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My life and skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 49
Yeah, my parents made me do that, too. (By the way, I got my MBA in accounting...god, that got me boring jobs and life in a cubicle, fortunately I transitioned into the tech fields when my daughter was born.) But, now when I am raising my own child, I told her she could take a year off to race before college if she liked. She didn't take that option, but it was offered. As a parent, I think kids need to be given options to control their own destiny as long as they understand the consequences.

I was kind of an aimless drifter in college. I got more purpose after I was working for three years and went back to get my grad degree ready to work more and play less. Maybe I'd have gotten more out of college if I'd had to work some trash job before I started.
post #32 of 49
Comment heard at the summit patrol room this past week end.

"We who love the outdoor recreation and mountains so much, find a way to make a living at it, and then discover that we now get to assist and watch as others enjoy the mountains and outdoor recreation"

I never was good at making plans.
How did I grow up to be a rocket scientist?

post #33 of 49
I am a CPA and can tell you that Canada has a similar designation (I think it is Chartered Accountant). The CPA rules and education requirements are very stringent in the US, so there may not be reciprocity.

I would advise you to find what you like and then pursue it. If you really don't like accounting, you won't be happy doing it.:
post #34 of 49
Thread Starter 
It looks like there is a reciprocity exam for Canadian and Australian accountants:


I'm also thinking that if I got my B.S. at UBC I could come back to the US for my master's and then take the CPA exam. I should check up on this but I think it would work either way.
post #35 of 49
If you don’t know what field interests you yet, find out which colleges and majors will open more doors for you. Get more info from each college (e.g., career placement center), including what their grads are doing and where, what employers are interviewing on campus and for what positions, and grad school stats. Unless you have connections, your college and major will be important when you first start working, and if you are interested in grad school.

There is no need to declare your major early, unless you are applying for an accelerated program or are unwilling to carry a heavier course load. Go with courses that will keep your options open – courses that are core requirements for majors that interest you, and/or that may be good to have under your belt for practical purposes. College is a great time to explore different fields. There is no harm in having more credits than needed to graduate. It will be more $/credit to take classes after graduation.

Try to gain insight into what interests you and what doesn’t. Work or intern in different fields (part-time in school or full time in summer), and ask a lot of questions. Some people know from day one what they want to do in life, while others need to sample a bit. And what you “do” in life does not necessarily end with college. It is a wonderful feeling when you finally do find something that really captures your interest.

Skiing is great. Don’t know much about the ski industry, but it seems you need the skill, connections, and/or determination to really get into it. If you (like many of us) do not meet this criteria, you will have to be a weekend skiier. That is not to say, however, that skiing is any less exciting. You will still ski the same, regardless of your occupation.
post #36 of 49
Speaking from personal experience, the accounting route is a good one. You're right, it will get you a good job anywhere you want to be. I'm doing that in Denver right now, and looking for controller work at Vail Resorts or Telluride or CB all the time. It's just a matter of time before I find the right opportunity and get to live there full time again. Accounting provides a hell of a work-living balance. Right now I'm working 35 hrs a week, taking the powder days off, and getting paid pretty well. The salaries don't have the high end that say, a law degree would have, but they are more than enough if you're content to drive a Subaru instead of a BMW, as I am. I couldn't recommend the accounting track more.
I don't have any idea about the parks and rec degree. Could have you outside more often than not, which is cool if it's your thing.

To be your age again.... have fun!
post #37 of 49
Originally Posted by Jtran10
It was suggested to me as the surest way to get a good job out of all the business disciplines (because of the three letters: CPA). I can see myself as an accountant for the sole purpose of having a good quality of life, although I also have to question whether I will have a quality of life when 5 days a week I'd rather be somewhere else. But I really do think I'll find something I really enjoy out of all the business disciplines.

