Nineteen business students at The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business traveled to Dallas to learn about business opportunities at area Fortune 500 companies as part of the college’s inaugural corporate visit program this month.
The trip, coordinated by the college’s Center for Student Professional Development and International Business Programs Office, included visits to AT&T and Southwest Airlines.
“Our goal is to continue to bring more value to our students,” said Lisa Montoya, associate dean of professional development and international business programs. “We want students to consider their opportunities and think big.”
Leaving San Antonio at 6 a.m., undergraduate and graduate business students first visited AT&T’s corporate headquarters and attended a panel discussion on AT&T’s international business programs. Panelist Adrian Quintanilla, ’96, associate vice president of staffing and human resources, shared with fellow Roadrunners his experiences at UTSA and discussed his 21-year career at AT&T.
“It is extremely informative to learn about a company before you make an internship or job decision,” said Michelle Paz, a senior majoring in sport, event and tourism management.
Then, the students toured the company’s Executive Briefing Center, Workplace 2020 office space and social media center. The visit concluded with a presentation on internship and job opportunities at AT&T hosted by Jonathan Geter, AT&T campus recruiter.
“Companies also benefit from these experiences by getting to know our students and their interests,” said Aimee Laun, senior associate director of the Center for Student Professional Development. “We expect that our students will be more competitive for internships and job opportunities as a result of this visit.”
Next the students toured Southwest Airlines corporate headquarters at Love Field and learned about their business development and cyber security operations.
“Culture is a big part of Southwest,” said Kayla Cermak, a recruiter at Southwest Airlines. Students were exposed to their culture as they participated in a team competition to determine who knew Southwest Airlines the best.
The event concluded with a networking event that allowed students to discuss internship and job opportunities with Southwest employees.
“Being able to visit a company makes a big difference,” said Armaan Chakkiwala, a senior majoring in information systems. “I learned a lot, and it was a great networking opportunity.”
Given the success of this first trip, the college plans to continue these corporate visits and allow additional students to participate.
“A corporate site visit opens students’ eyes to the opportunities that Fortune 500 companies offer,” said Laun. “The experience gave them the opportunity to picture themselves working in that environment, and it gave them the motivation to continue to excel in school and to persevere toward graduation.”
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