Six Flags offers free tuition to lucky college student
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
AGAWAM -- A semester at Cornell University in New York has a price tag of over $18,000 but not for the sole recipient of the Six Flags Friends 2009 Apprenticeship.
Alison Hoyt, a hotel administration major at Cornell, completed her nine-week apprenticeship at Six Flags New England this summer and earned one free semester of college courtesy of the theme park.
"The experience was the best summer program I could have asked for," Hoyt told Reminder Publications. "By spending one week in each department, I got a comprehensive view of the park. I worked mostly with full-time managers, but also shadowed seasonal supervisors and team members, exposing me to all levels of working in the park."
According to Ashley Andriulli of Six Flags New England, "hospitality was destined to be embedded in Hoyt's genes" as she is part of fourth generation family-owned Purity Spring Resort in New Hampshire.
"At an early age, Hoyt familiarized herself with the concept of 'people do business with people, not businesses,'" she said.
Hoyt described the experience as an added benefit to her overall education giving her additional hands on training within a setting she'd never experienced. She had never been to Six Flags New England prior to her apprenticeship.
"In general, this program has opened my mind to working in a theme park," Hoyt explained. "I do not think most people understand the complexity of the operation and the many aspects that must come together to deliver a superior guest experience. Prior to this experience, I probably would not have considered working in a theme park, but I have grown to love the environment."
Peter Carmichael, director of operations for Six Flags New England, said Hoyt was a natural fit in the industry.
"Since joining us this summer, Alison has brought great enthusiasm and energy to our park," he said. "While we are teaching her the fundamentals of them park operation, she is offering a fresh perspective to how we operate. She completes weekly reports regarding her experiences, and her eye for detail has helped us improve our operation. She has been a joy to work with this summer."
Hoyt will begin her sophomore year at Cornell this fall bringing her hands-on experience to the table.
After this opportunity, she said she can only imagine what other opportunities life has in store for her.
"Who knows what the next few years will bring," Hoyt added.