Job Story: Danielle Cox, Division Manager, Fairbanks Transportation
It was 1994 and I was working full time while going to college. A friend approached me and said you should work in Alaska and be a driver guide, it is so much fun and the money is good. I thought, sounds fun, but drive a bus? Intrigued another friend and I applied, we were hired to train in Seattle and before I knew it I was behind the wheel of a 40 foot Motorcoach maneuvering through a skills course while trying to avoid cones. After several weeks of focused training and ultimately achieving a CDL license I found myself in Fairbanks, Alaska with a few friends from before and others that I met during training. I’ll never forget shopping at 1:00AM with the sun shining as bright as can be! It is safe to say it was hard to get my 8 hours of sleep those first few weeks.
I was a driver guide for three years and in that time covering much of Alaska and the Yukon, travelling to Beaver Creek, Whitehorse, Skagway, Tok, Dawson, Denali and Anchorage! My experiences driving have given me stories I still talk about today along with some lifelong friends.
I went on to work various other seasonal positions while attending college including; Driver Trainer, Dispatcher, Operations Manager in Skagway, and Sales and Marketing with Holland America.
After I graduated college I found myself interested in full time employment and became an inventory specialist for Holland America in my hometown of Seattle, after a short time, I realized that Alaska was calling to me and an opportunity for Sales and Service Manager came open for Holland America in Fairbanks. I was so excited to move back to the great north and experience Fairbanks at 40 below! I went on to accept an opportunity as Passenger Services Manager with Princess, then Transportation Manager ultimately resulting in my current role as Division Manager for HAP Alaska/Yukon in Fairbanks.
While the novelty of 40 below has certainly worn off, my love for Alaska, cruising, travel and adventure certainly have not! I have gone on five cruises ranging from Caribbean, Mexico and Panama Canal and will be going on my sixth cruise around Fiji this fall (see a theme…I need to thaw out from my Alaskan winters).
I treasure all my years in Alaska and the memories that go along, I am never short of storytelling for my family and friends in the lower 48. Some of what I treasure about Alaska include Moose, Bears, Caribou, Denali, walking on glaciers, seeing whales breach, Kayaking, Camping, hiking, flightseeing and yes of course the amazing Northern Lights.