Three years ago, I gave speech at a PwC event in Florida. I hadn’t 100% committed to being an accounting major yet and I certainly hadn’t committed to a single company. Well, just this week I accepted a full-time job offer from PwC in their Assurance line of service.
The best part about accepting a full-time offer with PwC? Not only do you have a job a year in advance, you go to Orlando to celebrate the successful completion of your internship. It truly is the happiest firm on earth.
Getting to Orlando turned out to be such a struggle. I woke up at 4 am only to find a string of text messaged from United saying that my first flight was canceled. Originally I had planned to go to Houston and then to Orlando for a total travel time of a little over six hours and would arrive a little after 6 pm. Now, I had been placed on a later flight to New Jersey (of all places) with a two hour layover. I would still arrive at 9 pm with the new itinerary.
But bad went to worse very quickly. As soon as I arrived in Newark, I found out that my connecting flight was delayed for two hours. Not yet anticipating the worst, I snagged a seat at a bar and settled in for dinner and a drink. Every time I prepared to close my tab, I discovered that my flight had been delayed yet again. What seemed like ages later, my 4 pm flight became a midnight flight, leaving me with an eight hour layover and an arrival time of 3 am. I was even more devastated when my driver wasn’t at the airport and I couldn’t contact any of my given emergency contacts.
After finally finding a way to my hotel, things improved by the minute. In fact, things got better as soon as I was able to sleep on a bed with a pillow.
|LA to NJ|
|The dinner of champions|
|After the first delay|
|After the second delay|
|Finally getting to sleep in a real bed|
Day 2 consisted of a large breakfast, an even larger nap, and running around Epcot with my newfound friends that made up my team.
We participated in a photo challenge around Epcot, resulting in 4 fabulous postcard pictures (don’t worry, I’ve included them for you guys.
|White Chocolate French Toast|
Day 3 – Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom, I have decided, is one of the most underrated of the Disney Parks. The detail that Disney has put into this park is simply amazing. After going behind the scenes and witnessing some of the things they have done to bring the park to life, it’s crazy how many things you overlook while you’re there. Just think of all the decor Disney has for you to look at while you wait in line for rides. All of it is unnecessary costs, but those are the things that truly make Disney parks a “magical” experience.
Even the rides at Disney, like the water raft ride we rode at Animal Kingdom, expose real situations from the places they take inspiration from. This ride in particular exposed some of the deforestation that had been happening in that particular country (I’m sorry I can’t remember all the details).
We followed the ride by an animal safari, where you can get up close and personal with some African animals. Just look at how close I was to the giraffes!
My last photo is of a “hidden Mickey.” There are many Mickey’s around the Disney parks, left as a kind of signature from the imagineers and architects. This one is hidden in plain site with “Fichwa!” meaning “hidden” in Swahili.
After our day in Animal Kingdom, it was nice to go inside an air conditioned room for our next challenge. Good thing too, since it started raining shortly afterward.
Our creation was a Lilo and Stitch themed food truck with shrimp tacos, with a spicy aioli and cilantro, and a vegetarian option, with zucchini replacing the shrimp. Our side dish was a pineapple and apple slaw with a vinegar based dressing as to not overwhelm the richly flavored tacos. We decorated our cupcakes to match with a “sandy” shore around the edge (white frosting with coconut) and a swirl of blue frosting for the wave. We topped them with three small almonds for the shells.
Unfortunately we didn’t win, but it sure tasted good!
Day 3 – Free Night in the Parks
Later that night was our free night in the parks. We went to Hollywood Studios first, where I finally braved The Hollywood Tower of Terror for the first time. (FYI, last time I got too scared and chickened out!)
After it got dark, we made it to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks show and spent the last of the night getting on all the rides we could!
Day 4 – 6 am 5k in Epcot
After a 1 am park close, waking up for this 5k in the morning was brutal. I set my alarm for 5:30 and walked the whole way. I’m not a runner, but it was kind of cool to see Epcot at sunrise.
Day 4 – Getting the Official Offer
We ended the day with a scavenger hunt (sorry, not pictures of that!) and a program wrap-up! We all celebrated the successful completion of the program and went on our separate ways to get home.
I never thought I’d be so happy to accept a job offer!