My summer spent on America’s Roller Coast was such a thrilling ride! My name is Peyton Zamarelli and I am a Junior Public Relations and Music Performance student at The University of Mount Union. For the past two months I have had the privilege of interning at the amusement park Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio for their 150th season.
Cedar Point is truly a place like no other, especially this season. Due to the devastating pandemic that is rampaging through our world right now, Cedar Point’s 2020 summer season has been nothing short of unique. Originally, I was hired into the merchandise department, interning as their retail event planner. This consists of planning all events for merchandise employees as well as assisting with the retail portions of events for Cedar Point guests. I was tremendously excited for this opportunity to truly let my interests in entertainment and events take flight! Little did I know there was going to be a much different plan for me as the season began its midsummer opening.
Unfortunately, the current pandemic created a serious safety liability to Cedar Point guests and associates to carry out these events originally planned throughout the season. Therefore, many of them were canceled and postponed till the following 2021 season. What this meant for me was that much of my responsibilities were no longer in place. At first, I was a bit disheartened to hear of the change of my position, but so many new opportunities had been introduced to me, many of which I had never even taken into consideration to explore.
A wonderful new learning opportunity had arisen for me and I had no idea that it would enlighten my professional outlook the way it did. My initial new role in the Merchandise Department was to assist in the distribution of COVID awareness signage throughout all the retail locations in the park and resorts. This included signage for capacity, safety and que line placement. I learned so much about the specific regulations put in place because of the pandemic and truly felt an ownership for the safety of the retail locations. While doing so, I created many wonderful relationships with my fellow associates and Merchandise Management.
After the park was cleared to open for the summer, it was my responsibility to distribute new disinfectants and train associates on how to properly clean retail locations according to new guidelines put in place for the 2020 season. Although I was able to continue these duties, I was promoted in the department as an area supervisor for outside retail locations. Outside retail locations consisted of resort and employees’ stores. This was truly a memorable and challenging experience! I had the privilege of learning more of the business of the department, getting a taste of visual merchandising and strengthening my communication skills and professionalism with associates and guests.
Even though I am preparing to return to school, I look forward to returning to Cedar Point for the fall portion of my internship and the memories and career experience that awaits me!