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Town of the Fox
September 17, 2016

My company sent me out to Illinois for training this past week. The company flew all of the new hires out and picked us up with several limousines to go to St. Charles (go fox). Everything took place at a conference center where we would sleep upstairs and attend “class” downstairs. This reminds me of some upscale dorm/university! This was a great learning experience despite the fact that we were going through 9+ hours of presentation each day. This was my first business trip and I definitely have more coming up as time goes by. Welcome to the real world, Nancy.

The Conference Center

I really liked the layout of this conference center. Everything is under one facility and we didn’t need to travel back and forth between the conference hall and our bedrooms! There are a lot of beautiful sceneries within the complex such as the Fox River, fountains, and greenery. My room was cute and small considering how I only went there to sleep and get ready for the day. The only complaint I have is that the pillows are flat. On Wednesday, I had the chance to walk around some parts of the conference center to learn how to use more settings on my DSLR.

The Food

A buffet-style meal is served during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a warm invite for something like “Freshman 15” because of a sudden shock of surplus food supply. I’ll admit that I went crazy on the first day because everything looked appetizing. After the first day, I limited myself to one conservatively-filled plate of food per meal and avoided eating meat (excluding fish). Holla at the all you can eat smoked salmon~

There’s another food place within the venue where you have to pay out of pocket. I ordered a plate of sliders after arriving at the conference venue because we missed the last call for the dinner buffet. I never knew sliders outside of Disney can be delicious!

On Wednesday night, I took some recommendations from locals and ordered a Chicago deep dish pizza from a local pizza shop. The pizza is good for those who loves toppings. I think it’s a good experience to try out new things- especially when it’s what the place is known for! Even though I’m a fan of thin crust pizza, I wouldn’t mind having a slice of Chicago’s deep dish next time.

The Presentations

Sitting in a conference room listening to multiple presentations for 9 hours per day (with lunch in between) was hard. A lot of useful information was given over the course of 4.5 days. There were a few hands-on activities about what we are expected to do in the field: lots of report writing. Company policies, etiquette, and culture were mentioned repetitively so I suppose I am solid on that. We didn’t have training on how to do our jobs in specific since everyone is doing something different. I’m hoping to learn the tricks of the trade when I get assigned to projects. Oh, learn by doing!

Overall, I enjoyed the training experience. I’m looking forward to what I will be doing in my new job. This was an intense week- but things will get better.

17 Responses

  1. Georgie ☆ September 18, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Wow, sounds intense and tiring, but a great experience! I feel the same about conferences I attend. They are usually very information-heavy and I have to take a lot of notes, and it’s so important to have breaks in-between so you don’t get too mentally drained.

    Sounds like you were staying in the perfect place for a conference! Just have to walk downstairs, can sleep in, no commute time…! 😛

    Beautiful views as well – glad you got a chance to check it all out 😀

    The no-meat-but-fish choice sounds a lot like me 😉 😉

    • Nancy ☆ October 3, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Breaks are very important! We had a choice to take our own breaks when it’s needed but people were too shy X’D. I love the idea of staying at a conference venue where you don’t need to drive anywhere!

  2. Tara ☆ September 18, 2016 at 2:03 am

    Before I write my comment, I want to say I love your last photo! I can see the rainbow in the water! That’s a really great shot, Nancy!

    Anyway, wow at your business trip! I’m impressed they picked you guys up in a limo! Talk about fancy and classy! 😀 I’m glad to hear that your sleeping quarters weren’t far from where you had your trainings and such. Talk about convenient!

    All those food sounds so good! I have to give you kudos in not going overboard with those food. XD Those sliders look amazing. I want some now!

    Sounds like you went through a huge amount of information overload! I do hope you’ll get to do your actual job task soon and that it will come to you without any issues! You made it through this week, so yay!

    • Nancy ☆ October 3, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Those were the best sliders I’ve ever had! The limo will probably be the best highlight of my career LOL! Just kidding. That was a great way to make an entrance into the company!

  3. Amy ☆ September 18, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Wow, they picked you up in limousines? That’s so cool! I think that sort of treatment makes the long days of presentations well worth it.

    The food sounds amazing, also. Those burgers look lovely! I prefer thin crust pizza too, but any pizza is amazing. The Chicago deep dish sounds lovely.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the training experience, and good luck with your job!

  4. Liz ☆ September 19, 2016 at 2:18 am

    That place looks beautiful. ? The way you describe it makes me think of the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, which isn’t too far from me and is closer to my dad. I went on a tour as a field trip of sorts in high school with the Girls Awareness Program. I don’t even remember exactly where all we went, but there was a misunderstanding among the organizers and we got a short tour. It was really fancy, though, and is mostly for fancy-schmancy biz meetings. They have a waterfall inside. ?

    Considering your company giving you the royal treatment, if you ever wind up on a trip to the Gaylord Texan, himmeup??✌?

    I really love most kinds of pizza, tbh. ? There are places here with good sliders. I just can’t remember the names of them right now. ??

    I’m glad you’re having fun! ?

