Connecting Lundquist College students with businesses and alumni all around the nation and beyond, it’s a foundational aspect of our student experience. The annual January MBA study tours to Seattle and New York City are just two examples of experiential learning and networking opportunities afforded students.
Many universities make similar trips, but the Lundquist College of Business is unique in that all Oregon MBA students take part, not just a small cohort. Seattle represents the first group trip for students starting their Oregon MBA experience, whereas New York serves as a capstone outing for second-year MBAs, a culmination of their time with the University of Oregon business program.
Jenny Palm, an MBA candidate with the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, joined the first-year students from her program, as well as Center for Sustainable Business Practices and Finance and Securities Analysis Center students, on their voyage to Seattle.
“Our first day of company visits started with Microsoft,” Palm said. “Because it is such a large and leading company, we were able to cover multiple areas of the business, including finance, Microsoft ventures and support of the start-up world, their internal and external sustainability efforts, and marketing.”
The tracks had separate agendas for visits, but some companies embody aspects of all our MBA tracks/centers. A breakfast meeting with Threshold and the newly created Canopy group was one of the meetings where finance, entrepreneurship, and sustainability all interconnected in one company. Visits to McKinstry and REI followed.
“REI embraces many of the unique aspects of the programs at the Oregon MBA,” noted Palm, “there could be no better company to end our whirlwind tour.”
Then New York
As with the Seattle tour, students had different itineraries for different tracks in New York City. This tour was just as packed with visits to some of the biggest firms in the world, as well as some lesser known entities doing great work.
For about 25 MBA students from all four centers, it was eight unforgettable days in the Big Apple visiting companies and meeting executives in the industries we love, according to Seth Bohne, an MBA candidate with the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. For him, speaker Sal Galatioto of Galatioto Sports Partners served as an inspiration to a bunch of MBA students who are anxious to make their own mark in the industry.
“Few individuals in the sports finance world are so well connected that they know everyone personally and regularly play an integral role in team dispositions and acquisitions,” said Bohne.
Blake Thompson, a Center for Sustainable Business Practices MBA candidate added, “For me, the best part was the exposure to industries and jobs in companies that aren’t generally in my purview. There was a wide breadth of exposure—from Nike and ESPN to finance, nonprofits, and mutual fund investors. It was good to explore areas I don’t traditionally focus on.”
In that same vein, Thompson noted that he was unfamiliar with the nonprofit Smile Train, which raises money and arranges training for surgeons and clinics in how to correct cleft lip and palate in emerging markets.
“That was an extremely cool stop in that it was a nonprofit with an interesting model. It was very inspirational and beneficial. They are actually training the local surgeons in local clinics to make a sustainable model that can grow and be there forever.”
MBA candidate Curtis Lloyd, who is in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship track but also has a keen interest in finance, similarly found the New York City trip to be illuminating.
“New York City is the epicenter for the finance world. For me, it was a very inspiring trip, very eye-opening,” he said. “I had seen New York finance represented in movies and read about it online, but to see it in person and meet the people involved, it made it more tangible.”
“As you think of some of great jobs at top companies, it seems like fiction,” he added. “But then you meet an Oregon alum at Goldman Sachs, and it illustrates it is not only possible, it happens all the time. The access that we had, the people we were able to meet with—the caliber and how high up in the organizations—it’s hard to imagine all of those meetings one after another in the course of a week. I was pretty impressed.”
Added Warsaw Center MBA candidate Lauren Stornetta, “We have walked the hills of San Francisco, the streets of Mumbai, the high speed trains of China and survived the muggy commute in Singapore. With all of the miles under our belt, there was simply no better place to end our world travels as MBAs than in the city that defines American business—New York.”