How’ve 8 months of unusual education turned a dreamer into a precious employee wanted in almost every ski/bike shop?
“Live’s too short to do the job which doesn’t excite me”, I’ve said 2 seconds before I booked my one-way flight to Canada.”
I’ve arrived at Whistler, BC, full of enthusiasm. “I’m gonna live in the mountains, and work as a bike mechanic because that’s what I love to do.”
Not so fast, Adam…
Reality check slapped me on my face like a daddy’s massive palm.
First, to work as a bike mechanic you must have some retail experience. “I was fixing friends bikes from my childhood”, doesn’t gonna cut it.
Second, don’t get me wrong, but the Slovak school system didn’t really teach me how to speak in English. It taught me grammar, how to write and how to stand still with jaw dropped, eye pupils racing left-right while searching for a proper, grammatically correct version of the sentence I want to say.
Third, to get a job in Whistler, you will have to give a good answer on the following question: “do you have long-term accommodation here?”. In fact, this is the crux.
To get a job, you need long-term accommodation. To get long-term accommodation, you need a job.
I had only pretty expensive AirBNB, one-month long accommodation at that time.
7 weeks later, I was so desperate in an unsuccessful job search, that I was about to take anything. I was lucky that a friend of my friend knew a hotel, which was hiring housekeepers, without experience, and without questions asked about accommodation. [Even in my wildest dreams, I would never imagine connecting the word “luck” with toilet cleaning:-]
My working holiday visas
As you probably know, Canadian Working Holiday visas last only one year and you can get them only once in a lifetime.
My year flew by fast as a lightning.
I didn’t manage to get a visa sponsorship from my employer, so twelve months after I’ve got into Canada stoked to live my dream, sadly, I had to leave. [I wish I’d knew Whistler Adventure School at that time].
I’ve landed back in Slovakia, and I realized that after one year in Whistler, everything’s changed. Life in Slovakia was boring. I wanted to go back.
What my first year in Canada taught me?
It’s an amazing place, but even when I was in paradise, I didn’t manage to be happy while doing a job which I hated.
If your job position is easily replaceable with another newbie with a full year of Working Holiday Visas in front of him, it’s almost impossible to get a Visa Sponsorship from your employer. It’s way easier for him to replace you with that newbie.
My return with solution.
I’ve found a way how to get to Canada with a long-term accommodation arranged before my arrival, got a job as a bike mechanic shortly after my arrival, and become a valued employee for a sportshop which transitions between winter ski season and summer bike season.
How did I do it?
I’ve found Whistler Adventure School.
Did you have a good time during your high school education? If you are a bit like me, you’d said: “only at a lunch break”.
Good news: This is not a “normal” school.
You don’t study photography in the classroom. You study it by shooting in the mountains.
You don’t study how snowboards are manufactured in theory. You study it by making your own rideable prototype.
The school doesn’t pick subjects you need to study to complete your program. You choose them. [What’s the point anyway to study something you are not interested in?]
I don’t consider myself normal either, so this school was a perfect fit for me:-]
How did my student times in Whistler felt?
Hell yeah! They were so good, that I would do anything to repeat them again. [I dived in deeper to my student times in this article].
What happened at the end of my Work & Study year in Whistler?
My Canadian immigrant dream came true. I’ve got the visa sponsorship offered by my employer. Sweet, I’ve declined.
I’ve learned too much to be just another employee, living in Whistler BC, for many years to come.
I want more.
After graduation from the Retail and Manufacturing program, armed with finely picked knowledge and experience as a Ski builder, Boot fitter, Bike mechanic, I’ve realized that the sports industry world has just opened up for me.
I can travel to any country across the world, show up in any sportshop, and land a job easily.
When I’ve imagined all those stunning places I can live in, like New Zealand, Switzerland or Iceland, the game was on.
For now, I’ve decided to work for a brand. I’ve chosen YT Industries because of their company image and landed a job there as a bike tech.
These days, I’m inspecting frame fractures, doing high-end repairs and modifications which only frame manufacturer can do. All while working with a badass team of industrial designers, global marketers and other shenanigans.
When I sum the facts, Whistler Adventure School has accelerated my “get hired success rate” to 100%
- Bike mechanic / Comor Sports Whistler – applied/hired
- Ski builder / Prior Snow Whistler – applied/hired
- Bike mechanic / Kaktus bike Slovakia – applied/hired
- Bike tech, Warranty tech / YT Industries Germany – applied/hired
Thanks to Whistler Adventure’s School Retail and Manufacturing program, I have a dream job in Germany, which excites me and teaches me new stuff every day.
It’s launched my career as a Mountain Sport Technician and gave me unforeseen education, which is respected all over the world.
I’m not done yet. It’s time to plan and conquer another dream. And what about you?
Want to meet me on a coffee or ride a singletrack in the Alps, while having your questions about Canadian education and Work & Study visas answered?
Why not? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange something.
Do you want only your questions answered? No problem, just shoot me an email.
An in a meanwhile, I wish you GoodTimes!