By Stephanie Sokol for OUSECS
Kimmy Romstad is using her Industrial and Systems Engineering background to help things run smoothly at the “happiest place on earth.”
After interning at Disney World for a year, the August 2014 Oakland University Industrial Systems Engineering alum recently accepted a position in forecasting and stocking costuming issue locations across the Disney property.
“Like many other Cast Members (Disney term for “Disney employees”), Disney holds a special place in my heart, as I cannot remember many childhood experiences more exciting than visiting Walt Disney World,” Romstad said. “Having had such great experiences visiting the parks, since I started college I made it a goal to either intern, work full-time, or both with The Walt Disney Company. I wanted to be part of the magic, behind the scenes, that delivers such an amazing guest experience.”
During her internship, Romstad learned the inner operations workings of different exhibits on Disney, and succeeded in contributing to them.
Later on, a former supervisor reached out to her about the opening, and she started in the Creative Costuming position this past June.
“As an ISE student, I was extremely curious and interested in working for The Walt Disney Company as an Industrial Engineer,” Romstad said. “I wanted to learn about all of the backstage operations that exist in order to produce a world-class entertainment experience for millions of guests each year. I wanted to be a part of the magic and help their business to be more efficient and productive, and thus, enhance the guest experience.”
The location had familiarity to her previous work at the resort, and so far she said the experience working there full-time has been great, though different.
The forecasting and stocking costumes position was created recently, and Romstad described it as “a liaison between the Inventory Planning team within Creative Costuming and the operational costuming issue locations.”
Unlike her internship, however, in this position she works on a different team and has more day-to-day responsibilities rather than long-term projects.
“The good part for me is that this position allows me to work on (the) leadership skills I haven’t previously had many opportunities to develop, such as being influential and persuasive, and learning how to train people and communicate information effectively,” she said.
Work done at Oakland University also helped her prepare for her career with Disney.
Her ISE courses and deep involvement in the program gave her a real-world perspective of what could be done in her field.
Robert Van Til, Professor and Chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering department within the School of Engineering and Computer Science, said Romstad represented the school and ISE well, and that this job will be a good fit for her.
“Besides being an excellent student, Kimmy has been a great ambassador for the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, assisting us with outreach activities and student engagement,” said Van Til. “We wish her all the best in her new position at Disney.”
In addition to her academic efforts at OU, Romstad was also very involved on campus. She belonged to Tau Beta Pi, Society of Women Engineers, Institute of Industrial Engineers, and National Society of Black Engineers, which additionally helped prepare her for this role.
“In my ISE courses at OU, there was a lot of real-world application, which helped me to understand an IE’s role in ‘the real world.’ Without the experiences I had in my classes at OU, I wouldn’t have been able to hit the ground running at an internship like this.”
To learn more about the Industrial and Systems Engineering Dept. at Oakland University, visit oakland.edu/secs/ise.
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