For years, New York City has been one of the world’s leaders in entertainment and business. It’s only reasonable that students explore this big city to learn experientially about the ins and outs of business.
David Forster, associate professor of business and economics at William Woods University, agrees. “Going to New York is like going to a different country.”
That’s why, each May, Forster invites William Woods students to pack their bags and head to the Big Apple for a first-hand experience in marketing and advertising. The program is in its 10th year, with a year taken off in 2002 due to the Sept. 11 tragedy.
“You can talk theory in the classroom, but it’s not until you see professionals in the field that it all comes together,” explained the professor.
The trip is open to any WWU student, at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Anywhere from eight to 20 can be accommodated. If there are available spots, alumni and friends or relatives of students can go, as well.
Forster pointed out that there are benefits to taking a larger group. “The more students, the cheaper the trip becomes for everyone,” he said. At $1,400 each this year, he considers it a bargain.
“Everything that we do would cost over $5,000 individually,” Forster said, explaining that the price covers the entire expense of airfare, hotel accommodations for seven days and nights, subway and taxi fares and the seminars and other group activities.
Students can receive three hours of credit in BUS 200, “Marketing Field Studies—New York City.” The objective of the course/trip is to learn about and experience marketing in a real-world setting. Although students can participate as many times as they want, they can only receive credit once.
Forster also mentioned that students do not have to be a declared business or economics major to go on the trip. “I have had students go who weren’t business majors and didn’t understand business,” explained Forster. “They went and had enjoyed it so much, they decided they wanted to major in business.”
The expedition runs May 17 to May 24 and takes students through six marketing seminars, with sightseeing adventures along the way. The seminars include finance, sports, advertising, public relations and fashion merchandising.
As part of their sports marketing seminar, participants tour Madison Square Gardens, home to the New York Knicks professional basketball team and the New York Rangers professional hockey team.
The students also get a half-day finance seminar from Fitch Inc. One of the top three credit rating agencies in the world (alongside Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s), Fitch issues ratings for banks, financial institutions, corporations and governments. During the past four trips, the firm has treated WWU students to brunch, gifts and a seminar, and even tried to hire some of the students.
For the two scheduled public relations seminars, the participants will go to Sports Illustrated and Fairchild Publishing. Jean-Claude Mastronianni will host the fashion-merchandising portion and the McDevitt Group will provide the advertising seminar.
Other activities for the 2003 weeklong trip include: a picnic in Central Park; lunch at Tom’s Restaurant (made famous in the television show “Seinfeld”); a visit to Ground Zero; a tour of the Federal Reserve; a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty; dinner at Tavern on the Green, and tickets to the Broadway show “Hairspray,” with the entire original cast.
Mimi Arnold, a December 2001 graduate and former participant, now employed by Enterprise Car Leasing in St. Louis, said, “The New York trip was a great experience for me to learn about marketing. We went to several successful businesses and they gave us lots of valuable information. We were able to visit and tour many places including NBC and the New York Stock Exchange. It was very exciting to be in New York. I wish I could go on the trip again.”