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Ski season before uni

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Daughter is thinking of doing a season after sixth form and before uni. She is currently in lower sixth, so will be applying to do 2019-2020 season. She is a competent skier, but she won't be doing chalet work (she is good at eating food but not so good at cooking it - that's her little sister's job). She was thinking of applying to Crystal/Tui for a rep's job. She's a sensible(ish) lass, and is very good at organising things (she's a walking Gantt chart). Anyone got any tips/advice/suggestions/abuse/things for her to consider?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Crystal seem to spread their reps very thin these days. For example, they had only 1 rep for the whole of Switzerland last winter (he spent most of his time on the train). Inghams seem to be much better. They had 2 reps in our village last season, meaning one could take the guests skiing while the other did paperwork etc.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Worth looking at https://www.skiworld.co.uk/recruitment

Most are chalet cooks. NB you only need to know enough for 5 days. They suggest cooking courses. But there are non cooking jobs.
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I think she will struggle to get a rep job. Tend to go to those that have already done seasons in a chalet and/or more mature applicants (at least in age!).

Considering positions involving cooking would open up a bigger choice of opportunities. Most TO provide a menu so it's just a case of reproducing those same things each week, you don't have to be a great cook. They do recommend doing a cooking course (there are specific chalet ones - some even offering guaranteed interviews/jobs if you pass). It's a good life skill to learn.

Nanny job is also a possibility, but don't think it's best choice if you want to maximise ski time.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dobby, there are plenty of chalets that are run by a team of "chalet chef" and "chalet assistant/host". The host doesn't cook, but helps with serving, clearing away, washing up and is responsible for cleaning the chalet. For example: https://www.seasonworkers.com/skijobs/jobs/chalet-host-meribel-11651.aspx
There are also kitchen porter jobs which are doing a similar thing in the kitchen only in hotels / chalet hotels, e.g. https://www.seasonworkers.com/jobs/plongeur-kitchen-porter-647.aspx. KP jobs aren't all that well paid but seem to get a fair amount of ski time.
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Ingham's employ lots of staff in their chalet hotels who do not have to cook - waitressing, cleaning, bar staff etc.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 31-05-18 10:27; edited 1 time in total
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@dobby, I'd imagine that age would be against her, for a rep's job, I'm afraid. But not a reason not to try. Make sure she also covers the small operators - applies to everyone.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Neilsen too
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Driving job? Work in a ski hire shop?
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@dobby,

My feeling is that the tour operators are much more interested in young people AFTER university than before. A few extra years and experience of living away from home are useful life skills for people that will likely be dealing with sometimes awkward clients without direct supervision. If you don't have specific skills/experience (language, cooking, childcare) then there are a relatively small number of suitable jobs with plenty of competition.

Years ago after university I was in a similar situation but with more work and life experience. I wrote to 25 travel companies, got two interviews and one offer as a "host/cleaner" (like @Gämsbock, describes). A mate in a similar situation didn't get anything but went out to the Alps and picked up work there doing a mixture of things.

I don't mean to be discouraging - just being realistic. If she wants to go for it she should be sending a lot of emails now. I'm sure she is doing her own research and not outsourcing it to you (and in your situation I too would have asked for advice for her here). She does need to be pretty self-motivated about this if she is going to make the right impression.
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Quote:

Driving job? Work in a ski hire shop?


doubt 18 year old drivers are in high demand given insurance etc
Ski hire shop could be an option if she does ski tech training quickly now.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@foxtrotzulu, don't you need to somewhat older to get a professional driving cert.?

How are her languages? (as that'll make a difference). Sorry to continue to state the bleeding obvious!
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I'd agree Chalet Hotel staff sounds about right. Age would definitely count against her for a rep's job. No matter how competent 18 is pretty young for managing difficult situations with customers/transit etc.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@dobby, +1 for SkiWorld.

Son #1 was a sous chef at 18.

Son #2 was a kp/np for SkiWorld at 18. He had already been interviewed and been offered the job by this time in the May. So no time to lose on getting those applications in.

Chalet hotel jobs are the best for an 18 year old. Avoid solo hosting a small chalet.

