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Old 12-24-2010, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Alright.. well since my accident. (broken neck on the slopes Dec. 4th) I'm sitting here pondering the thought of going back to school. (totally not style. But...)

Those who know me know I'm all over the place, work hard, play harder. believe in staying debt free and being able to pick up and go and travel amoungst seasonal jobs. Its just so rewarding at my age!

If I had my way I would live in a van if it meant I could go snowboarding all season long then, hike some canyons, do some white water rafting etc.. (all stuff I've enjoyed so far) but the thought of being stuck without a place to settle when I get older seems unfavorable.

Sooo... I wanted some opinions on college? I've decided if I physically go I'd want to be in a place I could still get in my riding... Colorado?

Anyone know which schools aren't too hard to get into and have prime location? or.. stay home here in NH and stick to my local hill 15 min drive. How far are the mountains from schools in colorado / even maybe Washington. Or should I stick to an online degree and stay / go where I want.

And who thinks a degree in sports management (event planning, accounting, coaching..)could be favorable in the snowboarding industry?

I don't believe in any debt unless its a wise investment. I'm not about to go stack up some student loans unless it can get me somewhere. If I invest in college its going to be for what I love to do and thats snowboard. I dont care how or with what company/ resort but I'm squeezing in somehow. Just want to make sure I'm aiming in the right direction. Anyone know what degree choices are a good start to get in the industry?

Anyone think this might be the wrong decision? I'd be giving up a LOT of freedom. Seasonal work has been whats made me so happy in life so far. I love reaping the benefits of travel and doing.

Thoughts opinions... experiences? What do you guys got.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Karasene View Post
Thoughts opinions... experiences? What do you guys got.
Well, you can eliminate a lot of shit right away by just crossing off options that you have no talent for or aren't interested in. I've seen any number of people go into I.T. because they thought it was a good career choice (this was before offshoring) but they turned out to have no talent for it, and they sucked. So, what are you good at? What types of training are transportable, i.e. you can get a job anywhere? With your outlook, probably stuff where you can be your own boss. For absolutely no reason that I can discern, 'veterinarian' just popped into my head. Stroke?

Anyway, nail down what you want to be first. Then figure out where you can go to get that. But yeah, stay within spitting distance of a hill, or what's the point?
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A few questions for you: How old are you?
How likely is it that your priorities will change in a few years (family, house, etc)?
Can you be happy doing a job that you don't particularly enjoy just so you can snowboard?
Do you NEED to have a job that involves snowboarding/resort life in order to be able to snowboard regularly?

As a high school teacher, I am a strong proponent of college. In general, education opens a lot of doors, but it is also very expensive and should be regarded as an investment.

The list of jobs you presented is quite varied. If you want to go to college, choose a career that you'll be interested in, that will also allow you the time and freedom to do the activities you love outside of work.

For example: Would you really be happy as an accountant? To become an accountant, you have to study math and take accounting classes for several years. Lower level accounting is tedious and many upper level accountants work long hours in intense environments and travel extensively. People who are very detail oriented, math savvy, and logical make good accountants.

If you are unsure, start at a community college. Talk to a counselor and take a range of classes until you find something you like.

At some point, most people find the need to settle down. I left home at 18 and traveled extensively around the world (3 years of college in Boston, 1 year backpacking Europe, 2 years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, 3 years teaching in the South Pacific) - I loved the experience, but after nine years of being a nomad, I was ready to find a place to call home. I was smart enough to choose opportunities that would allow me to build skills and experience that would serve me well when I did decide to settle down. I think that's the key for a young person. If college isn't the best course of action, find a way to build your skills and interests so that when you are ready for a career, you have a strong base to build on.

Hope this helps! Happy holidays to you!
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about your accident. You sound like a brave girl. I hope you get well soon.

With regard to your question:

One option is to find a regular job on the mountain but not in the snowboarding industry itself. Last year I was staying in a big chalet in France and met a bunch of people who worked as seasonal staff on the mountain - drivers, handymen, kitchen staff, accountants, etc. A couple of those jobs also seem to me like regular career paths: chef and accountant.

If you enjoying making food then being a chef should be a no-brainer. Depending on how good you are you can make pretty decent bucks in it and it is definitely a career you can pursue anywhere you choose to, including the mountains.

Accountants have to go through tedious examinations and the job itself is not very interesting (unless you enjoy crunching numbers) but it also makes good money, it is a career path and again you can pursue it pretty much anywhere you want to.

I hope that helps somewhat...
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There's western washington university, here-say its tough to get into...70 minutes to the hill, there's also lots of others outdoors stuff, e.g., sailing, kiteboarding, sea and white water kayaking, scuba, mt biking, climbing, packing, white water body surfing and etc. A fair amount of kids take winter qtr off.

My 24 yr old sounds a bit like you...he decided 3 yrs ago to do job corps in seamanship. In 18 months got certified for deck and engine room, no loans or debts...but ghetto life for 18 months. But now kind of works when he wants and has plenty of money to travel or do whatever he wants when he's off the boat. He's now talking about getting a degree; figures he could work summers and vacations and have enough cash to pay for school and living expenses.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You know most people in the snowboard industry don't have degrees and the ones that do it's in something that's completely unrelated to what they're doing. If you want to work for a resort check out CMC Steamboat/Leadville/Breckenridge one of those offers some program in resort management. Marketing is a job you can take with you anywhere and once you're in with a resort generally those people are there for life or till the resort gets sold.

