Business Student Needs Advice on Achieving Goal(s)

Okay, so I’m currently a business student looking to get my MBA in the next few years. I have a passion for owning my own business and love to do all the work associated with it (with the exception of handing over my money hehe). I have a few goals and I want to know how practical they are and how I would go about getting there. Whenever I talk to people I know about these things, mostly family members, they roll their eyes and sigh, telling me to go be a manager at some McDonalds or something… I’m hoping that by posting here, i’ll get more mature responses that will actual help :slight_smile:

My main interest is Entertainment industry. My first and main goal/dream is to own an Amusement park with full game room (arcade), a few water slides, a hotel, and restaurants in the park (modeled after Disney with more thrill rides like 6 flags). I have many ideas for this and this and is my DREAM.

I’ve worked in an amusement park and I couldn’t help but keep saying to myself, “I can do this so much better”, “if I changed that, it would bring so much more business”, etc.

It’s a passion and a dream that I really what I want to make happen. My first thought was indoors but have been told it would be hard to put coasters and taller rides inside a building. But I have many ideas for an indoor park/themes/etc.

I’ve been on websites for used rides and have calculated costs for several decent rides and the electric for those rides. It all seems out of reach… But there has to be a way… I just have to find it.
I want to know what I should do now to work my way up. I need help planning this and I don’t know who to confide in for advice. I feel stupid asking professors because I’m afraid they’re just going to think like my family does and the one I asked just didn’t know… (and he was my small business professor).
I need to find the best ideas on how to come up with money for an idea like this, IE opening up smaller businesses to make money and then selling them off to pay for the bigger idea… I’d love to start a business that is highly profitable to help fund my goal!

Back when I was 13 I had the idea of an indoor skate park. My grandfather loved it, mother thought I was stupid. 2 years later we opened and it was the hit of the town. With my grandfathers guidance we were able to make my dream into a reality. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the most, well versed with how to finance a business and took most of the financing through high interest credit cards… :smack: the business closed after a year but it was a great experience. He’s since passed and was the only one I could confide in for my crazy business ventures. (he owned a disco roller rink, ice skating rink, bumper cars, a whole entertainment complex before I was even thought about.)

ANYWAY, sorry if I seem like I’m rambling, or talking in circles, I get really worked up about this idea! :slight_smile:

Any input, advice, etc would be great… Also… I’d like to do this sometime in the next 15-20 years so I’m not 85 years old by the time it opens :slight_smile:

Thank you all a bunch!

Seems to me you’d need loans, and to get loans you need banks to have faith in you, and for banks to have faith in you you’re going to (at least) need professional experience in the amusement park industry (not as a ride operator, but as a full-time, management-level employee). No bank is going to give a fresh graduate hundreds of millions of dollars to create a theme park from the ground up, so I’d recommend working your way up in existent theme parks (networking in the mean time, as those contacts would certainly be of use later). Then once you have everything down you could move toward creating your own or buying an older theme park and fixing it up.

So I’d probably want a management position at a theme park?

Banks should be more trusting… I promise I’ll pay them back :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, I mean you really do need industry experience at several different levels and fields, especially if you plan on eventually undertaking such a huge project like building a theme park from the ground up. Plus, it lets you learn from the company’s mistakes on their dime rather than yours, so that you (hopefully) won’t subsequently make the same mistakes later. :slight_smile:

Disney and Six Flags both have paid professional internships; great way to establish credibility and make contacts.

Walt Disney himself had trouble financing the creation of Disneyland, and he was the founder and creative visionary of a major movie studio that owned the rights to the most popular children’s characters on the planet. There is no way you will be able to get investors to back an amusement park project with your current credentials.

If you want to realize your dreams, there are three ways to go about it:

  1. Create some amazingly popular new intellectual property. If J. K. Rowling decided she wanted to make “HarryPotterLand” I’m sure she could find investors.

  2. Make a zillion dollars doing something boring, then finance your amusement park yourself. Of course, it’s really hard to make a zillion dollars doing something that you don’t love … .

  3. Start on the ground floor at an existing park and work your way up. Get an entry-level job at Disney or Six Flags and learn how the industry operates from the inside. Make contacts, and build up your reputation as a smart, creative manager. After ten years you should know enough to figure out how to pull off starting your own park.

Since the OP is seeking advice, this is better suited for IMHO than GQ.

General Questions Moderator

Save a hundred dollars a month in a low interest safe account. Never take from this account and do this for 15 or 20 years and you should be all set. Fore go extravagances while you are young. No big family, fancy car, expensive home. What ever it takes to save and make interest on your nest egg. Don’t let it rule your life but do this and you will be set. I dated a frugal man that became a millionaire by doing just this. He retired at 40 and married a school teacher and lives in a beautiful home on the Maine coast. Good Luck :wink:

Really I would have thought a formal business school education would help you define realistic goals and develop a plan for reaching them.

No one is going to hire you to run Busch Gardens or give you enough money to start another Six Flags right out of b-school. If that is what you want to do, try and figure out who is doing those things and find out how they got their start. Try to map out the career path to figure out the steps and timeframe to go from recent entry level MBA grad to head of Beyond Imaginationland.

You need to get a job with one of the major theme park companies. You won’t start out in management. With an MBA, you would most likely start in an entry level associate position in a their business development or corporate finance groups. Do good work. Sell your ideas to your bosses, and if they are good, you will move up. Develop contacts all along the way (bankers, suppliers, investors, managers, etc.).