It's A Big Universe

Manager, Strategic Innovation & Emerging Technology


Administration – IT
Orlando, FL
Universal Orlando® Resort is a universe of opportunities for people who have a lot to offer. It takes a special kind of person to work at Universal Orlando. An individual who knows how to be part of a team. Someone with a sense of fun who’s serious about their work. A person who knows it doesn’t take magic to put a smile on a guest’s face… it takes hard work, dedication, knowledge and just the right amount of Universal attitude. Whether you’re serving food, working in an office, maintaining equipment, performing in costume or operating a ride, you won’t just be “doing a job.” You’ll be creating memories for our guests that will last a lifetime. Are YOU that kind of person?

This role has responsibility for the successful planning and execution of Innovation Projects that comprise Strategic Innovation Programs, involving new and emerging technology, or the application of established technologies new to Universal. Requires a hands-on ability to develop projects from the conceptual stage, and evaluate new and emerging technologies and their application. Also requires management of multiple projects in different stages of development (within a given Program), leading cross-functional teams and managing external consultants, vendors and contractors.

This role will work closely with the Solutions Delivery, Infrastructure, Operations, PMO, Governance and Security teams, business partners, and vendors to define, develop, and execute assigned projects. This role also ensures the successful transition of Innovation projects to the Solution Delivery or Operations teams, in support of the project life cycle methodology to successfully meet the business goals.

This role also provides an organizing force as a catalyst to resolve challenges that surface, and determine solutions that preserve the value-proposition and maintain forward momentum — often vital to projects in the early stages of development, proof-of-concept and feasibility. The program approach also provides a holistic perspective, connecting the dots for key stakeholders from conceptualization to the realization of benefits, promoting the ‘art of the possible’ and assisting smooth transition through the project life-cycle and IT Build > Run organization.


  • Program, Project & Technology Strategy Leadership

    • Project-level management of multiple projects in different stages of development, leading cross-functional teams and managing external consultants and contractors.
    • Communicates project status with cross-department and cross-IT stakeholders
    • Manages project risks and issues and determines corrective measures

  • Program & Project Initiation

    • Facilitates the ‘Start-Up’ of new developmental projects.
    • Leads high-level sessions for project planning and development schedule.
    • Participates in the determination of KPI, benchmarks and success benchmarks.
    • Develops project plans.

  • Communication & Thought Leadership

    • Acts as communication conduit to executive sponsors & stakeholders
    • Escalates decisions to leaders and executive sponsors as necessary
    • Accountable to leaders and executive sponsors for schedule, budget, execution quality and delivery of key project initiatives.
    • Creates communication frameworks, examples (PowerPoint), and/or commissioning conceptual communication tools (Artist Renderings, Diagrams)

  • Assessment of New & Emerging Technologies

    • Participates in exploratory meetings & briefings
    • Facilitates on-property demos and expert presentations
    • Occasional travel to key technology learning and briefing opportunities

  • Business Case Development

    • Participates in conceptualizing and promoting high-level business benefits, including creation of business cases for new projects or opportunities
    • Works with the Strategic Insights team on research & testing
    • Creates summary briefs and presentations for senior management
    • Interacts with contributing stakeholders in Finance, Business Development, Park Operations, and other teams

  • Resource Engagement & Management

    • Project leadership of supplemental expert resources
    • Relationship management (Contractor & Agency)
    • Participates in Contract and Procurement process

  • Budget Management

    • Establishing project cost parameters.
    • Regular meetings and interaction with UPR Finance Manager(s)
    • Budget tracking and issue resolution

SCOPE: Budget, Directing Internal & External Resources, Creative Problem Solving, Effective Interaction with all levels of management, and providing program & project leadership with a fair amount of autonomy.


  • Solid practical experience dealing with project management, particularly dealing with the implementation of new technology and or ways of doing things.
  • Ability to understand and engage broader business strategy, work with key department leaders and stakeholders and align activities and initiatives.
  • Ability to create form, structure, process and logical testing and development plans for exploratory projects, trials and or proof-of-concepts with multiple possibilities for application.
  • Subject matter expertise in one or more relevant IT disciplines (e.g., software development, network engineering, IT infrastructure, IT architecture, etc.) desired.
  • Cross-Team/Cross Department Project Leadership experience.
  • Strong Organizing & Inter-Personal Skills.
  • Ability to work progressively with a wide range of individual levels, sponsors, stakeholders and resources.
  • Technology experience/background a plus.
  • Experience working at a start-up or with new product development a plus.
  • Works with internal business clients and external vendors.
  • Strong written, verbal communication and presentations skills, ability to present information to different business groups. Requires the use of sound business judgment in coordinating projects. Conflict resolution and problem solving techniques required. Good in presentation, facilitation, communication, and negotiation required.
  • Work independently with minimal supervision. Ability to build and lead a team in completing a project.
  • Some travel possible to support Parks Technology division and client locations.


  • High school degree or GED is required.
  • Technical school: IT-Relevant Certifications: PMP, Agile/Scrum, ITIL, Innovation.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; preferably Engineering, Information Technology/Systems, Project Management, Computer Science, Mathematics, Industrial Design, or Business.
  • Master’s degree is preferred; preferably Engineering, Information Technology/Systems, Project Management, Computer Science, Mathematics, Industrial Design, or Business. Other Majors considered with ample relevant work experience.
  • Professional Certifications and/or Continuing Education are desirable.

EXPERIENCE: 5 – 7 Years of experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

CERTIFICATIONS, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS: IT-Relevant Certifications such as PMP, Agile/Scrum, ITIL, Innovation, CISSP, MCSE, or CCNA are desirable.

Your talent, skills and experience will be rewarded with a competitive compensation package.

We regret, due to the volume of responses, only applicants of interest will be contacted. Universal is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity. All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Universal Orlando via-email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written Statement of Work in place for this position from Universal Orlando HR/Recruitment will be deemed the sole property of Universal Orlando. No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Universal Orlando as a result of the referral or through other means.

To go directly to this position cut and paste the Job Posting number: 30807BR


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