She will have an absolute blast if she gets a job. Don't forget to arrange something for the summer half of the gap year... Campsite courier?
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@dobby, try Alpine Elements. We stayed in one of their hotels that had about 35 UK staff, I suspect many of them would be on a gap year. https://jobsite.alpineelements.co.uk/winter-ski-jobs/
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@cad99uk, I think I’d be a little surprised to turn up in a chalet ,anaged by an 18 year old school leaver Shocked
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cad99uk wrote:


Son #2 was a kp/np for SkiWorld at 18. He had already been interviewed and been offered the job by this time in the May. So no time to lose on getting those applications in.



For 19/20? I'd be surprised if Skiworld know their UK source requirements for a post Brexit world yet?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@under a new name, I've known it happen. Not a happy outcome.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, Only find out by applying.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@dobby, Bit tricky but how about Whistler. Its not free but is is a "cheap" season, and brilliant place. Only hassle is ours did not come back !
On mountain kids help https://www.oysterworldwide.com/gap-year/canada-whistler-blackcomb-support-jobs/
Or ski instructor https://www.yesimprovement.com/programs/whistler-ski-instructor/wbssu

These both give training and guaranteed jobs/living accommodation.
Note it is better if they are 19 when in Canada though.

Also she would have to get a work visa - which is a ballot most of the time it starts in Nov/Dec and gives you 12mths to activate and then 2years to work over there. ICE. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/iec.html
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@cad99uk, back in the old days, when I did my seasons (late 80s), one of our chalet girls was iirc, 19, and had done a year's post school chef school.

She was brilliant.

But a bit of a one off...
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Esprit employ young staff. Long hours little pay. Lots of fun if you can hack it.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Esprit/Total/Inghams all part of Hotelplan hire plenty of 18 year olds. Some might say too many!
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Brexit
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NZ winter season (July/October) has lots of work at ski fields for seasonal staff - café/rentals/lifty/child care.
Easy to do with a working holiday visa for UK citizens under 30.

www.nzski.com is the best bet, although lots of the smaller club fields are often looking for staff if being stuck up a mountain in the middle of nowhere appeals.
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Cheers, all.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Is getting an instructor's qualification a viable option? It will cost, obviously. But it could be a lot more useful in the long term than a season spent as a Rep. It depends on your and her finances, but in the scheme of things, £10K spent on accommodation and training might be useful. If her degree allows the time, she could instruct in the southern hemisphere in the UK summer. Whether you would expect her to repay the investment, on top of her Student Loan, would be up to you. Just a thought.

Getting an instructor's qualification isn't just about learning to ski. I think it imparts some valuable Life Skills as well, like taking on responsibility, communicating with people, handling different sorts of client, working as part of a team, dealing with unexpected challenges etc. Other than a vocational job, or working at a sponsor's organisation, I think it could be useful on a young person's CV.

I mention it because my youngest signed-up for a week's snowboard group and as he was the only person who turned up, the instructor turned it into the first week of a formal qualification training. He was similarly approaching his Gap Year and seriously considered returning to complete the course over a season. The instructor said it was better to do it all in one go anyway. The main reason he decided against it was that he had a business sponsor for his degree and he was able to get paid for a year with them working on some really interesting stuff. If he hadn't got the Sponsor lined-up, I'm pretty sure he would have done the qualification. Obviously, we'd have had to 'lend' him the money for the training and subsistence. He also could have used our apartment for the season, although that would have meant we'd have lost the rentals.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

I think it imparts some valuable Life Skills as well, like taking on responsibility, communicating with people, handling different sorts of client, working as part of a team, dealing with unexpected challenges etc.

