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Colorado Mountain College/Steamboat? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
I'm sure you have your facts right BMM, but did these people get their positions right out of CMC or did they have to get their Bachelor's degree first?

I'm sure Neil had a few years of experience to get where he is now.

How many people walk out CMC into high paying jobs? And how many high paying jobs are there at Ski Resorts anyhow? I worked winters at a fairly big resort for ten years and the only high paying jobs I know of are those in the upper office that are employed year round.

Maybe there are some success stories at CMC Steamboat. We weren't. And being from out of State, it cost us alot more than a Colorado kid. Very few people make enough money in Ski Area Operations. You don't need to go to college to be a liftie or flip burgers in the base lodge.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
I'm sure you have your facts right BMM, but did these people get their positions right out of CMC or did they have to get their Bachelor's degree first?

I'm sure Neil had a few years of experience to get where he is now.

How many people walk out CMC into high paying jobs? And how many high paying jobs are there at Ski Resorts anyhow? I worked winters at a fairly big resort for ten years and the only high paying jobs I know of are those in the upper office that are employed year round.

Maybe there are some success stories at CMC Steamboat. We weren't. And being from out of State, it cost us alot more than a Colorado kid. Very few people make enough money in Ski Area Operations. You don't need to go to college to be a liftie or flip burgers in the base lodge.
I certainly understand your standpoint, Lars. To answer your question, not very many walk out into high paying jobs. That's life in the ski industry, regardless of your level of education. It's all about motivation, drive, and passion. The only one on that list that did walk out into a high paying job was John Paul Bradley. He was hired upon graduation as the GM. But he was definitely a unique case. One of the professors said they used to sit around and talk about how they'd all be working for him someday.

The point is, if you put the effort into it, and you are willing to work hard both at school, and in the business, this degree can help speed up the ladder climbing process. The fact is, if you just want to be a groomer or a snowmaker or a patroller for your whole life, then CMC isn't the place for you. It's a great overview to all of the various aspects of the industry. It creates a ski industry professional who can see the big picture of the business, and that makes him a more valuable employee in his respective department.

As for whether these guys had Bachelor's degrees or not, I don't know. I know that some of the most successful graduates did, and some did not. I'm not at all trying to belittle the importance or the significance of a Bachelor's degree. But I am trying to point out that it is not necessary for success, at least in this industry. The ski biz is more about OtJ performance, and who you know! CMC helps with both of those.

Re: how many high paying jobs are there in the industry... well, that's a highly regionally dependent figure. The NSAA puts out a salary survey every year, but it is extremely expensive if you aren't a contributing resort. But just couple very general salary range approximations for a variety of positions in Colorado (based on that survey):

Departmental Supervisor: $35,000-65,000
Departmental Manager: $55,000-85,000
Director Mt. Ops: $70,000-$120,000
VP Operations: $150,000-350,000


Supervisory level would be attainable within a short time after graduation, and management a couple years after that. My goal is to be in a Mt. Manager position in 15 years or so. There aren't many jobs in the industry that are high paying, but there are plenty of positions that pay pretty decent wages.
post #33 of 52
(a simultaneous post as above, so take it with a grain-of-salt.)

If this is just a Junior College (I didn't know that) and you'll be transfering your credits elsewhere, I'd still recommend moving overseas, like The Pyrenees (France/Spain border), study online via an accredited American university, and transfer to a four-year after a year or two. At least then you'd have all the resort experience you would have gained at Steamboat, plus int'l experience, plus foreign language fluency. (not to mention the stories you get from being abroad)

Most, if not all, salaried positions at ski resorts go to people with at least 4-year degrees. All other positions are simply walk-in applications, maybe take a pee test (doubtful) and start working.

For a permanent position, I would likely hire a 4-year grad of philosophy before hiring a 2 year grad of specified resort management, fwiw.

We don't meant to discourage you, we just think there are better pathways to accomplish your goals. you'll find success stories in all walks of life, but that doesn't mean that all walks of life are your best choices.

Bill Gates never even finished College. Try playing that card.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
(a simultaneous post as above, so take it with a grain-of-salt.)

