Editor’s Note: For his second blog post of the summer, Aidan chose to recap “The B.L.U.E. Experience”—a two-day program from June 25-26 that brought all our interns to Seattle to learn about McKinstry and bond with each other. Click here to read Aidan’s first blog post introducing himself.
An event called The B.L.U.E Experience is sure to stir up some curiosity in those attending. We’ve all been to events that didn’t meet expectations, but I’m happy to say that The B.L.U.E. Experience fully lived up to the intrigue its name evoked!
The first day started with an introduction by McKinstry CEO Dean Allen. Dean gave us all insight into how McKinstry started up back in 1960, how it’s grown since then and how the company will grow in the future. It was valuable to hear this first-hand from somebody who has been on-board throughout the journey, and Dean left us with a great view into how McKinstry got to where it is today.
More interesting, though, was his insight into the future. With the “McKinstry 2020” plan the company rolled out in 2015 soon to become a reality, the “McKinstry 2025” vision is already being conceived. In true McKinstry fashion, it’s both ambitious and attainable. It was great for all of us interns to get a feel for the bright future ahead here (and our place within that future) as we consider our post-college career choices.
We followed Dean’s introduction with a scavenger hunt. You gotta love some team-building with strangers! Although this might seem a bit childish and silly, the hunt was a great way to get to know the Seattle office. Coming from Portland (where I’m working this summer), I was excited to explore the bigger campus here at McKinstry HQ. I soon learned that I was not the only one baffled by the size of the campus—some interns came from offices with only a handful of employees. With no set route to complete the hunt, I was able to really wander the buildings and soon felt at home.
The rest of the first day included an opportunity to meet in small groups with interns who went on to becomes employees, learning about the innovative advancements being made behind the scenes at McKinstry and a workshop on building yourself an effective “elevator pitch.” The day closed out with a happy hour networking opportunity which led to a group outing and some dinner with most of the interns—a great way to get to know everyone in a more casual setting.
Day 2 of The B.L.U.E. Experience was jam-packed just like the day prior. The opportunity to serve the community as a group—by working outside and improving McKinstry’s land adoption site (Crystal Springs Park)—was a spectacular way to start the day. That community service work was followed by a tour of the fabrication shop and a chance to try out some VR/AR tools that McKinstry is piloting for our projects.
The day wrapped up with an informative panel of employees who answered some final questions we had and gave us a look into the career journeys that led them to their positions at McKinstry.
I don’t think I was prepared for how much I was going to learn at this event. I also didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to say goodbye to some of my fellow interns at the end of the experience. I can wholeheartedly say that the best part of my two days in Seattle was the bond I built with the other interns—these people are special! Our cohort is such an intelligent and unique group of people who share a common drive to be better every day and to do so with McKinstry.
If the collective minds in this group of people are indicative of the talent in the rising workforce, the world is sure to be changing for the better!
I would like to take this opportunity to not only extend my gratitude to the fellow interns that made these two days amazing, but more importantly to B.L.U.E. Program Manager, Bri Kastning, and the team who made this event happen. Not only do I feel much more knowledgeable about McKinstry and where I fit into the company, I now have a McKinstry intern network and great connections to extraordinary people across the country.