Mountains with snow and trees and the Vail Resorts logo in the centerVail Resorts is known as one of the most luxurious destination resorts in not only Colorado but around the globe. They own and operate more than 14 resorts across eight states and three countries including the US, Australia, and Canada. Their staff consists of more 26,000 employees from ski instructors to corporate office jobs in Broomfield. Over the past several years, Vail Resorts has recruited CU Boulder students for a variety of different positions in their organization.

So, what does it take to land a job working in the outdoor industry? Here's what recruiters from Vail Resorts think:

What are the top three things students should know about working in the outdoor/tourism industry? 

  1. Offers an amazing growth curve and developmental opportunities from a business management and acumen standpoint.
  2. Independence and confidence are crucial. Jobs in our industry don’t come with a boss next door, so being a proactive problem solver and taking ownership in a situation is necessary.
  3. It is more challenging than one might think. High expectations of guest service are very prevalent. It is ALL worth it in the end for the amazing lifestyle one can have in our industry!

Why should students consider a career in the outdoor industry?

Why not? Whether you’re giving ski lessons and in boots 170 days a season, or driving a desk in Human Resources in Vail, being able to share the love for an amazing place, sport, or adventure and in turn inspire that passion in others is rewarding on a daily basis.

What impresses you the most when you are considering to hire a student for a job or internship?

The ability of a candidate to speak with passion (and clarity) about an endeavor they’ve engaged in, and demonstrating that they’ve gone above and beyond in work/school/community because then we’ll know you can provide the Experience of a Lifetime to our guests. 

How does Vail Resorts define their culture and work environment?

Brave! Ambitious! Passionate! This is how we describe our employees. It takes a lot of courage to choose a mountain lifestyle. All of our jobs are demanding and to be excellent we have to be ambitious in our work effort to achieve and exceed our goals. We align who we are with what we do, therefore our passion for our product (guest service, in addition to skiing, of course) shows through in everything we do!  

What advice would you go back and give yourself as a college student preparing for your career?

Work on communication skills! Written and verbal (especially listening!) communication skills are crucial to success in any career.