Category Archives: inspired

My new adventure

Six months ago I embarked on a new adventure: I started a new marketing job with an engineering firm.

This company appealed to me from the beginning. Its website was creative and, as much as I hate to say this, “hip” for the industry. And, the company boasted a reputation of valuing people, employees and clients alike.

The interview process also intrigued me. After submitting my application, I was asked for a coffee meeting with the man who would soon become my supervisor. During the coffee meeting,  I learned more about the position and the company, and my soon-to-be supervisor learned more about me. At the end of the meeting, I’m pretty sure both of us knew that this job would soon be mine.

A couple weeks later, I was formally interviewed. For three hours. By seven people, including the firm’s CEO. I was also given a “homework” writing assignment.

Despite not knowing how to prepare for a three-hour interview, I wasn’t nervous. I was curious to see if the people interviewing me would live up to the good things my soon-to-be supervisor said about them during our coffee. And they did.

I was smiling when I drove home from my interview — I never would have imagined an interview would be that enjoyable. Everything about this company was unique and genuine. As I reflected on my interview, I was certain this company was too good to be true; but if it was true, I definitely wanted to be part of it.

The next day, just a few short hours after submitting my writing assignment, I received a job offer — an offer I was anxious to accept.

I am not entirely certain I even knew about this firm before seeing the job listing, but as soon as I started sharing my new-job news, people came out of the woodwork. It seemed everyone had a connection to the firm, and still, people only had positive words to say about the firm and it people.

welcome packageOn my first day, I received a welcome package. The package included some goodies for me, like Dr. Pepper and gummy worms; but more importantly, the package included some goodies for Miss Mocha Jo. This small gesture further solidified my decision to work for this company.

Six months into my job, I’m comfortably settled in, but I am still in awe. I still feel like the company is too good to be true; it is as if I have yet to discover the closet full of dirty laundry. While I have found a few dirty socks along the way, I am starting to accept that this closet doesn’t exist.

Above all, the people at this company are fantastic. I’ve always been lucky enough to have great coworkers, but since that first coffee meeting through my six-month anniversary with the firm, I’m confident I found “my people.”

Six months ago was my first day at this company, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this is where I am supposed to be.

The end of a season

For the past two weeks, I have been jazzed to give my 14-year-old volleyball girls their end-of-the-season gift. It is common for me to be excited about unveiling my end-of-the-season gift, simply because I give my team pretty unique gifts, but this year I was more excited than usual.

Last year, I was pretty ding-dang-dong impressed with my gift from last year (which I just now realized I never blogged about…), but this year, I outdid myself.

This year, I used my graphic design skills to create a 12×36” team poster for my team.

illusion

And I tell you what, the looks on the girls’ and their parents’ faces were priceless. Their reactions made the time and effort I put into this project totally worth it.

Because of how awesome my gift was, I went to my volleyball club’s award night this past weekend convinced I would win the “best coaches gift” award (a completely non-existent award I was going to award to myself after I confirmed I did in fact have the best team gift). While I am still certain I would have won this award, should it actually exist, my club awarded me something better: coach of the year.

While I am excited and honored to be named coach of the year by my club, the award took me by complete surprise. Since I was so wrapped up in a make-believe award that I was going to award myself later, I completely forgot my club even named a coach of the year. So, as the director was leading into the award, I started trying to guess who of the coaches I know would win it.

Then the club director said “Andrea” –  to which my mind immediately jumped to the other Andrea who coaches for our club.

But then, the director said “Gebhart” – to which my immediate response was “oh?!” (Seriously, you can even ask the girls that were sitting next to me.)

As 400-some people started clapping for me and looking in my general direction, it dawned on me that I won an award, an award that was not a figment of my own imaginative yet somewhat narcissistic imagination. I made my way up to the front and as the director said some nice things about me, I stood there, looked at all the familiar faces in the crowd, and thought how lucky I am to be part of such a great club.

I have coached for Nebraska ONE for five seasons (I think?!?), and I cannot even begin to imagine coaching elsewhere. The players are fantastic, the players’ families are amazing, the other coaches are incredible, and the directors are supportive. This club is also a continual reminder of the reason I love volleyball: the family that comes with it. Nebraska ONE truly has become part of my Nebraska family.

So, while I went to our awards night ready to give myself my own make-believe award, I left humbled and grateful.

After having a successful season, designing an epic team gift, and being named coach of the year, I’d have to say it was a dang good season!

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Day 29: Take a walk

Miles: 5
Miles to date: 74.85

After an 8-mile day yesterday, I decided to be nice to my body and take a walk. Mostly for the sake of time, but also to work out any built up lactic acid, I ran about 2 of the 5 miles.

Interestingly enough, I also came across a sight I’d never seen before: a visually-impaired man, equipped with a white walking stick, was out running. This was particularly inspiring to me for two reasons. First, I was running near an elementary school that, just recently, dedicated a walking/running track to a little guy named Thatcher. Second, here was a man who can barely see, still pursuing ordinary things that many of us take for granted. More often than not, I gripe and moan about having to run and exercise, but I often forget, at least I can. Just yesterday I mentioned that the fog was nice because I couldn’t see how far I needed to go/how slow I was running — and here is this guy, who probably runs in some sort of fog everyday. I bet he would love to be able to see where he is running, even if just for one day. This man, whoever he is, slapped me across the face, metaphorically, that is. He reminded me that I need to appreciate what I, too often, take for granted.

With a new-found appreciation for running, I was enjoying my walk/run. However, this was not the case for Pandora, which was having a rough morning finding the “right” songs for the station I was listening to. Like the other day, I was listening to a station seeded with “Work Out” by J Cole and “Criminal” by Britney Spears. (Please, don’t judge my taste in music on this station. I created this station to embrace genres different than the ones I tend to gravitate toward.) Despite these seeds and my liking of tracks by Fabulous, Baby Bash, Wiz Khalifa and Gym Class Heroes — all of which are more rappy and slow jammy — Pandora kept trying to play Adele. I love Adele, but after listening to “Cookie Jar” by Gym Class Heroes or “Black and Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa, an Adele song is like Switchfoot doing the encore at an Eminem concert. It just doesn’t fit. And, looking back at my “thumbed down” tracks on this station, I gave Adele a thumbs down, three times this morning. Why oh why did Pandora think Adele fit in this genre? I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to have to edit this station and better “seed it,” if you will.

Passion Pit – Take A Walk