And then I have to start back over again. It all goes back to not knowing really what I want to do, and therefore taking a year off to hopefully figure it out. I'm hoping I can be a year older and a year wiser, but only time will tell.
Not knowing what you really want to do is OK. The thing is, if you'd find out what you really want to do after one year. You might just be one year older..

So, go to college, get a degree in accounting. You'd then have a degree to make a good living with. Not knowing what you want to do could take a whole life time. It's important meanwhile, to be able to support yourself.
post #38 of 49
Don't see anyone mentioned this but you could look into the nursing field. Lots of jobs everywhere, good pay and very flexible working arrangements seem to be had, 3 day weeks, work week ends or night shifts etc. My brother in law is one and he makes some serious money with a 3 (12hour) day work week. P.S. I'm in the trades and that can provide a good living ( as others have said) with good flexibility if you work for yourself. Sounds like you really don't want to be stuck in an office 5 days per week for your life so be creative and check out different things. Great advice from others who suggest having some fun in your twenties because the rest of your life is a long time.
post #39 of 49
If you want to take time off, I'd suggest that you strongly consider it before you get to school. Unless you're lucky or have been doing the most profitable paper route known to man, you'll owe money when you graduate. Student loans are a PITA in that they severely limit your options when you graduate (particularly given the recent changes in bankruptcy law); it's a lot harder to go focus on being a young adult when you've got $20k in debt hanging over your head and payments looming six months after you graduate. Of course, if you go *before* you leave for school, that might affect your health insurance status (I know that one of the reasons I couldn't really consider taking a year off was that my parents' health insurance would cover me only so long as I was a student and a dependent, so I would have been immediately dropped after high school if I wasn't heading off to college immediately thereafter).

With that said, I think that it's more important to have a job that you enjoy and that fits the lifestyle you can (realistically) live with. Accounting is a great field to get into for job security, IMO, because every company (including ski areas, as already noted) needs accountants (if I had the free time and money, I'd consider adding an accounting degree to my Comp Sci/English Lit double-major). On the other hand, if you have a severe dislike for accounting, doing it 40 or 60 hours a week will just drive you nuts.

Personally, I decided to go to a liberal arts school in ski country because I had been living five minutes from a major ski area throughout high school and couldn't bear the thought of not being within easy day-tripping distance; I picked Saint Michael's, went in as an "exploratory" major with the intent of not majoring in Comp Sci, and decided after two CS classes that I did want to be a CS major. I then decided to take a couple of writing classes, which led to wanting to minor in English, which led to a double major. In the time frame, I learned a lot and really enjoyed the college experience; having been out for a few years, I'm still quite glad I went despite owing in excess of $15k even after three years of payments. I didn't get as much time on snow during school as I would have liked, but I did still get some good days in and was able to go home and coach and/or work races during breaks.

If skiing is an important component of your life, then making it an important consideration when choosing colleges isn't a bad idea. Making it the only consideration probably wouldn't be very bright. I'd say the same thing about degree programs--if you're 120% positive that you want to go into a certain career field, you've wanted that all your life, you've already job-shadowed folks in the field...great, go into that program at the school that has the best program for that field. Otherwise, go in with an open mind and try to take a good variety of classes; see what interests you.

As another poster alluded to, money is a means to an end. If you have enough to get by and make a little progress in terms of net equity and you get to spend time doing the things you love, I'd say you're doing pretty well. (Granted, that comes from someone who is willing to be content with a 400-sq-ft slopeside studio apartment and a '91 Golf GTI with over 215k on the clock).
post #40 of 49
Originally Posted by Cgrandy
Comment heard at the summit patrol room this past week end.
"We who love the outdoor recreation and mountains so much, find a way to make a living at it, and then discover that we now get to assist and watch as others enjoy the mountains and outdoor recreation"

Yup, I hear similar comments from a lot of my friends in the industry. If you want to ski, sell pool equipment, if you want to surf, sell ski equipment.
About accounting, think tax season, isn't their busiest time of year from Jan. 1 untill April 15th.? Doesn't that sound silly.
post #41 of 49
Originally Posted by Jtran10
I am currently a freshman in college and have decided to "relocate" for next year. I applied to UVM, Utah and Montana State (I got my acceptance letter here today) and am very unsure of where I want to go.

