The na­tion’s first MBA pro­gram pairs out­door en­thu­si­asts with their dream ca­reers, plus moun­taineer Greg Hill proves you can have your ski ad­ven­tures, and be sus­tain­able, too.

WESTERN STATE COLORADO UNIVER­SITY DE­BUTS AN MBA PRO­GRAM FOR THE OUTDOORCAREER MINDED. IT’S THE FIRST SUCH GRAD­U­ATE DE­GREE IN THE COUN­TRY.

SKI - - CONTENTS - By Sa­man­tha Ber­man

Your par­ents al­ways told you: Make a ca­reer out of some­thing you love to do, then it will never seem like work. Now it’s eas­ier than ever to fol­low that sage ad­vice. This fall, Western State Colorado Univer­sity, in Gun­ni­son, rolls out the first ever MBA pro­gram geared to­ward ca­reers in the out­door in­dus­try.

The new of­fer­ing is a two-year on­line pro­gram with ei­ther a Prod­uct or Ser­vice con­cen­tra­tion. It’s de­signed for peo­ple al­ready work­ing in the out­door in­dus­try who are look­ing to grow into lead­er­ship roles. Stu­dents take core MBA cour­ses with the added ben­e­fit of spe­cial­ized classes tai­lored to the spe­cific con­cerns and chal­lenges of the out­door in­dus­try. But un­like tra­di­tional MBA pro­grams, Out­door MBA stu­dents take their spe­cial­ized cour­ses first. No mat­ter which con­cen­tra­tion is cho­sen, all course­work has an em­pha­sis on sus­tain­abil­ity, with classes such as Sus­tain­able Ac­count­ing, Nat­u­ral Re­source Reg­u­la­tion and Eco­nom­ics, and Sus­tain­able Out­door Prod­uct Devel­op­ment and Ma­te­rial Sourc­ing.

Not coin­ci­den­tally, Western State Colorado Univer­sity is an ideal lo­ca­tion for such a pro­gram. Gun­ni­son sits about 30 miles from Crested Butte and a few scenic hours from Tel­luride and Durango. It’s al­ready a pop­u­lar out­door-in­dus­try feeder univer­sity, and we cer­tainly don’t ex­pect that to change any­time soon.

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