Generally, they work any time between May and October.
Full-time associates are people like me - we're here all year and work through the winter months as we prepare for the upcoming season. We also come to work, 20 miles each way, in the snow, with no shoes on, uphill in 50 mph winds. No wait - that was what all of our parents and grandparents used to say!
The path to full-time takes a lot of hard work, determination and the desire to want success for the entire team, not just yourself.
So how did I get here? I started with some park experience when I was 16 years old as a ride operator at another park. That alone did not get me my full-time position here, but it was then that I knew I had to be in this business. HAD to.
I eventually left that job, went to college and graduated with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I worked in radio, did some television reporting and learned a lot about public relations and journalism as a whole.
As a self-proclaimed "professional theme park nerd," I checked cedarpoint.com frequently for full-time postings. A PR position became available and I applied.
Luckily for me, I was chosen to join the team and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now it's your turn. Here are a few things I'd say you should consider:
Start seasonally. If you're still in college, it really is the best way to "get your foot in the door." You learn a lot about Cedar Point, how the business operates and how we're structured. It also gives us a chance to see your skills, learn more about where you'd like to be after you graduate and develop your potential leadership skills. This pertains to any position in the park. You really can get everything you want out of your experience - but you have to want it.
This is also how we promote from within. I know there are a lot of full-time associates who started out as seasonal associates, hoping to one day land that year-round job. Because of their hard work and skills, it worked out well for them.
Do an internship. If your college counts seasonal employment as credit for an internship, why not do it here?! There are many different fields to work in, from marketing to hospitality management to business. When I was in college, doing an internship at a local TV station was the best thing that ever happened to me. But nobody there held my hand. I learned the most by showing that I wanted to help wherever I was needed and I wanted to learn.
You'll obviously still perform the basic job functions here, but the experience you'll receive will be invaluable. So go check with your school and see if you can do it!
Be reasonable. So, we'd like to offer full-time positions to everyone. But we can't. They really don't pop up very often, because, well, we all love working here. So you want to make sure you're prepared to stand out if you apply. Did you work here previously? Have you worked at another park and gained great experience? Do you have a track record of strong leadership skills? These things help.
Another consideration is your overall skillset. I hate math. I don't ever hide that fact. And don't tell any of my superiors that I said that. But I do like to talk. A lot. So I would never apply for a position in our Finance Division if a position opened up. I just don't have those skills. And we'd all be in big trouble. I know this, because I've had this discussion with our Director of Finance!
Oh, and we also hire from within our other Cedar Fair parks. If you've worked seasonally somewhere else, that's also valuable experience for us to review.
These are just some of my personal pieces of advice. They're not written in any manual, and they're not official by any means. But since it all begins with a strong seasonal team to help us make 2017 the best season yet, I thought it was timely.
If you're interested in starting that career in our industry (doesn't matter your age, btw - you can be an adult and still get started), you should check out the seasonal and full-time positions we have available.
Taking thrills to the next level is what we do. Wanna help us? We're hiring NOW!