Ever wondered what it takes to be an engineer at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts? In celebration of National Engineers Week, we’re bringing you an exclusive interview with the woman behind the gears: Engineering Services Manager, Angel Price:
How did you get involved in engineering? I was introduced to engineering during my sophomore year in college. I originally pursued a degree in graphic arts. Though I loved and appreciated theatre, drawing, and sculpting, I wanted more. I also was not that great at art; my work was VERY abstract.
What sparked your interest in engineering? I have always been interested in understanding how things work. Even as a kid, I enjoyed taking things a part and putting them back together. I was the typical "geek" growing up who loved all things science. In high school, I was never really sure of how I could align my interest with a career. I became interested in engineering while in college. During college, I worked at a major electronics store that had a car audio department. Most of my coworkers in the car audio department were in engineering programs. I became intrigued hearing them talk about their robotics labs, machining classes and 3D modeling. I wanted to be a part of that, and so I did.
What kind of schooling did you do? I graduated from Purdue University and studied Mechanical Engineering. While pursuing my Bachelor's degree, I also participated in robotics clubs, solar racing, and volunteered in S.T.E.M. programs for middle school students. After a few years of work experience, I decided to pursue a Master's degree in Engineering Management at the University of Central Florida.
What are some projects you’ve worked on? I was a part of the opening team for Pandora - The World of Avatar working on the two attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. I work within the Engineering Services group for attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Engineering Services is responsible for maintaining the safety, reliability and show for all attractions and facilities. Now, I am honored to be a part of the opening team for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening later this year at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
What is some advice you have for aspiring engineers? 1. If you are passionate about engineering, and you want to make a difference, I can guarantee you that you can do it with engineering! 2. When choosing your career path and discipline, make sure you love the work you do and the difference you can make! 3. Don't be afraid of standing out in class. Moving boundaries takes courage.
What are some opportunities out there for aspiring engineers who want to pursue a career in S.T.E.A.M.-related fields? The opportunities are endless. Programs such as: Disney Youth Education Series and Professional Internships with The Walt Disney Company are great ways to take a deep dive into your S.T.E.A.M. fields. Also, look for S.T.E.M clubs in your local area. These programs give you an opportunity to discover what you are truly passionate about. You may never know you like something until you try it.
For even more inspiration, be sure to sign-up for our e-newsletter for the latest and greatest from Disney Youth Education Series. To learn more about our Disney Youth Education Series programs that make Disney Parks your student’s living laboratory, click here.