RMBS 2012 - Ashley Kilback
February break was just around the corner and I had one thought in mind, I needed a vacation. I had never been on a conference before and I had always heard that it was something you had to experience during your university career, so I decided to apply for the Rocky Mountain Business Seminar. Going into it, I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that it was going to be a great time.
The morning of February 19th had finally arrived and Steve, Andrew and I packed the gulf so full of luggage, it became a game of hide and seek just to find me in the back seat. We hit the highway and began our journey to the mountains. We spent most of the road trip getting to know each other, laughing and as we called it “having GTs in the GTI”.
We arrived in Edmonton around supper time and met with our billets we’d be staying with for the night. After getting settled in, we decided to venture out for supper which turned into eating pizza out of a cardboard box, crammed in the corner of a Little Ceasars and making friends with the energetic Asian man that was working there. We headed to the train station and decided to make our way to the NHL game, ticketless. Let’s just say our first scalping experience was a fail, and we ended up watching the game on a big screen like most people.
The next morning, we were up bright and early and getting ready to make our way to Jasper. The bus was filled with 50 unfamiliar faces but after 15 minutes of being on the bus, tunes blasting and everyone cheering I knew that these 50 people would become my friends. After a long bus ride, we finally arrived in Jasper. It was a beautiful place with a breathtaking view of mountains and lakes and I couldn’t wait to spend an entire week there.
Once the conference officially kicked off, I knew that this week was going to be an amazing experience. I spent the next four days listening to great inspirational speakers, participating in a case competition, attending theme parties, networking with my new friends and eating five star meals. I was living the life of a celebrity and I didn’t want it to end.
Each day we had speaking sessions, where we had the opportunity to listen to former CEOs and highly acclaimed business people that shared their stories of success and encouraged us to become leaders of the future. One speaker in particular, Jared Smith, became one of the people that inspired me the most. He shared a message that was very true to life and motivated me to change the way I live my life.
Throughout the week, we were paired with teams to present a case competition to a panel of CMA judges and compete for a winning cash prize. It was my first experience doing a case competition and I really enjoyed it. My team may have not won best presentation, but we did win for highest average of drinks consumed.
The themed party nights were probably one of my favorite things about this conference. Each night there was a different theme and we had the opportunity to dress up as the breakfast club, circus characters and take part in a graffiti night. One of my best memories would have to be discovering that Steve was a hidden closet dancer, when the music came on – his moves came out. One night in particular he decided that he would try his infamous spilts move on the d-floor and ended up ripping the entire crotch of his pants. It was probably the best laugh of the night.
Aside from the speeches, networking sessions and dance parties – the food would definitely be another one of my favorite things about the conference. We had five course meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was some of best food I have ever had. I literally was in the Jasper Lodge food withdrawal after coming home and getting back to my normal eating habits.
The week had quickly coming to an end and I was sad to have to pack up my bags and head back home. RMBS was one of the greatest experiences I have had. I met so many great people that I know I will stay in touch with for a long time. I would love to go back and experience it all over again. It would definitely have to be one of the best reading week vacations to go on, you’d be crazy to not want to go!