If this is just a Junior College (I didn't know that) and you'll be transfering your credits elsewhere, I'd still recommend moving overseas, like The Pyrenees (France/Spain border), study online via an accredited American university, and transfer to a four-year after a year or two. At least then you'd have all the resort experience you would have gained at Steamboat, plus int'l experience, plus foreign language fluency. (not to mention the stories you get from being abroad)

Most, if not all, salaried positions at ski resorts go to people with at least 4-year degrees. All other positions are simply walk-in applications, maybe take a pee test (doubtful) and start working.

For a permanent position, I would likely hire a 4-year grad of philosophy before hiring a 2 year grad of specified resort management, fwiw.

We don't meant to discourage you, we just think there are better pathways to accomplish your goals. you'll find success stories in all walks of life, but that doesn't mean that all walks of life are your best choices.

Bill Gates never even finished College. Try playing that card.
You're not discouraging me. No worries there. No one has said anything that I haven't heard a million times before. I'm looking at this as much as a grand experiment as anything else. I am in a unique position in this business, because I grew up immersed in it. I had already established a reputation with many key persons in the New England industry before even considering going to CMC. I truly believe that I can be successful without a bachelor's degree. Not that I won't ever go that route, but just not right away. I would rather prove myself through my work and through my dedication than by waving a piece of paper around that means absolutely nothing to me.

I welcome each and every one of you to follow my career with interest, and time will tell what I am able to accomplish with a mere AAS. One simply never knows!
post #35 of 52
"For where, I ask, does academia get one, if he has not the skills and the knowledge necessary to become a contributing member of society?"

Ouch! Look, let's make a deal. You don't diss what I do, and I won't diss whatever you do. OK?

"That's simply not the case with the SAO program. The credits are all guaranteed transfers to Western State. As an SAO graduate, you can enter Western as a Junior in Business Administration."

Um, that's not really the very highest recommendation. With respect, Western State is not thought of as a stellar institution.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post
"For where, I ask, does academia get one, if he has not the skills and the knowledge necessary to become a contributing member of society?"

Ouch! Look, let's make a deal. You don't diss what I do, and I won't diss whatever you do. OK?
I'm not dissing anyone, and I do apologize if it came across that way. Academia can be a blessing or a curse. My question stands. What good does it do to "know" everything, but not have the skills to function in society? It's not a diss, it's a legitimate concern. I know many folks who have found a nice balance. I guess that's what it's about: balance. Too much to one side or the other, and you'll have trouble.

Quote:
"That's simply not the case with the SAO program. The credits are all guaranteed transfers to Western State. As an SAO graduate, you can enter Western as a Junior in Business Administration."

Um, that's not really the very highest recommendation. With respect, Western State is not thought of as a stellar institution.
Granted, but I don't think that was the point. The concern was transferability of credit hours. That's the guaranteed transfer. I'm sure there are at least a handful of decent schools that would transfer the majority of the credits into a business management type program. Being realistic, it would probably take a great deal of time and effort to figure out how to transfer the credits in a meaningful way, but I think it's possible.

I still find it astounding that so many people attend college simply to get that piece of paper that is supposed to guarantee career success. Me... I'd rather learn about a subject that interests me than get some piece of paper. Am I a lesser person for it? I don't think so. In fact (no arrogance or ego intended), I'm probably more learned, cultured, and "intelligent" than the majority of baccalaureate graduates today. Do I care? No. I just want to study something that interests me, and milk every bit of information I can out of the individuals teaching it.
post #37 of 52
Oragejuice, why not take a year or two off and be a ski bum? Work as a liftie, share a crap apartment with other ski bums, live the life. There's a thread on this.

Then, when you're ready to buckle down and study, go somewhere academically rigorous for a four-year degree. Somewhere not too far from - and not too close to - skiing. For instance, the state universities of Utah, Colorado, or Washington.
post #38 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
Oragejuice, why not take a year or two off and be a ski bum? Work as a liftie, share a crap apartment with other ski bums, live the life.
Been there, done that. I've been living on the Oregon coast this year, no work, no "real" school, and skied probably about 40 days this year. I want to be in school, so I can get my degree taken care of, I already feel behind, even after just a year. Weird, coming from a 19 year old, I know.

