Working a ski season at Panorama Mountain Resort
Meet Charlotte. After returning home from our awesome Summer Camp USA program, she headed back to North America and across the border to work a ski season on our Work Canada Ultimate program.
I love to travel and had wanted to go to Canada for as long as I can remember. After taking a short career break for Summer Camp in America, I decided I wanted to get a working holiday visa. I did some research on the BUNAC website and found out about the IEC visa. Two years in Canada, my first real winter season and a job at a ski resort - I was sold!
Why the Panorama Resort?
Panorama really appealed to me because it was a more intimate resort in the heart of the mountains. I researched the resort and the first thing I saw on the website was their slogan 'Panorama, pure Canada'. I also looked up some previous staff interviews. I didn't see one bad review and I really enjoyed reading about other people's experience there. I knew this was where I wanted to spend my winter season!
What was it like working at Panorama?
The most rewarding part of working at Panorama was being a part of the Housekeeping team. I'm used to being in a customer facing role but this time I was behind the scenes. The job was physically demanding especially during the peak periods but our team really was amazing. It was great that the feedback from our manager was so positive - we were even smashing records from previous years!
Staff events really made the season so fun. There were lots of staff appreciation events including a Christmas party, free breakfast morning, movies nights in the great hall and many more. For all those living in town, we set up a Facebook group so there was always something going on. My favourite has to be the end of season bonfire by the lake. A group of us all sat round by the fire, watching the sunset and toasting s’mores. A simple, cheap and fun night for all!
What about your days off?
I always spent a least one of my days off skiing and enjoying the resort. A group of us would take the last morning bus up the mountain and hit the slopes, have lunch and enjoy a soak in the hot pools. This routine NEVER got old and I always looked forward to getting back out there! I lived in town so I loved exploring and checking out local events or catching a ride with others heading out of town for the day. A group of us from Housekeeping also arranged a weekly dinner and movie/game night. There was always something being planned amongst the Pano staff so days off were never boring.
What was the accommodation like?
I didn't stay in staff accommodation, but for those who did, it was a dorm style living. I rented a private room in the local town, Invermere, through another staff member at Panorama. This was definitely more suited to me as I loved making the most of my days off and having my own room to head back to. Most rentals were situated in great locations with easy access to shops, cafes and bars and most importantly the bus stops that took you up to the resort.
What did you learn from your season?
Panorama has definitely helped me grow as a person. I used to be quiet and lacked confidence and, at 28, I worried I'd be the oldest one in housekeeping and if I'd struggle to connect with people. As soon as I started work, I was able to adapt to new situations much easier than I thought. Being surrounded by a great bunch of like-minded people, of all ages, has taught me to stop taking life so seriously and to stop over thinking every decision. It's given me a new outlook on life. Instead of worrying about where I'll end up next or not having an exact plan, I'm excited for the future!
What words of advice would you give to someone thinking about working in Canada?
Be open minded and willing to step out of your comfort zone to try new things. Also, don't be disappointed if you don't get your first-choice job. I originally applied for customer service and admin jobs. When I was offered the job at Panorama in housekeeping, I had mixed feelings to begin with. I reminded myself that the whole point of this experience was to get away from the routine of my 9-5 desk job and try something totally different!
Inspired by Charlotte’s ski season? 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.