The student chapter of ACU’s AMA (American Marketing Association) spent the Fall Break in Seattle, WA visiting some of the most renowned companies in the world. Marketing Professor, Jennifer Golden, Career Development Advisor, Samantha Matta, and Management Sciences Department Chair, Dr. Mark Phillips led the group of 19 students, learning about the behind the scenes operations and unique cultures of these successful companies. The companies the group visited included Starbucks, World Vision, Costco, Microsoft, Amazon, and the Seattle Mariners.
Judith Barajas, a junior Marketing major with a minor in International Studies, enjoyed touring the Starbucks headquarters. Starbucks highly values their employees, calling them “partners” and creating an environment where everyone feels significant and important. When looking for a future employer, Judith learned how important it is to find a company where you can be motivated and excel. She also realized the importance of teamwork in the marketplace and working together to achieve common goals. In the future, Judith is interested in working in product development and customer needs.
“God’s plan for us is what rules the course of our life, and we cannot plan for everything he has in store for us. So many of the people we talked to were doing things now they never planned for when they were our age but because they were able to follow God, they now are doing things they never thought possible,” says Judith Barajas.
Cheyenne Rawlings, a senior Marketing major from Houston, was impressed by the Microsoft corporate office. Because ACU students tend to be more familiar with Apple products, Cheyenne enjoyed learning about Microsoft’s culture and company goals. She says, “It was neat to experience big corporations because I have not had a lot of experience with companies at the corporate level. It is a much different environment!”
All of the companies presented different goals and various ways to run operations, but all companies had one thing in common: building a positive foundational culture for employees to feel motivated and succeed, reaching beyond the standard process to achieve lofty goals. This trip was an excellent opportunity for students to learn firsthand how teamwork and culture are the key ingredients for any company to succeed.
Over the fall break, students from the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy and the School of Information Technology and Computing traveled west to Silicon Valley. Dr. Jim Litton and Dr. Brad Crisp led the group of 16 students to visit and explore several tech companies varying in size and function, from start-ups to some of the most recognized companies in the world. Some of these included Google, LinkedIn, Circa, the Silicon Valley Bank, Livingly, Yahoo! and Square. Students were able to learn about the fundamental principles of technological companies as well as having the opportunity to network with alumni and potential employers.
COBA and SITC students tour Yahoo!
Connor Osborn, a junior Accounting and Finance major from Southlake, enjoyed visiting Silicon Valley Bank. SVB’s mission is to “increase innovative companies’ probability of success worldwide” and is the premier bank for all venture capital firms. The group learned about the services the bank offers as well as the complex system by which the capital is distributed, put to work, and then returned.
Students were toured around LinkedIn by ACU alum, Asa Kusuma.
Spencer Woolfolk, a junior from San Antonio, found the trip to be highly valuable, learning what it looks like to work in Silicon Valley and the purpose and vision of the companies’ brands. The experience of personally visiting such well-known companies is unlike anything one can learn inside the classroom. Spencer is excited to use this knowledge going forward, integrating his passion for marketing with entrepreneurship and technology.
“I am very grateful to the faculty that put the trip together. It was invaluable to be able to learn more about Silicon Valley and the technology field,” says Woolfolk.
“It has been my joy and great good fortune to work with COBA’s faculty and staff. They are great at what they do! I am always proud of them. I have always enjoyed their fellowship, their good advice, and their love for me and my family,” says Jozell Brister, COBA professor.
2014 marks the 35th year that Professor Jozell Brister has served the College of Business at ACU. She has truly been a blessing to the faculty, staff, and students in COBA. It is because of professors like Ms. Brister that COBA continues to provide students with a positive and encouraging learning environment.
Professor Brister moved to Abilene when she was in junior high school and has resided here since. She graduated from ACU with both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s in Education. She then went on to the University of North Texas where she gained her MS degree. Brister has taught several classes at ACU, including Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Money and Banking, and Labor Economics.
Professor Brister has enjoyed working with the staff and faculty in COBA and building relationships with her students. Their love and support for her throughout the years has encouraged her in great ways. One of her favorite memories in the College of Business was when COBA celebrated the opening of the Mabee Business Building. She is proud to be a part of such an innovative community, seeing how COBA has grown and thrived throughout years, transforming the lives of students and faculty every day.
Professor Brister breaking ground on construction of the Mabee Business Building.
Brister was the first ACU faculty member that Dr. Monty Lynn came to know well. He remembers working with her on a research project on labor union recruiting years ago while he was in graduate school. Since then, he and Jozell have been close friends and colleagues. Dr. Lynn describes her as compassionate and precise, deeply caring about her students and teaching them to see the fundamental principles of economics. Dr. Lynn says, “She cares for her students and their learning, she loves her family, and she is passionate about justice in society.”
COBA’s Dean, Dr. Rick Lytle, also praises Brister for her relentless and meticulous pursuit of excellence in all things. He discusses Professor Brister’s contributing role in COBA’s AACSB Accreditation. She diligently worked alongside COBA’s team as they pursued their goal to become accredited with AACSB. Her knowledge, attention to detail, writing ability, and organizational skills all were significant factors leading up to this great honor for the College of Business.
Professor Jozell Brister is the perfect example of a Godly woman working to serve and lead others. Her passion to see students succeed in the marketplace is clearly evident by her teaching and loyalty to students. COBA’s community would not be the same without Professor Brister. We are grateful for her 35 years of service and the amazing blessing that she has been in our lives. Thank you, Professor Brister!