Thursday morning, we met at 6:00 am in the Pomerantz Center’s parking lot. Four of us boarded a mini-van, and headed east on I-80. On the way, we stopped to pick up a fifth and essential person – the primary driver. We were on a mission – to find out more about what companies do, how they operate, and what they’re all about.
First we visited Siemens, where Mike, Maureen, Matt, and Tom were wonderful enough to show us all the great products they have at Siemens Home Technologies. They shared with us information about standardizing operations and how they develop their strategies.
Next, on the way to United Airlines, we stopped to grab a bite to eat. United is an amazing company, and despite operating in a difficult industry they are determined to turn things around. Pam, Jessica, Dana, and some recent MBA hires were kind enough to show us around and talk to us about what it was like to work at United.
For the evening, we checked into our hotel, and waited for one of the highlights of the trip – Tippie Table Talks. This is where we meet and connect with alumni, so that we can ask them how they’ve been, talk to them about their experiences, and enjoy some good times. Thank you to all the participating alumni, including Shankar, Navin, Mark, Frank, Eliot, Pradeep, Dana, and many more!
The next morning, we were off early to GE Transportation. Andy and Tom showed us the warehouse and where it stores and distributes parts that are below 5,000 pounds. This supply chain part of the business is crucial, and many times not understood by all business students. Getting to see it in person was a definite bonus – the challenges, possibilities, and work involved in keeping things going.
Last, we visited BP. What a great company! We were welcomed by Casey, Matt, Caylee, Bopoo, and John. BP has been very smart about focusing on its core competencies, and we now understand better how BP operates. The industry is highly commoditized, fragmented, and challenging. Kudos to this team for being so proactive!
In summary, the trip was a success. Chicago is a very dynamic market, with many opportunities for Tippie MBA grads! I look forward to networking with these companies and in the future perhaps finding a place amongst them.