Oh, the joy that is finals week. It’s been a minute since the finale of my freshman year so let’s recap. I finished my last exam at 10AM (and yes that means I had to be ready by 8), grabbed a milkshake at Ground Zero to celebrate, ran to my friend’s dorm to help them pack up, ran to my own dorm to START packing up, left the campus at 11PM to drive through the night to Los Gatos CA where we hiked up a mountain, saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and hitched a ride in a Tesla. But I managed to make it back to LA in time to learn about Industrial Engineering from Walt Disney himself.
Okay, maybe not from Walt Disney himself, but from Disney executives so three degrees of separation… right?
So last semester I managed to finesse my way into a junior position on the executive board of USC’s Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE). Lucky me, it meant a free trip to Disney! But it wasn’t all princesses and roller coasters. There were a lot of speakers, a lot of networking, and a lot of team bonding. That can all sound pretty heavy and intimidating, and it is, but I learned a lot. First of all, I learned that you should never pass up a big event. You get a lot of free stuff at big events (the amount of pens I collected is overwhelming).
But most importantly, I learned that even though engineering and introversion seem to go hand in hand, understanding people is essential to making any clock tick. I saw this most clearly in Disney’s VP of Operations, Brian Betts. Seriously, look this guy up… you can thank him and FastPasses for getting you out of that 2 hour line for Space Mountain. He talked about studying and understanding basic human tendencies and how they fuel innovation in Disney Parks around the world. I know from personal experience that locking yourself out of your dorm for the sixth time can get a little annoying. And I can’t i
magine having to deal with being locked out of a room when you could be exploring the Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse and Elsa. But these problems are what Mr. Betts lives to solve. From creating wearable technology that replaces your room key to developing a more accessible FastPass, Mr. Betts is the invisible Mr. Incredible of Disney’s clientele. One of the fundamental reasons he’s become so successful is that he understands that fixing the little problems is what means the most.
And that’s why I’m here. After making it through the stress of finals and moving out, I got to see what I’m really working towards: solving problems, even the little ones, to make everyone’s life a bit easier.
Now until next time… TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!!!!!!!!