College for Creative Studies: Product Design
As a designer for the Universal Orlando theme park in Florida, Chris Hopkins is literally working in a dream world that he creates on a daily basis.
He's created the world's largest margarita glass, parade floats for a famous ogre, and macabre Halloween props for thousands of thrill-seeking park goers.
"My favorite part of the job is that it is always changing, and that I am making guests in our parks smile everyday," said Hopkins, who studied industrial design at CCS.
That "job" entails hands-on design as well as overseeing the installation of the park's temporary attractions, shows, and exhibits around Universal Parks and CityWalk, a 30-acre hot spot for dining, entertainment and shopping located between the parks and hotels.
Hopkins' projects have included set and floats designs for Mardi Gras and Halloween events, float and 3-D attraction work featuring the movie character Shrek, outdoor exhibits featuring vehicles used in Universal films, and the world's largest margarita glass for Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe.
Hopkins got his start with Universal Orlando after completing a summer internship with them while a student at CCS.
"The experience I gained as a student, especially working and presenting designs to companies, was great preparation for my career," he said. "That was what offered me the most insight as I transitioned into the professional world."