I grew up in Rossland, BC; a small town big on skiing. At 18 Months old, shortly after I learned to walk, I was strapped to my first pair of skis and have been skiing for almost 24 years now. To teach me how to ski my dad put me in a dog harness and used a retractable dog leash so he could control how fast I went. When I was about 6 or 7 my parents put me in the Red Mountain Racer ski program and I traveled all over the Kootenays competing for several years. I eventually got bored with the repetitiveness and rigidness of skiing gates and would skip training on powder days with a friend to ski the fresh snow. My parents realized my dislike for skiing gates when my coach called them asking why I had missed a week of training. Luckily in the same year a big mountain and free ride program started up and I joined that. When I was in grade 8 my high school offered a ski academy program where you would ski during the day and do school for a few hours at night with a tutor. Unfortunately, they only offered a ski racing program the first year, but I signed up anyways. Any discipline of skiing was better than being in school and I still skipped training on powder days. My dad then saw a potential for me in the discipline of moguls, but our local ski hill did not have a program for this. This didn’t discourage me. Even though my dad wasn’t a mogul skier he took it upon himself to read up on and watch videos on how to teach moguls and he started teaching my sister and I. When there was a competition he would contact the local team, and ask if we could train with them so we wouldn’t feel out of place being without a team. Even though there were times through the years where I was unwilling, and many fights were had, and tears shed between myself and my parents I can now look back on all the experiences I had and thank my parents for them as I wouldn’t be who I am today without their help and encouragement. Competing in skiing taught me discipline, how to get over failure and perseverance.
When I was 16 years old I moved to Whistler, BC. I graduated high school in 2010 and I didn’t have the desire to start post-secondary school, so I enrolled in the Occupational First Aid Level 3 (OFA 3) course in hopes of becoming a ski patroller for Whistler Blackcomb. Even though I failed the course the first time around I didn’t let that stop me and signed up for it again. After getting the certificate, I didn’t realize I was too young to use the OFA 3 certificate without supervision and was not offered a job. However, I was given a job with mountain safety who work really close with ski patrol. For two years I showed up for my volunteer shift and did everything that I could to prove I had what it takes to be on the ski patrol team. I even volunteered to sit on a chairlift for 2-3 hours in the cold, so ski patrol could do a practice lift evacuation. When I turned 19 I was given a spot on the ski patrol team without even applying for it. My perseverance paid off. This job pushed me physically and mentally. I learned that I have a love for helping others and it opened my eyes to how much I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.
I then went and got my level 1 and level 2 ski instructor certifications and started teaching for the Whistler Blackcomb kids program. I loved the idea of being a positive role model for young girls as I never had female coaches growing up. Even though there were days where the kids wore me thin; I lived for the moments where I positively impacted the kids and they left with a new-found love for skiing. This job taught me patience, multi-tasking and to trust myself.
After 4 years of skiing and working entry level jobs I finally decided to start my post-secondary education. I really had no clue what I wanted to study, so I enrolled in the business program at Okanagan College. I finished with an accounting diploma and then started a job at The Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa as the accounts receivable coordinator. In the year I was at this job I learnt a lot about my myself and my interests. I’ve always been a pretty shy person and this job pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was now having to call companies and harass them for overdue payments. It was also a job where I was the only one responsible for it, so I learnt to stay on top of my work and take responsibility. When sitting at my desk I was always yearning to be out in the mountains and I quickly realized that I did not like Monday to Friday desk jobs. I couldn’t picture myself doing this job for the rest of my life. This is how I came to be enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Program.
I did not like the idea of being in a rigid program like business again and I have never been a one discipline person as my skiing shows. By being in the interdisciplinary program I hope to build upon current areas of interest and discover new ones. I am not focusing on only a couple of disciplines as other students might be. I want to broaden my skill set and gain further background knowledge, to progress into more senior positions in the ski industry. I have also taken into consideration the fragility of ski resorts, so I want to have a broad skill set that I can transfer them into another industry. I’ve always had an interest in the environment and sustainability and hope to explore this further. Last semester I took the anthropology course Canadian Native People, and this sparked an interest in first nation studies and I hope to complete the Aboriginal Studies Certificate alongside my bachelors. Currently I have taken courses in business, tourism, communications, anthropology, geography and adventure studies. I believe my past learning experiences make me a good fit for interdisciplinary studies.