Prior to the start of last winter, I spent two years going from season to season across the world. Whilst chatting with colleagues and ski buddies I met on these adventures, the ‘Best resorts you have ever skied in’ conversation would often crop up. Zermatt was a name that was often mentioned. Skiers would paint a picture of the challenging steeps, testing mogul runs and endless off-piste exploration. To top it off, every turn was made with the iconic Matterhorn in full view. It quickly found a a place atop my ‘Resort bucket list’ and I made a plan to spend the following season there training and working with Altitude.
Finding a job in Zermatt was not easy
Whilst researching ski schools in Zermatt, there are plenty of established big names you can apply to. As it’s such a desirable resort, with a Level 2 qualification (even with some experience) it can be tricky to find a job outright without entering into a training programme first. It felt like it was the right time for me to do some more training, ready for my Level 3 exam in New Zealand the following season so I started to consider my options. These training programmes, although valuable in their content, are often extremely expensive. My progression through my ski training and exams has been self funded, meaning an expensive programme is out of reach for me. Fortunately, I noticed that Altitude were offering a ‘free’ work and train programme, the caveat being it was the first year of their expansion to Zermatt. Altitude was known and well-respected amongst my peers so I jumped at the chance and began the application process.
What was the application process like?
For the application, I was required to answer a few industry specific questions and send over a CV along with a cover letter. As luck would have it, I was offered an interview. It was a fairly informal and pleasant chat with Laura (Sales Director) and Jon (Managing Director). They asked me a few questions about my previous experience and future goals within the industry, including some thought experiments pertaining to on-mountain situations. I didn’t manage to scare them off, as I was promptly offered a position and the wheels were set in motion for a new chapter in Zermatt.
Before my arrival I had to arrange accommodation . I was put in touch with Juraj, the ski school director, he was able to assist me in my hunt for a place to live. Eventually I found an apartment, sharing with a couple of colleagues from Perisher. Once I had arrived, I was required to take multiple identification documents and proof of funds in order to obtain my work permit and blue card. The latter of which gives you a half price discount on your lift pass.