    (But seriously they’re treating you really well. Like wow?)

  5. Elisa ☆ September 20, 2016 at 6:49 am

    WHY ARE YOU SO ACTIVE, GURL. seriously, I can’t even drag myself out of the bed early in the morning and here you are writing a post of such busy schedule. you pwned it, man.

    your “dorm” sounds interesting. would have loved to see how the interior and decor look like 😉
    SO THIS WAS WHAT YOUR TWEET MEANT, the all you can eat smoked salmon. omg so jealous of you right now!!
    was the chicago style pizza thick? like really really thick and fat? I had a chicago styled pizza last time and the crust was really thick and fat. I prefer thin crust or the regular pan pizza too, probably the one labelled new york pizza, hm..

    I know how tiring it is to attend conferences. it’s as tiring as attending seminars with boring topics that don’t interest me. but you managed to learn a lot and that was such a fortunate experience you got there! Godspeed, missy 😀

    P.S: it’s Alice B, just in case you’re wondering. I decided to go with my real name now since there are quite a few Alice around the internet and well, yeah…to avoid the confusion, lol.

  6. Cat ☆ September 20, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Sounds like your company really takes care of you guys on this training trip! Getting picked up in a limo and being provided food is nice! Listening to 9+ hours of presentations a day sounds tough though. I’d have a hard time paying attention the whole time. Seems like a lot of info to take in!

    I’d like to go to Chicago and try a true deep dish pizza some time. We have restaurants here that do it, and while I like it, I’m still more of a thinner pizza type of person too.

    I’m glad it was a good experience overall though! Hope the new job is going well!

  7. Krystal ☆ September 22, 2016 at 3:12 am

    Was the venue really far from town? Sounded like you had to stay at the conference centre for the entire time.

    Despite that it seems that you guys were treated well with amazing food and accommodation.

    The photo of the burgers looks so good, Those type of small hamburgers are becoming popular here in the UK, lets you try out a few different favourite especially when one can’t decide which ones they want!

  8. Rezina ☆ September 23, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Wow everything sounds so legit, haha. That’s super exciting you got to experience that and sounds like your company treats all their new hires really well! Sounds like you had to listen to a lot of information too!

    If I had all you can eat food, and all the food looked really good, I would have probably done the same thing as you LOL.

    The pictures are really pretty! Looks like they chose a great place for the venue.

  9. Becca ☆ September 24, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Wooo! Welcome to kind of my area of the USA. 😉 New hire orientations are always a bit of a drag, but I think that’s pretty cool that you got to fly out and that they put you up in a nice hotel! What a fun experience!

    Hahaha, I am the exact same with buffets. I get so overwhelmed with all the options that I just go crazy and get way too much food! I just can’t help myself haha. I usually am better the second time around though and try to limit how much I put on the plate.

  10. Pauline ☆ September 24, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Oooo that sounds exciting! I love business trips, I went on a one this month too (haha, I feel like since we started our jobs around the same time we have similar things going on! :P) But mine was a little more local so we took the train. It sounds like you had a great time though! It’s really tiring having to sit through presentations but it’s all very much worth it 😀

    I definitely learn more than doing, I really enjoy more interactive presentations/lectures otherwise my mind starts drifting after 40~ minutes of long lectures.

    One of the things I love about conferences is all the food they provide haha! xD

  11. Thao ☆ September 28, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Ahh St Charles and the Q center. Home of corporate training. They definitely know how to jam pack your days. I did two weeks there and it was definitely intense, but I should have just partied more because whatever I learned there did not stick with me nor did I ever use it again. I remember being one of the more studious attendees…but I think my efforts were in vain. XD

    • Nancy ☆ September 28, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      Oh man, if only we were there at the same time! Those coordinators are good at packing long presentations that don’t stick. I was more focused on getting a cup of wine after the daily training XD. One company that had training went all out on the partying (not mine XD). I tried the first day but gave up as the week went by. . . I’m learning more on the actual job XD

  12. Iffah ☆ September 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Hello there. New reader here.

    Not so new actually. I’ve been reading your blog for the past week but somehow haven’t gotten around to commenting 😀

    Love the simplicity of your blog and it’s so cool that you’re working in Informations Security at such a young age ! I’m going into tech – web development – myself, but if only I had figured out what I really love to do early on !

    And it’s so amazing that your company flew you out for training.. Being in Singapore, which is already pretty small, we don’t really get to fly out for any trainings haha.. everything is within driving distance..

    Love your blog design, your photos and your entries ! Hope you don’t mind this ‘intrusion’ :))

    • Nancy ☆ September 28, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Feel free to drop by anytime~

      Aha, getting into the tech field in general is a great thing so don’t worry :). Training is great but the real fun starts on the job. If I stay local, everything is a driving distance as well!

  13. Jan ☆ September 30, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I think being picked up by limousines is great on its own. Talk about being Fancy. And yeah, I agree. Nothing beats doing the real thing.. and hopefully, you don’t have to write reports after training. Hope everything goes well for you.. the new job, new place and new people. Great clear shots, btw. : )

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