Who are the reps?
Reps can come from all walks of life - who would not want to live and work in the mountains for a season? Reps can be on a Gap Year, taking a career break or even be returning for their umpteenth season. Generally speaking though, a Rep will have a passion for the mountains and be willing to make a positive difference to customers' holidays.
What will I be doing day to day?
A Rep's week revolves around the transfer day, which is usually either a Saturday or a Sunday, and is by far away a Rep's longest day. There is usually an early start meeting a coach, collecting guests that are leaving your resort, transferring them to the airport, collecting any feedback questionnaires and then seeing off the guests off at the airport in Departures. You should be able to grab a short break before it all starts again with a new set of guests landing and coming through Arrivals. Your airport duties will then revolve around directing people to their correct transfer coaches. You will be expected to deliver a welcome speech on the transfer to your resort. This is also a prime opportunity to make sure that everyone on your coach is sorted for lift passes, equipment hire and ski or snowboard lessons.
Depending upon your resort you could have both morning and afternoon transfers or be seeing coaches that don't have a Rep in and out of the resort. Once the last customer from the evening flight has checked into their hotel or been welcomed at their chalet, you can sit down to tackle the admin of the day. An important task is to now balance the books as you could well be carrying thousands of Euros cash.
The next day you'll be up early to make sure that all is running smoothly at the hire shops and ski school see-off points for your customers and there may be the odd lift pass to deliver. On the customers' first evening, you will visit their hotels and chalets to conduct a welcome presentation and answer any questions that they may have. Throughout the week, there will be more of these accommodation visits to check-in with the customers and so you can offer any top tips and perhaps resolve any complaints. You will also be involved with the running or guiding of the week's programme of activities, such as a pub quiz, bar crawl or a day skiing away in another resort.
In your free time you will be able to make the most of all the mountains have to offer - hitting the slopes with blue skies and deep powder! You'll also be able to frequent the bars dotted around the resort. Before you know it, you will know the resort inside and out, both the pistes and the village, and it won't be long before you count the other Reps and resort staff among your best friends.
Do I need to be able to ski?
Not necessarily - although you should definitely have a passion for the mountains and be willing to learn. A lot of the tour operators are able to offer complimentary lessons through their partner ski school at the start of the season. Just remember, all of your clients are on a skiing holiday and it is always useful if you are able to connect with them over this common interest. Guests will also expect you to be the expert on all things skiing or snowboarding, from boots and bindings to recommending routes around the pistes. Despite the hard work, being a Rep is a great way to get out skiing in the mountains for a season.
What experience do I need?
A previous role with customer experience is ideal but at the very least you should be able to demonstrate that you are able to put the customer at the heart of everything you do. Some guests will be expecting a high level of customer service. Any experience of, or a panache for, sales will also definitely come in handy. You will be selling extras, such as lift passes or an evening activity, to customers to make sure they are making the most of their holiday. Most companies will also expect a degree of initiative to proactively pre-empt any problems.
What benefits are there with the job?
The main benefit of the job is skiing! Most tour operators also include transfers from the UK out to resort and back again, training at the start of the season, accommodation for the season, travel insurance, season lift pass, season equipment hire and tuition at the start of the season. You'll also be in a fairly unique position as not many people can claim the mountains as their home and office for a Winter.
As you can see, what sets this job apart is that no two days in a week are the same. It is certainly not a 9-5 office job! A transfer day will be vastly different to the rest of your week but even in-resort during the week your days will vary depending whether it is towards the start or end of the customers' holiday. The start of their holiday is concerned with making sure that they are set to enjoy their time away, during the week there will be chalet or hotel visits and guiding apres activities, and towards the end of their holiday you will start thinking about preparation for the next transfer day and new arrivals. Here is as typical a day as possible:
Early morning: Before the first lifts are moving you could be visiting a hotel, chalet or resort office to host a morning 'Info Point'. If you're not visiting the customers or in the office, you may be in the local hire shop or at the ski school meet-point seeing customers off for the day.
Mid morning: Behind the scenes your admin duties are just as important as your customer-facing roles. There may be accounts or invoices to settle, social media to be updated or pre-paid extras such as lift passes to be ordered for the new arrivals.
Afternoon: As the season goes on, you start to develop a routine and become more efficient at your tasks so can usually get out on the slopes for a couple of hours during the working day.
Evening: There may be evening accommodation visits if there were not any in the morning. It will be a chance to make yourself available to customers as a source of top tips. You could also promote the activity you may be guiding later on that evening, such as a bar crawl or pub quiz.
How long is a winter season for a ski rep?
The length of a Winter season varies between resorts and tour operators but generally runs December - April.
Do I need to be able to speak a foreign language fluently?
No - you do not need to be fluent in a foreign language although you would definitely have a distinct advantage if you are able to speak a bit of the local lingo. The locals tend to appreciate any effort made towards learning the basics and you never know when a friendly local or supplier may be able to help you out! As a starter: 'Hi' is 'Salut' in French, 'Servus' in German or 'Ciao' in Italian.
The small print
Generally you will be paid in Sterling so most tour operators require you to have a UK bank account, National Insurance number and UK address. The vast majority of your guests will be UK holidaymakers.
Why work as a rep?
If you have a love of the mountains, enjoy interacting with customers and suppliers and are looking for a role beyond the restraints of an office, then Repping is for you! At times you may be outside of your comfort zone and having to think on your feet but at the end of the season you will able to look back on it all and have some great stories to share from your time on the slopes! You never know, you may even evolve from being a one-time seasonnaire to a full-time adopted local.
Where do I apply?
Think you have what it takes? Head over to our dedicated ski resort reps page to start applying for this season's current vacancies!