Todd Swetnam, a student here at Northwest worked at a very interesting internship this past summer. He interned as a Show Ambassador for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and their Attractions Expo in Orlando, FL. “I am an amusement park fanatic and have dreamed of visiting the IAAPA trade show since I was 12”, said Todd.
Todd has worked at Worlds of Fun for the last five years and has strongly considering a full-time career in the attractions industry. He found out about this internship when he saw it on a LinkedIn profile. When he started the internship, he did a lot of busy work. A lot of his time was spent coordinating educational seminars within the convention. He had to make sure that the speakers had everything that they needed to present, and then help attendees get to the right place. The other big part of his job was crowd control. There were hundreds of presenters and over 25,000 attendees. At one point of the internship, he was asked to coordinate traffic as media came together at a press conference that unveiled SeaWorld’s newest attraction.
His favorite part about the internship was meeting other young people who shared the same passion for the attractions industry. Prior to interning at IAAPA, he felt isolated. Now he has a network of professionals as well as new friends. The most difficult part was that there was a lot of work to be done. Todd put in over 70 hours in just 5 days. At the time, he said it was very difficult to abandon his work to go try the new rides, games, and snacks that were offered. In the end, it was all worth it. “I’ve never had such a strong feeling of accomplishment”, said Todd.
This internship was very beneficial to Todd. He was able to network with industry professionals, make new friends, and come back with a new sense of confidence. Todd recommends the IAAP Show Ambassador program to those who can consistently offer great guest service and that have a desire to advance in the attractions industry.