Yannick and Fiona Gomes
By Karen D. Lorentz
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a series on graduates of the Killington School of Resort Management program of Green Mountain College. See the Oct. 8 story for details on the program.
They have different jobs at Killington, but Yannick Gomes and his sister Fiona came to the resort via a similar route.
While growing up in Marblehead, Mass., they learned to ski at an early age. “Our family spent all our vacations traveling north from Massachusetts to ski throughout New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont. We quickly decided Vermont, and more specifically, Killington, was the place for us,” noted Yannick Gomes.
Their parents purchased a vacation home on Lake Dunmore, and Vermont became a significant part of their lives, so much so that both graduated from the Killington School of Resort Management program.
Q&A with Yannick Gomes
Mountain Times: What was your route to your job?
Yannick Gomes: When I graduated high school, I spent a year at the University of Rhode Island but I quickly decided I wasn’t interested in any of their offerings and I wanted to be able to snowboard. I then came across the Killington School of Resort Management and I knew it would be a perfect fit! Going through the program was a fascinating and valuable experience that I recommend to anybody. I graduated cum laude in June 2013 and progressed with my job to where I am now, the night supervisor at the Killington Grand Hotel.
MT: What jobs led to your current position?
YG: My first position in the hotel was as the full-time night auditor. I would work overnight (11 p.m.-7 a.m.) every night running reports for various departments such as accounting and housekeeping while maintaining the guest needs within the hotel. From there I transitioned into lodging guest services part-time while I audited part-time. I obtained my first supervisor position while I was still in school and was promoted to Village front desk supervisor. I ran the desk at Snowshed where we used to check in all of our condominium guests. Shortly after graduation I was promoted to the night supervisor job at the Grand.
MT: Why did you choose the KSRM program?
YG: I wanted to start a career that I could genuinely enjoy. I am so lucky that my job is to share what I love with our guests.
MT: How did the program enable that to happen?
YG: This program brings together students who are all of the same mindset—they want to work in this specific industry. Our streamlined interest allowed us to truly work together through school, and even now as alumni and Killington employees.
MT: Did the program live up to your expectations?
YG: It blew my expectations out of the water. Everything we learned in class was directly relevant to the industry we are working in. Having the ability the work in the job you are studying for while going to school puts you steps ahead of the typical college graduate, many of whom graduate with a bachelor’s and have never worked a day in their life. This was not the case for us. Every student is required to work throughout the school year. We would bring back our experiences from all our separate departments and share them with one another. After a few years of this, you almost feel as if you have worked in every department!
MT: Was there time for some fun and slope time?
YG: School was certainly hard work but I had a TON of fun. Academics are not difficult when you enjoy what you are studying—that goes for the same in your career. I work 40 hours a week year round but still find time to snowboard, mountain bike or hike with my dog Tucker every single day!
MT: What do you like about your current job?
YG: I love my job specifically, I love my team, and I love what we represent. Going to work each day is a pleasure. I look forward to each day and what it’s going to bring. I get to welcome people as their vacations begin. I share with them what I love and ensure that they are going to have a great time.
MT: How do you find the mountain lifestyle at Killington?
YG: I love the laid-back Vermont lifestyle. People up here are so friendly and welcoming. Killington’s small town charm has been an amazing work environment. In my position, it is crucial to understand what is going on in town, so I have developed a lot of amazing relationships with business owners and managers throughout town. Having my younger sister here in town has been a blessing. Ten years ago I never thought we would be here right now. We used to fight but now we are best friends. She is having great success with the resort as well and I couldn’t be more proud of her.
MT: Any advice for high school seniors trying to decide where to go to college or on to a career?
YG: Do what you want to do, and if you don’t know yet, wait. I made the mistake of going to URI with no clear path in mind. Unfortunately, I am paying that back now. I wish I had found KSRM earlier. There is a “perfect” school for everyone, and if you’re not sure what you want to do yet, go out and have some fun until you find something for you! If you want to work in the resort industry, KSRM could be the perfect fit for you, too.
Next week we’ll meet Fiona Gomes and learn why she followed Yannick to KSRM.