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By Liz Warren-Pederson


Management capstone course students and faculty at the Pentagon.

Management capstone course students and faculty
at the Pentagon.

The undergraduate management capstone course went on the road this summer, hitting Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York in a whirlwind three-week trip designed to illuminate the intersections between the government, business, and nonprofit sectors.

Twenty students were selected to participate in the program, which was taught by senior lecturer Suzanne Cummins and undergraduate associate dean Pam Perry. Students Liberty Wicklund and Marisa Carlos coordinated visits with alumni and companies.

“I thought organizing the trip would be a great way to get more involved with Eller and form relationships with faculty members and alumni, so I jumped on the opportunity,” said Carlos, Eller Business Economics ’12. “I was the logistics coordinator for the New York City and Philadelphia portions of the trip, which meant I arranged all of the lodging, transportation, company visits, and alumni receptions. I reached out to our Eller/UA alumni along with other friends of the college in these cities and had great reception. Many of them were very eager to help out and we were able to coordinate company visits that were great learning and networking experiences for all of the students.”

“One of my favorite visits was the tour we received of the Pentagon from Major General Lee Price [Eller MIS ’89],” said Wicklund, Eller Business Economics ‘11. “We certainly learned a great deal about management of a large group and the ins and outs of contracting and acquisitions.”

In addition to visiting the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Cummins said that they visited the think tank Calibre Systems, a data mining company. “We walked in and students saw their own Facebook images, which Calibre pulled from underneath the security the students thought they had on their accounts,” said Cummins. “The spy-like guys at Calibre had had the resumes for less than an hour and they were able to pull that stuff off the web and build it into a slide. Students learned that privacy definitely isn’t something that can be found on the web — no matter what your settings.”

Management capstone course students and faculty in Philadelphia.

Management capstone course students and faculty
in Philadelphia.

In the Philadelphia area, the students visited Amish companies, which Wicklund cited as a highlight. In New York, the students met with investment bankers, the United Nations Vice Council of Human Rights, and others.

“This trip opened up a whole new world for me,” said Wicklund. “I was able to understand how we put those graphs and equations from class to work in the real world. Being able to ask about the daily life of an investment banker, or a contractor, or a compliance officer will help me prepare myself for what I will face after graduation. I now have a better understanding of what a future employer will expect.”

“Organizing and being a part of this trip was probably the most enriching experience I’ve had in Eller,” Carlos added. “It taught me a great deal about professionalism and networking and how important that is in business, and life in general. The relationships I formed with Eller faculty, especially Pam and Suzanne, are invaluable.”