Nineteen students from the IUP chapter of Phi Gamma Nu traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, April 4–6, 2019, for their annual company and alumni
networking trip. The
highlights of the trip consisted of visiting and touring two companies,
attending an NBA game, and having the opportunity to explore the downtown and
surrounding areas of this prosperous city.
The first company visited was
O'Connor Insurance Associates, where the students were lucky enough to meet IUP
alumna and business owner Michelle O’Connor. Her family-owned insurance company
works closely with local clients to identify policies which will best fit their
needs. O’Connor, along with several other employees, mentioned that
forming strong, meaningful relationships with clients is their top priority.
They also focus on community involvement and keeping their business operations
up to date with technology.
The second company visited was Merrill Lynch, a
wealth management firm owned by Bank of America. Students met with Associate
Market Manager Vaughn Reynolds and IUP alumna Kristen Kushler. Vaughn and
Kristen provided insight on the company’s national internship programs,
explained several ways they help individuals and families appropriately manage
their money, as well as how the company contributes to supporting communities within
the city of Charlotte.
Chapter President Brandon Aguirre said, “This was an amazing experience for our
members, and having the opportunity to meet with successful entrepreneurs, IUP
alumni, and company executives has inspired all of us to think outside the box
with our future careers. It was fascinating to visit a city which has had near-continuous
population and business growth in recent years, and experience firsthand how
they have grown their infrastructure to accommodate these trends. I was pleased
to learn that many of our members are now actively considering full-time
opportunities in Charlotte post-graduation.”
The PGN members are grateful for
this opportunity to meet with company leaders, as well gain insight about the
successes of fellow IUP business alumni in their careers. One of the most beneficial parts of this trip was for students to see how business operations differ between these two companies based on their scale and size.
organization would like to thank the Phi Gamma Nu National Scholars Foundation
for their support of this trip, as well as the Eberly College of Business for
inspiring their members to learn and grow throughout their education.
is a national professional development organization focused on creating future
business leaders and encouraging entrepreneurship among their members. The
Gamma Xi Chapter is celebrating their 40th anniversary at Indiana University of
Pennsylvania, and is one of the 12 student organizations housed in the Eberly
College of Business and Information Technology.