Working a ski season at Blue Mountain Resort
Meet Steve. Fed up with his career and routine London life, he quit his job and moved to Canada on our Work Canada Ultimate program – doing a season at the Blue Mountain Resort that he extended not once, but twice!
Canada has always been a place I was interested in since I was very young. Compared with my home city London, so much of the Great White North offers a completely different terrain with the famous mountains, lakes and sprawling landscapes. I love exploring new places and seeing diverse cultures anyway, but I always heard that the Canadians were also fairly liberal in outlook and particularly polite - so far so true, my kind of people!
Why did you choose to work at Blue Mountain?
I had not previously worked in hospitality, and once I signed up to the BUNAC Work Canada Ultimate package I was excited by the prospect of taking on such a challenge within a hotel or resort environment. Each of the resorts had their own merits, however the combination of Blue Mountain's year-round facilities and excellent staff benefits was a big draw. Notably the resort was also especially encouraging of beginners in winter sports, giving them time to practise on the slopes (that was me!)
What was your job at Blue Mountain?
As a Service Express Agent for the Westin Trillium House, my role would see me interacting with guests either in person at the hotel front desk (for check-ins, check-outs and general assistance) or via email/telephone while handing queries regarding in-house, future or potential reservations. Each working day could be so different depending on the in-house guests and the respective challenges presented in overseeing their stay. Naturally there will be some tiring and difficult shifts, but overall the experience has been extremely rewarding.
What about your time off?
During the winter season there was no shortage of events or social outings to the village, with Jozo’s being a popular option for those residing in staff accommodation. I took the opportunity to feel the thrill of pizza-slicing on the ski slopes for the first time, while on occasion relaxing and discussing life in the Blue Mountain hot tubs...bliss! Blue Mountains also has the Gondola and Ridge Runner, not to mention wider trips to the scenic caves, nearby beaches, local breweries and other places of interest in the local towns of Collingwood and Thornbury.
What was the staff accommodation like?
Staff accommodation can be rather varied from one house to another! Some of my fellow BUNAC friends lived in an incredible winter chalet which became the envy of staff housing, whereas mine was sharing living quarters in a group of 12. Bottom line though, the challenges presented by being under the same roof meant you were all in the season together, making friends and making memories!
What were your highlights?
So many! From nights bbq-ing at 1am with housemates, to some very jovial interactions with guests and back-office de-stress banter with colleagues, my highlight has been the social experience. In the future I'll look back and laugh, remembering everyone that has made the experience so incredible!
How has your life changed since working at Blue Mountain?
The mind is a powerful tool. My lifestyle is very different at Blue Mountain compared to a city commuter’s routine back in London. My mindset towards life has changed more than anything. I once placed great emphasis on an established career path to form the backbone of my lifestyle decisions – I have now learned that there is no greater wealth than the interactions with new and diverse people, places and cultures, which requires no formal structure or plan to achieve. Call me a free-spirit in training!
What are you up to now?
My initial contract at Blue Mountain covered the winter season (Nov – Mar), but I found the experience so amazing that I opted to extend my stay not once, but twice, being at the resort until end of June! Overtime, I have become a more experienced seasonal worker and also enjoyed being able to apply gained skills and knowledge towards additional tasks, i.e. creation of staff reference material and training of the new summer intake.
Inspired by Steve’s story? The Ultimate Canada includes visa assistance to secure that all important visa, two years of job support, arrival accommodation, a pre-arranged ski season job and more. Book now with a deposit, start planning your trip and interviewing for jobs.