Being a rep, or even being a lowly part of a chalet team, would also require/impart "life skills" and as someone who spent a fair bit of time interviewing top graduates I think evidence that they organised and financed their own gap year experience would be valuable, compared to someone who was given a freebie from the bank of mum and dad. There are so many "gap year" experiences - such as helping to "conserve" turtles on some remote and beautiful tropical beach - which only need paying for. What the kids learn from their gap year is not necessarily commensurate with what it cost - it correlates better with the effort and thought they (rather than their parents) put into it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pam w, I must admit that I'm very impressed with my two older nieces who are both headed off to Africa on teaching or medical short term internships for the summer, self financed. One of them has only just finished first year and is off to teach first aid to remote villagers Shocked
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If it was my sprog I would discourage thoughts of ski/board instruction as a long term career, the pay and conditions are poor and unless you are very lucky the work very repetitive.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@TQA, yeah, I hate skiing. It's repetitive.

Cold calling hedge fund managers to flog them stuff is of course is immensely varied.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I wasn't suggesting ski instruction as a career alternative to whatever she has in mind. I was saying that a season spent getting an instruction qualification is worth considering as something in addition.

I wasn't suggesting that being a chalet Rep' was an unworthwhile experience. I was saying that a season spent getting an instruction qualification is worth considering as an alternative possibility.

I wasn't suggesting that a self-funded and self-organised other activity wasn't a good option.

The OP asked for ideas and this was mine.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

@TQA, yeah, I hate skiing. It's repetitive.


In fairness, I'd suggest becoming a ski instructor only if you love teaching people AND skiing. In that order.
Otherwise I reckon you might be better in a higher paying profession and being able to afford more free skiing.

On a related point I thought working as a skivvy (host/cleaner) was way better than working as a "ski host" (you know - skiing with the guests and showing them around) because I got to do much more enjoyable and challenging skiing in my own time.
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Quote:

I'd suggest becoming a ski instructor only if you love teaching people AND skiing. In that order.

+1. I expect many of us have been victims of a ski instructor who didn't love teaching. From the vantage point of having been a guest in a chalet quite often in the past, I have observed how good the good ones are. Regardless of age. It's a challenging role, especially if you're exhausted and hung over and still have to be bright and chirpy at breakfast!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ski instructors often don't ski very much when they're working. They might be wearing ski boots, they might even have skis on their feet sometimes, but that doesn't mean they're 'skiing'. General consensus is that the majority of other resort jobs give you more actual free ski time (except nannying). But if you enjoy instructing then it can be great fun in its own right.

I also second @pam w's point about future employability. When recruiting, I'd be reasonably impressed by a young person who had self-financed a season in the mountains, independently found work (or survived as a ski bum!) and learned some foreign language skills etc. I would not find a GAP instructor course very impressive. Most of those course have a lot of hand-holding.
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my son, 18 & post A levels, did a season as kitchen porter this year in a smallish chalet hotel (with MW) Reported the work was pretty monotonous BUT he had no real responsibility (KPs were the only ones chef didn't shout at at some point) and probably got the most & best ski time of the team. Learnt a lot and had (on balance) a great time. He'd spent the summer working in a local kitchen/cafe so had some experience to offer at application/interview. I understand that the other guys (and gals) of a similar age on the team doing serving and house keeping etc also had a similar levels of experience to offer ... certainly no one with nothing.

Without language and people skills i don't think a Rep's job (or at least a proper rep) is a likelyhood unless your daughter is exceptional (and the company a bit cheep/desperate - but that might be any of the main operators).

This year our chalet/apartment was run by two post A-level girls - they were very nice and on the whole they did a good job though only having done a couple of 'chalet host' cooking courses the cooking was a bit hit and miss. (smoke filled rooms and fire alarm one evening, inedible risotto another) but the Repping they wouldn't have handled. e.g. Our rep had to read the riot act to the adjacent chalet/apartment of her guests - who partied loud and late into the night, took (stole) a couple of cases of wine from the chalet store and also raided our chalet for drink when theirs ran out at 6pm.

my advice (for what it's worth) would be to get experience in some form for the roles she wants / willing to do and apply early...and keep going even if rejected - some of my sons colleagues were invited to join the team within 48hrs of departure at the season start.
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Becoming a qualified ski instructor is very expensive and it's far from easy to find work as a zero experience BASI qualified instructor.
Hardly a gap year option, more of a career choice.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@pam w, I used to pride myself on my chirpy mien at breakfast when I’d led the guests astray the night before.
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