I selected SNC for its unique interdisciplinary program. While I look forward to becoming a mountain guide after graduation, I recognize that it may not be feasible in the long-term. For that reason I decided to study entrepreneurship as my second discipline. I hope to gain experience in the field before starting up my own guiding service, and the combination of majors I can create here at SNC is perfect to recognize that goal.
Before I transferred to SNC, I studied engineering at a school in my hometown, a small village in Northern New York. Because I was good at math and physics in high school I thought that engineering would be a great fit for my skills and interests, and it took me almost four years of on and off studying to realize that was not the case. I decided to leave my school and work for a while to see where the future would take me.
During this time I enrolled in a wilderness first responder course at the local state school. I decided to take the course simply to know how to react in the event of an emergency in the wilderness. However, it had a much greater impact. My classmates were mostly students looking to work in the outdoor industry, and from them I learned that it was possible to make a living doing what I enjoy. I began searching for outdoor education programs and SNC was the first hit on a Google search.
Aside from academics, there are other reasons I decided on SNC. The size of the school was a major factor. Although certainly not large, the university I attended prior to SNC had enough students that I felt like I had a hard time getting to know my fellow classmates. I also had a difficulties connecting with my professors, as class sizes for the more popular classes were commonly above 100 students. I hoped that the small average class size at SNC would help me to get to know both my fellow students and my professors.
“Last but not least on my decision to attend SNC is its location. Lake Tahoe has amazing opportunities for outdoor recreation, and as such, professional development for my chosen field. I hoped to learn by doing, and there is certainly no better place to do so than Lake Tahoe.”
Classes are taught by industry professionals who are more than willing to mentor students, and I almost always have time to get outside to rock climb or mountain bike between or after classes. I have guided rafts down the American River, climbed at Lover’s Leap, and formulated a business plan for a prospective business all within my classes.
Outside of class I have had the opportunity to head to an outdoor leadership conference, go on a road trip to Moab, and make some awesome friends in the process. No matter what your interests are, there are ways to make it happen at SNC.