Caitlyn Hubbard

Communication student ('15), Part-time ski clothing designer

Caitlyn Hubbard’s favorite color is yellow. As a child, she had a bright yellow winter jacket with an odd-looking spider logo on it. “Who has a bug on a ski jacket?” she wondered.

Years later, the spider reappeared on a business card someone handed her. That’s how she was introduced to Spyder Active Sports—an outdoor apparel company headquartered in Boulder, and the official supplier of the U.S. ski team.

As Hubbard enters her senior year as a communication major, she has both an internship and part-time job at Spyder, where she corresponds with international suppliers and keeps ahead of fashion trends.

Hubbard entered CU as a premed major, but she had second thoughts and took a year off from school to work and get a new perspective.

That’s when she found the job at Spyder, where she discovered that the fast-paced environment made good communication skills essential. “Communication is very applicable in work environments,” she explains. “It can really help or hinder working relationships.”

When she returned to CU after her year off, she switched her major to communication, with its focus on interactions between people and within organizations. And she kept her part-time job at Spyder.

In class, Hubbard’s professors asked her to examine communication at the company. She noticed how groups there communicated in different ways and came to understand how managers used fun rituals—like a snow dance—to build company culture. “It opened my eyes to a lot about the company that I don’t think I would have realized otherwise,” she says.

As Hubbard prepares for graduation, she’s ready for the future. “Interning and working while attending CU-Boulder helped me discover what kind of career I want,” she says. “I saw how valuable communication was within the company and I know my degree will be a huge asset.”