2024 National Careers Week | Sammie Gaul

Published Wed 15 May 2024

This week marks the annual National Careers Week. Snow Australia is joining in the celebrations by asking members of our community to share their story on their career paths and balancing sport. 

Currently undertaking an impressive Bachelor of Commerce, International Business Major, Economics Minor at Australian National University, ​​Sammie Gaul knows the fine line between sport and study as well as anyone.

Managing a busy course load and training schedule, Gaul knows that understanding her commitments to each aspect of her life allows for better planning. 

“By setting realistic goals and boundaries, I ensure that my commitments remain manageable without compromising my wellbeing,” she said. 

“I understand that during the competition season I have less time for study and career development, and other times of the year I will have more time for these activities. Scheduling my commitments around my load helps me to keep this sustainable.

“I make a conscious effort to schedule rest and self-care. I try to do my work outside of the room I sleep in when possible to separate work from where I can rest. Setting those physical boundaries is important to make sure I am not always working, and have more of a healthy work-life balance.”

Leaning on her support network is an important aspect of managing Gaul’s busy schedule. 

“The support of family, especially my mum, helps me navigate the dual focus of sport and career development,” said Gaul. 

“My mum’s experiences balancing study and military service when she was my age have made her like a mentor to me. She provides me with ample emotional support and practical advice. She’s my sounding board and my rock. 

“I consider myself fortunate to have coaches who have also studied and pursued other careers in law, engineering and physiotherapy. 

“They understand the importance of personal growth and development through academic and alternate career pursuits. At Kronplatz Racing Center/Snow Australia, my coaches prioritise me as a person first, providing support that extends far beyond skiing.”

Gaul is using her current study as a tool to help her mindset on performances, whether they be good or bad, sharing her dual focus has built resilience and strengthened her wellbeing. 

“Actively pursuing a career outside of sport has given me perspective, stronger emotional balance and an identity that doesn’t hinge on how well I do in skiing.

“This strengthens my overall wellbeing and gives me the freedom to ski my best. In turn, the character and work ethic I have developed from skiing helps me perform better in my university and career pursuits. 

“Engaging in diverse experiences outside of sport fosters personal growth, resilience, and equips me with capabilities that are different to skiing. It has been empowering. I have built up more confidence in myself and don’t define myself as just a skier. 

“Skiing is something I do, something I deeply care about and work hard at, but I know that I am so much more than that. I am grateful to have the opportunity to study, work and ski. It isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”