April 26, 2013

I arrived in Dallas on Monday April 8th. Zack Lamp picked me up from the airport and welcomed me to Dallas. Zack is the man. He was one of the first fellows to do a “test run” for the program by going to Shanghai, China in 2012. He has been a real ambassador of HKS Dallas, the Xchange and Texas. He helped me get set up in my new apartment aka Dallas Digs. The apartment is in the heart of downtown Dallas and in one of the newest and coolest buildings in town. So many people in the Dallas office worked on getting the apartment set up and it instantly felt like home. First meal in town was with Zack at a downtown Dallas institution: City Tavern.

My first day at HKS Dallas was awesome! It’s a 15 minute walk through downtown from my apartment to the office. There’s a trolley I could take, but I prefer to walk and see the city on my way to work. I was welcomed by Mark Vander Voort, Dan Arrowood and the entire education team. I will be primality working on education projects while in Dallas. On my desk was a goody bag prepared by Dulce with snacks of all kinds. Fitting because I am a real foody. You will usually find me working with the mouse in my right hand and apple in my left. That’s just how I roll. Once I got settled in, it was time to go to work with the talented guys in education: Leo, Patrick and Bryan on a deadline for an education project.

I was also excited to meet Bob and Carl in the model shop. I worked with them remotely on a series of models and it was great to thank them in person. Working in a satellite office and knowing so many people through email it was great to put a handshake and a smile with everyone I finally met in person.

I met so many wonderful and talented people on my first day. Right away I realized the passion and personalities of the hundreds of Dallas employees are what create this awesome work environment.

I’ve set a goal of meeting all of the HKS Dallas employees, it’s going to take a while, thankfully it’s a three month Xchange. To help me with this goal, stop by and say hello. I sit on the Garden Level with the education group, look for the apple.

After a great first day at work, I couldn’t wait to put on my running shoes and see the city everyone raved about all day long. Running is my favorite way to explore new surrounding, I covered a lot of ground and the most impressive building was City Hall by architect I. M. Pei.

At the end of just my first day I can already say that this Xchange will be a life changing and professionally enriching experience benefiting me, the Miami office, the Xchange program, and HKS.

Oh, and yes, those are the crazy socks Armando sent me to Dallas with.

Tagged Dallas, Mark Pataky