One of the nation’s oldest amusement parks turns to Northwestern State University when it needs to hire employees to help create a memorable experience for its guests.
Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is the second-oldest amusement park in North America. It’s home to 72 rides, a mile-long beach, on-site accommodations and more. The park bills itself as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World with 17 world-class roller coasters. Cedar Point celebrated its 150th anniversary this past summer.
Up to 20 NSU Theatre and Dance students work with Cedar Point Live Entertainment each summer, filling a variety of roles in the performance, technical and costume/prop areas.
“One of the many reasons we enjoy working with students from NSU is the professionalism they exhibit,” said Lisa Jones, director of the Live Entertainment Department at Cedar Point. “They come to work focused, attentive, respectful and ready to work. Their work ethic is excellent. Many of the roles we hire for are skilled positions – a certain level of training is often required for what the job entails. NSU students bring strong skills to the table, but also tend to have a drive to learn more.”
Jones said the eagerness to work hard and learn everything they can will continue to serve the students well beyond their time at Cedar Point.
“Several NSU students originally hired as performers or technicians have also been elevated to leadership positions within our department as performance captains, team lead technicians, supervisors, assistant choreographers and the like” said Jones. “I believe that speaks to the foundation they receive at NSU.”
Cedar Point recruiters travel to NSU annually to meet with students and conduct auditions for summer employment.
“Several years ago, while attending the Southeastern Theatre Conference we noticed there seemed to be a high percentage of talented students from one particular school. That school was Northwestern State,” said Jones. “The students that caught our eye were dancers, singers, actors, technicians and costumers. There was such a variety of skill areas, with one school in common.”
Jones said the conference falls late in Cedar Point’s summer audition season and several positions are often filled by that time.
“We reached out to the staff at NSU and arranged for an earlier audition date for the following year to allow for more opportunities for their students,” said Jones. “This year alone, those opportunities gave NSU students the chance to participate in our 150thanniversary parade, or be part of the inaugural cast of our brand new Snake River Expedition boat ride – the only interactive ride experience of its kind – not to mention the many other great shows, haunts, interactive attractions, and character experiences enjoyed by the nearly three million guests that visited Cedar Point this year. We hope to continue to be able to work with NSU students in future years.”