Students Tour Corporate Offices of Whole Foods, Dell and GM
Full-time MBA students from the C. T. Bauer College of Business got a firsthand look at three Fortune 500 companies earlier this month.
As part of a day trip to Austin organized by the college’s Rockwell Career Center, 19 MBA students toured the corporate offices of Whole Foods, Dell and General Motors, meeting with senior leaders at each organization.
The trip offered students perspective on how different companies operate and uniquely prepared them for the job market, said Bauer Senior Career Development Specialist Erin Reed, who led the trip.
Prior to the trip, students were required to attend mandatory preparation sessions where they divided into teams and gave presentations on one of the companies to the rest of the group.
“We asked them to do some pretty detailed research on each company regarding their financials, what their strategies were in the marketplace, their product lines and their competitors,” Reed said. “We wanted everyone to know about the companies to show that Bauer students are well prepared. Everybody boarded the bus that day with in-depth knowledge of the companies we would be visiting.”
Once the group arrived in Austin, they headed to the flagship Whole Foods store, where they received a tour from the store marketing manager and a lead team member. The students then visited the Whole Foods corporate office, where they met with Andres Traslavina, director of Human Resources, who shared more about the company’s recruiting process before heading to Dell.
“Dell was a very interesting visit for the students,” Reed said. “They had the opportunity to tour the Fresh Air Hot House, sit in on a presentation by Brandee Smith, managing director of the Client Product Group, and network with functional specialists in the Human Resources, Supply Chain and Marketing departments, including Bauer alumni who work for Dell.”
The trip finished with a visit to the General Motors IT Innovation Center, where students got an inside look at new strategies within the organization and networked with company leaders.
Though the trip was the first of its kind offered to full-time MBA students, the college plans to offer the opportunity again next year, potentially expanding to include site visits to companies outside of Texas and representing different industries, Reed said.
“It’s really difficult to see companies that are outside of the Houston area on your own — these students had the chance to see three in one day,” she added.
Reed said: “Offering opportunities like these for Bauer students is just one thing that sets our program apart from others. It reinforces that Bauer is connected to industry, here in Houston and across the state of Texas, not to mention the rest of the world.”
By Priscilla Aceves