When looking at schools, major was a toss-up between Recreation Management (Ski Business @ CMC...), and Photography, I'm looking more at Photography now, after reading this thread, and others. It seems that I can learn what I want about the ski industry by LIVING in a ski town, duh... I guess the idea of majoring in "Ski Business" just sounded awesome, but seriously, I'm not a desk job person, or a corporate person (I would love to patrol, but that doesn't take college to do.... heh.), so photography seems to make more sense. BUT, CMC is still one of my top choices.

FWIW, I'm also looking at U Montana, Montana State and Western Washington, for the same programs. I would like to get out of the PNW for a little while though, I've grown up here, and its time for change, champagne powder and degree to pay the bills.

As for living overseas, not too fond of that idea. I've got friends near the places I am looking at moving, and, while visiting other countries would be amazing, I don't really want to LIVE there, unless we are talking about Whistler. Then... I'm down. :
post #39 of 52
Things are starting to sound a little contradictory. "I don't believe in just gaining a piece of paper." vs. "I already feel behind after one year of no school."

19 (and the next decade) is a time of significant personal growth for most people. To be honest, not many people who do finish 4-year programs finish with the progam they first began. Most of us change majors and even schools... a few times is common. Most of us also look at ourselves in our 30's and wonder how in the hell we got to where we are being as we'd never dreamed in our first three decades of life that we would be doing this. If you would have told me when I was 19 that I would be doing what I do today, I would have slapped you in the face out of hilarity and offense. I would have considered you insane.

You also mentioned that you're already looking at other schools in MT, WA, etc. This shows pretty early on that you're keen to grow but don't feel like you've found the path yet. Most of us search our whole lives for that path of ultimate growth and satisfaction. Not that I know, I'm only 32, but I'd be willing to bet all the others on this board who are older would agree. I'd bet there are some in their 50's who still don't know what they want to do with their careers. Or- maybe they do, but they're not doing it yet. If you're adament about the Ski Resort Management, check out Sierra Nevada, although they're a bit expensive.

I did actually notice some of your grammar in your writing indicating that you can hold your own in academic environments. You're right, you are more learned than some people with BA's. When I was a senior in English, my prof went off on us for having such bad grammar and wouldn't allow us to graduate not knowing how to use commas. (That was quite the humbling professor, btw.)

After I finished uni, I went back to the resort for a little over a year before I couldn't stand not being intellectually challenged. Life was boring outside the pressure of constantly needing projects completed and holding liberal debates with intellectually stimulating (geeks) individuals. That's why I began traveling and teaching. Then, that steadied and got boring. And now, I'm a busy-as-all-hell M.Ed. student designing a global educational curriculum that will link schools and students around the world to provide authentic foreign language experiences. And you thought FaceBook/YouTube was just for fun. Like I said, if you would have told me that I'd be doing that today when I was 19, I would have slapped you in the face. (Well, actually I wouldn't have believed that this technology would exist to provide foundations to educational curriculums. Which backs up the belief that 80% of the jobs today's youth will do as careers don't yet exist. Yours likely doesn't either.)

So, this rather long post will just end with this; There is nothing wrong with admitting that your goals will likely change and that you may not actually have everything figured out yet. Good luck, I doubt you'll settle with an AAS so you can manage a resort or that just 2 years down the road you'll still think college is about just gaining a piece of paper.

I don't advise taking a year off to "figure it out." You'll never feel comfortable with your decisions if you keep putting it off. Most of us are wrong most of the time anyway. Being wrong, however, doesn't equal regret. Don't ever get that one confused.

(apologies for going over the length requirements.)
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oragejuice View Post
Thanks for all the input, guys.

Another question, if you're living in Glenwood Springs, CO... and the Vail pass is a whole HELL of a lot cheaper than the A/H/B/S pass, what do you go for? Vail isn't that much further away from G.S. is it?

I've lived and skied extensively in both. The Aspen pass is worth the extra money. Rafta has bus service from Glenwood.
post #41 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
Things are starting to sound a little contradictory. "I don't believe in just gaining a piece of paper." vs. "I already feel behind after one year of no school."

