Graduate goes from getting his degree to working at Disney
Degrees from North Central State can take you anywhere, even the happiest place on earth. Chris Ebinger graduated from NC State in 2015 and now works as the engineering service manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He earned his mechanical engineering technology and integrated engineering technology degrees at the college, where he says he learned the analytical thinking skill set that he applies to any problem or obstacle that he encounters in his life and career.
Ebinger was already working in his field of study when he chose to advance his career. “I was a journeyman industrial technician when I went back to school. I took some technical classes for the program at MTD Products in the mid-’90s,” he explains. “My wife and I decided skillset advance in my profession; I needed an edge over the competition. The degrees I received at NC State gave me the leverage I needed not only to advance my career but aligned me for my career.”
In Ebinger’s current role, he manages a team of cast members that ensure that the attractions at Animal Kingdom are properly maintained and comply with all safety standards. He also assists with troubleshooting problems with equipment and processes. “Some of the attractions I oversee range from high energy roller coasters like Expedition Everest to the most highly rated entertainment venue, Festival of the Lion King,” he explains. “Our goal is to make sure everyone that comes to Animal Kingdom will be able to enjoy all we have to offer and have a magical experience that will last a lifetime.”
While he was taking classes at North Central State College, Ebinger says the faculty was what he enjoyed most. “I didn’t really have a favorite instructor, because all of the faculty members I had a chance to be involved with were outstanding,” Ebinger said. “It was a very nurturing environment with most of the instructors or professors with “real-life” experiences and backgrounds in their field of study. The teacher to student ratio gave great opportunities to be more engaged in the classwork.”
“Even though it had nothing to do with my field of study, the history class I took gave me a new perspective on how different cultures perceived the facts of the past,” Ebinger said. “It taught me to look at a problem or event from multiple angles of perception to find the true meaning or root cause of the issue.”
For Ebinger, he believes that education was the tool he needed to get him to his current position. He believes everyone should take the chance to further his or her education. “Always keep education in your life,” he said. “Degrees are not the endpoint, but rather milestones tracking the progress you make in the journey of life. Never settle for less.”