Seattle: Final Reflection
As I look back and reflect on my time in Seattle on the Quinlan Ramble, I feel a mix of emotions that I have a hard time putting into words. When I applied for this program, I thought I was going to be on a trip that consisted of long days of networking and professional site visits. Little did I know that I would be making a trip that has considerably changed my life forever.
From the moment we gathered at Midway Airport at 6 am on a Saturday morning, our group immediately bonded and connected. As the week progressed, that bond grew stronger and stronger, and I now am fortunate enough to say that I have gained 18 friends whom I would have never met otherwise. Since I did not have the opportunity to study abroad at Loyola, the Quinlan Ramble gave me an opportunity to explore a new city, a new U.S. culture, and improve myself professionally.
As a senior, you tend to get wrapped up in the busyness of graduation, job hunting, and setting yourself up for your career path. There are a lot of times when you forget to really take care of yourself, and look back and reflect on the experiences that have made you the person that you are. When I look back at this past week, I am reminded time and time again of why I came to Loyola in the first place: the community.
When I was a freshman, I never fully understood what people meant when they talked about The Loyola Community, but after this past week, I am reminded of how strong that community is. The bonds I have shared with so many people over this past week are some that I will never forget, and some that I will cherish forever. This community allowed me to grow over the past week as we viewed multiple professional businesses from places like Costco to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Starbucks. Not only were we able to network and learn about how these companies run from the inside, but we were constantly reminded of our Jesuit mission of helping others by any means necessary.
Corporate Social Responsibility was a common theme all week, and one that every company we visited pushed over and over. It is incredibly enlightening to hear so many stories of the good things that large corporations do to help their community and make this a more sustainable world. From ethical and legal supply chain practices to volunteer work, every institution we visited pushed human value and rights that go far beyond what any of us expected. As a marketing and advertising student, it was so powerful to see how companies practice ethical work and instill strong morals and values into their employees.
As I sit at my desk back in Chicago, I have had a hard time putting this trip into words. It pushed me to challenge myself and to think as a global citizen, and without that global mindset, these many corporations would not have the impact that they have on the world. But it is not these corporations that make the impact alone, but the people running them, and I can say without a doubt that I met 18 individuals this week that I know will be making the same impacts.
The Quinlan Ramble taught me many things, but above all it taught me that no matter what, as long as you are constantly surrounding yourself with positive individuals who genuinely care about you and who care about this world we live in, you will always find happiness. The Ramble gave me a lot and now that I am graduating it is my time to return that favor and truly Go Forth and Set The World On Fire.
Benjamin Bissell (BBA '18)