19 (and the next decade) is a time of significant personal growth for most people. To be honest, not many people who do finish 4-year programs finish with the progam they first began. Most of us change majors and even schools... a few times is common. Most of us also look at ourselves in our 30's and wonder how in the hell we got to where we are being as we'd never dreamed in our first three decades of life that we would be doing this. If you would have told me when I was 19 that I would be doing what I do today, I would have slapped you in the face out of hilarity and offense. I would have considered you insane.

You also mentioned that you're already looking at other schools in MT, WA, etc. This shows pretty early on that you're keen to grow but don't feel like you've found the path yet. Most of us search our whole lives for that path of ultimate growth and satisfaction. Not that I know, I'm only 32, but I'd be willing to bet all the others on this board who are older would agree. I'd bet there are some in their 50's who still don't know what they want to do with their careers. Or- maybe they do, but they're not doing it yet. If you're adament about the Ski Resort Management, check out Sierra Nevada, although they're a bit expensive.

I did actually notice some of your grammar in your writing indicating that you can hold your own in academic environments. You're right, you are more learned than some people with BA's. When I was a senior in English, my prof went off on us for having such bad grammar and wouldn't allow us to graduate not knowing how to use commas. (That was quite the humbling professor, btw.)

After I finished uni, I went back to the resort for a little over a year before I couldn't stand not being intellectually challenged. Life was boring outside the pressure of constantly needing projects completed and holding liberal debates with intellectually stimulating (geeks) individuals. That's why I began traveling and teaching. Then, that steadied and got boring. And now, I'm a busy-as-all-hell M.Ed. student designing a global educational curriculum that will link schools and students around the world to provide authentic foreign language experiences. And you thought FaceBook/YouTube was just for fun. Like I said, if you would have told me that I'd be doing that today when I was 19, I would have slapped you in the face. (Well, actually I wouldn't have believed that this technology would exist to provide foundations to educational curriculums. Which backs up the belief that 80% of the jobs today's youth will do as careers don't yet exist. Yours likely doesn't either.)

So, this rather long post will just end with this; There is nothing wrong with admitting that your goals will likely change and that you may not actually have everything figured out yet. Good luck, I doubt you'll settle with an AAS so you can manage a resort or that just 2 years down the road you'll still think college is about just gaining a piece of paper.

I don't advise taking a year off to "figure it out." You'll never feel comfortable with your decisions if you keep putting it off. Most of us are wrong most of the time anyway. Being wrong, however, doesn't equal regret. Don't ever get that one confused.

(apologies for going over the length requirements.)
Thank you for your comments, Samurai, they're very encouraging, though, I must correct you. I definately don't see a degree as just a piece of paper. I actually really dislike the perception of college in this country. Going through high school, we are taught that you HAVE to go to college. You won't make enough money if you don't go to college, and what makes me even more sad, is that it's apparent that major doesn't really matter. As mentioned above, a BA in Philosophy has a better chance at a higher paying job in the ski industry than someone with an AAS in Ski Area Management. In an ideal world, college should be training for what you plan to do, and it seems to be this way in some places (European trade schools?).

If I sounded contradictory, I apologize. Let me clarify. I know what I am passionate about, and have explored several different career choices, that incorporate such. I've narrowed it down to a couple, and I'm ready to get to it. I've never liked school much, I almost dropped out of high school on several occasions. But I know that I want to have a good job, rather than make a living doing something that takes no schooling, because unfortunately, in this country, its hard to live that way, when you want to be traveling and active in the outdoors. I've taken the last year to try and decide what to work towards, and its been awesome to take a year off and THINK about what I want to do, rather than get caught up trying to work it out while in full time classes. I'm not to concerned with making lots of money either, just enough to be comfortable, and ski a lot, but when it comes to career, I want to love what I do, and that limits my options. Again, I feel that, in my case, further schooling needs to be an education fro what I plan to do with my life, not 4 years of money down the drain learning about Natural Chemistry, Statistics and all that. With the type of career I want to have, I don't need to spend a bunch of money on general requirement credits that wont really help me when I am out of school. Like I said above, business and corporations are not my cup of tea, and I really don't see the point in taking a bunch of classes that you hate, just so you can make more money in the industry you want to go into.

