by Onize Ohikere
In most cases, learning takes place in a traditional setting, with a professor lecturing to students in a classroom.
The Economic Society at MSUM however, took a practical approach to learning as they toured the Microsoft campus in Fargo Wednesday.
The club is student-run and described as a group of economics and non-economics majors who get together and participate in econ-related activities, according to the group’s president, Kofi Boadu.
“We wanted to do something new this year,” Boadu said.
The society’s academic advisor, Tonya Hanson, set the tour date after speaking with a Microsoft employee. The next step was to get the word out.
“We went to the lower level economics classes because they are core requirements, so a lot of people from different majors were there,” Boadu said. “That was our target, so we went there and used it as medium of publicity.”
The response was anything but negative.
“People were excited and kind of shocked, because we don’t really do this kind of stuff,” Boadu said. “It was an attempt to take the Economic Society to the next level.”
The opportunity to tour Microsoft wasn’t missed on students.
“I got an email about the tour, and it’s one of those things you should go for,” finance major Kim Irabor said. “I didn’t understand how Microsoft and finance work together, so I decided to go and see.”
The tour began with a six-minute introductory video of Microsoft’s vision for the world. The group also had the chance to sit in on a Q&A panel with some Microsoft employees.
“They told us about their struggles, gave us some advice and encouraged us to take advantage of internships,” Irabor said.
Boadu shared similar observations.
“We got to ask questions about their college experiences and how they got their jobs,” he said.
When the panel was done, the group finally had the chance to tour the campus.
“We toured the common area and another area where they had some developers,” said senior David Riley. “We saw a few people in their cubicles and also walked by some conference rooms in use.”
At the end of a day packed with activities, the students had gathered a few things they wouldn’t soon forget.
“One of my biggest takeaways is when they said one thing that could break a person in the future is their communication skills,” Riley said.
Irabor also had a memorable moment.
“One of the people who spoke to us at the panel told us his first boss had a degree in physical education,” Irabor said. “It made me realize you can get a job anywhere as long as you know how to apply what you studied to any field.”
The Economic Society also has an ongoing service project with the Fargo-Moorhead Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.
The group is collecting used phones and phone accessories in boxes around campus. Even non-functioning phones are accepted for donation, as the parts are sold to purchase working ones.
Last year, 74 phones and accessories were collected to aid the center’s clients.