ORIGINALLY POSTED 10/01/2017 |
FROM THE FALL 2017 ISSUE
Amy Greive’s imagination is on display around the world. Maybe you've seen it while sailing the high seas, staying at a luxury resort in Hawaii, or frolicking with Snow White at Disneyland.
As a Disney Imagineer, Greive has had a hand in designing such company attractions as Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California; Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawaii, and Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, two cruise ships.
"University can’t prepare you for everything you’ll face as a new graduate, but I enjoyed a flying start, thanks to the College of Architecture."
First, what is an Imagineer?
Walt Disney Imagineering was founded in 1952 to oversee the design and production of Disneyland. It’s made up of artists, designers, architects, engineers, and everything in between. From castles to cruise ships, floating mountains and soaring roller coasters, storybook villages and alien planets, if you can imagine it, we can build it and bring it to life.
As an Imagineer, I have a unique outlet to create joy for a living by fusing rich storytelling with innovative design and cutting-edge technology. I celebrated my 10th anniversary as an Imagineer this year and have had the opportunity to work on projects around the globe.
How did you land the job?
I first heard about Imagineering when I was about 12 years old. While visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida with my family, I bought a giant blue book that explained how these dazzling, immersive environments were conceived and produced. As I flipped through the book, I remember thinking, This would be the dreamiest of dream jobs.
Fast forward to nearly a decade later, Disney recruiters came to my college campus looking for candidates to fill professional internships within the Disney College Program. I applied and was accepted as the first professional intern within the department of architecture and facilities engineering, which is a separate segment from Imagineering. Later, I had the opportunity to fill a temporary assignment with Imagineering. Landing a permanent position had much to do with taking ownership of my work, making lasting impressions, being a positive team player, and simply being ready at the right time.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The best part would have to be the opportunity to collaborate with outrageously talented people: filmmakers, performers, designers, costume makers, and all manner of science and technology wizards. On almost every major project we team up with visionaries and game changers from countless fields—from robotics to botany. We learn from Nobel laureates, Pritzker Architecture Prize recipients, and Oscar winners. Collaboration is a vital part of how we create, especially when Imagineering houses over 140 different disciplines.
How did UTSA influence what you are doing now?
University can’t prepare you for everything you’ll face as a new graduate, but I enjoyed a flying start, thanks to the College of Architecture. To use fitting metaphors, UTSA provided a solid foundation in addition to numerous windows of opportunity. My professors and student colleagues motivated me to continually learn, search for more than one solution to any given challenge, respect different perspectives, and above all, embrace teamwork. There’s hardly anything truly great in this world that doesn’t come about through collaboration.