Julia has always had a strong affiliation with the snow ever since she attended a snowboard camp during school. Determined to turn her love for Snowsports into a career her research eventually led her to QRC and our Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management.
The fact that she could complete a bachelor’s degree at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in B.C Canada was also a real draw card.
It is no surprise that she undertook her internship with NZ Ski working in the lift operations department. She also spent some time working for the Queenstown Ice Arena.
One of the biggest take-aways from her internship was the power of people and making the right connections.
After graduating from QRC Julia eventually headed to Canada to complete an in Interdisciplinary degree combining tourism and journalism with our strategic partner;
“Combining my tourism specific studies at QRC with my time at TRU opened up a heap more opportunities within the Canadian tourism industry and since then I have had the opportunity of working within the sales and marketing department for three of the top rated and largest ski resorts in Canada.”
Julia currently maintains 2 jobs depending on the season. She spends her winters working as the Group Sales and Volunteer Coordinator at RED Mountain Resort in British-Columbia and her summers as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Ziptrek Tremblant.
Continue reading below to learn more about Julia and her exciting career working in sales and marketing within the global tourism industry since leaving QRC.
On the Couch with Julia Thrift
Why did you choose to follow a career in tourism/hospitality?
Years ago I went to a snowboard camp and met some really amazing people. I realized I wanted to stay involved in that industry as much as I could. The mountains, the people, and the culture are a huge part of my life. Wanting to mix my passion with my work I decided to follow a career in tourism.
Why did you choose QRC?
During my final year of high school, I was looking at schools that offered a tourism program around Canada but I also was really wanting to travel. My dad sent me a link to QRC stating that I could both travel and go to school if I attend school in NZ. A look at the website and a couple Google searches about the Queenstown area and I knew that I wanted to go to QRC for my post-secondary education.
Where did you undertake your internship? (job/position)
I did my first internship with NZ Ski working in the lift operations department and did my second with both NZ Ski and the Queenstown Ice Arena.
What was the biggest “take away” from your internship experience?
The benefits of working at NZ ski were more apparent to me after returning to Queenstown some years later. It made me realize the connections I had made and gave me a better understanding of the impact I had within the team and what I accomplished during my internship time. With that I would say my biggest takeaway is that the tourism industry is a small industry in many ways and the connections you make no matter how big or small are worth remembering.
Tell me about your journey since leaving QRC.
I’ve kept quite busy since leaving QRC. Knowing that I was wanting to get out of the operations side of the industry and work more in marketing and sales, I went on to attend Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, to complete a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. My disciplines being tourism and journalism, hoping to round out my skill set to be more marketing specific. It’s a sister school to QRC so I was able to transfer credits and start in my third year.
Combining my tourism specific studies at QRC with my time at TRU opened up a heap more opportunities within the Canadian tourism industry and since then I have had the opportunity of working within the sales and marketing department for three of the top rated and largest ski resorts in Canada.
What role are you in now?
For the past three years I have been working seasonally in the sales and marketing department with two companies. I spend my winters working as the Group Sales and Volunteer Coordinator at RED Mountain Resort in British-Columbia and my summers as the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for Ziptrek Tremblant.
What are your main responsibilities?
At RED Mountain Resort my responsibilities include; Planning and organizing Groups’ on-site visits, group pitches, presentations and updating group contracts. I also assist the Events Team in planning and running events and manage day to day volunteer programs, this includes the Snow Hosts and Event Volunteers of about 80 staff.
At Ziptrek Tremblant my responsibilities include coordinating and presenting company offerings to various sales groups. Coordinating and facilitating in-resort sales partnerships and media opportunities, attending industry or networking events as required. Creating & distributing print ads, marketing collateral, sales product flat sheets. Social media, content creation, photography and videography.
Can you describe a typical day at work?
During the winter there really isn’t a typical work day. Some mornings involve starting the day greeting the Snow Hosts working that day, others greeting and hosting the group visiting the mountain for their first day on snow. The only things that are really typical is that I have to check my emails, and I try to get out for some laps with the Sales and Marketing or Volunteer team at least a couple days a week. In classic dad joke fashion I often call these BOARDmeetings… Get it?
My summer job at Ziptrek is a little more subject to repetition. Often, I show up for work, check TripAdvisor and other review platforms, as well as my emails. Once that is all done, I try to make my way on course to take some photos or videos of the day. It’s also just great to get out and enjoy the amazing experience that I am marketing and selling.
How did your time at QRC help prepare you for your current job?
QRC helped me realize exactly what department I wanted to be working in within the tourism sector. It gave me a base of knowledge in all aspects of tourism business management as well as some insight into the basic operations of a ski resort. It really assisted me in being qualified for the first few supervisory positions I worked while still furthering my education.
What do you enjoy the most about your current position?
In both roles I love the people, it’s such a great feeling to share my favourite parts of the regions, mountains and experiences. Getting to enjoy the mountains, be creative and get outdoors are also amazing benefits to both of my current roles.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to be in the mountains or at least close to them.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
Personal advice would be from my dad, it was something along the lines of: If you ever have the opportunity to travel go. If money is the factor stopping you, still go.
Career advice is something my QRC Head of Programme, John Cushen said about going above and beyond for guests and how much it can completely change and make an experience for them. I used to have the exact quote in my mind but over the years it has been shortened and lost.
Any words of wisdom to young people starting on their career?
People are everything. You never know who you may meet or when they will come back into your life. Be it career or personal, the tourism industry in so many ways is small and who you know can make a world of difference.