First Few Weeks in Florence

By , September 9, 2016
Tyler Mullins

Hello! My name is Tyler and I’m one of the newest interns for Great Coasters International, Inc.. I started here in the Florence office about three weeks ago but it’s already been a roller coaster of learning experiences and assignments. I’ll jump into some of those in a moment, but I’ll start with better introducing myself.

I’m a civil engineering student at Ohio State University and will graduate next December. I’ve had a passion for roller coasters and theme parks for as long as I can remember – as a kid I used to spend endless hours dreaming up and drawing my own rides, building parks in Roller Coaster Tycoon, and visiting the nearby Kings Island amusement park. As a freshman in college I joined the Theme Park Engineering Group (TPEG), a student organization devoted to learning about and networking within the theme park industry. Through the group I’ve been able to work at transforming my passion into a future career, including attending FREDx over the summer and beginning my internship here at GCI.

In terms of what I’ve done in the office so far, I’ve been busy with different assignments for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s “InvadR” and Kings Island’s “Mystic Timbers”, two exciting GCI roller coasters opening next year. The latter has been incredibly surreal – not only did I frequently visit Kings Island from a young age, but I also spent parts of seven summers working there. Working on a new roller coaster for Kings Island has been a longtime dream come true, helping the ride transition from concept to reality.

For Busch Gardens’ ride I’ve been checking bent drawings, marking-up layouts of the ride, and learning a lot about the different ways a steel structure differs from a wooden one. I’ve completed similar assignments for Kings Island’s, including work on foundations and brake locations. Both projects have required an extensive use of AutoCAD and Inventor, two pieces of design software. I worked with AutoCAD a little bit last semester, but this was my first time even touching Inventor. In only a few weeks I feel as though I’ve grasped a much better understanding of how both programs work, but I know there is a lot left to learn. Every day I’m discovering something new about AutoCAD or Inventor, like how to do tasks more efficiently or the proper way of displaying information on drawings.

To wrap up, these first few weeks have been amazing and I’ve already learned so much. Things have also been super busy though – alongside the two new coasters in the United States, there are two more that will be opening in China. This is more rides in a single year than GCI has ever done before, so there’s no shortage of work to be completed. I’m sure I’ll be preoccupied with a lot of that, but I’m super excited for it and to share more about my experience soon!

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