It seems the number one question we receive from guide school candidates is related to our policy on job placement. This comes about primarily as a comparative factor as there are a couple of schools out there that that make large claims regarding their guide job placement track record or even guarantee they can place guide candidates into jobs after completion of their program. But prospective students also want to know, that if they pay money and go to a school, that there will be sufficient wilderness guide jobs available for them to apply for upon completion of the program.
Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School’s approach to job placement is straight forward and very comprehensive. The fact is that we get more leads for guide jobs, wrangler jobs, packer jobs and other jobs with outfitters then we have students. We have a complete job board that we keep updated throughout the season. The job board includes very thorough facts and details about the job opening of outfits. We require outfitters with job openings to complete a questionnaire so we can give our students thorough details about the possibility of working for that outfitter. The details received from the outfitter enabled students to check out the outfitter to determine if they are the type of business and employer that they want to be affiliated. You see at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School we believe in a couple of core principals about job placement as follows:
Similar to the philosophy: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life,” we believe our obligation is to teach you how to find a job, not just give you three names of people looking to hire someone.
We have no idea if you will excel or fail in the program or for that matter in this industry. We believe in being honest with prospective employers about the performance of our students. It is not worth us to place a marginal employee, only to ruin the reputation of the school just to keep our statistics high. Worse yet some schools claim 100% placement of students, but then when you read the fine print, it discloses “ of qualified” students that performed in their program. Well we are here to tell you that every school can make that claim. Of course the top students get jobs readily, why would this industry be any different from any other? If you work hard, do well, and stay committed to the process, you will get a job!
We believe our obligation is to show you how to write a resume and a cover letter, and then give you the resources to do so at the school while you are attending your program. We believe we should teach you how to investigate openings for wilderness guide jobs and the reputation of outfitters. We believe we should train you on the right way to interview, follow up and plan your career.
The bottom line is at Swan Mountain Wilderness Guide School we believe that you must take responsibility for yourself. No one is going to hand you anything; it doesn’t work that way in the outfitters and guides industry, or perhaps anywhere else, so why should it happen at a guide school? Our job is to prepare you for a job and to get a job. We think we do that better than anyone else.
Oh, and by the way, 100% of our graduates who were qualified found wilderness guide jobs after their time with us since our inception!