“Dang it!” as we say in Texas. I thought I was going to get away with writing a quick top ten list for my blog entry, but then Joe Rod had to go and write something creative! His road warrior story got me thinking about my own adventures while on the road. In campus recruiting we log many miles and one of the perks is using those accumulated miles for personal travel. A few summers ago, while traveling to Las Vegas for a wedding on a first class reward ticket, the gentleman sitting next to me started a polite conversation with me. Because I have to socialize, talk and email so much for work, I rarely willingly engage in chit chat with strangers. However, because he said he visits Vegas often, I asked him the cheapest way to get to Caesar’s Palace Hotel. After all, I wanted to spend my money on shows, shopping and dining, not on transportation! He gave me a slight grin at the ironical nature of this question from a woman sitting in first class and said that I could catch a taxi with him. Of course, I was suspicious but he assured me that he was very trustworthy. I reluctantly agreed to the free taxi ride. He introduced himself and our conversation turned to my former residence in New York where he currently works. When I asked him about his profession, he said he is a sportscaster for ESPN. “Oh… I said. So you’re famous,” which elicited another slight grin from him. When the plane landed and people got up to retrieve their bags from the overhead bin, another gentleman in first class came to shake the hand of the man next to me. After watching this exchange, I asked him, “Are you like REALLY famous?” Little did I realize I was sitting next to a man who earned almost $40 million over the course of his career. He said that prior to being a sportscaster; he had pitched for the Dodgers, coached for the Texas Rangers and was a nominee for the Baseball Hall of Fame. I asked, “What did you say your name was?” to which he responded, “Orel. Orel Hershiser.” Sure enough, as we were waiting for our bags to come around on the carousel, here comes a black duffle bag embroidered with the Texas Rangers logo and Orel’s name. The most impressive thing about Orel was, not his legendary baseball career, but how humble, friendly and genuine he was.
Sometimes I ask myself why I stay in campus recruiting which includes early mornings, late nights and tons of travel. During recruiting season, my weekends are mainly spent recuperating from the week before and preparing for the week ahead which usually includes a trip somewhere. Then I think: A) I’m still younger than Joe Rod, B) What other job would take me to glamorous locations like State College Pennsylvania and East Lansing Michigan? and C) The passion I feel for meeting students excited about the potential to start their career with Dell and my influence in helping them make that decision. So I pack my Dell shirts, broadband card and hit the road again.
Did I mention that I am traveling to Caesar’s Palace again, this time for work? Dell will be sponsoring the internet café at the 3rd Annual 2008 MBA Recruiting and Poker Conference January 18 – 20th in Vegas, in which 1500 people are expected to attend. In addition to the poker Tournament, MBA students will have the opportunity to interact with employers through custom programs during the conference. So put on your poker face and if you’re lucky, maybe you will have the chance to win big or to sit next to a legend too!