Students from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business recently traveled to Chicago on an industry visit to expand their perspective on business. Twenty-seven students from two Business Learning Communities (BLC) and three BLC student mentors visited Deloitte, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Catapult Chicago. They also took in the city by attending attractions like the Blue Man Group show and Cloud Gate at Millennium Park.
Matt Geyer, academic advisor in Business Advising and Student Engagement,
accompanied the students. He hopes they utilize the information gained from professionals on the trip.
“We want our students to understand the benefits of networking, connecting and stepping out of your comfort zone. These professionals talk about their experience in college to share what they did that helped contribute to their overall success. We hope students hear their story and act on it,” he said.
On the tour of Deloitte, a panel of professionals, including three Nebraska alumni, discussed many topics with the students. They stressed the importance of networking, data analytics and the importance of securing an internship during student's undergraduate careers.
Megan Boyle, a freshman finance major from Chicago, said, “The discussion we had at Deloitte helped open my eyes to opportunities for life after I graduate. It felt reassuring to have Nebraska alumni in the panel as well. They talked about how well Nebraska prepared them for the CPA, which made me feel my chances to work at a company like Deloitte are very real. It was interesting to see more or less what my day-to-day life would be if I were to go into accounting.”
During their visit to Catapult Chicago, students talked with start-up businesses who work with cryptocurrency, mortgages and photo syncing. Sydney Lacher, a sophomore marketing major from Minneapolis who serves as a BLC mentor, said the trip allowed her to bond with her mentees.
“The BLC trips help me highlight different facets of business to students I mentor. I encourage them to take a close look at the company’s culture and any development opportunities they provide,” Lacher said. “The visit to Catapult provided a refreshing look at business. The environment seemed laid back and felt more like a collaboration community rather than a typical company. I believe too often we only think of public companies with a board of directors and a C-suite.”
Geyer explained how the business learning communities give students the opportunity to grow academically, professionally, personally and socially. He shared how industry visits allow them to see the different aspects of business and allow students to find out more about where they want to be in college and after.
“Students get to talk to real professionals who are immersed in business every day, talking from the heart about what they actually do. If students can connect with that, that’s music to our ears. Getting them to a place where they are invested in the curriculum they are going to take is exactly what we want,” Geyer said. “Whether it is with a company like Deloitte or Catapult, these trips help students find where they want to fit in on the spectrum of business.”
The students ended their trip by taking in a view of the city from the 94th
floor of the John Hancock Building. To learn more about the BLC, visit business.unl.edu/blc