Written by Jace Barton
Four days. 23 students. Three companies. Good memories? Too many to count.
The Honors Business Association recently traveled to Washington D.C. for its annual Company Field Trip. A broad mix of students, from freshmen to seniors, marketing to finance, took advantage of an incredible opportunity to network with executives at top companies in the city while learning more about the non-traditional doors a McCombs major can open.
The first company visit was to Marriott. We toured sample rooms from six of Marriott’s brands and learned about the intricate process behind crafting the perfect hotel rooms. We also gained insight to the subtleties of hotel branding, and how even the smallest details can make a difference in guest experience. The Marriott visit also included a tour of the Innovation Lab, where Marriott is testing new designs to place itself at the cutting edge of the hospitality industry. The visit concluded with a quick tour of the rest of the headquarters building and a question-and-answer panel with two Longhorn alumni.
Thursday night, the group was treated to even more alumni interaction through the annual Alumni Dinner. Four local BHP alumni joined us at the Texas-themed Rhodeside Grill. We chatted with the alumni to enquire about their career paths and gathered advice on fun classes to take and quirky hole-in-the-wall restaurants to try. With outstanding food and even better company, the night was a treat for all involved.
Friday started with a tour of the White House. While not all of us have political ambitions, it was hard not to fantasize about one day calling 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. home. After the White House, we trekked to one of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories. Various company executives talked to us about multiple facets of the company’s business, including aerospace & defense, space, and information technology. At the end of the visit, we took turns piloting Lockheed Martin’s F-22 and F-35 simulators. While no student has voiced intent to leave the Business Honors Program to become a fighter pilot, several were tempted!
Friday concluded with a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency. We were treated to a tour of the Main Hall and museum, where the history of the agency is illuminated through photographs, artifacts, and exhibits. After the tour, two officers from the Agency’s recruiting division talked to us about how business majors make an impact in the CIA. We departed extremely impressed with the level of excellence the CIA attains. We would tell you more, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy…
Saturday, we started the day with a tour of the Capitol. Following this, we broke off into small groups to explore all Washington D.C. has to offer. Popular destinations included the Newseum, the National Zoo, several Smithsonian museums, and many of the national monuments.
Sadly, the trip needed to end sometime, and the group returned home Sunday. While the trip was finite, we all knew that the memories of good times with great friends in an amazing city would last forever.