From Consumer to Worker: Thoughts from a boardaholic
As I watch the unbelievable amount of snow fall outside my window, I begin to reflect on what it has meant to be an employee of Big Sky Resort the past month. I used to be a consumer here for 20 years, completely ignorant of how a ski organization runs. I snowboarded all the time, and though I appreciated the mountain, I took the entire operation of Big Sky Resort for granted.
Now, after interning for the Sales & Marketing Department for a month, I have a completely different view of the mountain. There are a lot of facets to making a ski resort great. It could be the liftee who is running the lifts 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or the snowreporter who has to be up by 4 a.m. to report on the weather, or the chef who cooks the food for guests at the Summit Hotel. Each one of these 1,500 workers is just as important as the other. They all work harmoniously, whether they understand that or not, to come together to provide an amazing experience for guests. Furthermore, they all have a common bond to each other, which makes it feel like we're a family rather than just coworkers. When I mention to the people I would meet in the Meadow Village or Mountain Village that I work at Big Sky Resort he/she would immediately ask where, and then tell me which department they work for. From then on, a bond is set.
Friendships are formed over the one common factor of why everyone is here: snow and snowsports. Everyone loves the sport, and had enough passion for it to move to a mountain town not much larger than a typical city suburb (except with an hour long drive to the nearest real city). Even enthusiasts who have been here for a while, or even moved from a high paying job, have "lived a life of no regrets". They never regret their decision to move out here, and I believe them. With grad school looming over my head, I think of gloomy Durham, North Carolina. In Durham, there is just suburbia, no mountains, no outdoors, and definitely no sky like Montana's. Then I think of Big Sky, the powder, the people, the ever expanding sky. No wonder people move out here, they are happy and content. It's about the experience, the adventure of life, not the number on a paycheck or the distance to the nearest Wal-Mart. I just hope I can be as content as the people I have met here along the way. Only then will I have reached a healthy balance and achieved my life's purpose: to spread the joy of the outdoors to others.