If you’re thinking about going on this trip, or this idea is completely new to you, I have some insight that you won’t want to miss out on.
Travelling to America was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at university, as you gain a sense of both independence and self-accomplishment for taking a step to enhance your career. The trip was full of departmental-specific visits, organised sightseeing and free time to explore what the cities have to offer, spending 4 full days in Boston and 4 full days in New York over the Easter break. During this time, you gain invaluable knowledge from company visits and the connections you make could just help land your dream job in the future.
Both first years and second years found this trip beneficial despite being at different stages of university. As a second year studying Marketing, it greatly relates to the modules you study and helps to explore what sector or industry you may want to specialize in.
Boston is a vibrant and welcoming city. During the stay, we visited the companies Fablevision and Dyn (Oracle). Fablevision is a modern, urban creative agency focusing on animation for educational solutions. We learnt the skills behind the creative pitch process; how the company markets to and with clients; and all about the creative workplace and culture. Visiting Dyn was also very insightful. It is an entrepreneurial tech company owned by Oracle and we discussed many topics, from how digital marketing works behind user experience design, artificial intelligence and robotics, to the future of the subscription economy. A panel of VPs also gave us insight into working for the company, their recruitment process and their career stories.
I really enjoyed Boston and we found our bearings quite quickly, especially the location of the Cheesecake factory. A big highlight was visiting Harvard University, walking around like Elle Woods for the day and seeing where Matt Damon spent his freshman year. Boston was such a beautiful city and seeing it from the heights of the Skywalk Observatory was incredible. Although, nothing could beat the views of New York City.
Starting the second leg of our trip, we travelled to New York. It was an entirely different experience to Boston, in terms of both culture and business.
We visited the companies ComScore, PWC and attended an Alumni event with a panel, including one from Hello Fresh NY. At ComScore, there is a lot of focus on consumer insights, competitor intelligence, buying behaviour and audience measurement. We met with the National Director for Media Planning and learnt about the key skills of employability, including adding contacts on LinkedIn; how to identify your competitive advantages and play to your strengths; ending with the importance of choosing the right modules. Our visit at PWC included a boardroom meeting with 6 young associates who discussed their career experiences and the differences between working in the UK and US. It was very useful for the Accounting/Finance and Business students, and valuable experience to see the different types of work cultures. In New York, there was so much to see, from exploring the 9/11 memorial in the depths of the buildings foundations, and being toured around the United Nations HQ, to walking along Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and taking in the views of New York from the height of the Rockefeller.
Overall, I can’t stress enough how much you gain from this trip. It boosts your CV; adds to your academic modules; and helps to gain connections with Lancaster alumni. You also gain a great new group of University friends; and meet some of the most amazing people that you may not have crossed paths with on campus.
Despite being anxious about not revising for these 11 days over Easter, you’ll find you have gained some unique stories to share at future interviews and much more interesting content to add to your summer exams. If this is a trip for you, definitely research the companies you’re visiting, plan your questions and be prepared to make the most of this amazing opportunity!