Much like my whirlwind Atlanta adventure two weeks ago, this past week I had the chance to travel to Denver, Colorado! My short and sweet trip was an centered around an office visit and series of interviews with a large, international accounting firm! Much like the 26 hours I spent in Atlanta, I was literally only on the ground in Denver for 25 hours! I love Denver, so I wish I could have spent more time there, but let me tell you it was a JAM packed trip! Here are the time stamps and pics from my Denver adventure:
Tuesday, November 5th
12:30 PM — Just like last week, I drove to Orlando to hop on my flight for Denver. It felt like I had it down to a science thanks to my trip just the week before! I parked in almost the exact same place in the enormous airport parking lot, hopped on a shuttle, and was through security in no time. I felt like a seasoned-business-professional-traveler making my way through the airport in a pencil skirt.
2:30 PM — Took off for Denver! The flight was about half full, which meant I had an entire ROW to myself on the flight out. As someone who typically loves talking with people, especially those who are trapped in the airplane seat next to me, this was kind of disappointing at first. Like I mentioned when I went to ATL, talking to people is what usually calms my nerves before competitive/ stressful/ exciting events. Honestly, though, I was thankful for the quiet time to review my interview notes, do some more research on the firm, and collect my thoughts.
4:30 PM (Mountain time) — It was a 4 hour flight to Denver, but thanks to the time change, we landed at 4:30 PM! It was already getting fairly dark outside as we landed– daylight savings time is still throwing me off. I was getting kind of nervous at this point because I was supposed to walk to dinner by 6:30 for our pre-interview social event downtown. I had a feeling traffic would be bad and that I might be cutting it close.
4:45 PM — I practiced my Olympic race walking skills and powered through the Denver airport to get to my shuttle. If you’ve never been to DIA, it’s pretty HUGE. Several subway stops and escalator rides later, I ran outside to ground transportation and hopped in a shuttle! As I suspected, traffic was awful, and I tried to keep my mind calm by talking to the other passengers in the shuttle. There were a few men from Boston who were there for a conference and we chatted about the World Series, and recent travels. They kept me sane as I preemptively sent an email to my recruiter to let her know my status and that I might be late.
6:00 PM — If there was an Olympic medal for checking in to a hotel, changing into (WARM) business casual attire, and navigating to a restaurant in a city you’re not too familiar with, I think I can put up a good fight! Walked into my hotel room at 6 PM, walked into dinner at 6:24 PM. WIN. (Thankfully, it was cold enough outside that I didn’t start sweating as I was running to the restaurant). 😉
Weather in Denver…a little different than FL!
6:30-9:00 PM — I had a great time at the pre-interview dinner, talking with several associates and a partner of the firm in Denver! We ate at a French restaurant called Coohill’s and it was absolutely delicious (especially the cheese plate!). It was great to hear about people’s experiences with the firm, what brought them to Denver, and why they chose this specific firm. The more that I talked to people, I realized there were very few Colorado natives in the room. What can I say? It’s an incredible place to move!
9:00 PM-10:30 PM — After dinner I headed back to the hotel and settled in. After rushing around to get to dinner, it felt so nice to slow down. I continued preparing for the interviews of the next day and dreamed about what it would be like to live in DENVER!
Wednesday, November 6th
5:00 AM — As I said before, being a “girl” (e.g. makeup, heels, fancy clothes) is way hard. I prefer to give myself way TOO much time to get ready for something important than to cut it close and have to rush. So even though I did not have to be at the office until 9 AM, I woke up with enough time to get ready, have some quiet time to myself, enjoy the morning, and find the office without feeling rushed.
5:00-8:15 AM — The morning in Denver was absolutely beautiful. My room had an awesome window seat with this view of the city, and I think I sat there for a good 45 minutes just thinking, looking out on the sunrise, and awkwardly waving at an employee in the office across the street that was also staring out of their window. It. was. wonderful.
Then I got suited up!
8:15 AM — I checked out of the hotel with enough time to enjoy my walk/ find the office leisurely. I wanted to see even a little bit of Denver considering my trip was so short! I stumbled upon some fun things during my walk downtown:
– Public outdoor mini-golf courses and ping pong tables!
– Cool, artsy buffalo taking a walk
– Gorgeous views, sunshine, and changing leaves
– A gorgeous bookstore called The Tattered Cover…just steal my heart, why dontcha?!
9:00- 2:00 PM– I made it to the office and we did a lot of the same things that happened in Atlanta– introductory meetings about the firm, three interviews back-to-back-to-back with varying levels of management, office tour, and lunch with a few staff. I had the chance to interview with the head partner of the assurance line in the Denver office which was a very cool experience. He is essentially the head honcho of my potential job function and he was an incredibly personable and friendly man, which was a great sign! Overall, the day was fantastic and I felt very comfortable in my interviews! I love learning about how people have arrived to their current job and what they’ve learned in the process. I could definitely see myself fitting in to the work environment here, but I also connected really well in Atlanta…welcome to the most difficult decision of my life thus far!
2:00 – 3:45 PM — After the day was over, I had the option to take the shuttle back to the airport, but instead…my dear friend Rachel picked me up with her kiddos!!! My. heart. exploded!! I love this family so much and it meant the world for them to drive from Colorado Springs to DENVER to pick me up and take me to the airport. Thankfully, we had about an hour and a half together to catch up, love on the kids, and just enjoy being together. I am so grateful for the chance to see them! It literally made my trip.
It was very hard to say goodbye to my friend and her kids, especially when her daughter kept asking to come on the airplane with me! They dropped me off at the airport, and took a long flight back home. The time difference put me back home at 11 PM, and when I landed, I had a voicemail from Rachel…her 3 year old little girl left me a sweet little prayer on my voicemail that God would “help the airplane land safely.” Again…these kids melt my heart!
1:30 AM — Finally home after getting to my car and blasting music all the way home to keep me awake! One of the most exhausting, exciting, and love-filled days of my life!
And now the hard part begins….both firms have great positives and I can see myself living in both cities! I have until early next week to make a decision, and I’m fairly confident I have already won the “Most Indecisive Person of the Week” award….Atlanta…or Denver?