For the first reading period of the school year, there were a plentiful of exciting trips, one of which was the Lawrence Scholars in Business (LSB) trip, made possible by Career Services and the Office of Alumni and Constituency Engagement (ACE). On Oct. 20 and 21, 26 students of various majors including economics, anthropology and physics got to travel to Minneapolis, Minn. to learn about working in business and networking with alumni.
“The trip was designed for students to meet alumni and other professional connections in their working environments and gain knowledge about their various industries,” said Mandy Netzel, Assistant Director of Career Services. The students visited four different companies: RBC Wealth Management, On Being with Krista Tippett, Optum and Gravie.
“I enjoyed going to the companies and seeing all of the different aspects of each company from being very corporative to a very casual—almost hipster—and nonprofit type of field,” said senior Regina Cornish.
Talking about RBC Wealth Management, a financial advisory company with many employers of diverse backgrounds, sophomore Hoa Huynh was very impressed. “RBC was the most impressive company to me,” said Huynh. “The employer talked about his personal experiences. He also stressed to not stop trying and that business is all about relationships.” Students also got to meet some alumni who are currently working at RBC, Craig Bishop ’13 and Gus Bishop ’13. They talked about their personal experiences and how Lawrence prepared them to work in a different environment than what they were used to.
Similar to RBC, Optum, an insurance company, is another giant that the participant visited. “The architecture and infrastructure were amazing,” said sophomore Kazuma Noguchi. At Optum, the students visited with Zach Martin ’16 and McKenzie Rech ’16, who talked about the hiring process in the company.
The trip also allowed the students to visit smaller startup companies, On Being with Krista Tippett and Gravie. At On Being with Krista Tippett, the office of the radio show was smaller, nice and cozy. The workers seemed to be very close with one another. They talked about the social and economic challenges they have gone through in their process of beginning the company. Gravie, on the other hand, is an insurance startup company, founded by a Lawrence alumnus, Abir Sen ‘97. The students also met Henry Chesnutt ’14, a current employee there, whom talked about how the classes he took at Lawrence helped him get ready for life after Lawrence.
Not only did the students get spoken to by the alumni at their workplaces, they got to speak with the alumni over dinner on Thursday night. “Career Services were so nice by giving us support to help us network with the alumni during dinner,” said Huynh. The trip was sponsored entirely by alumni’s donations.
The LSB trip happens annually during the Fall midterm reading period. The trip goes to not only Minneapolis, but also other places like Milwaukee and Chicago. Cornish was lucky enough to stay in Minneapolis for two extra days after the trip, during which she “got to venture around Minneapolis and see some more beautiful parts of the city.” She loved the experience of going to Minneapolis with a Lawrence group being so great and diverse.
So if you are interested in finding out more about the life of businesses, learning how to network and getting the chance to put those skills to use and, lastly, travelling to a new and exciting city, check out the next LSB trip. “I’d recommend for people to go,” said Noguchi. ”It was beneficial going on this trip to learn about the process of internships and to listen to workers’ personal stories. It was an interesting experience, especially if you’ve never been to Minneapolis before.”