On top of all this I have no idea what I want to study (I am an accounting major right now). I know that acct. will get me a good career, making good money, in basically any place that I choose to live.

UVM is in-state for me, and is also only 10 minutes from home so I'd have to say this is the lowest choice for me. I was thinking of changing my major to sports management if I went to Utah (a subsidiary of the "Parks, Recreation and Tourism" major), but I have no clue what my job prospects would be with this degree, especially when I compare it to all the roads accounting can lead to. And no, I wouldn't major in this to have an easy major, I am truely interested in the courses involved.

I want to be able to ski (see the schools I applied to) but I don't want to throw away my future by majoring in something that won't help me later in life.

I am also thinking of taking a year off and ski bumming, but I don't see how I will know any more clearly what I want to do with my life afterwards.

I know that this isn't totally ski related but I wanted to look for insight and wisdom here, because I know that many of you are older then me and have probably experienced this at some point in your life.
I am so glad to see you have considered taking time out to do what you love and give yourself a chance to figure out what you want to do with your life.

My suggestions:

1. Take a year off
2. Move out on your own
3. Spend your year, or part of it, in another country.

It isn't the amount of time you take off that will help you decide your future, it is what you do with that time.

If you spend it in familiar circumstances, with familiar friends and family, nothing much is likely to change.

Get set up with a program or do it on your own, but going to live in another country will do more for you than anything else. Unless you live in total isolation it will help you find out who you really are.

Everyone will tell you that living abroad is great because of the women (or men, I guess), because of the culture, meeting people who see the world differently, the good times, women, the song, architecture, women, different languages, women, etc. It's the effect all of these will have on you that is the important and richly rewarding thing.

One thing: When you get home after being away it is practically impossible to explain to people how it affected you.
It'll seem as if you've been away for years because you've packed a ton of life-altering experiences into a short time, and your family and buddies probably spent that same time doing their normal thing.
It a bit like the "twin paradox".

Too many of my undergrad friends allowed their lives to be dictated by how much money they could make. The first thing that happens is you have car payments, maybe a mortgage - and you never get to do all the things you thought you might.
You're young - do it now. Don't be like my like old friends, saying they wish they would have.

BTW - Just so you know: you'll be a hit with the women in whatever country, simply because you're a foreigner - and when you come back home, you'll be a hit with the ladies because you've turned into a sophisticated, living-abroad, kind of guy.
post #42 of 49
I don't know anything about your interests, or what you want to do long term, but I agree with the people who said it'd pay off to buckle down and get through school. I think the sooner you do it, the easier it is, and that it's pretty easy for a year off to turn into a bit more when you find something that you enjoy for that year. I've known alot of people that the year off turned into two or three, then after a while it became hard to shift back into putting the time into school and not making money. To each their own tho, and I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.

Just a thought tho, and I guess this is a question for the instructors out there, does a degree in education, (or e.c. if you wanna teach kids) help at all with instructing jobs?

good luck!
post #43 of 49
Going north of the border, if you choose to take an accounting degree, will make it a bit more difficult if you choose to come back to the US later. I'm not saying that the quality of the education is a problem but the accounting rules are different in the US and Canada despite current attempts to converge them.

You will have a more challenging hurdle in passing the CPA exam if your educational preparation is from Canada--not impossible but more difficult.
post #44 of 49
Originally Posted by Jtran10
I think I just saw the light, although I'm not sure. Here's my plan:

Fall semester 06: Go to UVM, live at home, just stay on track, apply to UBC for the coming fall
Spring semester 06/07: Work at a ski resort out west
Summer 07: Work
Fall semester 07: go to UBC (assuming I get in) - world-class school with world-class skiing nearby.

