Earlier this month, I was lucky to get to travel to Colorado for work. I’d never been and was excited, both to visit a new state and to participate in a really cool workshop. One that I had been looking forward to for months!
I’ve worked on a lot of different, sometimes menial tasks for a gazillion different people in the last few months and the workshop was for a part of my work that I am actually very excited about, but we haven’t had enough projects lately, so I was forced to occupy my time earn my paycheck doing other things.
In case you’re interested in what I (would like to) do (full time), read about the remote-sensing technology that we work with here.
Most people in our agency work with airborne data (that is collected from an airplane), while our office specializes in terrestrial data collection (on a tripod). This is our niche and something we wanted to showcase during the workshop to make people aware of our work and capabilities and start some new collaborations.
Many people gave presentations of their work during the workshop, some people (including me) presented posters that were on display for two days. We had some discussion groups and an innovation panel discussion.
Well, I mentioned in an earlier post that this week was probably one of the most exciting weeks of my career. I am not sure exactly how it happened, but somehow I ended up on that innovation panel (on a stage in front of 200+ people) that was led by the director of our agency. I know I was probably asked because they wanted people with different areas of expertise on the panel, but they could have easily asked my colleague (who is higher than me on the career leader) to sit in. But fate had it that one of the organizers picked me, so I guess I had to step up to the plate (but not without a side of nerves).
There were opening statements, questions, inquiries, audience questions, and closing statements. 1,5 hours flew by in a flash. I really didn’t have enough time to be nervous.
I think overall it went well even; much better than I expected. My hands didn’t tremble too badly when I took the microphone, my voice didn’t shake and I didn’t trip over my own words (I think).
After the panel, I shook hands with the director and the fellow panelists and then I didn’t have much time to waste, because I had to head over to the other ballroom to present my poster. I was definitely on auto-pilot for a bit right there.
And then, the associate director (also one of the head honchos) walked up to me to invite me to have dinner with the director and a select group of (geeky scientist) people.
I mean, WHAT?
I had to turn around and check if he was actually talking to me and not a person standing behind me. Nope, he was definitely talking to me. No case of mistaken identity either.
So, I guess all that was left to do for me was to say yes. Which I did, of course (and I also dragged my very excited colleague along with me).
I am still in a bit of shock. Apparently, this is a pretty big deal and not many people get to have dinner with the director over the course of their career.
But we did. Haha. Hahaha. My colleague and I just kept exchanging glances and kept shaking our heads in disbelief.
Anyway, I am not going any deeper into the thick of things about the workshop, but let’s just say we had a few very fantastic days in Colorado with lots of exposure and networking opportunities, great presentations and discussion group sessions. The highlight for me definitely was to get the opportunity to be involved front and center during this workshop.
We also got to do a tiny bit of sightseeing – not enough though and I’d really like to go back! Here are just a few pictures that I was able to snap along the way.
The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO
This is the hotel where Stephen King stayed in 1973 and where he was inspired to write “The Shining”.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Have you been to Colorado? What’s your favorite place to visit there?