Seattle/Portland Study Tour: Student Reflections

Eller PDC PDC Events

Each spring, the Professional Development Center presents a unique opportunity for students in the Eller College of Management to visit a variety of companies and meet professionals living and working in a major city. This past spring break, participants of this Study Tour visited both Seattle and Portland. The following are some of the students’ reflections on what they personally gained from this experience. 


“My favorite company visit had to be Lytics, the Portland tech start-up that we visited on Thursday. It was refreshing and reassuring to see the younger employees at the company, and also amazing to have the CEO himself co-host the panel discussions…The companies visited and the connections made on this tour were invaluable, and I know that the relationships I fostered, both professionally and personally, will continue to impact me as I move through school and into my career.” – Jessica Lazzeroni

“Some good advice I was given in considering companies is to not only weigh the benefits for the company, but also to consider if that company is right for me… As a result, my experience this Spring Break was both productive and fun. I connected with Arizona Wildcats, who have been working around the country in various fields and understood the importance of real world job experience. I would recommend that all future Eller students take the time apply for this program.” – Burton Bennett


“One lesson I learned is that most people don’t start their career in a position they really want or are passionate about. Over time, they’re able to move into positions they are more passionate about by leveraging their previous experiences. Furthermore, many of the people we talked to weren’t even working in the field they studied in college. This was interesting and good to know because now I know that I’m not limited to one specific career path. We also learned that it is important to get as much experience as possible and to build meaningful relationships with people.” – Hannah Polm

“Aside from making new friends, the trip is a great way to see what certain industries are like. For example Microsoft and Amazon were really different than Wagner Edstrom and Fischer Investments. It was fascinating to hear from employees and learn how many people were in jobs that weren’t related to their degrees at all. Seeing new cities and seeing what is expected of a college graduate really has helped me plan for my future.” – Caelum Gay


“My favorite company of the trip was by far Waggener Edstrom. Melissa Waggener Zorkin in Portland, Oregon founded the company as The Waggener Group in 1983, and Pam Edstrom joined later on. It was very empowering to find this company where both Founders/CEOs are women and I believe that they are role models for young women immerging in business today.” – Lauren Thorell

To find out more about what some of the different company visits were like, check out the Seattle/Portland Study Tour: Lessons Learned from Companies under PDC Events.