A: To apply, you must be a director level or below and have three or more years of experience in the outdoor industry in some capacity. In order to participate in the program, your company must already be or become an OIA member.
A: The Future Leadership Academy is a six-month immersive leadership program created to teach and train participants to lead and advocate for the outdoor industry. From mentoring to community building to outdoor industry-focused content to leadership training, this program will provide a platform that empowers participants unlike any other opportunity.
A: In order to apply, you must be currently working in the outdoor industry (i.e. for a brand, in a retail store, or as a sales rep) or in one of the “sister industries” including surf/paddle, bike, run, snow/ski, or natural foods. You also need at least 3 years of experience in the outdoor or sister industries, which can be any combination of brand, retail, sales rep, guiding, outdoor education, pro or semi-pro athlete, non-profit, or volunteer experience. Since this program is tailored-specifically to the outdoor and its sister industries, we don’t offer admission to people outside the industry.
A: Tuition is $4,250. This amount is typically paid by a participant’s company out of some sort of professional enrichment budget.
A: Your $4250 tuition includes:
- Six months of online learning – view our sample curriculum here
- 7 days of in-person programming (including ground transportation, meals, outdoor activities, educational programming and overnight accommodations) – view our tentative gathering schedule here
- Personal development education delivered by a Certified Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor
- A personality self-assessment and half-day learning session on interpreting and applying your results
- Supplemental webinars delivered by subject matter experts during each learning module
- Capstone Project that allows you to apply your learning and skills to a real-world problem or idea
- Mentoring from a seasoned industry veteran
- Discounted access to The Futurist Project and our suite of Outdoor Industry Business Certificates (launching September 2019)
- An invaluable network and community of Future Leadership Academy peers and alumni
A: REI generously awards one $5000 scholarship per year to a participant from a non-profit organization. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition ($4250) and provides additional funds ($750) for program-related costs including travel, lodging, etc. REI selects the scholarship recipient from the pool of non-profit applicants. Payment plans are only available for participants who are self-paying for their program (their company is not paying their tuition).
A: Depending on the volume of applications, we aim to review all applications within two-to-three weeks of the application closing. We will begin inviting a select group of applicants to the video interviewing round in mid-October and the final class will be selected and notified in November.
A: Yes, the application process is highly-competitive. This year, we’ll accept 36 applicants and expect to receive between 100-120 applications.
A: We’re looking for engaged, thoughtful, and ambitious individuals who are committed to moving-up in this industry and are ready to dig into their personal and professional development in order to do so.
Our admissions committee is also dedicated to selecting a highly-qualified class that represents a diverse set of companies, industry verticals, job functions, experience levels, geographic locations, perspectives, and people.
A: he Future Leadership Academy starts during Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show and ends on Day Negative 1 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
A: No, unfortunately, the time we have together in-person during this program is limited and critical to the program experience. You must commit to attending all gatherings in-person prior to accepting a spot in the class.
On average, participants spend 2-4 hours each week taking-in learning material (readings, podcasts, webinars and videos), conducting reflection calls with classmates and completing assignments. This is just an average estimate. Some modules will require more time, while others will require less. This program moves quickly and it’s easy to get really far behind if you don’t keep up with the weekly work.
A: You know best how you manage your time and obligations but think of FLA how you would think about going back to school. If you’re too busy to enroll in a college-level program, you are likely too busy to do FLA. And that’s ok! We all have different obligations, priorities, and life-events happening at different times. The program will be here next year if this year is not the right fit!
A: The Future Leadership Academy starts during Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show and ends on Day 0 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market each year.
A: Mentors should have the bandwidth to commit 3-6 hours per month during the program (February thru June) to their mentee. Much of this time will be dedicated to calls or meetings on a weekly or every-other week basis.
A: We don’t prescribe conversation topics but ask mentors to provide guidance and challenge their mentee(s), while also helping them develop and remain accountable to personal and professional goals. We provide check-in and goal-setting forms that you are welcome to use if you find them helpful.
A: We ask mentees to drive the relationships. They should initiate first contact and make sure meetings/calls occur at a regular interval.
A: Mentors will receive a copy of the syllabus and an overview of the curriculum in January. Additionally, we send out regular program updates to keep mentors aware of what their mentee is doing. If you have questions about the curriculum at any time during the program, please contact Kristen Freaney.
A: We’ve found that a successful FLA mentor does the following:
- Listens, asks questions and models, rather than solving all of their mentee’s problems
- Sees the value of diverse opinions and perspectives
- Embodies a give-first mentality, putting any preconceived expectations for the relationship behind the needs of their mentee
- Commits wholeheartedly to being a mentor
- Holds everything shared with them by their mentee in confidence
- Provides specific, actionable advice
- Remembers questions they have posed or guidance they have given to their mentee and follows up in later discussions
- Acts as a door-opener and not a dream-killer
- Articulates their ideas and is open to discussing them
- Is curious about the world around them and believes in lifelong learning
- Admits mistakes and shortcomings and shares their failures
- Helps their mentee set actionable goals and holds them accountable to them
- Knows what they don’t know and isn’t afraid to say so
- Is authentic, optimistic and empathetic
Interested? Complete the Mentor Interest Form HERE. Mentors will be notified of their mentee match prior to OR+SS.
- Nonprofit partners must be members of the Outdoor Industry Association. Not sure if you’re already a member? Contact our Membership Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nonprofit partners must commit to having at least one representative from their organization present at the Capstone Presentations, which take place on Day 0 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (please note, these dates are subject to change).
A: Nonprofit partners typically spend 4-6 hours in-contact with their Capstone Group over the course of the four-month project. During this time, partners provide important background, guidance, and feedback.
A: Nonprofit partners are selected and notified in January. Projects are assigned to groups in mid-March. Capstone Presentations take place on Day 0 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (usually in mid-June, but please check the schedule)
A: Each Capstone Group will only have between 3-4 months to work on your project. Projects that have been successful in the past typically: i. Are concise, with clear objectives ii. Provide all relevant background/context upfront, either in the project description or during the initial call iii. Have one or two point people in the organization who field any questions about the project iv. Do not shift, evolve, or increase in scope during the course of the project
A: The ideal outcome is for the Capstone Groups to produce an idea or program that is adopted into the strategic plan of the organization, or that advances a current strategic plan initiative that would have otherwise not had the bandwidth/resources to move forward.
Interested in submitting a Capstone Project option? Complete our Nonprofit Capstone Partner Proposal Form.