I wasn't going to write about this until I knew more. But then decided it is all part of the story and I want to write it down.
Here goes: (This might be long...and boring...just a heads up :-)
Towards the end of last year I was introduced to a VP at an insurance company in Hartford. Different from the one I interviewed with last year (Insurance Co. A) so we will call it Insurance Co B :-)
I emailed a few times and then had the opportunity to speak with her on the phone. We hit it off and I felt a great connection with her. I know that I do better in person and felt that meeting her face to face would bring better results. So I planned a trip to Hartford in mid-Feb. She agreed that we could meet to chat over coffee or lunch.
Backtracking: There was a VP at Insurance Co A that shared a birthday with me. The first time we met, June of '13, we realized this and she made a huge deal about it...we were lucky enough to be born on the best day of the year so of course we would be excited. ;-) I emailed her and told her that I would be in town mid-Feb and would love to take her out to coffee to celebrate our birthday. That was in mid-January.
I didn't hear back from her.
I know she is busy and sometimes doesn't respond right away and almost forgot about it, but was still rather disappointed because we had seemed to hit it off.
February 11th I finally got an email: "Are you coming to Conn anytime soon?? There is an open position I would like to talk to you about....and Happy Day Before Our Birthday Day"
I was ecstatic. An opening? I emailed back my travel plans and told her that I would be available any time on Wed to meet with her. She said she would let me know what she could do.
February 17th I get another email from a Talent Acquisition person that I had contact with from last summer. It was a list of interviewers and the posting of the job opening.
The list of people I had to interview with seemed rather daunting, but I was up for the challenge.
Monday the 24th I flew into Hartford early. I got my rental car, with only a small blip. I hopped on the wrong rental company shuttle bus. I was dropped off at the wrong place and had to WALK a 1/4 mile down a FOUR lane road toting my wheeled suitcase. I kept telling myself that I was DETERMINED to make this trip a success and if walking through puddles down a busy road was part of the test to see how tough I was I would do it...and I did :-)
I drove into the city to see where I was going to visit the following day. I had been to Insurance Co A a couple times already, but hadn't been to Insurance Co B before. I wanted to stake out the place.
After finding the parking lot, I drove south to the beach.
On the way back to Ellington, I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a much needed cup of coffee. I checked my emails and noticed I still hadn't gotten a confirmation on a schedule for my Wednesday interview marathon. I quickly sent Madelyn an email letting her know that I needed the time to be there.
About a half hour later a panicked Madelyn calls me: "You still haven't heard from the scheduling team?? We HAVE to get this scheduled. The team REALLY needs to speak with you." I told her I was free all day Wednesday, so she could fit me in to their schedule as needed. I hung up thinking..."What is the big deal? I'm just me." 20 minutes later another gentleman calls and tells me that I am on the schedule. He would send me an email with the parking instructions and place to meet.
Five interviews from 1-4:30.
Looked like Wednesday was going to be a busy day :-)
Monday evening I went to some friends' house for dinner and stayed until one a.m. catching up on life. I hate to simply label them as 'friends' because they are more like family than just friends. They are the friends that I can be myself and know that they will love me for it...they are the friends who will attempt to make coffee in the trunk of my Jetta (using an electrical adapter) during the snowstorm of the century because what else would you do when you a dying for coffee and you have no electricity? These are the supportive friends who helped me bury a squirrel. (These are just select few of the hilarious memories we already have) They are the friends who have cheered me on through so much and have been brave enough to stick by me through so much :-) I can't wait to make more memories!
I spent Monday night with another friend and then spent Tuesday morning with her. I left to go to Insurance Co B around noon.
I met with one woman from HR and it went well. She introduced me to a woman who knew of an opening. It went great as well. Then I was walked over to meet with 'N' the VP I had spoke with on the phone.
It was a bit intimidating to think about who I was about to meet. Who am I to be taking up her time? I'm just a girl from Wayne Co., OH. I'm not anyone special.
The escort who was walking me over to her office wasn't exactly sure where she was going. (This place is HUGE). We walked up an old open staircase and around the corner to an open doorway walking into a second story balcony/rotunda. This place was amazingly grand. I could've spent hours just looking around and thinking of the centuries of amazing people who walked in these halls.
We went down another long hallway with marble walls to a HUGE office at the back corner of the building. I was almost panicked at this point. Seriously...I'm just a girl from Ohio who is clueless about things. Instead of freaking out, I did what I always do when I find myself in situations like this...I faked it. I faked like I was confident. I faked that I was calm about meeting this woman. I faked it and acted like this was an everyday occurrence meeting with people of this stature.
We spent a little over an hour visiting. It was amazingly well. Could not have went better. I soon went from faking confidence, to feeling comfortable. I felt an instant connection with her and know that over time we will build a friendship someday. She is almost 2 decades older than myself and has so much knowledge and experience that she is willing to share. I'm so thankful that I have this woman as a mentor.
We spoke about life, we spoke about professional moves, we spoke about the interviews the next day and she gave me some pointers. We even talked about shoes!!!
Over an hour later she walked me to the door that led me to my car. Faking professionalism, I stuck out my hand to thank her for her time. She said "Oh, give me a hug...it was great meeting you!!"
Tuesday night we went to my friend's parents house for dinner. We had a great time, even though I was a terrible guest and just sat like a bump on a log. My mind was full with everything I took in that afternoon and my heart was racing with the thoughts of what was to come the following day.
To be continued...