Experience. Over the past few months, this word has become rather prevalent in my life.
One of the best experiences of my life came to an end when I graduated college. Shortly after, I was off to find the next transformative opportunity. I moved from Washington to California and started experiencing a new day-to-day life. I had feelings of homesickness and frustration, but also of accomplishment. I used my previous experience to land an internship at TripIt, and luckily I found that they put a similar emphasis on this word, which I came to realize on my first business trip, only two weeks into my internship.
My fellow interns and I were sent to an intern kick-off event hosted by our loving parent company, Concur. Getting the opportunity to travel for business was definitely exciting, and I have to admit I felt kind of cool telling my friends I’d be “out of town on business.” I was shocked to be going on a business trip so soon, but I guess when you’re working for one of the top travel apps, it isn’t that surprising.
Equipped with TripIt Pro, I checked in to my flight on Sunday morning, and later that day, I was on my way to Seattle (which was the cherry on top of the trip for this born and raised Washingtonian). With my hotel confirmation number easily accessible in my TripIt itinerary checking in to the Hyatt Regency Bellevue was a breeze.
My trip was going smoothly, so I was able to meet my parents at a nearby restaurant for a Father’s Day celebration. After catching up with them and saving my receipt so I could expense my first meal (saying “I’ll just expense it” also made me feel pretty cool), I headed up to my room to get a good night’s sleep for the exciting day ahead.
The next day started off with an amazing breakfast provided by the Hyatt before we heard from Raj Singh, Concur’s President and COO. He shared Concur’s vision and how we, as interns, not only fit into that vision but also play an important role in making it come to life.
He spoke of his journey as a co-founder of this ever-growing company and how Concur came to be, of course not without some risk-taking along the way.
From the way he spoke, it was clear that Concur was his baby. With the company so near and dear to his heart, he iterated that maintaining a positive culture was a top priority and that he wants people to be excited to come to work.
While he spoke that word kept ringing in my head. It was all about having experiences. By pushing the limits to create positive experiences, this company is able to retain employees, rise from turbulent times and continue to build a family-like company culture — a culture I am honored to experience for myself.
The rest of the day was filled with different sessions to brief us on Concur’s products, innovation, marketing, and culture. These sessions were led by some of the company’s leading executives, which amazed me. Having their top professionals take time out of their day to spend with the interns supported the words that Raj spoke earlier.
To close out the sessions, we heard from Steve Singh, CEO. Like his brother, Steve conveyed a parent-like love for his company, and inspired us to take risks and go after an experience we would love to have.
Ending on a high note, we immediately headed to the nearby bowling alley, Lucky Strike, to let loose and mingle after a long day of learning. With private lanes, great food, an open bar, and a giant screen showing the USA versus Ghana World Cup match, we really got to see this company culture come to life. Concur isn’t all talk—they’re about experiences too.
Later that night, I met up with my best friend, who works nearby, for dinner and then took off early in the morning to head back to San Francisco. My first business trip was a success and an experience I won’t soon forget.