Machu Picchu, Peru

Taking the Scenic Route

How to build your résumé after college.

by Morgan Solomon

After you prop that ridiculous square cap on your head and throw a black robe over your shoulders, reality soon sets in: what now? Instead of hustling to that nine-to-five career, why not wait a while and “experience life”? You may be worried that if you don’t take the first job offer, you’ll go nowhere in life. But that’s not necessarily true—provided you don’t become a permanent couch potato. Here are some ways to build your résumé after college while still having a little fun and freedom.

1.) Get certified. If your outdoor passion offers some kind of certification or qualification course, do it. Becoming a certified fishing guide, raft guide, ski patroller, lifeguard, or first-aid provider will boost your résumé. It shows your employer you’re driven to pursue your goals and earn your dream job. It also offers a fallback occupation should you ever need it.

Get certified as a mountain guide

Get certified as a mountain guide

2.) Intern. Not quite ready for all the responsibilities and time commitment just yet? Feeling underqualified despite your $40k education? You have the knowledge but not the experience, so why not intern somewhere that you could see yourself working.  Having  the skills needed for your future job will set you apart from your peers and make your a more appealing applicant. Employers often don’t look at your 4.0 GPA,  but they do pay attention to your experience.


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3.)  Give a year. Although you’re not getting paid, volunteering shows you are doing something valuable with your time. It also gives you a wider social network and a greater skillset. Try volunteering for something related to the jobs you may apply for in the future. Do you like to travel and help others? Spend a year serving with an organization like the Peace Corps or Americorps. These programs can provide you with resources, connections, and experience that will bolster your résumé.

4.) Do what you love.  If you love to ski and whitewater kayak, think about taking a seasonal job as a ski patroller or whitewater rafting guide.  Love horses? Work in a stable or at a guest ranch. This option not only offers a fun work environment with other people your age, it will provide you with new life experience. The ability to talk about your passions in relation to recent events makes you more interesting in an interview. Be careful, though—don’t take advantage of your job. Take responsibility for yourself and others. Your supervisor will be more likely to give you that glowing recommendation that makes you a better candidate for a management position.

Try working at a stable

Try working at a guest ranch

5.) Travel. Experiencing new cultures allows you to gain new perspectives on life and helps you understand new customs and beliefs. Traveling will help you develop your own opinions and ideas, making you a much more innovative and resourceful candidate. It will also make you a more interesting person—every excursion will have a story behind it, whether good or bad.  Use it to your advantage.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Life lessons above Machu Picchu, Peru

6.) Learn a new language.  A full-time job leaves little time for anything extra. Take advantage of the time you have now to enhance your résumé by learning to speak another language. Foreign-language skills open up doors and set you apart from the competition. With the growth in immigration and international business, fluency in another language is an invaluable skill and one you’ll never regret developing.

7.) Meet people. Networking—the first and foremost thing you can do to build your résumé. With today’s job market, it’s all about who you know. Employers often use recommendations to tip the scales when assessing applicants with similar qualifications. Attend social functions, join professional groups, and make a point of chatting people up when you see them around town. Yes, it can be intimidating to talk to people with experience—get over it and start a conversation.  This includes former professors and employers. Their recommendations may be the deciding factor on whether you get the job.

AYLI Production Photo 2

All the State is a Stage

Four decades of Shakespeare in the Parks

by Felicia Hamilton

The smell of green grass drifts to my nose as I place our blanket on the ground, still moist from recent rainfall. Families and friends chat and laugh and the rustle of the breeze in the trees make for a relaxing background to our picnic. As we eat, I wave to friends and acquaintances who share our excitement for the upcoming show. As showtime draws closer, everybody glances to the stage more frequently. Finally, an actor strides to the center of the stage to begin the performance. The bustle of the audience dissipates as he extends his arms in greeting and readies himself to introduce one of the most famous plays of all time, Romeo and Juliet. I nudge my friend in excitement–I’ve been waiting for this play all week.


The play begins

This is Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MSIP), one of the state’s most anticipated summer events. The premier each season is in Bozeman and spreads to other towns across the state. This year the company has lived up to the expectations of passionate performances and audience engagement with their productions of As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet.

An uproarious comedy, As You Like It will have you laughing the entire time. You’ll hear familiar phrases like, “All the world’s a stage,” in their original context. Everybody knows the story of Romeo and Juliet and has seen some adaptation of it, but this is the original, complete with audience interaction. Don’t be surprised if a character suddenly delivers lines behind or directly to you.

Shakespeare in the Parks performs in Montana and the neighboring states of Idaho, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. The purpose of this MSU outreach program is to make “quality, live theatrical productions of Shakespeare and other classics accessible to communities… with an emphasis on underserved, rural areas who would not otherwise have this opportunity.”  In other words, MSIP offers country folk the privilege of quality live theater. The performances are professionally produced by a small permanent staff supplemented by seasonal employees of the College of Arts & Architecture.

The program has seen immense growth over its 42 years. Founded in 1973 by Dr. Bruce Jacobsen, Shakespeare in the Parks has performed over 2,250 times and was awarded the Montana Governor’s Award for the Arts—the highest honor for an arts organization in the state. The troupe has also been featured in the New York Times and on an NBC Nightly News special feature. Another interesting number: $700,000. That is the current annual budget for the program, nearly 50 times larger than the first annual budget, and donations are always accepted.

Shakespeare's plays may be old, but they're still accessible for today's audience

Shakespeare’s plays may be old, but they’re still accessible for today’s audience

But the parks are not the only place these thespians perform. The program Shakespeare in the Schools and Montana Shakes offer productions of Shakespeare plays with workshops in schools. These events introduce and increase appreciation for Shakespeare’s works in a way that is understandable and engaging to children. Shakespeare in the Schools tends to focus on engaging middle and high-school students while Montana Shakes focuses on appealing to elementary-school children.

I have always preferred Shakespeare’s comedies, and As You Like It typifies how true comedy can transcend time and place. MSIP set this year’s play in turn-of-the-century Butte; it’s the story of young love, confused identities, and family relations – with a generous helping of the Bard’s signature puns, jokes, and innuendos. The performers fully embrace their characters and in the process imbue them with life. The day that I went to see As You Like It was a perfect day as the threat of rain did not come to fruition. But be aware, this is outdoor theater and the weather will affect your experience.

AYLI Production Photo 2

As You Like It is set in 1917 Butte.

This became very clear during my endeavor to see the second production, Romeo and Juliet . We did get to see a portion of the play—up to the famous balcony scene (“Wherefore art thou, Romeo…”). But the roiling mass of unfriendliness that were the clouds overhead, lived up to their threats and the rain came down. There were many who had every intention of sticking it out and seeing the entire play from beneath umbrellas or tarps, but swordfight scenes are dangerous on wet stages so the performance was cancelled early. Those willing to stick it out – myself included – would have stayed despite the rain, because Shakespeare in the Parks is worth it. These performances make the old language accessible to today’s audiences through meticulous  reflection of the director and actors on the meaning of every line. The classic stories become not only tangible; they become engaging because of their universality and are not to be missed.

The Capulets and Montagues just don't get along

The Capulets and Montagues just don’t get along

This year’s productions of As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet are scheduled to be in Bozeman again during the Sweet Pea Festival on August 1 and 3. To see the group’s entire tour schedule, check out php.