Ever wondered what goes into being a ski or snowboard instructor G.O at one of our resorts?
Meet Brandon Creighton, Australian Snowboard Instructor who has called Club Med Sahoro Hokkaido, Japan home for the past season. From snowboarding down perfect powder slopes, to being rewarded with the smiles of guests as they develop their skills, to making friends with people from around the world, eating delicious food, and crashing in comfortable accommodation; it’s all in a days work as a Club Med snow instructor.
Brandon shares his incredible snow season experience with us, and if you're interested: tips on how to apply to be a ski or snowboard instructor with Club Med.
If you find yourself inspired and think you’re ready to take your snow skills to new heights, we're currently recruiting ski and snowboard instructors for our Japan resorts so don't hesitate and apply here now!
Hey Brandon, tell us a little about yourself...
My name is Brandon, when I was 23 I decided that I’d had enough of office life, people just weren’t supposed to live in cubicles! So I saved up some money and became a snowboarding instructor, also studying archaeology at the same time. I’ve been travelling for snow and cold things ever since.
Sounds like you're living the dream! Can you tell us about your past experience as a snowboard instructor and qualifications?
I got into snowboarding at 17 when I went on a school trip, after that it was in my blood for good. I didn’t get to a mountain again until I decided to become an instructor, this is when I went to Canada through SnowSkool – although I got Injured before my exam and finished my cert in New Zealand. My experience so far I guess has been a mixture of stubbornness and love for the sport, not to mention all of the awesome people I’ve met along the way.
After I got qualified in New Zealand, I taught someone how to link turns for a six-pack of beer, so it was Club Med who gave me my first real taste of instructing!
After becoming a qualified instructor, how did you apply for a job at Club Med & which resort were you selected for?
My first season with Club Med was the 2017-2018 winter season at Club Med Sahoro, in Hokkaido, Japan.
I applied through a Facebook ad, after that I went through a series of phone interviews, and couldn’t believe it when I got offered the position! After that, I went through the visa application process, and thanks to some very patient guys in HR it got approved the second time around. Then it was a matter of flying to Melbourne to get my visa and waiting until November!
After finally arriving in Japan, it was a train from Chitose airport to Shintoku. When I got off the train, Ibu [another resort G.O] was waiting there for me in the van and I got introduced to the other early comers. It was awesome getting to the resort for the first time, everyone working there seemed really relaxed and friendly.
Tell us about your experience as a snowboard instructor at Club Med Sahoro?
Being a snowboard instructor at Club Med Sahoro consisted of three things: having an absolute blast on the slopes with some great guests; meeting new people all the time at lunch and dinner/the bar; and being tired 5 out of 7 days of the week!
Some of the experiences I’ve had while teaching guests how to snowboard will stay with me forever, there’s a moment and you can see it, when snowboarding gets into someone’s blood. All of a sudden they start wanting to push their limit, and finish runs with attitude! It’s an awesome thing to see happen and even better when you know you got them hooked on this epic sport!
That being said, you don’t realize just how tired you are until you’re out as soon as your head hits the pillow! But the routine isn’t bad at all after the first week! I still wake up at 6am only to be disappointed that I can’t walk up to the mountain!
What is your typical day as a G.O at Club Med Sahoro?
🌄 Wake up and walk up to the resort as the sun rises. 🍳 Eat a breakfast of pancakes, bacon, sausages, eggs, and danish(es). 🏂 Get kitted up and ready for lessons, and instruct until lunch. 🍛 Have lunch either with the guests (normally the group you taught), and hope it’s chicken with tartar sauce day! 🎿 Teach some more lessons. 🌠 NIGHT SKIING!! 🍸 Dinner with guests, followed by watching the show and hanging out at the bar until 10-12ish.
Wow, that's a lot of snow time! Sounds like you enjoyed the snow quality in Sahoro?
I had to check myself into a clinic for withdrawals when I got back, that powder is something you need to experience.
(That's a firm yes!)
Describe the atmosphere at Club Med in 3 words:
Energetic, Fun, Clapping (so much clapping!)
What’s your favourite memory while working at Club Med Sahoro?
There are so many, the one that stands out for me though was a series of one on one lessons I had, the guy worked in an office, and by the end of the couple of days we were shouting like lunatics while doing jumps, rails and black runs. The energy was crazy!
But the thing I won’t forget is when I was told that before he tried snowboarding on this trip he didn’t see the point, the rat race had him downtrodden and he didn’t have anything to look forward too, but after the snowboarding we had done he said he’s already planned his next trip and he’s got something to be excited over again!
It was an amazing feeling knowing that what I was doing had made such an impact on this one guest!
What an amazing experience! Would you encourage others to apply as a ski/snowboard instructor G.O?
It was great! But you only get the most of it if you’re willing to go beyond just instructing and get involved! I’d encourage people to apply!
Any advice for future snowboard instructor G.Os?
Get involved and go to the shows, fireworks, and barbeques. There will be an adjustment period to the busy schedule, but when you get past that, it’s an epic opportunity!
What’s next for you now?
I’ve accepted an offer for Club Med in Beidahu, China! Then maybe somewhere with palm trees, or sheep (I’m looking at you New Zealand!)