Curated Ski Expert: Is It Right for You?

Travis Gerhardt shares about his experience working as a Ski Expert for Curated, in case you're wondering if this is the job for you.

A panorama of a ski slope with someone skiing across in the shade of the mountain.

My favorite place to be when I’m offline is skiing at Crested Butte Mountain in Colorado. Photo by Travis Gerhardt

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I grew up ski racing on the East Coast at a little family-owned mountain in Warwick, NY called Mt. Peter, whose skiable distance is only about 1000 feet. Though tiny, they have an amazing family atmosphere, unmatched snowmaking, and most importantly, it is home to the race team that became my lifelong friends. I attribute my overwhelming passion and love for skiing to the relationships, experiences, and skills I learned over my 15 years of racing there.

After that, I dabbled in the ski industry, working briefly for Vail Resorts in Crested Butte, CO before finally landing here at Curated in October 2020, where I plan to stay for quite a while. Now, I am a college student, freelance graphic designer, and a majorly devoted Curated Expert! Success at Curated is achievable with not only excellent customer service skills but also a true passion for skiing and the desire to share that passion and knowledge with others.

Curated was initially a minor interest, but I quickly came to love it and embraced the remote work lifestyle that Curated offers, turning this into my full-time business. In my short time at Curated, I have risen through the ranks while traveling constantly, working from the road in over 35 states the last few months alone. Undoubtedly, this work requires some serious commitment to grow your customer relationships, but if you are up for the task, you will assume a life-changing role in a community that cares about both its users and its experts!

A panorama of a green hammock set up in a tree, overlooking an expansive valley.

Found the only tree at the top of Hartmans Rocks in Gunnison, Colorado to set up the hammock and squeeze in a shift mid-hike! Photo by Travis Gerhardt

From the first day, I felt more welcomed, supported, and appreciated by Curated than any other place I have ever held a position. It is one thing to enjoy your job, but it’s another thing entirely to enjoy the people that you deal with day to day as well. Curated has created an environment where I look forward to signing on and chatting with customers and fellow experts, as well as the team from HQ, all of whom have been friendly and helpful every step of the way.

One of the best aspects of Curated is the flexibility of scheduling, allowing you to work as much or as little as you like, which makes it easy to adjust to other potential job schedules. No matter what your life or your other job may throw at you, your schedule can easily adjust to your lifestyle.

Every week, you enter your exact availability and only receive customer acquisition times in slots you indicated free. If something comes up last minute, not a problem! As long as it is more than 24 hours before your time, you can drop or change your time from the website or even on the Curated phone app.

That being said, success in any capacity is all about consistency. Whether you want to put in one session a week and only an hour or two each day or five times a week and eight hours a day, it is crucial to be consistent. The most essential aspect of this position is being there for the users and building a relationship of trust with them. In order to ensure customers are satisfied and will potentially purchase again in the future, it takes a friendly personality, daily messaging, and follow-ups to build and maintain your relationships with wonderful skiers all over the country.

My Typical Day as a Curated Expert

My days are a bit longer than most others’ days since I’ve started dedicating a lot more time to my work here, but your daily schedule could look similar to this: I usually like breaking my day up into two parts, so I start around 9am or 10am. In the morning, I check up on the team chat to look for any updates or important announcements about upcoming sales, competitions, bonuses, or anything like that. After that, I spend a few hours following up with all of the users from the day before and just hanging out online assisting anyone who is around while checking out some gear.

I prefer to take a little break in the middle of the day, so my afternoons consist of doing my classwork for college, going for a run, making some lunch, and just taking some time for myself. Then I usually hop back online before my scheduled customer acquisition time, to make sure no one responded while I was away, and sign on for the evening. Often, I will do an additional 3-5 hours in the afternoon between my shifts where I take new visitors and chat with all of my existing users to maintain my positive relationships with customers.

The author's laptop sits in his lap as he works out of a green hammock.

When I’m not out West, I still find some nice places to get some work done here in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Photo by Travis Gerhardt

Our customer acquisition times are only three hours at a time, so I take one or two a day, which are really easy to work into your schedule on any given day. During your time is when you get your new visitors. It is a bit faster-paced as you have numerous ski enthusiasts coming to you for help, all requiring an assessment of their individual skiing ability to best match them with skis and accessories. These interactions are the most exciting, bringing with them customers desiring gear tailored to their needs, so you are always exploring the newest trends and releases of ski gear.

Experts who embrace repeatedly connecting with customers build the best, most solid relationships with them, creating an opportunity for you to have a friendly chat about resorts you have visited, favorite off-season activities, and most importantly, skis! After a quick three-hour session, it is important to hang around as a few conversations tend to finish up in the moments afterward. Once I have slowed down after my scheduled time is over, I sign out of a fun and enjoyable workday!

One of my favorite aspects of Curated that makes it really easy to fit my work into my lifestyle is the mobile app they have created. Curated’s wonderful tech team created a mobile app for the experts so answering users on the go is as easy as answering a friend’s text from your phone. Not only is it great to keep up with your work whenever you have a few minutes free, but it also helps keep up conversations with customers in real-time. The app is just another tool Curated provides to experts to assist them in building stronger relationships with visitors, from anywhere at any time.

What Do You Need to Know About Gear?

It may seem intimidating to apply to a job called a Ski “Expert”, but it is not as scary as it sounds. You do not need to know every ski in existence and memorize all the technical specs on everything out there because there is definitely a learning curve. However, you do need to have a strong understanding of skis, bindings, boots, and poles, in addition to the popular designs, materials, and technology used in a majority of ski gear.

When I started, I felt confident in my knowledge of ski gear but was still scared I did not know enough. Throughout my application process, I showed an ample understanding of general ski knowledge and how to best find options for different types of skiers. Do not worry though, before you start there is extensive interaction with other experts and plenty of time to ask any potential questions, so you feel comfortable and confident to start with your first set of users!

Snow-capped mountains are reflected into a lake rimmed by green foliage and trees.

A beautiful spot on the way to Aspen, CO. One of countless travel days! Photo by Travis Gerhardt

In the beginning, I would recommend researching skis, new technologies, different materials in the skis, different boot types, and all kinds of specific knowledge you do not already know. With some studying and researching to keep up with the current trends in the ski industry, you will feel ready with few or no questions. If, however, you ever find yourself at a loss, do not fret. Joining the Curated team grants you the opportunity to connect with our massive network of experts to ask questions and share knowledge.

Does this incredible opportunity sound like the right fit for you? Whether you want to do a little or a lot, there is a spot for you at Curated. Apply to be a Curated Ski Expert here.

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Originally starting as a ski racer at Mt. Peter in Warwick, New York, I skied all over the northeast and in the last few years finally got out west and experienced a whole new world of skiing. Once I got away from my race skis and groomed trails I started trying out all the backcountry terrain Color...

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