By Lauren Ray '13
In October, 40 Mays Business Honors students traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn more about how business is conducted in our nation’s capital. The group was able to also spend time learning about the different branches of government and the history of the U.S. It was a time for students to get a taste of what it would be like to pursue a career in Washington, D.C., while enjoying themselves on a five-day trip.
The group was most excited about visiting Congressman Bill Flores’ staff, where we heard from Legislative Director Jon Oehmen in the Capitol. Oehmen described his position, and explained what life was like working on Capitol Hill. Students were able to ask questions, and we learned about Flores’ time as a CEO and how his experience as a businessman translated into his position in the House of Representatives. Oehmen spoke about Flores’ connection to and communication with his constituents, which is important to us not only as Texans, but as students who will soon be leaders in the business world. After this meeting students were given a private tour of the Capitol. Junior Business Honors student Taylor Morris describes this tour this way: “When you actually get to see the rooms and halls where some of the most important decisions in the United States history were made, you begin to feel the magnitude and history in a way that you can’t get from just reading about it.”
Another highlight included an office visit to Living Social. This alternative office setting opened the students’ eyes to careers in Marketing at a technology-based firm. Tour guides Jen Gediman and LaRae Holliday gave an overview of Living Social’s history and explained how rapidly the corporation has expanded from a small company with four employees in 2007 to the online giant it is today with 4,500 employees worldwide. Students were then given a Living Social office tour, where they saw inside Inc. Magazine’s “World’s Coolest Office” of 2011. Many students enjoyed witnessing what it would be like to work in an open, alternative environment. Business Honors PPA student Aryn Akin said, “It was encouraging to see that you can actually do something you love,” and called it “a breath of fresh air.”
The group learned more about our nation’s history by embarking on a moonlight tour of the monuments around the Reflecting Pool. Tour guides explained the sacrifice U.S. citizens took to defend our country during the Korean War, Vietnam War and World War II. Other tours included a visit to the Supreme Court and a walk through the White House.
Students were able to plan their own tours as well, and many went to the Library of Congress, Arlington National Cemetery, Newseum and many more. Extra tours gave students like Junior Business Honors Student Allison Davis “the time to fully immerse [her]self in the historic town and all it had to offer.”
The Business Honors Program takes students on trips to major U.S. cities each fall to enhance their learning experience and expose them to city culture. To learn more about past trips or more about the program, visit maystamu.edu/businesshonors.