I actually grew up skiing right here at Osler. My parents put me in the Osler racing program. That’s sort of what we spent our weekends doing. I started working at sporting life when I was in my teens as a ski boot fitter. Then I became a racing coach. Eventually, I decided to study the ski industry.
While at Georgian, I realized there were other fascinating aspects of the industry. I also learned about the struggles to attract new and young people to the sport. I wanted to help the industry stay strong and healthy, and I wanted to help Osler develop for the future.
We had so many opportunities outside of the classroom. The program forced us to see and touch things; try the things we might do in our future jobs. I loved studying snowmaking, terrain and trail design. I also liked learning about watersheds, as well as managing safety and risk. When you get into the workplace, you realize how valuable the information you gain in school actually is.
In Barrie, you’re so close to so many ski resorts. You’re constantly meeting contacts from the industry because of its proximity to clubs. I think the number one thing I took away were the contacts I made – other students, friends and people we met while we were in the field.
I was hired primarily to run the snow making shifts with the operations manager. I’m slowly learning that there isn’t much downtime at the resort. Our “green season” is almost busier than the winter is, other than snowmaking. There’s a real diversity of jobs you get to do. One day you’re running a bulldozer, the next day you’re seeding the grounds, the next day you might be helping with a lift audit.
It’s an ever changing environment and it’s very exciting – I find it absolutely awesome. I love working outside. Even rainy days are fun.