Published: Oct. 4, 2017
Person skiing downhill

Imagine a job where the mountains are your home office. A job that lets you design, sell, promote or even teach your favorite mountain sport to people who love the great outdoors.

Living in Colorado, we experience first-hand what the outdoor industry has to offer. But did you know that it’s filled with job and internship positions in science, math, sales, marketing and art? Or requires various skills, backgrounds, degrees and ambitions? 

If you go

Who: Students, alumni
What: Mountain Sports Networking Expo
When: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 5–7 p.m.
Where: University Memorial Center, room 235

Come explore opportunities in the outdoor industry at the Mountain Sports Networking Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Companies such as Vail and Winter Park resorts will be on campus to connect with students in an informal networking-style environment.

Did Vail pique your interest? See the Q&A at the end of this article for advice and insight on the company.

Reasons to attend

If you're a freshman or sophomore

  • Explore different career opportunities in the outdoor industry.
  • Ask questions about the right educational path to reach your career goals.
  • Gain experience speaking with employers about internship opportunities.

If you're a junior or senior

  • Speak with employers in a casual environment without the pressure of expecting employment.
  • Make connections and build relationships with potential employers.
  • Ask questions about the recruiting and hiring process, what employers look for in a resume and how to land a job in the industry.

CU Boulder students and alumni from all majors, experience levels and backgrounds are welcome to attend this free event. No pre-registration is necessary.

Q&A with Vail Resorts

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

  1. It 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.