Words do no justice to the views along the Denali Highway (akphotography.com) My Denali story began in Arizona in October, 2009. Having retired the previous year with aspirations of finding interesting work but not knowing exactly where to look, I was surfing the net and looked at a website, coolworks.com, which had been given to me by a Yellowstone employee over a year before. On that site was an amazing opportunity for people like me to apply for interesting work all over the country!
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The Princess and Holland America job openings site attracted my interest and soon my application was submitted. At that time I thought I would be on a ship, I had no idea how big Alaska was, and I was generally unclear about what I was really applying for. Thankfully, all those questions got answered in due time.
With the application made, I forgot about it. Before Christmas, I received an email from the company requesting a telephone interview and next came a request to attend a recruitment seminar in Mesa, Arizona. I am so glad that I went to that. There I met Jenny Behan and she helped me match my skills to the Guest Service Representative openings in Denali.
I was hired to work for the Holland America Gray Line Guest Service Desk next to the McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali, Alaska beginning on May 3rd. My new boss, Sherry Buron, booked a flight from Phoenix to Anchorage for me and filled me in on all the information I needed to work in Denali for the summer. When I arrived in Anchorage on May 2nd and was being shuttled for hours and hours to my home away from home in Denali, all I could see was snow, frozen rivers and leafless trees and I wondered, What have I gotten myself into?
What…. I had gotten into a job which suited me. I had moved into housing where there were roommates who have become like family and I had found a serene and beautiful part of the world where the beauty of each rapidly succeeding season is breathtaking. I have learned so much more about customer service and how tours work. I know how to tag my bags properly when I travel. Most of all I have made so many new friends from all over the world and all walks of life. I feel so blessed to have been able to work in this Great Land.