Connor Clayton

Ski Business & Resort Management student Connor Clayton relaxes lake side

Major: Marketing , Ski Business and Resort Management

Class of: 2018

I was first attracted to SNC by the Freeski Team. I finished high school at Mount Snow Academy, where I received 6 days of on hill coaching every week. After that, I could go to college, get an education, and potentially sacrifice my skiing career. Or I could take a gap year and see if I had what it takes to become a professional skier. I was quite torn.

When I found out that Sierra Nevada College offered scholarships for freeskiers I knew I had to give it a chance. When my dad and I flew out to tour the school and got our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe from the Mount Rose overlook, I knew I had found the place for me. I joined the Eagles Freeski Team, and became the coach in fall 2016.

I have amazing, supportive parents. From the moment I told them I wanted to follow my goal of becoming a professional skier they supported me, and the same goes for coming here from Connecticut to get an education. As hard as it was to leave my parents and travel across the country to chase my dream, they still encouraged me every step of the way.

Ski Business & Resort Management student Connor Clayton goes airborne while freeskiing“A small school in a beautiful place, with a freeskiing program that would support all of my goals; it was just too perfect.”

I feel like business is one of the most well rounded careers. Whatever you do, everything fundamentally relates back to business. I chose to major in Ski Business and Resort Management because how could someone who lives and breathes skiing not be interested in a career in the ski industry? I also chose a second major in marketing because I love analytics and being able to track and see what drives a consumer/customer.

I’ve already started my business career. I am the Tour Manager for the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP). AFP was founded by freeskiers to bring a consistent, globally recognized ranking system to the sport. Our organization helped get Halfpipe and Slopestyle skiing into the Olympics at the 2014 Winter Games. The Dew Tour and X Games, among many organizations, use our rankings system to decide which athletes to invite to their events.

As the Tour Manager, I evaluate all the events that apply to the AFP Tour to determine their level. I keep our world tour calendar up to date. I also work closely with all of the event organizers to help them promote the event, make sure all the athletes are AFP members, and manage our branding. Finally, I maintain the results and ranking points.

My business education here has already helped me. We are still a somewhat new company and working hard on gaining market exposure and brand recognition. I have been able to bring a ‘fresh’ perspective to promoting the company from my marketing classes. My business writing and global business environment classes have greatly improved my communication skills. I was recently exchanging emails with a gentlemen from China! Finally, in the ski business program I have learned first hand what it takes to put on an event at a ski resort. This greatly helps me when I am working out event options with the organizers.

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Justin Spees
Chair, Department of Business

Undergraduate Admissions
FAX: 775-831-6223