We recently caught up with former EA Ski & Snowboard intern, Hannah Wilson. Hannah had recently completed her master's in physics at University when she decided to take a winter gap year and become a ski instructor.
One winter quickly turned into four and since completing her ski instructor internship with EA Ski & Snowboard, Hannah has spent the last few years chasing winter across Europe, Japan and New Zealand.
Having just completed another season at her original stomping ground, the Remarkables in Queenstown, New Zealand, Hannah and boyfriend, Blake Marshall are about to head off and follow the Freeride World Tour across the globe.
Q: Why did you decide to complete a course with EA Ski & Snowboard?
A: I decided to do a ski instructor internship with EA Ski & Snowboard because it came with a job offer. I wanted a clear pathway to become an instructor and it can be difficult to get into the industry without experience - especially in New Zealand.
Q: What were the biggest challenges you faced in your first season?
A: My first season was a lot of fun, but one of the biggest challenges for me was living in a hostel style situation with other people on the course. It was fun, but it also had its moments.
Q: Why do you think other people should do an internship or become a ski instructor?
A: An internship is an amazing way to start a career in the snow sports industry - it will give you the opportunity to get your foot in the door. It’s also a great way to improve your skiing and gain teaching experience and skills.
Q: What do you think is the most beneficial thing about doing an internship?
A: The training part of the internship was extremely beneficial. Not only did it help me pass my exams, my ability as a skier improved drastically in a short period of time. You also gain loads of valuable knowledge from the trainers on how to progress in the ski instructor industry.
Q: What resort did you go to? Why did you choose it?
A: For my ski instructor internship, I went to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand. I chose New Zealand because I had previously visited the country and fallen in love with it. The mountains are the perfect size for your first season teaching. I have returned to work at The Remarkables each year since my internship. It’s such a great all-around mountain with awesome teaching terrain, free skiing and park terrain.
Q: What opportunities have you had since becoming an instructor?
A:Since doing my ski instructor internship, I have turned my love of skiing into a career. I have travelled and worked in Switzerland and Japan, and each year I get to return to New Zealand for the winter. I have had the opportunity to ski at amazing resorts and experience some of the best snow and skiing of my life!
Q: Where is your favourite place to ski in the world?
A: My favourite ski destination in the world is Avoriaz in French Alps. This is where I learned to ski as a kid and I think you always love the first place you learn to ski. But, my second favourite ski destination would be Niseko in Japan, purely because of the powder!
Q: What do you love about being a ski instructor?
A: It’s great to be able to do something different every day! You’ll often go between teaching total beginners one day and then to more experienced skiers another day. It’s also great to be able to teach all different ages, whether kids or adults. It’s awesome to be able to see them learn new skills and fall in love with skiing too. It can be extremely rewarding and a lot of fun!
Q: What’s your favourite thing about ski instructing?
A: I love that you can work and travel across the world as a ski instructor. There are so many countries and ski resorts to choose from, and they’re all unique!
Q: If you could give others considering a course some advice, what would it be?
A: Give it your everything! Make the most of the training and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Make an effort to build relationships at the ski resort you intern at. This is the best way to get rehired and set yourself up for a career as a ski instructor – whether you want to do it forever or just a few seasons!