Over Spring Break, I have the opportunity to take a group of 24 Eller undergrad students to New York City for a weeklong study tour focusing on company site visits and alumni networking. The selected students were required to submit an application along with a resume and a letter of interest, and complete an interview. The students range from first-years to graduating seniors and represent a mixture of all of our majors (accounting, finance, business economics, business management, marketing, MIS, operations management) as well as pre-business.
Finishing up day 2 of our 5 day tour, we have already seen a great diversity of companies. We started off the week in the retailing sector with visits to the JCPenney Manhattan flagship store and Macy’s. Students learned about the career opportunities in retail including store management, buying and purchasing, product development, and logistics management. We rounded out the first day with a visit to Wall Street to meet with an Eller Alum at Standard & Poor’s. Jonathan Orze (BSBA Finance ’02) was very candid with our group about the financial market today and the change in climate on Wall Street that is affecting the job opportunities for our upcoming graduates.
The second day consisted of site visits with Eller Alum Eric Quanbeck (BSBA Accounting/MIS ‘01) from Citi-Investment Banking Division, and Baskin Robbin’s Marketing Field Manager Stephanie Sanderson (UA Media Arts Alum). It was interesting to see the ends of the spectrum on career opportunities here in New York (Investment Banking to Marketing Field Manager) and how there really is an opportunity for just about every major.
In addition to the busy site visit schedule, the students have been able to pack in some site seeing adventures- soaking up the Big Apple lifestyle. A group of our students were even able to meet up with former ASUA Student Body President Tommy Bruce (Marketing, 2009) at a taping of The Late Show with David Letterman, for which he now works.
We are only half-way through our tour and I already feel like we’ve had experiences to last a lifetime and networked with an amazing group of alums. Not only have the alumni offered their experiences and knowledge on various career paths and industries, but they have also talked about the perks (and challenges) of living and working NYC. The students attending the tour will be able to network and learn from these professionals, and may soon be the alumni we will be visiting on New York Study Tours in the future.