When I look back on my accomplishments in the industry, the three things which helped me the most were dedication, optimism and my SROAM diploma.
In December 2002, I accepted a job as Ticket Validator at Panorama Mountain Village for my work placement in year two of the SROAM program. I am still employed at Panorama and this winter, will the start of my 11th season with the resort. I graduated from the Ski Resort Operations and Management program in 2003 with honours.
Students in the SROAM program are privileged to be able to travel around the province, country, and sometimes the world. Although the travel is exciting, what has always stayed with me is the warm reception students received from ski industry employers. Whether it was a ski, cat, or heli operation, employers enjoyed meeting with students, sharing their stories, and encouraging us forward. Each time a General Manager, Supervisor, or SROAM alumni addressed the class, it reconfirmed that I had was venturing down a career path perfectly suited to me.
An early mentor told me, "If you prepare your coworkers to succeed without you, then your superior will be content to increase your responsibility and assist in your progression.” This adage has stuck with me. I have held a few jobs during my tenure and I've always taken pride in leaving a department better equipped at my departure then when I arrived. After a short stint with Guest Services, I spent 5+ years in Sales and Marketing, and in September 2010 I accepted the position of Risk Manager in Mountain Operations.
The SROAM program gave me an invaluable broad-based knowledge of the ski industry which can only be bested by work experience itself. I spent most of my post-graduate employment working in sales, where my schooling helped with internal lobbying. I often found myself providing consultation to Food and Beverage and Guest Services on program enhancements for boosting room night sales in our properties. My advice was always well received because I understood what their capabilities were in regards to budget, labour, and physical resources.
In the years ahead I will likely change jobs again and build on what I have learned in the industry.