DC Metro Area 2016

“My name is Nakul Kurane, I’m a Junior CIS Major and I recently went on a College of Business Experiential Learning Tour to the Washington, DC Metro Area.  First, I want to thank the tour director, Sam Collier, for putting in the time and work to make this tour possible.

We started our visit in Arlington, VA with a networking event where the students were able to network with recent graduates of JMU who worked in a variety of fields.  It was a good warm up networking event for our group.

On Wednesday, we visited the General Services Administration (GSA), Accenture, and Booz Allen Hamilton.  We toured their modern buildings and met more JMU alumni, who shared their knowledge about their organizations, values, and personal experiences. I found our visit to the GSA particularly interesting as their new renovations were not something I would have expected seeing in a federal government building.

Thursday was another eventful day as my group began our day at the Federal Reserve Board.  We met with JMU alumni at the Fed and got to visit the room where interest rate decisions are made. After this visit, the group, we split into different tracks based on our course of study.  I was on the CIS track and our next stop was to visit the startup LiveSafe. This meeting was especially insightful to me as I understood the struggles they go through as a new company.  I was able to talk with the co-founder Shy Pahlevani and his other colleagues about their future plans and how they overcome struggles as entrepreneurs.  We then traveled to a small, but growing, consulting firm called Protiviti where we learned more about their consulting work

On the last day each student in the group did an informational interview with a JMU alum.  I visited with Paul Kelch of PwC.  I was able to tour his office, have an extensive discussion about his profession and ask him questions to help me as I develop my professional plan.  After my meeting I was able to tour Washington DC and visit a few sites.  In conclusion, the DC Metro Area Experiential Learning Tour was a wonderful professional experience and I encourage students to participate on future tours.”

Nakul Kurane 
Class of 2017
Computer Information Systems Major

“The Experiential Learning Tour was an experience I encourage all students to try out. The friendships and networking opportunities that I gained from the tour are things unparalleled to what you find on JMU’s campus. Everyone was brought together through a common interest in business, and it was very cool to hear everyone’s different passions within the field.

By speaking to so many alumni, I got to hear a lot of interesting background stories and what led them to the positions they are in today. Every alum we met was excited to hear about our time at JMU, and was more than willing to help out with any questions we had about school and the future.

At the end of the day, I felt that the tour helped me learn more about the field I am interested in, and helped me connect with alumni who could answer any question I have about my future career.”

Kyle McGill
Class of 2018
Computer Information Systems Major