Old Flinderian Sam Hamilton graduated from Flinders with the Class of 2014. She has since travelled between Japan, Canada and Australia to work at ski resorts and develop her career as a snowboard coach and instructor. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Sam encourages Flinders students to embrace new opportunities and learn from every experience.
Please click here to watch our Beyond Flinders interview with Sam and Cooper by our Old Flinderians’ Liaison.
Q: What does life look like for you now?
Sam: I have been working between Japan, Canada and Australia since finishing school. I move countries every 4 to 6 months between different ski resorts to snowboard coach and instruct. I’ve just finished my tenth winter season in a row.
I’ve been completing my instructing and coaching certifications and in the last few years have become an instructor trainer, helping others to improve their snowboard instructing and riding skills to train for their own certification exams.
I also study online at La Trobe University and, in between winter seasons, I spend time at home on the Sunshine Coast. Recently, I’ve been spending most of my time training our dog, Cooper!
Q: What is one of your favourite Flinders moments?
Sam: I loved being able to join so many different sports teams to try sports I would never have chosen otherwise, such as touch football, hockey and the odd AFL game! I also played on two netball teams, so I had twice as much time to avoid my homework!
A particularly fond memory is the moment I finished my last Maths C class. Making it to the end was a really exciting achievement.
Q: Do you have a particular role model or inspirational figure from Flinders or now?
Sam: I had some fantastic teachers at Flinders who were very helpful with my strange combination of subjects. I was even lucky to have my teachers Ms Colwell and Ms Pearce visit the resort I worked at in Japan!
I’ve also had some amazing trainers through the Australian Professional Snowsports Instructors (APSI) who have helped me to build my career and become a better instructor and trainer myself.
Q: How easy was it to decide what to do in life?
Sam: There’s never really a way to know if you’re certain on a choice until you try it, but I’ve always followed what I’m passionate about. It’s taken me to some amazing places and brought great people into my life. I’m still working out what I’m doing and it’s always progressing from one thing to another. I am constantly learning and growing from all of my experiences.
Q: Did your further study or career go exactly as you had planned?
Sam: I’m not sure that I ever had a plan to go by… I knew I wanted to snowboard, and I knew I loved working with people. Even though I was accepted into university I knew I didn’t want to attend straight after school. My career didn’t necessarily have a plan but each job I’ve had has taught me something that has made me more confident going into the next one. From snowboard coach to restaurant manager, they’ve all taught me amazing skills.
Q: What advice do you have for current students?
Sam: Take risks and embrace new opportunities. Even when something doesn’t work as you had planned (whether school, work, travelling or university), you’ll always gain from the experience. Also, have fun and always learn new things.
If you are an Old Flinderian, we’d love to stay connected with you. Our College community is here to support all of our Flinders students, past and present. We invite Old Flinderians to share their knowledge and experience with current students in different ways, for example, through mentoring, workshops and guest speaking at retreats and career evenings, and also by connecting professionally with fellow alumni. If this is of interest to you please register on Flinders Connect to learn how to connect with Flinders and your classmates.