Dan is spending his ski season at Ohakune. This is a true authentic NZ ski town, with a strong tight-knit community and has some epic skiing on a active volcano. Hear Dan’s story of making his dream of becoming a snowboard instructor a reality, what the internship is like, and where he plans to take his career.
Q) Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Dan, I'm a 19 year-old Australian currently living in Ohakune, New Zealand. I have been snowboarding for 12 years and have always dreamt of working on a mountain and snowboarding for a living.
Q) Why did you decide to become an instructor with EA?
When I started high school, I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to start working hard to get a good job and the ideas I had as a kid probably wouldn't be an option. When Covid hit this idea was cemented by the fact that travel was out of the question. Midway through 2022 having been working full time for a while, EA was an option that made the ideas I’d had feasible for the first time.
Q) What resort did you choose to go to and why did you choose that?
I chose to go to Tūroa in New Zealand because for me it is a super easy trip from Australia and doesn’t require a visa to work and live here. For me it was far simpler than going to the Northern Hemisphere as it was the first time moving out of home and to extend that moving to a whole new country.
Q) Tell me about living in New Zealand?
New Zealand is an amazing country and wildly different to Australia. It has amazing landscapes and culture surrounding the many places packed into such a small place. As for living in a ski town, like Ohakune, it is amazing how close the community is and how everyone surrounds each other in both good and bad times.
Q) Why do you think other people should consider an internship? What has been the best part of becoming an instructor?
I think it is the best way to break into the instructor scene giving you the qualification and experience to get jobs anywhere in the world as well as some direction for where you might want to go in the future. For me the best part by far has been the experiences with new people in the same situation and meeting new people every day. The other 7 amazing people in my program will most definitely be lifelong friends.
Q) Since becoming an instructor, what opportunities have you had?
Since becoming an instructor, I have signed a contract to work at Tūroa while I continue to train for my level 2 SBINZ certification, which I have exams for at the end of the season. I have since applied for many jobs across Canada and Japan and am currently in contact with a few resorts that have shortlisted me for job opportunities for 2024.
Q) Where do you dream of snowboarding in the world?
I personally don’t have any specific places I would like to snowboard, I just want to go to as many different resorts in as many different countries as I can, so I can have as many unique experiences as possible.
Q) What is your go-to chairlift Snack?
You can’t go wrong with a bit of chocolate. More specifically, Old Gold dark peppermint.
Q) What is your best icebreaker on a long, quite chairlift?
Playing a game called “Bang” (if you know, you know)
Q) What do you enjoy about being an instructor?
The best thing about being an instructor is seeing people's reactions when they achieve something for the first time. It doesn't have to be something complicated but it absolutely makes their face light up.
Q) For those people considering doing a course with EA, what advice might you have for them?
If you have this opportunity don’t throw it away. If you enjoy traveling, meeting new people, learning new skills and you can put up with a little bit of cold weather, it is the most amazing experience you can have. EA is the easiest way to make sure everything happens smoothly and efficiently. It is a bit of a niche community, so meeting like-minded people opens up your mind to many more opportunities that you might not have ever thought of before. It is definitely an environment that challenges you and pushes you to learn more and improve as a snowboarder, but also as a person and a mentor to others who might look up to you in this situation which helps evolve the future of Snow-sports.
Download our Instructor guide here to find out what it is like becoming an instructor here
Download your New Zealand brochure here if frothing for a winter ski season here