Am I making sense? To boil it all down, I don't see a degree as just a piece of paper. Getting a degree means that I will have learned the skills necessary to make my life easier. Going to photography school, I can learn how a camera works, how to take better shots, etc, etc. With that education, I can use my artistic eye and capture moments and parts of nature that will please the viewer. Do you think that I need a four year degree with a bunch of random classes to do so successfully? I hope not.

The same goes for the Ski Area Operations degree, which I am very interested in. I understand why BMM is doing what he is. He could start as a liftie, and work his way all the way up to the top, which would take a while. OR he can finish up his degree at CMC, and have a fantastic knowledge of what he wants to do with his life, and get a job as a ski industry professional, by demonstrating his education.

We all have different ideas of what school should be, and what a successful career looks like. I hope I accurately described mine?
post #42 of 52
Nice post, oragejuice.

I think samauri mixed us up, as I was mentioning the "piece of paper." But I think he misunderstood my comment as well. I was also commenting on our society's perception of college. My point was exactly as you mentioned in your post: I want to take classes that actually pertain to my (current) career choice, and that will actual provide real-world knowledge and experience. I was on that stupid "honors" track all through high school, taking honors and AP level gen ed courses. I have no desire to ever go through that again! I can't even begin to express how much I've gotten out of this program at CMC thus far. I realize that not everyone has the same experience, and not everyone is as passion/driven as I am!

Anyway... good post.

I'd also like to talk about ski industry jobs a little. Yes, if a ski area is hiring for a marketing, hr, or administrative position, then they would most likely hire someone with a four year degree, or with ample equivalent experience. None of those types of jobs are my cup of tea. I'm a mountain ops guy. If an area is hiring for a Mt. Mgr position, let's hypothetically say the following three ski bums apply for the position:

John Doe
BA Philosophy
2 year lift ops
4 years HR
4 years Guest Services
2 years Guest Services supervisor

Jim Smith
AAS Ski Area Ops
1 years lift ops
1 year snowmaker
2 years groomer
6 years lift maintenance + volunteer patroller
2 years grooming supervisor
2 year lift manager

Jack Jackson
BS Physics
1 year lift ops (20 years ago)
20 years engineer for Leitner-POMA


Which candidate is most qualified to run the mountain (lift ops, lift maintenance, patrol, snowmaking, grooming, snow vehicle maintenance, etc.)?

I don't think it takes a genius to figure out that, as long as his management/supervisory skills are up to par, Jim Smith is far more qualified than the other two applicants.

I guess that's kind of the general way I see my career path going. A couple years in a variety of departments, and then start working up through supervision, management, and ideally, general management.

For me, half the fun will be doing all of those jobs working up to upper management. Look, folks, I'm not in it for the money. You'd be stupid to get into the ski business if you want to make good money. I'm here because of all of the benefits and fun (and even the stress) that come along with the ski industry.

Oragejuice... if you have any interest in the SAO program, send me a PM and I can give you as much info as you want, and get you in touch with the professors.
post #43 of 52
DO NOT MAJOR IN PHOTOGRAPHTY AT CMC! The Glenwood Spring campus is the location with the photography program. The campus is outside of town and the campus has nothing on it but 3 buildings. Not much life there. You can ski Sunlight Mountain which is in Glenwood, it's a nice mtn with good glades and no crowds, the lifts are deathly slow and if it's a bad snow year they can really hurt as their elevation is lower. You can spend quite a bit for an unlimited Aspen pass, or several hundred for a few days here or you can get the Epic Pass for Vail which isn't much further than Aspen.

But my main point is that half that campus is doing photography, and there are only so many good photography jobs. The rest end up working for SharpShooters making $9.00/hour or doing weddings
post #44 of 52
Well said, OJ.

I know a lot of people have trouble with accepting the fact that their first two years of uni are core and don't apply directly to their major. I did too.

I have since learned that 4-year degrees are so standard, they're the new HS diploma. 4-year degrees show that you can learn new things. They show that you can follow through with long-term goals. They show that you can perform a variety of tasks. These characteristics fall into the bucket that makes up the belief you mentioned about it not really mattering what you have a degree in, as long as you have one.

I'll even go so far as to say that by the time you finish your Bachelor's, Master's will be the new standard for those who know exactly what career choice they want to make.

