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Threat Level Midnight Takes On AW

By Abigail Gartrell

Appian offers a lot of opportunities for fun activities and challenges. Recently, in conjunction with the Appian World Hackathon competition, Appian offered a Hackathon for the Professional Services department. The grand prize? A trip to Appian World! Thinking I’d pick up some new technical skills and make some friends, I joined a team that still needed a consultant. Our team name? Threat Level Midnight, our homage to The Office. After a couple of working weekends and late night labor over our video presentation, we submitted our application. Although the competition was fierce, ultimately, Threat Level Midnight won a trip to Miami!

Appian World was an amazing 3 days of exhilarating activities, thought provoking sessions, and lavish parties and food. But here are a couple of highlights:

Speed Boat Tour

Since our client was attending Appian World, we got to tag along on some of their activities. On the first day, about 40 of us loaded onto a bright yellow speed boat that blasted pop music and toured us around the Miami Bay at 65 mph. It took us to many interesting sights around Miami, from views of the city, to the houses of the rich and famous. My favorite place was Stiltsville, an area in the Biscayne bay where houses were built on stilts in order to drink during prohibition. That’s my kind of innovative thinking!

Not only did we tour the bay, but some of us had the opportunity to drive the boat! In the choppy waters, we all got drenched, but it was with huge smiles on all of our faces. Even some dolphins briefly stopped by to say hello. :) Our adventure ended with a drop off right in front of the Fontainebleau.

Photo Credit: Jackie Jubien

Appian World 5K

On the second day, we trudged out bright and early to FontaineBleau for the 5K sponsored by AppianWOMEN. Though the morning was hot and muggy, everyone was pumped up for the race. It was a beautiful run along the Miami beach boardwalk. We were able to see the early morning sun shine over the ocean and watch as the waves crashed against the shore. After crossing the finish line, and taking as many water bottles as I could physically carry (it was hot), I donned the Appian World 5K medal with pride. Despite the heat, it was a fun, well organized run!

I only run for the bling

Conference Party

I’ve been lucky enough to attend an Appian World party before, and each time seems cooler than the last. This year, the party was located at the Pérez Art Museum Miami. This gorgeous waterfront venue offered all the bright lights of Miami with the cool sophistication of a modern art museum. With live music, black light lawn games, and interactive art exhibits, there was no way not to be entertained. Decked out in glow sticks and munching on fried Oreo's (yum), I can confirm that Appian pulled out all the stops.

Our Hackathon team had the opportunity to present our application along side the Appian World Hackathon finalists. Public speaking intimidates me, but it presented an interesting challenge and learning opportunity. Throughout Appian World, we squeezed practice time in between events. I was extremely apprehensive because I had never spoken in front of such a large crowd. Luckily, our practice paid off, the presentation went smoothly, and we got a great response. It was exciting to have people come up after the presentation to discuss our application.

Oh yeah, we also got to meet the Woz!

Threat Level Midnight ft the Woz

After the whirlwind of Appian World, I can only reflect that taking on the challenges and opportunities offered by Appian not only benefited my personal growth, but also gave me the chance to have an awesome experience. So here’s to taking advantage of new opportunities; thanks, Appian!


Threat Level Midnight Takes On AW was originally published in AppianLIFE on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Published on May 31, 2018

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