Global Commerce Chicago Trek trip recap

Over fall break, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Chicago trek with the Global Commerce department. We left on Sunday and spent Sunday afternoon, and all day Monday and Tuesday in the windy city and had the opportunity to visit a few different companies and connect with several GC alumni. In fact, because our first GC alumni class was only in 2019, it was the first time that a GC trip was able to be hosted by the department’s alumni. 


Sunday was a day of travel and visiting Chicago’s famous landmarks. We arrived at our hotel and walked to Navy Pier from there and spent the rest of the day exploring the city and its iconic spots. Our day culminated by having dinner with Global Commerce alumni Max Curtin ‘21 and Ethan Horgan ‘22.


On Monday we first visited the JPMorganChase location in Chicago and met Ariela Katz ‘22 who is a part of the Corporate Analyst Development Program (CADP). We got to hear about the banking and financial services industry as well as the internship and entry level positions JPMC offers.

We then visited Morningstar, a global leader in equity research. At Morningstar we met both Ethan Horgan ‘22 and Max Curtin ‘21 whom we had dinner with the night before. Ethan is currently a part of the Morningstar Development Program, while Max was a part of it previously before graduating. He is now working in manager research at the firm. As Morningstar is a company with a vast number of Denison alumni, we had the opportunity to speak with a panel of Denison alumni who work in different areas of the firm.


On Tuesday we started by visiting WPP, a global advertising firm. We were hosted by Gabriel Perez ‘20. We then visited R4 services, an information services firm founded and owned by Trish Rooney, a Denison alumni and parent. We completed our company visits by visiting Edelman, a global PR firm where we were welcomed by Julia Miller ‘19 who works in business transformation, focusing on protecting the reputation of global companies. We ended our Chicago adventure by having dinner at Portillo’s, a local staple, and conversing with two recent graduates Oliver Gignoux ‘23 and Pete Higley ‘23 who are both currently in a rotational program at McMaster Carr, a company focused on global supply chain.

Overall, while I have had many opportunities to network with alumni and learn about companies during my time at Denison, this opportunity was unique in the way that it allowed me to envision what my life would be like working at the companies I visited. While I would have heard the same information from a Zoom call with any of these people, being able to visit their buildings allowed me to see the types of spaces they work in, and how other employees interact with each other.

By Paul Strom
Paul Strom Peer Career Fellow: Financial Services, Consulting and Business