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Chicago study tour students at Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Elizabeth Smiley second from left

By Elizabeth Smiley, Pre-Business Major

This past spring break, 13 Eller students went to the city of Chicago to learn more about the business world. We had a whirlwind tour of the city visiting 16 companies in four days. Each day was packed with opportunities to network and learn about what business actually is. On some days we had to be out the door by 7:00 am, and we would not get back to the hotel until between 5:00 pm and 6:00pm. Although we had to endure the cold Chicago weather, those long days were worth it.

We had the opportunity to see a wide range of companies. The most notable were Accenture, the Chicago Tribune, the Mercantile Exchange, Merrill Lynch, Wrigley (the candy company), and Walgreens. There was enough variety to interest people from all of the Eller majors. As a Pre-business student, this trip was a great learning experience. I was able to learn about all of the different types of business. I saw what brand managing is at Wrigley, then saw what financial trading is at the Mercantile Exchange, and then saw what the MIS department is at the Chicago Tribune. Being able to see all of these different industries before I apply to Eller has helped me decide what major to pursue.

The other great perk of this trip was the networking. We were able to meet Eller Alumni in many of the companies that we went to and ask them questions about their career paths and current positions. After each meeting, all of the presenters would give us their business cards and tell us to email them if we had any questions. So we ended up with some business cards from CEOs and VPs of Sales etc. All in all, the trip was one of the best learning experiences I have ever had and I am grateful that the Eller College of Management can provide us with great opportunities such as this.