Week 1: Life is a Rollercoaster

By , January 13, 2015
Matt Brueckmann

My life’s been a rollercoaster the past 6 months (pun possibly intended). From first being invited to FREDx in August (“Future Ride Engineers and Designers”, GCI’s annual event where they invite students interested in working for them and the industry in general), to being picked to be a Show Ambassador for IAAPA 2014 in November, to now being chosen as the intern for Great Coasters for this semester, I am completely and joyfully overwhelmed with all the things that have happened to me in this seemingly short period of time. I’m overwhelmed in the sense that, I’m still trying to process everything that’s happened, and have begun to realize that my dreams are actually coming to fruition. It all started with a consistent, pursued passion.

Hi, my name is Matt Brueckmann, and I am GCI’s intern for the Spring of 2015. I couldn’t be more excited to work for such an awesome and dedicated group of fellow theme park enthusiasts and engineers. I’m also grateful to be talking to you, and will hopefully give you a perspective on what it’s like to work for a roller coaster manufacturer, along with how I got to where I am and my advice to those of you interested in working in the amusement industry. Along with that, if you have any questions for me, or want to know more about any of the things I talk about, feel free to comment or use the contact form, I’m totally happy to talk to you all and will get back to you the best I can!

First, let me start with a little bit more about my background. I was born and raised in California (“Yes, like, gnarly dude”), and have also lived in Henderson, NV (a suburb of Las Vegas) and now the San Francisco Bay Area for school. I’m a Senior studying Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley, and have loved this industry since my first visits as a kid to local parks near me like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. I was always curious to know how all of these attractions worked, and eventually found out that real people actually do have the fun job of designing these crazy contraptions. Eventually, I was directed by several people and places (including this blog) to do engineering, so I did, and while it’s been a real challenge, the reward is so worth it, if this is the field you ultimately find best suits you of course. The way I got to knowing about GCI, was actually by finding a list online of all existing roller coaster companies. I just began emailing each one about once every year or two since the beginning of college with a little bit about myself, my interests, and my resume. Then one day, I got an email inviting me to FREDx, which really was my big push of inspiration to keep pursuing this industry as much as I could, and essentially kickstarted my exciting, twisting, turning journey through this wonderful industry

I hope you all enjoy this, and once again, if there’s anything you want to know more about, or want to hear more about on the blog, feel free to let me know. I’m ultimately here to help you, so don’t be afraid to AMA (As Me Anything)!

See you next week, where I’ll be talking more about work in the shop!


4 Responses to “Week 1: Life is a Rollercoaster”

  1. Joseph says:

    That is my brother!

  2. Robert Lucey says:

    Hi Matt,
    Your story makes me very excited and inspired. I have always wanted to get involved in the roller coaster and theme park industry. Currently, I am in my junior year for mechanical engineering at Purdue University. I was looking for internships and saw that GCI had an internship program. I was wondering if you knew who I needed to get in contact with for the application process for the 2015 summer term.

  3. Matt Brueckmann says:

    Hi Robert, thanks for getting in touch!

    I’m glad to see that you have a passion for this industry, it’s a great start. I would definitely advise you to take any action you can to be involved. For GCI, I recommend you email info@greatcoasters.com with your resume and a little bit about yourself if you haven’t already. There is definitely no “one way” to get into this industry (and I’m certainly no expert at this either), but from what I’ve seen, there are many things you can do to demonstrate your interest, like going to the yearly IAAPA expo, working on amusement-related projects, making contact and building relationships/connections with people in the industry, etc. It takes a lot to be involved, but if you really put your effort and passion into doing things such as these, I think you will find your own path! I’ll hopefully be talking more about some of these things in a future post as well, so stay tuned for that.



  4. Paul Brenckle says:

    Congrats Matt! Have a semester with GCI

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