I didn't want to go to college. I sounded just like OJ. My dad virtually forced me to. Now, I'm preaching his words. Go figure.

I know it seems like a waste of money and time to gain those credits that don't apply to your career. But, many people say that about HS and end up dropping out. Those are the people that can't commit to long-term goals or learn new things. This is why I view Uni as the new HS standard.

FWIW, I knew a ski resort supervisor at a big western resort who didn't even have a HS diploma. He ran the snowboard side of ski school. (a well articulated kid, btw. I was suprirsed to hear he'd dropped out of HS) He finally got tired of it and got his GED at like 26 and is now a uni student at 28 and has nothing to do with the ski industry anymore. Just a thought.

Uni campuses are full of people over 30. It's okay to aim for CMC. It's not like you won't be able to get a 4-year later on in life if you so choose. (pssst... you will.) And by that time, your CMC will be a nice supplement to your degree. I spent 7 years on my BA because I spent 3 years at Lake Tahoe Community College studying for an AA is small business ownership. Oops. I was positive that I had it right.

go with your gut.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by samurai View Post
I spent 7 years on my BA because I spent 3 years at Lake Tahoe Community College studying for an AA is small business ownership. Oops. I was positive that I had it right.
Haha... my dad spent 7 years getting his B.S. in Patroleum Engineering (while working full time at a ski area) to spend 30 years in the ski industry, now sitting in a VP/GM position. Funny the directions life takes you!
post #46 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
DO NOT MAJOR IN PHOTOGRAPHTY AT CMC! The Glenwood Spring campus is the location with the photography program. The campus is outside of town and the campus has nothing on it but 3 buildings. Not much life there. You can ski Sunlight Mountain which is in Glenwood, it's a nice mtn with good glades and no crowds, the lifts are deathly slow and if it's a bad snow year they can really hurt as their elevation is lower. You can spend quite a bit for an unlimited Aspen pass, or several hundred for a few days here or you can get the Epic Pass for Vail which isn't much further than Aspen.

But my main point is that half that campus is doing photography, and there are only so many good photography jobs. The rest end up working for SharpShooters making $9.00/hour or doing weddings
Just because half of the campus is taking photography... doesn't mean it's a bad program. It sounds more to me like you just don't want more people moving to the area. If you're going to try to convince me of something, facts help.

If that sounds harsh, I apologize, but there is nothing in your post that changes my mind about the major, the town, or the ski areas. And I mentioned above, money doesn't matter, so much as doing something I love.

BMM- check your PMs.
post #47 of 52
Rule #1 ..... Have a bail out plan aka "Plan B" ...

Follow your heart and the way it's driven now, however it does not hurt to go on and hit the CU for a tag on BS in something related like the environmental sciences.

If the ski area mananagement thing doesn't play out at least you have other options. Some of the government jobs aren't too bad and can be a lot of fun.

Rule #2 ..... As you get older, time flies faster and faster .... trust me on this. Get the basics down now while you have the time and energy and youth to carry it off.
post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Rule #1 ..... Have a bail out plan aka "Plan B" ...

Follow your heart and the way it's driven now, however it does not hurt to go on and hit the CU for a tag on BS in something related like the environmental sciences.

If the ski area mananagement thing doesn't play out at least you have other options. Some of the government jobs aren't too bad and can be a lot of fun.

Rule #2 ..... As you get older, time flies faster and faster .... trust me on this. Get the basics down now while you have the time and energy and youth to carry it off.
I can't see how the two are related-I work in the Environmental Sciences (private consulting company), chemistry,math,geology,biology,soils etc are required courses-most SAO students really are not very academically inclined/or motivated-that is why they are there-no offense, but this is what I saw in some of my own classes. I taught briefly at CMC Leadville-and IMO most of the course work offered there was at the high school level (if that)-with the exception of the Natural Resource Management Program, and even there the core corses were pretty tame/lame. Some of our better students in Natural Resource Management have done quite well for themselves-and landed very good jobs with just an AAS. We had some great internships set up, which really helped them. But even so, many of our better students complained that the classes were too easy-but CMC Admin prefered to baby and put butts in seats, rather than make sure that students were prepared-I could not stand it so I left.

