Atlanta Business trip

A couple times a year (so far once a year, but probably more in the future) I travel to Atlanta for a quarterly meeting with the project manager in my organization. I get to work with my dream organization, the CDC, on a project I could only have ever dreamed of working on as a wee little undergrad public health student. 

Like seriously I get to work on the biggest anti-tobacco Ad campaign in the world. The gold standard of ad campaigns in public health. Its a public health dream come true. 

After 4 hours of presentations from all of the contractors on the project, I was starting to feel a little useless, and trying to remember a reason of why I even get invited to these things. Then the production company showed a video recapping the last 5 years of the project (I might have teared up). They also passed out a poster with everyones names who in the last 5 years contributed to this campaign, and my name was on it. 

I realized in that moment that I take a lot for granted. Especially the opportunities I have been afforded working at Qualtrics. I was overwhelmed in that moment with my good fortune. I get to work with clients and on projects I never in my wildest dreams thought I would have the expertise and experience to work on. I’ve learned new skills and met a lot of really really cool people through this job. I have also gotten to work in Public health in a way I feel is meaningful and has the real potential to save lives. 

A little over a year ago when I received my offer from Qualtrics after just graduating with my MPH I took a leap of faith that this could really begin my career path and put me on the kind of the trajectory I could be excited about. It was completely the right decision and I am so glad I took that leap (although at the time I was quite nervous). 

I always want to remember the little feelings of gratitude and appreciation and feeling of contribution I felt in that moment in Atlanta. Sometimes I get caught up in the day to day, my levels of stress, my sometimes inability to have a work life balance and remember that the work I do helps people, In the case of this project, it saves lives, and that is pretty cool.  

Anytime I get to come to Atlanta I also get to hang out with my Amazing friend Xan. She moved out there over a year ago and I don’t think we have gone more than 2 days since then (thanks groups texts) without talking.But lets be honest, texting and hanging out in person are way different. I was so glad she and her new husband Matt (whom I had never met) agreed to pick me up from the airport! 

We toured the beautiful Piedmont park, which is right in the middle of the city, We walked and talked and got rained on and just enjoyed the beauty of the cityscape against the greenery. Then we went for a real southern meal at Mary Mac’s tea room where I tried my first collard greens, ate some cornbread and stuffed my face with fried chicken and mashed potatoes (lets not talk about how I might have eaten a huge sandwich 2 hours before and ordered a full pizza that night when I got to my hotel, I like food okay?) 

The trip was only like 36 hours but it was a good one! 

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