Students on the Explore Detroit trip got to tour Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. John Quint | Courtesy
Stu­dents on the Explore Detroit trip toured Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions. John Quint | Courtesy

More than 15 stu­dents spent their fall break net­working and touring busi­nesses through Career Ser­vices’ Explore Detroit and Explore Chicago trips.

In both excur­sions, stu­dents had the oppor­tunity to expe­rience what living and working in Detroit and Chicago is like. In Detroit, stu­dents tai­lored ele­vator pitches, net­worked with alumni at a mixer, toured the Detroit Lions stadium, sat in on a Detroit News edi­torial meeting, and toured Quicken Loans.

Sophomore Eliz­abeth Hughes said she’s been con­sid­ering getting involved in jour­nalism and wanted to get a sense of the field.

“I don’t want to live in Detroit at all, but I wanted to get the expe­rience of the job and advice from the alum,” Hughes said. 

Hughes said attending the Detroit News edi­torial meeting reminded her that while a lot of news is neg­ative, she just needs to find the right area.

“A lot of the stories they were writing were hon­estly very depressing, but it was good to realize that that’s a lot of what news is: stories that are downers,” Hughes said. 

Sophomore Ashley Warden said that as an unde­clared English major, the trip’s focus on jour­nalism and writing inter­ested her, as she wanted to explore what a career in those fields would look like.

“I would say the net­working expe­rience was nearly invaluable,” Warden said. “There were a lot of alums who were super excited to talk to us.”

The Chicago trip also had a net­working event with alumni and stu­dents who were able to tour Google’s Chicago office. Stu­dents then had a choice of vis­iting Northern Trust, Chicago Mer­cantile Exchange, Hire­ology, the Federal Reserve, Ibotta, Ernst & Young, or Mar­riott Inter­na­tional Hotel for per­sonal office visits. 

Sophomore Michael Fleischer said he hopes to get an internship in Chicago next summer, so he attended the trip for an oppor­tunity to network. Fleischer said his biggest takeaway from the trip was how to conduct himself in the business world.

“It’s a great expe­rience as a sophomore to learn how to be a pro­fes­sional and operate in a pro­fes­sional envi­ronment,” Fleischer said, “Career Ser­vices did a very good job planning and teaching all of us how to be pro­fes­sional in dif­ferent sit­u­a­tions.”

Director of Career Ser­vices Joanna Wiseley said she loves working with the alumni in the trip loca­tions. 

“It’s brought great sat­is­faction to me to see how caring the alumni are and how willing they are to give back by attending the network recep­tions and by offering their orga­ni­za­tions for site visits,” Wiseley said.

Wiseley said she also encourages stu­dents to take advantage of Career Ser­vices pro­grams like the Explore trips as well as their Meet Grand Rapids and Meet Lansing trips in the spring, one-day excur­sions that give stu­dents an intro­duction to the cities.

Warden said it is key to be receptive to any avenues pre­sented when going on trips like these.

“I would advise stu­dents to be ready to learn,” Warden said. “Be open to direc­tions, and, even if you don’t think that you’ll be inter­ested in a certain company, go into it, tour, and talk to people. It might not be some­thing for you, but it also might be, and you never would have known if you hadn’t gone in.”