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Advice for getting my foot into the industry door

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hey all.

So, here's the deal. I'm a recent college grad (Colorado College '06) with a Psychology degree. My current plan is to do marketing within the ski industry, or for a firm in a ski town. I can't imagine doing anything different or living somewhere else right now, so that's the goal. I have a lot of marketing experience through running various groups on campus, and I also have some relatively decent IT skills. I make websites on the side for money, and I have my own that I'm working on as well. I've thought about working, if they'll have me, for places like Vail, Intrawest, Backcountry.com, Matchstick Productions, etc.
I've worked in the ski industry for 8 seasons (9 come this winter), but only as a ski instructor. I'd like to find a more stable, year-long job that still lets me ski. aka if I have to be behind a desk, my skis better be in my office. So here's the question. For anyone in the industry or in marketing, what would be the best way for me to get my foot in the door? Any tips? THANKS!
pj
post #2 of 25
The best part about working in the industry is the long hours, especially in the winter, but don't fret because the pay tends to suck too.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
haha. i'm ready for that. call me young and idealistic, but i think i'll be happy if i can make enough to support a family and ski a lot. what do you do?
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HookedOnWinter View Post
haha. i'm ready for that. call me young and idealistic, but i think i'll be happy if i can make enough to support a family and ski a lot.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As far as supporting your family, will your wife have a good job? Most people in teh industry are in it for the love, not for the money.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As far as supporting your family, will your wife have a good job? Most people in teh industry are in it for the love, not for the money.
It would be great if she had some money so I could just ski
Right now I'm not married. Or engaged. Or really even dating. So I'll get back to you on that one.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HookedOnWinter View Post
It would be great if she had some money so I could just ski
Right now I'm not married. Or engaged. Or really even dating. So I'll get back to you on that one.
If its just yourself? Go for it! Get a job in a shop, make buddies with the reps, offer to be their tech guy at demo's. If you see a Rep's van at a store, mini-mart motel, wherever, stop. Find him, offer to help at demos, be a grunt and get your name in their faces. Get all the magazine gear reviews learn all the gear so when you you talk about their line, you can talk intelligently.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
If its just yourself? Go for it! Get a job in a shop, make buddies with the reps, offer to be their tech guy at demo's. If you see a Rep's van at a store, mini-mart motel, wherever, stop. Find him, offer to help at demos, be a grunt and get your name in their faces. Get all the magazine gear reviews learn all the gear so when you you talk about their line, you can talk intelligently.
Oh gotchya. Yah, i'm pretty good with that stuff right now. A lot of my buddies are in ski shops in vail, etc. A friend runs Crested Butte. I was referring more to getting into the marketing side of the business. Bridging that gap from seasonal employee to full-time admin...
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HookedOnWinter View Post
Oh gotchya. Yah, i'm pretty good with that stuff right now. A lot of my buddies are in ski shops in vail, etc. A friend runs Crested Butte. I was referring more to getting into the marketing side of the business. Bridging that gap from seasonal employee to full-time admin...
Try to get into Crested Butte, talk to anyone here that deals with the Muellers, all are very happy with them as employers.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Try to get into Crested Butte, talk to anyone here that deals with the Muellers, all are very happy with them as employers.
hehe yah, i'm one of them. lol
I was referring to Ethan when I said I know a guy.. trying to be modest!
post #10 of 25
Phil is not kidding about the pay. If you choose the ski industry, be prepared for making somewhere about half of what you could outside of the hospitality industry. I know a few execs in the business and they are not making nearly what they could in just about any other industry. That said, they are probably as happy or happier that other execs outside the industry that I know.

Powdr
post #11 of 25
Yes be ready to be broke or hungry, or both. After rent and groceries, you'll be lucky to have enough for the daily happy hrs at the bars.
I worked the industry for 15 fun seasons. When i left i was the highest paid hourly employee in my dept. and that was just over $12.00, but it took 15 years to get that.
Marketing? be ready to spend many countless hours stuffing large envelops with resort info,plus at the same time holding a phone in one hand. Maybe spending a few days a year at ski shows. And when you are actualy at the resort working, you just might get lucky to be able to get out on the mtn for a few hours aweek, testing the 'product'. I knew people in marketing where i used to work, and it was very rare for them to get out on the mtn.
Now if you had liecense, say to work with eletricity, mechanical,hvac, then maybe you could survive, working the in industry.
So you said you instructed for 8 years, don't you have enough of a retunring client base, that you can make a decent living ?. I know many instructors who do pretty good, each season, so that they they can take a couple of months off in the summer, and not worry about paying the bills. Of course they have been instructiing 10-15 years.
People who work in the industry,do it for the love of skiing,and being outdoors, not for the money.

The best way to get in the door, start knocking now. Check resort website for open poistions. If they do offer IT and marking jobs go for it.
www,saminfo.com is a good lead for you, the ski resort industry leading. magazine, they have links to some resorts who have openings.
post #12 of 25
24 years, well paid & pretty happy.

