Behind the Magic

By Matt Hawkins
June 27, 2014

Riders of Disney World’s newest roller coaster will stay safe because of the efforts of Bradley mechanical engineering major Brooke Swift ’15. The Disney intern is designing a process to check and maintain the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride through a spring and summer internship in Florida.

Working at Disney’s Central Shops, Swift is creating from scratch the maintenance program that will check and repair the roller coaster’s trains when they are due for servicing. She developed a long-range plan with a $1.2 million budget for parts that will keep the park’s newest ride operating smoothly. Additionally, she participated in design and budget planning for Disney’s infrastructure.

Swift, who wanted a Disney job since junior high, learned unexpected lessons about business and management processes.

“Knowing what goes into making the most magical place on earth is a lot more work than I ever thought,” she said. “This prepared me for the real world and how to handle business scenarios in the future. I now know how the company runs and how teams work together to accomplish tasks at Disney.”

The Disney internship has offered opportunities to learn by experience and through others. Disney’s relationship-centered culture has allowed Swift to glean wisdom from directors, mechanical engineers and managers. Plus, she has explored rides and has watched her projects come to life.

“The most gratifying part of this internship is being told my work is an asset to the team,” she said. “Knowing the team is grateful for my effort is a pat on the back because I look up to the team a great deal.”

Swift credits her supervisors for teaching her both technical knowledge and leadership skills vital for the workforce.

“My manager and director are the most amazing and driven people I have ever met,” she said. “Working for them makes the internship worthwhile. By working for them, I have gained some skills I know work well for them and helped lead them to success.”

After a summer exploring the Magic Kingdom, Swift hopes her childhood dreams will come true after graduation next May.

“I can’t imagine working anywhere else and I now have a drive to accomplish things previously deemed impossible,” she said. “This experience gave me passion to love what I do and not settle for anything less.”