I just don't know how a Canadian accounting degree would work out here in the US (if that's the path I choose). Hmmm
You would be shooting youself in the foot jumping around like that. Go to UVM and live on campus, not at home. Get the basic courses down and talk to your advisor and others for help in planning your future.

You can always take a semester away from UVM and get credit without transferring.

I went to UVM and it's a great place to go to school. There are a lot of distractions so be vigilant and watch the partying!

Going to school in Vancouver will be a pain in the ass. UBC is no better than UVM and the college scene in Canada weak. UVM is right there and it will be a blast. The kids who are attracted to UVM are serious skiers and the like. You won't find that in Vancouver.
post #45 of 49
Oh, forgot to mention: I lived in Canada - Vancouver and Whistler for a few years. I know a little about the colleges there since I was a coach. I'd be real carefull about getting wrapped up in UBC. You need to go visit the place as see what the college is like. It's not like an American school. Canadian schools are more restricted to knowledge and less dedicated to the total college experience, IMHO.

It ain't no UVM.
post #46 of 49
post #47 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone so much. That CNN Money link is really interesting.

I had a phone appointment with someone at UBC on Monday and have decided that if I really am going to stick to the accounting root I will not be going there. Just seems too complicated.

I acutally was thinking almost exactly what OldSchool said. Take a year off, go around Europe in the late fall, and then live somewhere out west and work/ski in the spring.

Today I realized that someone I really envy and admire is my cousin, who recently graduated college with a degree in creative writing and is living in Boulder, bartending at Q's (for those of you familiar with the place) and paying all his bills, while skiing 80 days this year. He is loving life and acutally supporting himself without a "useful" college degree, which is awesome in my book.

I don't know how this will play a factor in my decisoins for my future, if any. One thing I did learn though is that I'd rather be happy than rich. I guess that's a big step towards the future, but I still have quite a few left.
post #48 of 49
I didn't read your whole thread. I am certain that you were given excellent advice from the members and supporters here. But, being a graduating college student (finance and marketing) I can shed the small amount of wisdom that I have on your situation.

First, very few high school seniors know what they want to do when they leave high school (nothing to be ashamed of). If you don't know, it's not a big deal. A lot of the people I know did the 5-year plan in college (myself included) because they changed their major or area of interest once they got to school and were there for a few years. Second, once you decide what you are going to (even if it is a long way down the road), do it, and don't look back. Make sure it is something you enjoy and something you are confident that you can do. I'm not saying to not take risks, but when you take them trust that you aren't really taking a risk. You also may find that 3 or 4 years from now you will look back on where you are now and be very surprised/impressed at what you have accomplished. In my academic career (in college) I did and accomplished things that, if you had asked me as a freshman if I would have done them by the time I graduated, I would have said you were crazy.

The point being; you probably don't know now where you will be 5 years from now. Skiing is a huge part of my life, and it fueled some of the most important parts of my experience at my university. Without it, I would not have done most of the things I have done at school. However, I did not have to go west, or farther east to get these experiences, and it was not what I had planned when I left high school. So, you can make plans to jump around the country or the world during your college career/years(remember the opportunities that will be offered to you, study abroad, etc...), or you can stay in one place (where ever that may be) and make the most out of your experience there no matter what you do. No matter what you do though, make the most out of it and keep what you learn.


post #49 of 49
Couple of thoughts from a college prof:

1) Our average B.A. has 8 jobs after school before the/she finds one to keep, and it rarely has anything to do with the major. In turn, that major rarely has much to do with what students show up thinking they want to do. Obviously, engineers and doctors are exceptions to this, but you don't sound like you're bound that direction. So stop trying to figure everything out right now. Pick the best school academically and the rest will follow.

2) Skier 219 is right; students who try to balance studies with sports passion rarely do both well. Save skiing now for a few great weekends a season. Take a year or two off after school and just ski your b*tt off between waiting tables.
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