At Backroads, we make a great big deal about hiring Trip Leaders. And today marks the start of our hiring "season." At 8:30 this morning, 43 hopeful candidates arrived at our Berkeley headquarters for what has got to be one of the world's most involved first interviews. Candidates are in our courtyard now--donning nametags, changing flat tires, showing off their public speaking skills and getting to know our staff. They've come from such far flung locations as China and Hawaii to interview with us. They've got degrees as diverse as MSc in Physiotherapy and BA in Elementary Education. Past job titles range from Television Producer to Arabic Program Coordinator, from Barista to Peace Corps Volunteer. They'll hear from us by tomorrow--whether or not they should pack their bags and head to Salt Lake City for Leader Training, our version of boot camp. We've got the selection process down to a science. After all these years, we're lightning fast. And we're spot on. Just ask our guests.
Scanning their faces while they focus intently on their projects, I can't help but wonder about them: Where will they go? Who will they meet? What wacky challenges will they have to work their ways out of in the field? Who will fall in love? (Leader-leader marriages are quite common; we've had more than 50 of them, in fact.) If they're hired, there's no question that their lives will change dramatically.
What an incredible adventure! Admittedly, I'm envious, gazing at them.
I can't wait to watch everything unfold...