What was your favorite game as a kid? From Candy Land to hopscotch, our childhood memories are often framed around the games we played. But we didn’t even require games that were all that exciting. Anyone remember Heads Up 7 Up? I still don’t know what that game’s about! As we get older, we may need a little more stimulation from our game experiences. I recently discovered there’s a wonderland in England where adults can play with full-size construction equipment. So, there’s certainly no shortage of inspiration out there.
Today, resolve to let yourself be a kid again. That doesn’t mean you have to take a trip to Paris to visit Napoleonland. But at your next weekend soiree, instead of gathering with your girlfriends around cheese plates and wine flights, pull out Twister, grab some Ring Pops and just get silly!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1583
Some of your fondest childhood memories might land you back at a beloved amusement park. And while you may consider your favorite childhood ride, the Coney Island Cyclone—built in the 1920s—a pretty old roller coaster, amusement parks have been dazzling thrill-seekers for centuries. In fact, the world’s oldest operating amusement park, The Hill, located near Copenhagen, Denmark, opened in 1583! Originally built around a natural spring, the park’s more modern attractions include six roller coasters, bumper cars, a ghost train, a waterslide and even a cinema. To this day, it remains Denmark’s second-most popular attraction.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Linda Hung, Senior Director of Theme Parks at Forrec
In the wild and wacky world of amusement parks, we’ve come a long way since 1583, thanks, in part, to folks like today’s Woman to Watch. Linda Hung is the senior director of theme parks at Forrec, an international entertainment-design company based in Toronto. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to spend some time at Universal Studios Singapore, or LegoLand—in Florida or Malaysia—you’ve experienced Linda’s ingenious work. (I mean, LegoLand Florida’s Lost Kingdom Adventure—which has riders battle Lego mummies and skeletons in the search for hidden treasure—is worth the trip in itself!)
So, how does a fun-loving gal land every kid’s dream job? Hard work, of course. By the age of 13, Linda traveled an hour each way to work at an ice-cream stand in a mall, a job that, despite earning her about $3 an hour, she found completely fulfilling, in part, because she made people smile.
Later, she worked as a landscape architect, but found her true calling in theme-park development, which Linda calls the most fascinating work she’s ever done. But she admits she’s faced some challenges. For instance, some Forrec clients, particularly those in male-dominated cultures like China, are startled when they realize a senior representative of the company is not a man, but a savvy Canadian-born Chinese woman. But with her solid work ethic and extensive knowledge of the trade, Linda always wins their confidence, which is ultimately very empowering.
Linda has some stellar advice for early career go-getters. Work to develop your skill set, she counsels, but be sure to master each skill one at a time. Though it can be aggravating to fit patience into your entrepreneurial mindset, doing so, she says, will allow your career to naturally unfold and advance.
Linda gets her hardworking chops from her father, who always emphasized that no one is born wealthy, prestigious or famous, and that in her career, the only thing she can control is how hard she works. She’s definitely taken that attitude to heart, and these days, is putting in the hard work so kids and kids at heart the world over can enjoy a little amusement.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Let’s finish today’s ride with an anonymous quote about taking life’s challenges head-on:
“Life is like a roller coaster. You can either scream every time there is a bump, or you can throw your hands up and enjoy the ride.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.