I'll just be honest with you college is a crock of shit and a waste of time/money if you're serious about working in the snowboard industry. You should just go learn how to bar tend and then move to a real resort town and get in with a solid bar/club. I know the bar tenders here mid week during the season are pulling in about 300 a night in tips alone, from the 17th till the 3rd they'll be making between 500 and 1,500 a night.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My opinion is stay where you are until you know for sure a career path you want. Nothing worse to go to school just to 'go to school'. Find people in different carrers and see what the choice is for you. Your needs/wants may change in a few years.

I suppose while you're recuperating from your injury you can start doing research. Being young is an advantage you can only have early in life so maybe once you recover live in that van, find odd jobs near the mountain until you find out the career path for you to sustain your interests and lifestyle.
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My opinion is stay where you are until you know for sure a career path you want. Nothing worse to go to school just to 'go to school'. Find people in different carrers and see what the choice is for you. Your needs/wants may change in a few years.

I suppose while you're recuperating from your injury you can start doing research. Being young is an advantage you can only have early in life so maybe once you recover live in that van, find odd jobs near the mountain until you find out the career path for you to sustain your interests and lifestyle.
I disagree. If she wants to go to school she should just go. There are tons of people who go "undecided" and just test the waters until they find something that really interests them. You can plan ahead all you want, but I feel like most of the planners outside of doctors/lawyers always end up hating what it was they were so intent to study.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what you major in. It matters to a certain degree, but most employers just want to see the piece of paper and know you are educated and capable of staying motivated/persistent with something. Really, it's becoming increasingly rare to find someone with a degree working in the field they majored in...
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There is a school of thought that you should not fuck up something you love by turning it into a job...but then people like Snowwolf seem to be proof to the contrary.

Whatever you decide, education is never wasted. Many intelligent people go through life with a certain amount insecurity simply because they did not go to college. College should not be about just learning a particular skill set for work, but feeding your hunger for knowledge and furthering your understanding of the world around you.

Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2010, 01:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you're thinking about school to keep busy, find community college classes around where you are now that will be transferable to an array of schools.

Basing your school decision on proximity to the slopes is probably not the best idea. Think about it; if you're basing your decision on where to ride, you're not so much concerned with school, but with snowboarding. You won't get the most for your money if you're distracted like that. I live in CT, and I went to UConn, and during the winter of my sophomore year, I would go to a 9 AM class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, race back to my dorm, pack my car, zip to the nearest slope (2 hours away), ride for a couple of hours, zip back to campus, unload the car, change, and run to a 6 PM class. My GPA tanked. I didn't give two flying shits about school. I just wanted to be snowboarding.

After transferring schools and a whole mess of shit, I took a year off from school. I rode, relaxed, worked on some art and photography, fulfilled my mental and artistic needs, and then after a year went back to finish my degree. My GPA had never been higher. I found my courses to be more manageable, and more fulfilling. The material was easier to comprehend. My head was in the game.

I was able to pull my GPA up enough that I have some choices now for graduate school, should I ever choose to go that route.

I don't think that college should be the final decision on your career path. I don't think it can be. So many people have degrees now. To be set apart from that, you have to invest in even more schooling. I do feel that an education is valuable if, and only if, you have the thirst for the knowledge. If you are learning things you aren't interested in, you are wasting money. I know. I did it.

I learned more traveling and reading books than I did in college classrooms. But that's just what works better for me. I like to learn things. I get stuck on things and then try to find as much information as I can about that particular subject until I'm bored with it, and then I move on to something else. Some people find the structure of schooling is best for them. It's all preference.

If you want the education for yourself, and it's a goal you have, go for it. If you're not really into it and you're just looking for something to kill some down time, head to the library and educate yourself, or enroll in a few community college classes that interest you. Explore some things and get some knowledge before you commit yourself to something you might not enjoy in six months.

I would avoid online classes unless you're already enrolled in an accredited institution (like a state college) that offers online options. I took classes through UConn online, and they were OKAY. I didn't learn much. I just did what I had to in order to get by. But these schools like University of Pheonix, etc. are institution based on profit (check out PBS Frontline's episode College, Inc.). You might learn some stuff, and you'll end up with a degree, but you'll pay out the ass for it, and it's not going to guarantee you any kind of job placement.

Also, depending on your age, you could qualify for financial aid. I believe you have to be 24 to be considered an independent, so if you're under 24 and your parents make some loot, don't expect anything from the government. But, if you've got some kids, you can get a ton of money. Yea. Figure that shit out...

As far as fucking up things you love by turning them into a job... I don't think it's so much that. It's more along the lines of... You realize what the industry you want into is made of, and a lot of times it's a lot dirtier than you could have imagined. I transfered to a design school in NYC for a semester, and it disgusted me. I was studying photography and taking a real interest in darkroom techniques, and crafting great images, and my professors couldn't stand me. They loved the coked out gay kid who kept taking photos of him and his roommates, scantily clad in their bathtub because it was "edgy" and they liked his "aesthetic." Basically, they were trying to churn out fashion photographers because that's where the money is in that industry. Art is one of those industries that sucks the soul out of you as you get deeper into the commercial aspects of it.

My two cents...
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