Students tour companies on Torero Treks

Diego Luna/The USD Vista – USD students at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash. during the Seattle Torero Trek.

If you’ve ever wondered where your tuition goes, look no further than free, university-sponsored events that can provide postgraduate career opportunities. In addition to seemingly perennial campus construction projects, tuition dollars at the University of San Diego are funnelled into useful programs like Torero Treks.

Essentially, a Torero Trek is a scheduled trip to a few different companies, either in San Diego or in other metropolitan cities across the country. USD students learn about processes and career opportunities at companies in a multitude of industries, including marketing, advertising, biotech, sports management, and entertainment.

Torero Treks are a great way to gain an inside look into the business world. With all the different industries that the Treks cover, a wide range of career options are represented.

Typically, the Torero Treks that take place in San Diego are at no cost to students. For the trips to other cities, such as Seattle or Las Vegas, the student is only responsible for covering travel and lodging expenses with the option of getting scholarships.

The Torero Treks feature visits at some of the top industry-recognized companies, including Nike, Nordstrom, Sony Pictures, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Zappos. The trips present opportunities to learn more about specific companies and their respective industries, especially given that CEOs and other high-level employees give speeches and presentations during the Treks. Taking in unique perspectives on business from successful people never hurts, and students are often allowed to ask their own questions to maximize learning potential.

Networking opportunities are also a staple of the Torero Trek experience. There are often employee panels and mixers where students can connect with possible employers, mentors, and helpful connections. Meeting and chatting with people working in the fields you hope to break into often creates more opportunities to do so. You may even make a new friend or acquaintance in the process.

The most recent Torero Trek took place last week and was the Creative Careers and Marketing spotlight trip. This Trek was centered around San Diego marketing and advertising careers, and it featured visits to San Diego Magazine, Red Door Interactive, and Rescue Agency. The goal of the Trek was to show students possible avenues to pursue in these industries and to witness how each of the three companies operates.

CEOs of San Diego Magazine and Red Door Interactive, along with the President of Rescue Agency, gave talks on their company philosophies. Each of the professionals shared how they have risen to their current positions from the time that they were college students. They provided useful information about how they run their businesses and what it takes to maintain a successful company that employees also enjoy working for.

In addition to talks from senior executives and other employees, students were able to have question-and-answer opportunities, so that they could have specific inquiries or concerns addressed by knowledgeable individuals. Students were also able to chat with some of the employees at each company in small groups, and Red Door Interactive scheduled a small mixer so that students could have more time to network, and learn about their summer internship opportunities.

The Creative Careers and Marketing trip helped students learn more about the advertising and marketing industry, and presented three very different companies that students were able to check out, and ultimately see if they fit in with the company culture. Students were also able to ask questions, receive personal feedback, and network with executive members of the three companies in a relatively low-pressure environment.

To apply to a Torero Trek, a student must complete the online application. The application asks for some administrative information and poses a few short-answer questions as to why he or she desires to attend the Trek and why that student should be selected. The process is not overly time consuming, especially considering the benefit.

The next Torero Trek that is still accepting applications will be Friday, Mar. 24, in San Diego. The Trek focuses on the tourism industry in San Diego, and students will visit the San Diego Padres, San Diego Convention Center, and the San Diego International Airport as the three featured companies. This Trek is free for students, and the deadline to apply is Mar. 5.

Written by Walker Chuppe, Arts & Culture Editor