When 32 Mays Business Honors students visited Atlanta, they learned first-hand how several top companies carry out their mission statements. Students toured encompassed the corporate headquarters of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, CNN and UPS, as well as attended Cirque du Soleil show and explored of downtown Atlanta.
Kris Morley, director of the Business Honors program, and academic advisor Eric Newman accompanied the group. Junior Megan Plate planned and organized the Nov. 5-9 trip.
Sophomore Daniel Hulse wrote these observations of the trip: “Huge but quaint. Busy yet quiet. This is the Atlanta paradox. Atlanta is a huge city home to numerous large corporations, the busiest airport in the world, and 5.5 million people contained within its metropolis. Yet I never felt crowded walking around the streets of the storied city with the Business Honors group that visited CNN, World of Coke, UPS and Chick-Fil-A.”
At Coke, the students learned of the brand’s association with happiness. Their facilities can produce 7,000 bottles of Coca-Cola every minute and for a company that is known worldwide, efficiency and quality are essential.
“Coke is literally all over the world, and they associate their brand with happiness, which is both brilliant marketing and a pleasant reminder that businesses exist because they offer products that make people’s lives better,” Hulse said.
The CNN behind-the-scenes tour included a question-and-answer session with Paul Crum, VP of News Operations. Crum spoke of the company’s desire for their influence not to be limited to viewers of television, but to also reach social media and smartphone users.
“It is devotion to information, loyalty to the public and commitment to remaining the best in its field,” senior Taylor Arndt said.
Next was a visit to the UPS headquarters, which junior Tyler Dawson said has a lobby resembling a hotel’s. Sophomore Matthew Korioth said he didn’t understand the UPS commercials claiming, “We love logistics!” until he visited the headquarters. “It was amazing to see how much the team was dedicated to efficiency and logistics, and the theme was consistent among everyone who spoke,” he said. “UPS is definitely a company that understands its goals and strengths.”
Then Chick-Fil-A, which Dawson said “focuses on a lot more than just chicken,” encouraged students to go above and beyond in the workplace and in their daily lives.
“I learned that in the future, when I start to look for a job, the company culture is very important to me. I want to work for a business that I not only respect their product or service, but I respect the culture they promote internally,” freshman Loryn Setterquist said.
Junior Kati Hewitt also discovered it is the type of company she hopes to work for one day. It is one that is “comprised of passionate employees, innovation and the courage and confidence to be closed on Sunday.”
From their trip students gained valuable insight into the inner workings of Atlanta’s top corporations, built lasting friendships and discovered that learning does not have to happen in a classroom. They also encourage other Business Honor students to attend similar trips in the future. Sophomore Mason Hairston said, “Years from now, when friends and family ask me about my college experiences, I am sure this trip will be one of the first I will tell.”
ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.
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