You want to talk, send me a PM.
post #13 of 25
Entry level resort marketing jobs will have long hours and low pay. There is decent money to be made eventually, but the long hours will never completely go away. Interest in these jobs though is always high, so I would recommend networking with people at the resort you've already worked at. Or trying to start in another position you can find at the resort you feel is right, make the right contacts and if a position opens up you can at least be at the front of the line (many resorts, like other companies, will try to fill positions from within). Otherwise, get an agency job and keep sending out resumes as you gain experience!
post #14 of 25
When I lived at Whistler, we always pitied the guys working for the mountain (then, Garibaldi Lifts). They got paid zilch, and had to work when everyone else was skiing.

Some of us took jobs working construction in the summer, waiting tables (good money), or working graveyard shift at a sawmill.

I know you're looking for something more long-term, with a future.

But, at least with those jobs, we could "live the dream", without giving-up on skiing. We were on the hill virtually every day, until it got old (for most, it actually does), and we decided to get real jobs.

The closest thing I saw to an industry job that made sense, was manufacturer's rep. They traveled and actually skied.
post #15 of 25
You might want to check this out re: Backcountry.com

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=63633
post #16 of 25
It's not easy.

I'll tell ya how I did it if you want to PM.
post #17 of 25
This is a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Do you move thre first or get a job first? Move there first! It's much easier to get a job if you are a "local", so the sooner you pick a place and move there the better. And hurry up before you accidentally end up married with 2.5 kids and a mortgage.

I hear Crested Butte is looking for Marketing people for their many real estate projects. That would be a good gig. You could actually ski on powder days!
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
This is a chicken or the egg kind of thing. Do you move thre first or get a job first? Move there first! It's much easier to get a job if you are a "local", so the sooner you pick a place and move there the better. And hurry up before you accidentally end up married with 2.5 kids and a mortgage.

I hear Crested Butte is looking for Marketing people for their many real estate projects. That would be a good gig. You could actually ski on powder days!
Yah, CB is on my top list right now. And i'm planning on moving first, worrying about the job after, unless one pops up. IT'S SNOWING IN COLORADO!
post #19 of 25
Take a look on the websites of companies like intrawest, and such. There are websites for Vail, Beaver Creek, etc... that have job postings. Most the standard seasonal jobs have salaries posted. Not bad for a youngin. But, the year round jobs, that you might actually need a degree, or experience for don't tell you what the pay is. Why not enter in your resume, and if they call you, then you can ask what they are willing to pay you. I was just taking a peek myself, wondering what they would pay a tradesman like me, but apparently I have to apply. Im afraid if I do, I might just take off on a whim.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by HookedOnWinter View Post
Hey all.

So, here's the deal. I'm a recent college grad (Colorado College '06) with a Psychology degree. My current plan is to do marketing within the ski industry, or for a firm in a ski town. I can't imagine doing anything different or living somewhere else right now, so that's the goal. I have a lot of marketing experience through running various groups on campus, and I also have some relatively decent IT skills. I make websites on the side for money, and I have my own that I'm working on as well. I've thought about working, if they'll have me, for places like Vail, Intrawest, Backcountry.com, Matchstick Productions, etc.
I've worked in the ski industry for 8 seasons (9 come this winter), but only as a ski instructor. I'd like to find a more stable, year-long job that still lets me ski. aka if I have to be behind a desk, my skis better be in my office. So here's the question. For anyone in the industry or in marketing, what would be the best way for me to get my foot in the door? Any tips? THANKS!
pj
Here it is - work hard, play hard, the experience of a lifetime:

Job Opening: Operations Manager for Chugach Powder Guides
http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64229
post #21 of 25
Do it. It is not nearly as bad as everyone here makes it out to be. They are correct in that it takes a while to get established and the pay will suck for while. To get days on the snow you just have to be committed to taking the time out of your day. You will still get two days off a week and they will be midweek=no crowds. I started off working for the Muellers and have since moved on. They are a great company to start with as they are very well regarded when it comes to learning how a resort runs in the black. I don't think I would be where I am now if I was working for an ASC/intrawest. Crested Butte marketing is pretty well locked up so it might be tough, even if you know Ethan.

PM me if you'd like some more insight. I started seasonally in marketing 5 years ago and am now making a good living with what I consider a great career path ahead of me.

Did you grow up out east? I know some Okemo people who went to CC and should be graduating now. I might even know you!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Who do you know?

And thank you to everyone who's replied. I haven't had time to respond in full so I haven't at all. But thanks :-)
post #23 of 25
Giovanna Urist(sp?)
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
She was my roommate last year. Kinda know her... who are you?
post #25 of 25
You only kinda knew your roomate? PM me if you really want to know who I am.
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