You have been involved in the student snowsports scene before NUCO was even a thing and have seen the growth of NUCO since 2012, now a family of brands covering the whole lifecycle of skiers and adventure lovers. What aspect do you miss from the early days and what have been the best changes you have seen in the industry and company?
I started repping back in 2009 — I’m a dinosaur! — as a fresh-faced 2nd year student at Bath Uni. My first week was INSANE and I quickly caught the bug and became addicted to the job. After countless weeks repping, across multiple roles, and looking after a wide variety of groups, I worked my way up to Duty Manager, before being drafted into the Ops department in the office, as the new Ops Coordinator. It has been an absolute privilege to witness, all the way back from the inception of NUCO, how far we have come as a team — what we do is no mean feat. We do not simply organise drunken uni ski trips, we tailor unique experiences for both our clients and our staff, that create lifelong memories, and we put on huge, industry-leading events. I have met my absolute best friends for life through NUCO, witnessed countless NUCO weddings and now NUCO babies — roll on rep class of 2035!
In terms of the early days and what I miss…. As my role has developed into Sustainability and Ops Manager, I spend less and less time in resort, and next to no time on the slopes. I do still get to go out to resort for big weeks, like Varsity — still one of my favourite weeks in the calendar, even after 12 years. That being said, I know what my role entails, so I make sure that time I spend in resort is spent to the fullest! In terms of the changes — I am going to nerd out here — the passenger app!! Woweeeee! What a revolution that has been, both for the customer and behind the scenes in the office — it has been a total god send!
During your time at NUCO what have been some of the best things you have been involved with?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the huge events that I’ve been able to see through from the planning stages to the day itself — Example, Chase & Status, Rudimental, Sigala, Mella Dee to name but a few. When you stand in front of the stage, having spent months planning, you can see the joy on everyone in the crowd’s faces — priceless! You just feel such pride — “we did that”, I can’t wait to get back to that!
BUDS — that’s been a labour of love, but oh so rewarding! I particularly enjoyed the secret set in the BUDS VIP area, and putting our own NUCO stamp on the event.
The annual NUCO Birthday Ball; it’s so great to see all of our wonderful reps and committees all dressed up in their finery, and have a night to celebrate all things NUCO and everything we as a team have achieved!
You have taken a lead on NUCO Green, what have been some of the areas of impact you have had and what would you like to see in the future?
To start with the office in Manchester needed a bit of a green makeover. I sourced new cleaning products, organised a new waste sorting, switched to eco loo roll and recycled printer paper, and got local milk delivered in glass bottles, to name but a few things. We have then looked at how we can make our events greener — BUDS 2019 was plastic free; we sourced personalised eco cups for all Varsity events in 2019, and have been assessing where we can make changes to other events. I have started a NUCO Green initiative with student groups, whereby the committees elect someone to be the club’s green hero, and we work on a pledge for the season — including looking at promo material, waste management, codes of conduct in resort, and other such promises. Sadly COVID meant that we weren’t able to put any of these pledges into practice yet, but we’re ready to tackle 2021/22 in the greenest fashion possible.
In the future I would love to see how we could aim to make our trips carbon negative, if BrewDog can do it, why can’t we? We need to protect our snow-capped mountains if we are going to continue our adventures.
In your role you also work a lot with our French suppliers, what would you say is the trick to creating these great working relationships?
Speaking French and Spanish is an excellent start!! Over the years I have grown to become genuine friends with a lot of our suppliers in resort, staying in touch throughout the year and spending as much time with them in resort as possible. I think as well, having had a variety of jobs in the past, I can empathise and appreciate what hard work goes into all aspects of our holidays. I honestly can’t wait to get back into the swing of things, and kick start the next season — lord knows we all need it! Taking fancy English tea and biscuits from Fortnums for the big weeks also helps occasionally!!
You have had a very varied career from teacher, to restaurant manager, to wedding cake baker; from China, to Spain, to Russia, so you must have written a fair few job applications. What would you advise for anyone writing a job application for NUCO now?
It’s safe to say that I’ve been around the block a fews times, and I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up!
NUCO is 100% true to its name — Not Under Corporate Ownership — but we are a well-oiled and professional machine; we want unique, innovative and aspirational team members. We want to know about your successes, your achievements and your failures, and we want to know what you learned from your failures. We want to know what you are going to bring to the table. We do not want to know about booze-fuelled incidents that resulted in questionable tattoos, how many Jagerbombs you can do in a minute, or how much of a lad you think you are. Be true to yourself. Show us your uniqueness and be upfront, but all the while remember we are a professional entity with higher standards than people might think.
And finally if you had to choose a favourite moment from your time at NUCO what would that be?
It’s really hard to pick one single moment. Over the last decade in the snowsports industry, I have witnessed some real highs and some extreme lows; and one thing that always stays with me is the resilience of our directors; how they always pull together, especially in times of extreme adversity — there is honestly nothing those boys won’t do to ensure that every single one of our trips run as smoothly as humanly possible. They completely and utterly lead by example, and would never ask anyone to do anything they themselves haven’t or wouldn’t do! I think it’s a really inspirational way to lead a team, and something I always strive to emulate.
If I had to pick one single memory, it would have to be my last week of repping before joining the office — Palatinalps 2017; it’s where I met the one and only Louisa Treadwell; my all time favourite human on the planet, my work wife, my housemate and my BFF soulmate!). We spent the whole week with our friends Laura, Duncan and Scottie causing absolute mayhem (whilst working super hard too, of course) all week and blowing the credit card budget on a committee member’s birthday — ooooops! I will never live that one down!