From Rollercoaster Tycoon to Attractions & Theme Parks management

~ By Tom van Bommel

When I was 5 years old I did not want to become a police officer or firefighter, but the CEO of a Theme Park. My passion for Theme Parks started when I was young, especially because of Rollercoaster Tycoon and our annual passes for Warner Brothers Movie World. Approximately 5 years ago, my parents showed me an article from “de Telegraaf” about Breda University of Applied Sciences’ new Attractions and Theme Parks management track, also known as ATPM. So why did I choose ATPM?

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After reading the article, I started to look further into the education and track. When I saw that the English taught study program consists of learning everything about Attractions and Theme Parks management, fieldtrips regarding the industry, lectures given by professionals from all over the world, assignments that are executed for real clients and being trained to become an Attractions and Theme Parks manager, I was assured that this is where I belong.

The serious side

What many people do not realise is that the Attractions and Theme Parks industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, especially within the Middle East and Asia. It is a serious business that is increasing rapidly, and it has great potential for young professionals. During the Euro Attractions Show, where school takes its second year ATPM students every year, this was clearly visible. More than 500 different exhibiting companies come together to network, to learn from each other and to do business, which obviously is a great opportunity for students to get a glimpse of the industry. Personally, I thought this trip was fascinating and useful for our future. Besides the fact that this is a serious business, that we as students work for real clients during our projects and that you get to network with professionals, the program offers tons of fun aspects too.

A world filled with fun

One of the most exciting and fun parts during the second year is the six-month internship. During this internship, students will gain insights into the company they work for, especially within the parks operations, and will be able to develop themselves regarding the industry. Breda University of Applied Sciences has a lot of internship possibilities all around the globe. Some examples are Efteling, Toverland, Walt Disney World, Scruffy Dog LTD, Tropical Islands and many more amazing companies within the industry. It might be hard to choose a company for your internship, which I currently have trouble with too, but school helps us by providing us with information in the form of lectures and fieldtrips.

We already visited Sealife Oberhausen, Phantasialand and Efteling to gain more insights when it comes to the internships and the industry. These fieldtrips have been inspiring, informative, awesome and unforgettable, just like the various lectures we received from P&P projects and the Plopsa group. You never know what will be happening during these fieldtrips and guests lectures. One moment you are listening to a presentation when suddenly Maya the Bee casually walks into the classroom. During these moments I realise how amazing this industry is and that I am glad that I chose ATPM. Besides that, the most important aspect of ATPM is that you will work together with your fellow classmates who have the exact same passion as you do, which I genuinely enjoy and love, and has created numerous new friendships.

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The ATPM dream

After reading this, I suppose that the question why I chose ATPM has been answered. Who would not be enthusiastic about this program? The program exceeded my expectations, and I will never regret choosing for ATPM. It feels like I am living the dream while studying at Breda University of Applied Sciences, and you could live that same dream too! Do you enjoy Attractions & Theme Parks, are you interested in Storytelling, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Imagineering and creating unforgettable experiences, and would you like to experience the industry while learning from world famous professionals around the globe? Than what are you waiting for? Join me and  the other Attractions & Theme Parks management students and dare to ride the wildest ride in the industry to make your dreams come true!

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