Hello and Goodbye

By , August 10, 2018

GCI PurdueHello coaster fans,

My name is Krish Kripakaran, and it is my last day working as an intern for GCI (and my birthday!). Although I procrastinated heavily on this post, it gives me the opportunity to provide a recap of the amazing summer I experienced out here in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. But to start off, let me tell you a little more about myself.

I am currently a rising Junior studying mechanical engineering at Purdue University, and as expected, I am super passionate about roller coasters. I love to visit amusement parks whenever I can, and keeping up with the latest roller coaster news is always exciting. Although this is a niche field, finding groups like the Theme Park Engineering and Design club at Purdue have really helped me to develop my love of these rides by bonding with fellow enthusiasts. I have always wanted to work on designing and building roller coasters, but I never expected that dream to come true this summer.

Interning for GCI has been a huge blessing for me. I recall coming to this internship and immediately joining inventory work with two people I barely knew. However, Jack and Chay quickly grew to become some of my closest friends, and I couldn’t have asked for a better intern squad to take over the engineering office with (or as Jase so eloquently put it, the “Intern Office”). From tiring days of sorting steel to torturing the engineers with our music choices, there have been many memorable intern moments throughout this summer. Some of the notable tasks include: Taking inventory, sorting steel pieces, grinding bearing blocks, engineering a way to avoid grinding bearing blocks, assisting with non-destructive testing, organizing material certifications, helping run a networking event, editing parts and drawings in Inventor, and creating a new part!


One of my favorite moments from the internship was hosting FREDx, an event where GCI invites potential future interns to Sunbury. With students coming from a variety of colleges, it was an exciting time to meet new peers who are super excited to join this industry. After completing some tasks at the GCI main office, the group took a trip to the nearby amusement park Knoebels for a behind the scenes tour! Gaining insight into a park’s perspective on roller coasters was incredibly valuable, and hearing about the coasters’ history was super fascinating.

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FREDx Behind the Scenes of Phoenix

Although I have so much more I could talk about, here are some of my important takeaways from this summer:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

I never realized how little I actually knew about roller coasters until I started this internship. But that’s expected! All jobs are learning experiences, and I definitely learned so much during my time here. Although I like to struggle my way through problems, I quickly learned that just asking for help can lead to a much faster solution than creating my own inefficient methods. By the end of the internship, blasting the beginning of the song After Life by Tchami became our preferred method of frequently asking for assistance.

  1. Friends and coworkers don’t have to be mutually exclusive

Although maintaining a professional environment is extremely important, being friendly with coworkers makes the work environment a lot less stressful and intimidating. This leads to increased productivity and overall enjoyment. After visiting amusement parks and hanging out with the engineers, I feel comfortable calling them my friends. This has allowed for a more fun work environment, and during the difficult times at work it is always useful to have genuine support from coworkers. I am incredibly thankful for the amazing connections that have been formed this summer.

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Left to right: Kyle, Jack, Hunter, Me, Jase, Chay

(Blue = Engineer, Green = Intern)

          3. Attitude is everything

Life is a roller coaster, filled with S-bend drops and airtime hills. I’ve learned the importance of remembering those great ejector moments, even when life may have some unexpected brake runs. In other words, I think one of the most beneficial choices to make is to maintain a positive attitude. Sometimes work can start to get tiring or tough, but then I remember; I’m working for a roller coaster company! This is an amazing opportunity, and consciously reminding myself of that really helps me to appreciate all the work I’m doing, no matter how unimportant it may seem. Positivity also helps create an uplifting learning environment, allowing me to really cherish all the knowledge I have gained.


To finally conclude this Python in Bamboo Forest long blog post, I feel incredibly blessed to have spent this summer interning at GCI. I am extremely grateful to all the people working here who have helped me along the way, and I’d like to give special shout out to the legendary Jase Swinden. I will forever appreciate the memories I have made here, and I am excited to continue my journey in this industry.


Krish Kripakaran


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