Students Spend Semester Break in NYC for Inside Look at Business World
A group of Nebraska Wesleyan University students traded in some much-needed sleep and braved the cold January temperatures recently in hopes that they could wish their family and friends back home in Nebraska a good morning.
Donning a sign that read “Good Morning Nebraska,” the students achieved their first goal: getting a shout out from Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Sam Champion.
The group of 14 — made up of 12 accounting majors, an economics major, and a communication studies major — have returned from an interim field research course to New York City.
“They had some opportunities that you just don’t get everyday,” said business administration professor Thom Jackman, who led the trip.
Good Morning America was icing on the cake. So was the New York Knicks basketball game, the Phantom of the Opera performance, and the private tour of Yankee Stadium.
For this group, the real highlights came from visiting world-renowned businesses and organizations that they’ve studied in class. They went behind-the-scenes of Saks Fifth Avenue to the shoe department, an area so large it has its own zip code. They toured the Federal Reserve Bank and visited with attorneys and law enforcement officers who investigate money laundering and tax fraud. And they walked onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
“That was the highlight for me,” said NWU senior accounting major Mishayla Richardson. “You typically have a mental picture of pure chaos on the trading floor but that’s not the case anymore. People are on their handheld computers and with the changes in technology, it’s not nearly as busy as it used to be.”
This is the sixth field research course that Jackman has led. The course has previously taken students to Chicago, Dallas, and Washington, D.C. Students encouraged him to coordinate a trip to New York City this year.
Richardson played an instrumental role in the coordination, placing cold calls and doing Google searches for potential tour stops.
One visit included a morning breakfast at Crepes on Columbus, which came about thanks to family connections of another NWU student.
Jackman said the small business owner talked of his successes with making some of the best crepes around. He shared his struggles including the effects of the recession, which left him as the lone business in a stretch of eight nearby storefronts.
Students also toured the IRS, met with Deutsche Bank Hedge Fund consultants, and representatives from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
“We really learned about the bigger picture,” said Richardson. “We learned more about the financial crisis, the impact of the recession, and how business people need to adapt to technology because it’s inevitable.”
“The diversity of the experience was great,” she added. “We all learned so much from it.”