Peeks and perks
Quinlan students spend a week in Seattle,
for just the price of a plane ticket
This spring, 16 Quinlan undergraduates jetted off to Jet City to see how the West Coast does business—and all for just a nominal fee, thanks to some very generous donors. The now-annual trip, known as the Quinlan Ramble, connects students with alumni, business professionals, and civic leaders in a popular US destination (and as such, serves as an alternative spring break immersion). For this year's inaugural journey, led by Lecturer Stacy Neier and Student Services Coordinator Alex See, students got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the world's most famous corporations, including Boeing and Starbucks. Dan Salganik (BBA '14) gives us a snapshot of what it was like.
Boeing can be hard to access. Take us inside.
This was one of the most enticing visits. We received a VIP tour of the Boeing manufacturing facility, where the most well-known airplanes in the world are built. This had been a completely unique experience for all of us because this kind of tour is not available to the public and visitors are not allowed to take any photographs. We were completely in awe of the sheer size of the facility, which we were told is larger than Disney World.
After a quick rundown of the history of the factory, we were each given a pair of our own goggles and were ready to explore the factory floor. As an operations management major, I learned quite a bit about how Boeing streamlines its plane manufacturing process as well as how it is able to build the 777 (its most popular plane) in under four weeks.
It felt great to be able to apply what I learned in class within a real-life setting. This was definitely my most memorable experience due to the enormous size of the plant and the impressive way that the airplanes are built.
Starbucks is a little more ubiquitous, but what's it like aboard the mothership?
The Starbucks headquarters was also among my favorites due to the fact that Starbucks is so relevant in many of our lives—especially considering there are so many near Water Tower Campus. During our visit to the headquarters, we spoke to an individual who told us how they design and plan each Starbucks store, depending on the environment and “feel” that they are going for. It is mind-blowing how much time and energy goes into every detail (good thing they have so much coffee around them). They assess every aspect and feature of a variety of chairs, tables, lights, floors, music playlists, windows, pictures . . . everything. We then were able to do a taste test and split up into small teams to talk to team members with roles that matched our majors.
So, Seattle in a nutshell?
I had an absolutely fantastic time getting to experience Seattle, a city that I have been wanting to visit for a very long time. The friends I made on this trip will be the friends I retain for years to come, and the companies that we visited were extremely inviting, generous, and informative. This trip has provided me with a clearer insight as to what I want to do when I graduate. I just hope they allow alumni to come back on this trip in the future!