May 2019

Top Prospects :: May 2019

Profiles of CSU ski area management program graduates.

Written by The Editors | 120 Views | 0 comment

Now more than ever, attracting and retaining good talent is a significant challenge. The tight labor market in the U.S. and a shortage of affordable housing are two of the primary economic factors contributing to this challenge, coupled with an overarching generational shift that’s spurring a change in the workplace.

But thanks to several institutions of higher education, there is a deep pool of talent that ski areas nationwide can draw from. Every year, a new crop of up-and-comers earns undergrad or graduate degrees in ski area management. The ski industry is their chosen career path, so who better to recruit into your operation than these passionate, educated, and driven recent grads?

As part of SAM’s ongoing efforts to help ski areas find, retain, and advance talented staff members, we introduce this new section called “Top Prospects.” It will feature a small handful of recent or soon-to-be grads from collegiate ski area management programs across the country. The goal is to help make connections between employers and future employees.

may19 prospects megan walshDegree: Graduate Certificate in Ski Area Management, Colorado State University, Fall 2018

Two of my best skills are: I am a fast learner. Give me a new task, program, or job, and I will learn it and manage it quickly. I am very personable—I love talking to people, helping people, and using humor to connect with people.

An important thing I am looking for in my career is: Find a job I have a passion for and enjoy doing. I do not want work to feel like work, yet I want a job that challenges me and presents responsibilities that will allow me to use the extent of my skills, knowledge, and passion.

One of the biggest challenges facing the mountain resort industry is: The changes that come with new generations. The different lifestyles, expectations, and cultures of each generation make it challenging to attract, satisfy, and maintain a positive outcome for all audiences. Guest satisfaction is very important, and it’s important for the industry to change and grow in a way that caters to all audiences.

One of the biggest opportunities for the mountain resort industry is: Embrace these changes. Look for ways to expand and diversify our audience to satisfy modern day generations, but also maintain classic business structures and traditional styles to keep loyal guests coming back. The industry has the opportunity to make itself more vibrant by offering more variety of activities, passes, and destinations.

may10 prospects garrett langDegree: Graduate Certificate in Ski Area Management, Colorado State University, Fall 2018

Two of my best skills are: Planning—I’m always thinking ahead and like to be organized. Communication—In all forms, clear communication is key to success.

An important thing I am looking for in my career is: Individual growth in this time of industry-wide change. This seems to be one of the most exciting times in the industry since the initial resort boom of the ’70s and ’80s.

One of the biggest challenges facing the mountain resort industry is: Overcoming demographic shifts in snowsport participants as the Baby Boomer generation ages out of the sport. Younger generations have different expectations and budgets. Pass products such as Ikon and Epic are attempting to address this issue in their own ways, but the best answer may still be out there.

One of the biggest opportunities for the mountain resort industry is: Overcoming the challenges brought on by the generational shift. If youth and diversity can be injected into the sport, it will grow. The industry needs to adapt and find ways to remain relevant with younger generations.

may19 prospects benjamin schnellDegree: Graduate Certificate in Ski Area Management, Colorado State University, Fall 2018

Two of my best skills are: Being adaptable—No two days at a ski area are the same, so you have to roll with it. Finding the positive in any situation—It’s unproductive to harp on the negative.

An important thing I am looking for in my career is: Not feeling like I’m going to work everyday because I’m enjoying work as an extension of the rest of my life.

One of the biggest challenges facing the mountain resort industry is: Recruiting and retaining quality employees. Cost of living is an issue, along with housing availability for staff. Without good people, it’s going to be harder and harder to maintain successful operations.

One of the biggest opportunities for the mountain resort industry is: Bringing in a new generation of leaders with new ideas on what direction the ski industry can move in.

Colorado State University’s online Graduate Certificate in Ski Area Management is a flexible and affordable program designed for ski industry employees who are looking to advance their career in ski area management. The program focuses on equipping students with the ability to make informed strategic and capital budgeting decisions, improve managerial and operational efficiency and effectiveness, and employ sound planning and development practices. Each course is an eight-week accelerated program of study that incorporates relevant and up-to-date industry knowledge and best practices, as provided directly from ski area managers and operators.

For more information, visit: www.online.colostate.edu/certificates/ski-area-management or call 970-492-4898.