Boston: Time Flies
I have been back on campus for one day, and I already feel like the Ramble trip was weeks ago. It went by too fast, as all good trips do. As I tell my family and friends about the week, describing the city, the companies, and the great people I met, I keep repeating the phrase “It was better than I could have ever imagined.”
Going into the trip, I was eager to explore the city of Boston. I have always wanted to move to the East coast, specifically to Boston, but had never been there. I was nervous I wasn’t going to like the city or that it would feel small and boring compared to Chicago. After spending a week there, I am in love with that city. We could walk everywhere, each neighborhood had its own rich history, there were plenty of parks and green space, and the mix of historic buildings and new was seamless. I need to re-evaluate my 10-year plan to include “move to Boston” because the area was better than I could have ever imagined.
We were given a list of the companies we would visit before the trip. I made note of some in my area of study including Slalom and Carbonite. Going to companies like Fidelity and KPMG, an investment and accounting firm respectively, I assumed I wouldn’t find interest because it was outside of my major. However, the industries I was least interested in turned out to be some of my favorite visits. Learning how operations and information systems fits into a company like Fidelity and KPMG was very beneficial for me. Moving forward, I made it a professional goal of mine to investigate different industries outside of traditional supply chain associated industries. I hope to talk with more alumni in these areas with a similar education as myself. The company visits were so insightful and better than I could have ever imagined.
The highlight of the trip for me was getting to know the students and staff. I went into the trip without knowing anyone very well, and I came back to campus with 15 new friends. The cohesiveness of the group made the experience that much more worthwhile. Hearing everyone’s backgrounds, their goals and motivations, their professional and personal experiences helped us grow close quickly. I thought I would spend my nights working on homework in my hotel room, but instead the group spent time together building relationships. It was hard to not constantly smile while spending time with this group. Allison, Ami, and Melissa were also so helpful, fun, and supportive throughout the entire trip. I knew I could ask them anything personally or professionally. The support from both the staff and students was better than I could have ever imagined.
As I write this, getting ready to go back to class tomorrow, I am thinking about the personal and professional goals that I have set for myself post-trip. Professionally, I would like to build my network. Meeting alumni in all industries and in different stages of their careers helped me better understand my own career goals. I gained a lot of great insights and want to continue learning about new topics and areas of study. Personally, I would like to step outside of my comfort zone more and be willing to take chances. I was uncomfortable going on this trip not knowing many people, but now I have a group of amazing new friends. I was uncomfortable networking with alumni and conducting informational interviews, but now I have had experience in both of those areas and don’t get (as) nervous. These were things that happened because I had support from the entire Quinlan Ramble group, and I hope to continue building these types of skills by trying new things whenever I can. I would recommend this trip to anyone who has the slightest interest. I grew so much professionally, and I am so grateful I had this opportunity. It was better than I could have ever imagined.
Grace Sperr (BBA '19)
Information Systems, Supply Chain Management