Learning About the Ski Industry Through Hands-On Experience
Emma Moore ’21, a lifelong skier who started racing at 7, is completely at home in her NVU Outdoor Education, Leadership, and Tourism “classrooms” — the ones at resorts, including Burke Mountain, Stowe, Smuggler’s Notch, Jay Peak, Cannon Mountain, and Bretton Woods.
As a sophomore in the practicum class — which gives students opportunities for hands-on experience — Emma visited the resorts to learn about all aspects of the ski industry, from events and marketing to ski school, management, and operations. A bonus was a free pass to ski at the end of the day at each resort.
“It’s helpful to see the ins and outs of resorts and see how each one is run differently and similarly,” says Emma, who is pursuing a concentration in mountain resort management. “In the practicum class, we learned a lot about the basics and also more in-depth.”
Internship and Conference Opportunities
That’s not the only real-world experience students gain in the program. Emma is excited about having an internship at a location she will choose.
And she and other NVU students attended the New England Summit, an annual fall conference of Northeastern ski areas, where they saw presentations by industry leaders and demonstrations of the newest gear.
Some students also build marketable skills as part of Burke Mountain’s ski patrol.
Classes Prepare Students to Be Leaders in Their Careers
Emma, of Hillsboro, New Hampshire, grew up skiing at Pat’s Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire, and now coaches ski racing there. She learned about NVU’s program from the resort’s longtime general manager, Kris Blomback, a graduate of the program. She transferred to NVU from another university to pursue a career that fits with her passion.
“I like everything about the program. My professors are really good and fun. The classes are very practical. You’re not just learning something for a test and then forgetting it. You’re going to use it in your career,” she says.
Faculty Members With Connections in the Field
Emma’s transition as a transfer student was smooth. “It was very easy transferring here,” she says. “It’s a small campus, and you get to know people well fast. Everyone’s really nice here.”
She values the supportive faculty and intimate classes.
“You know the professors. They’re like friends who teach us things,” says Emma, who plays varsity softball at NVU. “It’s nice to be able to go talk to them about pretty much anything, and it’s good to have an ‘in’ in the industry” because of the faculty’s solid connections.
A Practical Education for the Real World
NVU’s career-focused program is preparing Emma for her goal of working in the ski race industry, maybe at a racing academy.
“I like how work-centered the whole program is. It’s real-life and very practical knowledge,” she says. “You’re going to need all of the things you learn here forever if you choose to stay in the resort business.”