As a recent addition to the Amp team I was instantly welcomed and felt right at home from day one, I clicked with everyone throughout the interview process and knew this was the right next step in my career to join a thriving and growing business with the best working culture I’ve experienced in my career to date.
I certainly feel like I joined at the right time as the business achieved its best ever year in 2021. This was not only beneficial to a new starter like myself coming into a warm desk but also because hitting this target meant all Ampers were heading to the Alps to celebrate this milestone. Myself and all the new starters were all welcome to join, unlike many other consultancies, which speaks volumes about the type of business we are.
As the date approached the office buzzed with excitement and anticipation, skiers and non-skiers alike. The day finally arrived, all packed up with my new ski equipment (think all the gear no idea!) and a few swift halves in the airport Weatherspoon’s we were finally there in Courmayeur. Nerves had given way to excitement as we hit the town the first night. Now, with every first night perhaps got a little carried away leaving me with a sorer head in the morning that I had planned but that’s all part of it - right?
We were all at the gondola kitted out by 8.30 and up the top for 8.45. The sun was out and the conditions for skiing were excellent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a lesson booked on the Friday morning but feeling more than confident and with a couple of successful practice runs on the baby slope I hit the chairlifts up to the top. Asking the instructors what the easiest slope was I made my way there, or what I thought was, turns out I had taken a wrong turn and ended up on a narrow and steep blue run.
My first run down was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating experiences of my life. I laughed, I cried, I swore…a lot and fell a lot more but I had made it down more or less in one piece. Skiing on snow for the first time was certainly a lot more slippery and difficult than I imagined and being a larger gentleman, I picked up speed quickly. On retrospect I really had thrown myself in the deep end. I remember thinking to myself if that is the easiest run then F*ck! Determined to make the most of the trip and to be the most improved, I dusted the snow off and hit the slope again.
After lunch and a couple of beers I made the decision to have one last crack at the mountain, this was a mistake. By this point the adrenaline had somewhat warn off, my muscles unused to skiing began to ache and tiredness from the night before was creeping in. What ensued was a sh*t show and probably the worst I have ever skied culminating in a pretty nasty fall and an epic bruise on my leg. I returned to the group a broken man. The skiers group soon joined up for some excellent après at the Super G bar, lots of dancing on tables and limoncello followed. We all revelled in tales of the day and had a good chuckle at our escapades long into the night.
The next day arrived, and we were all at the top for 9am for our first lesson with all the non-skiers. The instructors took us up to the practice slope, which was a lovely gentle run and the one they had instructed me to go to the previous day before I got lost and ended up on the blue. We all had a good laugh, practicing and falling but mostly at Callum who is probably the most unnatural skier any of us had ever seen. After a two-hour lesson and another few hours practicing on this slope I followed a couple of my more experienced colleagues to another blue run, this one was steeper and longer than the one before. My heart stopped at the top of the chairlift looking down wondering how the hell I was going to get down! The answer barely and I certainly wouldn’t have made it down without the support of Charlotte & Jenny. It was this day that I caught the bug for skiing, as terrified as I was with every run I could not stop throwing myself down and what I learned the most that second day was how to fall with style. The final run of the day I only fell over once, a feat I was particularly proud of.
Time for some après. Back to Super G and more dancing on tables and shots, this time with a sense of pride and achievement in my own ability, I felt I had earned it this day! The rest of the night was a bit of a blur as we headed from Super G to the American bar, where I was introduced to the Jager Moo, which is a shot of Jägermeister in a glass of milk. It was oddly quite nice and helped with the heartburn I had. Half the group went to Le Club but I made the conscious choice to call it a night around 1am as I wanted to make the most of our final day skiing. Rob, my roommate didn’t get back to 5am but credit to him – he was still up on the slopes by 9.30. I was the first one up that day and on the first gondola up the mountain at 8.30. I headed to the training slope and practiced non-stop for two hours, everything was finally clicking, and I was actually skiing.
With these new skills and confidence, I decided to take another crack at the first ever run I had tried and shredded down with ease. I only fell over once, which I would have been very happy with but I had fallen over in full view of several colleagues getting the chairlift up! I was now fully obsessed and tackled a few of the more challenging blues with the more experienced skiers of the group all of whom validated my progress. As the final day ended and the adrenaline wore off, I was absolutely exhausted, I ached in places that I hadn’t before, I was covered in bruises and I could barely walk but was whole heartedly enthralled. It had truly been a life changing experience.
The whole trip had flown by and none of us could believe it was the last night. I made sure to pack my bags the night before as we had a 7.30am transfer back to the airport and hit the town one last time. We were all sad that the trip had come to an end but I think I speak for everyone here when I say it was one of the best trips I’ve ever had. Arriving back in the UK and all parting ways our Whatsapp chat sparked to life with everyone sharing their pictures and stories and having a good laugh as we eased back to reality. I missed the slopes so much that I booked a trip back to Courmayeur three weeks later with my wife. I can certainly say now that I will be skiing with the pros on next year’s trip!
Aside from all the fun it’s easy to forget all the hard work that was put in by everyone at Amplify to get us all to that ski trip and as a new joiner how lucky I was to be a part of that experience. It is certainly an extra incentive and bonus to working here. We all work hard but are a close knit team, more than just colleagues and have fun whilst getting the job done.