How do WSU business students spend their first weeks of summer? Networking! This past May I had the opportunity to travel to New York City with the Barton International Group, and I grabbed onto it with both hands. As a young aspiring business student the chance to explore the largest business city in the world while meeting Presidents, Vice Presidents and CEOs was too amazing to pass up. We went for an entire week, our days packed full of meetings with businesses, business leaders and business workers; our nights were a time of exploring and seeing the tourist side of the massive city. The companies we visited were the tops in their fields, including Lowe Campbell Ewald, BoomAgers, Havas Media, and American Express.
One of my favorite memories was when I got to see the giant and famous Macy’s on 5th Avenue. I had always wondered what they were like, having seen a million commercials for them but there has never been one built in Wichita for me to explore. When we went in I was blown away to find that it was 8 floors and not only that but the top three floors had original wooden escalators. Wooden escalators! No one else seemed as surprised as I was about this but I could not get over them. After we left Macy’s we went down to see the Statue of Liberty and while we were there one of our members tried to sit on a railing with us and almost fell off and that just made everyone else’s day, including mine.
While New York was a ton of fun to explore and see, I was there for one main purpose, to learn about business communities and cultures outside of Wichita. I have lived my entire life in Wichita, spending most of it never knowing of how business and trade worked outside of it, never knowing that there could be a million and one ways to do something, and all of them be correct. After meeting with our first companies in New York my mind was opened up to this reality and I was completely blown away. The culture of some of the companies we visited were something out of a dream! They had creative work spaces, young designers, social media campaigns, and the atmosphere of a relaxed and productive space; there are very few places in Wichita that you can find with all of these qualities. There were also companies that were busting open the door of new ventures and not taking no for an answer, seeing problems and solutions that no one else ever has or ever wanted to!
I had heard people talk of the “global perspective” before, saying that it was the way of thinking outside of a small, intimate sphere to see the larger picture, the way in which the world truly works, like a well-oiled machine, different parts making up the whole, and that is what my time in New York taught me.