“At the age of 35, I can see that I am not the target market for the EA programme. I wasn’t on a gap year, I wasn’t wanting to spend a winter skiing before going to uni.
What I am is a person with a lifelong love of the mountains with an ever-increasing voice inside my head telling me to do what my 8-year-old self-wanted - to become a ski instructor like all those people who had taught me (and who I remember being the coolest people in the world).
I came out to Northstar expecting a wonderful winter of skiing in California, ticking 2 very big things off my list. What I found exceeded that in more ways than I could ever have imagined.
What the EA programme offers is a way into the world which isn’t otherwise readily available to someone who lives in corporate London. It’s a safe structure by which you can change your life. They take you through the training you need, offer the support and connections you need, and give you a way to what might just be the most exceptionally incredible thing to exist. A world where you not only get paid to ski, but to be surrounded by people who share the love of the mountains, and who smile through the hard times of teaching the hordes of holiday goers – because you might be exhausted, but you’re exhausted in the mountains, teaching people how to ski, seeing the total joy on people’s faces when they nail those linked turns for the first time or do something that they didn’t think they would be able to do.
Northstar is a magical place, where people from all walks of life, of all ages (I’ve made friends aged between 17 to 80), are there because they don’t want to be anywhere else.
Of course, it would technically be possible to achieve all of this without the EA programme – the ski resorts are there - but having the structure and connections to bring you there is priceless.
The EA programme brought me to this place. And I am now looking forward to my 2ndseason as a ski instructor and everything that brings with it. For the time being though I’m enjoying the California sunshine sitting by Lake Tahoe with the wonderful friends, I made last season…and I am so grateful to the EA programme for making that possible.”
Sophie Jones – Northstar 2016/17 Internship