Sunday, June 8, 2008

NASCARolina

As mentioned in my plane post, I just got back from North Carolina. It was amazing. I was going to be attending a summer leadership program with Ernst & Young the first week of June and the firm flew me out a few days early so I could spend some time with the Christensen's. It was surprised to see how funny Maddie is now, how crafty Eloise is, how much Sarah Jane looks like me, and how big Bea has gotten. They were so much fun to be with. We went swimming, played some fun games, ate the best cheesecake I've ever consumed, and even went to see Lowe's Motor Speedway. Charlotte is right in the heart of NASCAR country and will host the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Anyway, Flori & Rob took me, Seth, and the girls to take a tour of the racetrack. It would've been a sight to see that stadium full. Apparently sit seats around 180,000. I've never seen that many mullets before. The tour was conducted in a large fifteen passenger Chevy van. Jim would've felt at ease in the vehicle, seeing that he took his driving test in one and all. Anyway, the van took us for a lap on the track at 75 mph, where we felt, as the guide said, "the full-tilt force of the 24-degree banking." So, in layman's terms, it means the road is tilted at 24-degrees. If you thought that full-tilt force 24-degree banking was a game of intense financial banking pinball, you were so wrong. But, anyway, when we were driving on a tilt it felt as though the van might tip over; but luckily we were riding the track clockwise and my head was on the passenger side for anchor management. I took a picture next to the race car car in the Winner's Circle as well. I've always felt at ease when I'm around a race car, seeing that we're both palindromes and all. We all had a blast there, but when the driver started rattling off names of famous drivers that had raced there, we realized that we couldn't fully appreciate it for the cultural Mecca that it is. "Stevie Whatsit and Jimmy Whosit both raced here in last year's Something 600 fighting for the Can't Remember Cup," and I couldn't help but think of the Winston Cup, and then about Uncle Winston and wondered what he was up to.

I loved staying with the Christensen's, though. It was funny to see a streak of Maddie's sarcasm while I was out there. It gave me some insight into what I must've been like growing up. Bea is at a fun age, too. She has been walking around like crazy and even lugs around heavy objects with her sometimes. She's a cutie.

Ernst & Young Summer Leadership Program
The leadership program was good, too. Ernst & Young put me in a nice hotel in a posh part of Charlotte that was about 20 minutes away from the office. They wanted to put all of us in the downtown Marriott, but there were no rooms available because there was an international square dancing competition going on. Hey, accountants are square! The E&Y office is really nice, though. It's in the Bank of America Tower and has a great view of the city. Though, I will say that the security was a little too intense for my liking. I guess when you're guarding financial data for the biggest bank in America high-level security is justified.

One of my favorite parts about the office visit was one of the forums we had. They invited four professionals who had left E&Y to go take a job at a corporation to come and let us ask them questions. Two of them ended up coming back to the firm and two were still working different jobs. It was neat to be able to ask them questions, because it's always in the back of your mind that maybe you'll leave public accounting after a couple of years to pursue other options, but you feel scared to bring it up around the recruiters. They showed me that it's a common occurrence and that the more open you are with the firm, the more they can help you to get where you want to be. It was cool.

I made some good friends at the conference and was able to get a good feel for the Charlotte office. The people were great and I love the city. It's definitely somewhere I could see myself living. It was crazy to see how to much the church is growing out there, too. The Christensen's ward just split, and I think it had just split right before they moved, too. So, I'll have to see how I like Charlotte compared to Chicago and Salt Lake City, when I see other offices later in the summer.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Love your description of each of the girls--such a cute pic of the 4 of them with you!