Captain Scott Kinsman ’09 is living the life of his dreams.
His unusual path was not something he could ever have predicted, but for him, that’s part of what makes it such an adventure.
“I never feel like my work is a job,” said Kinsman, who owns AMI Charters, which custom plans saltwater adventures, including fishing trips, sunset cruises, and tours in Anna Maria, Fla. “I wake up at 4:30 every morning, and every day is exciting. I literally meet people from all over the world, from Montana to Russia, from NBA basketball players to little kids. It’s really fun and challenging at the same time.”
In some ways, Kinsman’s career path has mirrored his college one.
He originally came to Malone to study sport management, which was his major for approximately three weeks before he switched to business administration.
“One of my classes was Literature in Society with Dr. Jim Brownlee, which, I didn’t even know I would like it, but I started really enjoying the homework,” Kinsman said. “I discovered I had a passion for studying literature, so Dr. Brownlee suggested that I double major in English and Business.”
Eventually, Kinsman decided to major in English and had minors in business administration and biblical studies. One of the highlights of his college career was studying in England with the Best Semester’s Oxford Scholar’s Semester.
“What I learned in literature really shaped my life,” he said. “Even a story by Tolstoy that I discovered in Dr. Brownlee’s class – the reason I switched my major – was because I don’t want to live my life with regrets; I want to do what I love. I wouldn’t be where I am without my college degree and having discovered what I love.”
After graduation, practicality won out in the short term. He started a construction business with a friend, then moved to Iowa to take a position in construction sales, then moved back to Hudson to take a job in corporate construction.
“That just wasn’t the world for me, though,” said Kinsman. “There was a reason I switched my major, so I wanted to make some changes in my life, too.”
So, he moved West to Montana and Wyoming to be a flyfishing guide for a few years. One winter, a client asked him if he would like to work on an island during the winter, and Kinsman agreed.
“I fell in love with island life, and decided to set up roots here,” Kinsman said.
He’s found a lot of success, which brought great relief to his parents, who, he said, “felt the same way about me switching my major as they did about me quitting my corporate job” – he just hired his second captain and is running at least two charters on off-season days, with four to five in busier seasons. He’s put his networking and business skills to good use, and also learned how to build websites. He’s always reading, and was recently published in The Drake, a journal for flyfishing enthusiasts.
“Taking any risk I’ve come across has helped me the most,” he said. “I love writing, and have great passion for what I’m doing right now. None of my friends have taken the same route as me, but I want to always be open to new experiences and new opportunities. No regrets.”