Bryan Almond’s Deer Valley Difference
Bryan is another first year staff member working as an assistant in the Human Resources Department. Until recently he was a member of the Utah Opera and has performed all over the world. He is also one of a select pair of Deer Valley male employees who come to work daily, wearing some form of neck-wear. Bryan distinguishes himself by wearing a bow-tie!
JF: Bryan, what was you occupation before joining Deer Valley Resort?
Bryan: I was performing with the Utah Opera and was also working for the Marriott Hotel Corporation while attending Medical School. I dropped out of Medical School because I found out that it wasn’t really for me. I did a lot of searching and concluded that I wanted to be involved with people, that I needed to use all my customer service and hospitality experience and found that Human Resources was probably the best bet for me. I started looking for some internship or entry level experience involved with human resources and that’s what landed me at Deer Valley Resort.
JF: How was your experience as an Opera Singer?
Bryan: I was raised in an Air Force Military family so I grew up moving all the time as a kid. Before I went to college, I actually visited India; you see, travel is in my blood. Then I went to school to be a music teacher. In order to get my scholarship, I had to take private lessons of some kind and eventually interviewed with the Chicago Symphony and, much of my surprise, was accepted as the youngest person in their chorus. That’s where my singing career took off and from there, I did internship, composition, conducting and I ended up in Germany for a while.
JF: What did you like about singing?
Bryan: I liked that I was good at it [chuckle]! It’s something that came naturally to me and because I traveled so much as a kid, it wasn’t difficult for me to move around, so people and travel where the areas I enjoyed most, more so than simply performing.
JF: And what didn’t you like?
Bryan: Opera singing is a very unstable profession, especially if I wanted to stay in the United States. Unlike Europe, there isn’t a great need for Opera appreciation in America, it’s more of a status thing. It also got to a point when I became tired of traveling, just because I had being doing it for so long. I had it with my romantic bohemian experience!
JF: What put you in contact with Deer Valley?
Bryan: I was looking for an entry-level human resources type job, because I was working on my professional certification and that experience was something I needed. I searched all over the places in the hospitality industry and the Deer Valley opportunity got my attention, I applied and obtained the position!
JF: What attracted you to Human Resources?
Bryan: People! I really like people, I like to help others, I like to be of service.
JF: What did you do with Marriott?
Bryan: I worked in the front office, worked at the front desk, checking in guests, working the phones, doing errands for special people, solving problems nonstop!
JF: Where did you live when you heard about the Deer Valley opportunity?
Bryan: Salt Lake City. I sill live there. Yet, at first, I wasn’t sure about the commute. This wasn’t the most convenient location for me, and in actuality, I had never set foot in Deer Valley before the first day I came to work. No one had ever met me in person!
JF: So, you were hired, sight unseen?
Bryan: You could say that.
JF: That’s amazing! Did you have a Skype interview?
Bryan: No. We just did everything over the phone!
JF: You must have sounded perfectly right; congratulations!
Bryan: Thank you!
JF: How much did you know about the ski industry prior to taking that job? Were you a skier?
Bryan: I didn’t know much about the ski industry but I skied a lot while I was in Seattle getting my Masters.
JF: What are your day-to-day job responsibilities?
Bryan: I aid in the hiring process, I help new hires get oriented, I help with employee appreciation programs, all day, I answer the phone and questions about the various positions or the benefits. It never stops. I never had to memorize so many names in my entire life!
JF: When you got on board, what were you expecting?
Bryan: Even though the position was a bit different than what I had imagined, I liked what I found. I definitely found that HR was the right place for me, I didn’t expect the position to be as busy as it is though, but this is because we’re seasonal, yet the job is very enjoyable, I work with a great group of people who makes it fun!
JF: What kind of welcome and support did you receive from your co-workers?
Bryan: From day one it was so different from the other jobs I had before. It was overwhelming in a good way, everyone wanted to help, and all made me feel comfortable. Everyone was also so approachable. My birthday was soon after I stated working, so they made me a cake and it made feel so welcome!
JF: What are the most important things you’ve picked up since you’ve been working with Deer Valley?
Bryan: That there was a big difference between helping guests and helping my fellow employees. Since I’m mostly in contact with our staff, I sometimes have to say “no” to some of their requests. “No” had never been a part of my professional vocabulary and I have found this adjustment a bit difficult.
JF: Since you’re now fully immersed within the Human Resources Department, what would you say are the key qualities required from those who wish to work at Deer Valley?
Bryan: I think they definitely have to want to be here! I don’t ski, so I’m not here for the snow, but I like the experience, the environment and my co-workers are the main reason for me to want to be here.
JF: When you hire people, what are you looking for?
Bryan: Usually you can tell if someone is willing to learn or if they enjoy learning, but I would say that having the right attitude is the most essential quality!
JF: So, Bryan, now that we know more about you and your remarkable career path, what in your view makes the Deer Valley Difference?
Bryan: Part of the Deer Valley difference is helping our guests but it’s also helping each other. The position I’m in focuses on the “helping each other” aspect. Deer Valley is extremely supportive of its employees, there are many of people who have an “open office policy” and in my daily work, we’re constantly working on employee appreciation programs, adding policies on how to improve benefits, to make everyone fully appreciated, and to keep on nurturing a wonderful group of people!