Industry Profile: BOA Technology Testing Program Coordinator Rob Peterson
08 Sep, 2011
Job Title: Testing Program Coordinator
Employer: Boa Technology Inc.
Years on snow: 18 years
Days on snow: 70 per season / prior to BOA over 100.
Currently Riding: Salomon and Bonfire products
Currently I am: a single speed mountain biking fool
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Rob: I grew up in New Jersey then lived in California for about 8 years where I learned how to snowboard and mountain bike, from there I moved to Steamboat Springs in 1994 and have been living here ever since.
Shay: How has snowboarding or skiing change your life?
Rob: Snowboarding is actually how I got my job at BOA, so I guess it was a significant catalyst of change in my life.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Rob: Right after BOA started I was approached by my friend Caleb who at the time ran BC Surf & Sport in town and he mentioned that a guy named Gary Hammerslag was looking for snowboard boot testers for this lacing system he invented. That was pretty much it and I have been involved with the company ever since.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Rob: I believe since I was a kid that my work ethic, personality, and love of outdoor sports have paved the way to where I am now, which of course my parents can take all the credit for.
Shay: Tell us about your role at BOA Technology and a description of the work you do?
Rob: Right now, I help coordinate and run our testing program working very closely with our R&D and Engineering departments. My role in testing ranges anywhere from ordering the product that we are going to test with all the way to logging all of our tester’s feedback.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Rob: COFFEE, off to work by bicycle when I can, most of the time is spent in front of the computer doing emails, logging tester feedback, but I also deal with fixing customers product, fixing our testing product and logging those issues into our data base. I am also very fortunate to help test our product as well, whether it’s snowboarding in the winter, biking in the summer, or even wearing lifestyle shoes during day to day life activities.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Rob: I would have to say for me the most memorable are working, playing with our partners testing/using our product in the field. I love having the chance to work face to face with our partners talking about the ins and outs of the product we share in the market.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Rob: Still to me the number one challenge is the Economy, though recently there has been an upward swing in consumers getting out and purchasing new product out in the market. Another challenge that I see is companies continuing to approve their product while attempting to keep the costs down for the consumer. As far as changes I like to see more of the smaller companies being recognized for the quality product they put out, it’s not just about the name and I think certain companies live off their name, too many consumers still keep drinking the kool?aid if you know what I mean.
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Rob: That is tough one honestly I would have to say both. I truly believe education is a must these days as things progress but if you don’t have the experience, education sometimes will only get you so far.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Rob: An educational background that works toward the industry itself is a big start, then I believe you need to immerse yourself in the outdoor industry, going biking, snowboarding, running, whatever your passions are live them, talk about them with your friends, strangers, everyone you can about the product you or they are using to gain more knowledge about the industry.
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