How did you end up in Aspen?
Aspen took a chance on me. I had no previous experience as a ski or snowboard instructor, but I appreciated that they looked at my character and who I was as a person to consider who they would want for their guests.
What do you tell your friends that you do for work?
I’m a snow sports instructor.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The community and connections you can build out here are awesome, and the support you get from managers and coworkers is enormous. We also have amazing training programs for Ski and Snowboard School, and I love that I’m able to continue training and acquire more certifications. It’s also great to have a year-round pass. I’ve gotten into downhill mountain biking because of our awesome summer benefits. Getting to rack up more than 100 days on the mountain per year every year I’ve worked here is incredible!
What do you find most challenging about your job?
The seasonality. However, you can work both summer and winter here.
What skills or characteristics would you think your job requires?
Be yourself. Our guests really appreciate authenticity. The knowledge and experience come over time. You have to like people. Communication skills go a long way, too. You need to be clear, ope, and honest. It’s important to understand our products and who we are as a company. As instructors, we are full of knowledge — so show your knowledge, but don’t pretend to know things you don’t. Everybody here is always learning. Above all, be honest and be you. When you can bring your personality and gifts to a professional space, you're able to do more than just coach.
What makes Aspen unique?
This is a place where work and play can really come together. I like the small close-knit community that's filled with a lot of diversity. There’s so many opportunities both professionally and personally and it’s an excellent lifestyle. Staying with Aspen Skiing Company also allows you to connect across so many circles. Any time I needed a job babysitting, it was there. Aspen is the perfect blend of city and small town.
What do you like about working for Aspen Skiing Company?
I think our culture as a company sets us apart in a really cool way, and it is a significant reason why people stay. People feel supported, connected and fulfilled, both personally and professionally.
Living and working in the Aspen area can be hard. how do you make it work?
By utilizing all local resources, employee housing, APCHA [Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority], Town of Snowmass Village, Craigslist and Roaring Fork Swap. When you move out here, understand that you may not get your ideal housing situation the first go-around. But once you get here, start building your network, and you’ll find the right thing pops up pretty quickly.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career or a season in Aspen?
If you're interested, take the chance and go for it! You need to have persistence and show them you want to be a part of this. Your job makes up your lifestyle, so think about what you want to get out of it. Arriving financially prepared helps a lot, but mostly, be ready to meet people and build your Aspen Snowmass family.
What makes you proud to work for Aspen Skiing Company?
We are so much more than just “ski bums.” The abundance of training opportunities makes it easy to excel and be proud here. I always wanted to be a professional athlete, but that is so competitive. Working in the Ski and Snowboard School is a way for me to be involved in athletics at a high level while getting paid for it! It’s so cool to be paid for your passion.