Others have gone on to CSU or the like and have done well too-but major adjustments to normal academic rigor was the norm.


BTW Paul and Curt (SAO) are pretty good instructors from what I have seen-and you could combine SAO with Outdoor Leadership-which looked hella fun-just be prepared for a shock if/when you transfer to a 4 year school.

CMC-be very careful-and like Yuki said have a back up plan-yes it is great to live and play in the mountains-but you could just be wasting your money-
post #49 of 52
People are more than welcome to move to the area. It's great in hte roaring fork valley. But there is are a lot of people who have attended the photography program at CMC who aren't making the living they had hoped. The program is good, it is a high quality program but...the reality is that there isn't a large demand for photographers. I know several very well and most of them are working at a variety of non-photograpy jobs to pay the bills in between several wedding phot gigs each summer.

All I'm saying is make sure you have a car at school or you'll be trapped on that campus, have a backup plan for a career because photograhpy is not an easy way to make a living. This valley is loaded with people with great photography skills who need other jobs. The nice thing is that there are tons of jobs here. If you want to do the photography major make sure you are taking some other classes so that you are not limited in the career choices you can make. CMC does not have the best reputation locally. There are many fine student who matriculate through CMC and do well in the long run. These people do well in spite of CMC.

But, by all means come to the valley, you'll never want to leave.
post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by skierhj View Post
the reality is that there isn't a large demand for photographers. I know several very well and most of them are working at a variety of non-photograpy jobs to pay the bills in between several wedding phot gigs each summer.
skierhj -- your comments about photography/photographers are right on the money. It's competitive as hell. I used to be a photojournalist in upstate NY -- was lucky enough to land a job with a paper that was heavy into photography right out of school. Not a huge circ -- around 45k readers I think -- but pretty good for not having a Photography degree (majored in journalism). There are people with loads of artistic talent and the technical skills to go with it, but even that's nto always enough -- you need the balls to go out and market yourself, chat up editors, chat up clients, etc. OJ -- If you're serious about photography you'll have to do all this stuff and more. I'd recommend taking business courses -- even getting a business minor. Decide what type of photographer you want to be, what kind of career you want to pursue. Photojournalism? Advertising? Weddings? All of the above (hint - you will probably do most of this if you wnat to eat in the beginning, but don't lose focus of yoru goals).

You say you're passionate about photography -- cool. But be forewarned...when it becomes a job, it's a job. And the dirty little secret about making your passion your job...is that you either lose yoru passion for it, or it becomes very life consuming. It's hard to have some middle ground. Karate do, or karate don't. No karate maybe.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all. But if you go the photography route...realize that 10% of the job is taking the photo. The other 90% is work. Minor in journalism, or in business -- it can't ever hurt you. Start trying to freelance NOW! Figure out what makes you different from the rest of the pack and start the marketing/selling now.

Good luck!

Edit to add: While you're in school...find all the local papers you can...even the tiniest little ones...and ask if you can shoot for them as freelancer. If they say no, say you'll do it for free. Find the local photographers who are working regularly and ask if you can tag along with them. Not just the guys shooting the cools stuff...but go watch someone shoot a wedding, or an industrial shoot...do whatever you can to make contacts and learn.
post #51 of 52
I'm a staff member at CMC, although I don't work in Steamboat. I recommend checking out the Alpine Campus student blog to get a feel for what student life is like in Steamboat. There's a link to it right from the CMC home page: Coloradomtn.edu

Both the Ski Area Operations and Ski and Snowboard Business programs (AAS degree) do have a transfer agreement with Western State College. They are excellent programs with great career and academic possibilities.

CMC has had many graduates who have successfully transferred to four year universities, and excelled in their fields. Take a look at our on-line newsletter: e-news. There's a link to it under "information" on the main web-page. If you click on "our people" and then go to archives, and click on alumni, you'll see some examples.

I'd be happy to answer any other questions you have. Good luck with making this important decision!

-Katy
post #52 of 52
Oops! The Steamboat blog is planned, but not up and running yet.

I'd check out the other residential campus blogs, and, like someone said in another post, contact the admissions office for current students and/or alumni to talk to about what it's like.

Again, good luck!
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