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Stephanie Adamec

Domestic Trip Paper


August 21st, 2015
Lindner Honors-PLUS Domestic Trip
I.

Introduction
Before attending the Domestic Trip to Washington D.C. and New York City, I was

extremely excited. Not only is D.C. my favorite city, but I had never been to New York before
the trip. After a semester of classes learning about business in America and ethics, I was eager to
see some of the topics our class learned in action. Going into the trip, I wanted to see if my view
of government and big business would change upon meeting with those respective
representatives, either positively or negatively. Each visit contributed to my view of business and
government and I feel that I learned a lot throughout the entire trip.
II.

Senator Portmans OfficeWashington D.C.


The visit to Senator Portmans Office gave me much insight into how the offices of

Senators and Representatives actually operate on Capitol Hill. I didnt realize that our elected
officials had so many people supporting them in their role, which makes complete sense. A
politician, especially a newly elected one, cant be expected to be an expert in everything they
may be voting on. Through meeting with Senator Portmans staffers, I was able to see how
talented and intelligent the people were who help formulate his positions on certain issues or
inform the votes he has to make. This fact increased my confidence in our elected officials. In
general, the public tends to feel that all politicians are crooked and only vote along party lines.
While this may be true of some politicians, I genuinely feel that Senator Portman and many other
Congressmen have the best interests of their constituents at heart when making policy decisions.
Another interesting topic that came up during our questions with Senator Portmans
staffers was the power of young people on Capitol Hill. Younger citizens are notorious for not
voting during elections. Because of this, issues that millennials feel passionately about are often

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not prioritized highly with politicians. In many ways, this makes it seem like young individuals
do not have very much power and influence in Washington. However, Senator Portmans staffers
made it clear that Capitol Hill is becoming younger and younger. Many of the staffers are young
adults who have a larger influence than most would believe. In many cases, they have a large
role in shaping opinions and beliefs of Congressmen.
Overall, Senator Portmans visit was a great introduction to the inner workings of
Congress. The political process is a lot more than just 100 Senators and 435 Representatives.
Hundreds of individuals have a direct impact on how policy is shaped in Washington. It truly is a
collaborative process.
III.

Senator Browns OfficeWashington D.C.


Visiting Senator Browns Office was probably the most interesting political visit. The

topics we discussed were extremely relevant to our coursework and topical. Meeting with his
Banking Committee staffer was special because of Senator Browns ranking member status on
the committee. We were able to get a lot of insight into the Financial Crisis of 2008 and how the
committee reacted to what happened. We learned more about each of the reforms put into place
through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: expanding the FDIC,
orderly failure of firms, ensuring taxpayers wont be responsible for bailouts, and increasing
liquidity requirements. Additionally, Senator Browns staffer hinted at the fact that there is
another reform bill currently being worked on within the committee that would aim to fill some
of the gaps and tighten some regulation in Dodd-Frank. While it seems that this change is
necessary, I think it is a little late to be introducing a bill on this topic. Nevertheless, I would
rather the reforms happen later rather than never. Hearing about these reforms from the source
was an extraordinary experience.

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As ranking member, Senator Brown has a lot of influence on the committees direction.
We learned about the collaborative history of the committee which aimed to put out a nonpartisan bill that would take the best of both ideologies. However, we also discussed the growing
polarization of Washington and how Senator Brown maintains the spirit of collaboration in spite
of this.
Overall, I gained a lot through the visit with Senator Browns Office. Once again, my
faith in the ethics and actions of politicians increased through this visit. The two staffers we met
with were extremely competent individuals that clearly enhanced Washington through their
passion and expertise. They made it clear that Senator Brown has the best interests of Ohio and
the rest of the country in mind.
IV.

Deloitte Company VisitWashington D.C.


Deloitte was my favorite visit of the entire trip by far. Lobbying is a very interesting, yet

mysterious, part of Washington. Political activists tend to vilify lobbying, for good reason.
Money is often a dirty word when it comes to politics. Politicians are painted as people who are
easily swayed by threats of pulling campaign donations unless they vote a certain way. This fits
in with the stereotype of the evil big business corrupting the political system that is supposed to
serve every citizen. While I cant say that this narrative doesnt occur, I think lobbying does play
an important role in our government.
We also continued the discussion of political polarization from Senator Browns office. I
have observed over my lifetime that Washington seemed more polarized than usual; very few
bills get pushed through. When something is passed, it is a huge battle in Congress and in the
media for public opinion. On the other hand, I think a lot more policies are pushed through the
Supreme Court, potentially because of the gridlock in Congress. I was shocked to find out that

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there is an actual, concrete difference. Over time, fewer and fewer politicians are considered
moderates. I attribute this fact to a lack of leadership that pushes collaboration instead of
division. It has been a long time since we have had phenomenal Presidents, Speakers, or
Majority and Minority leaders that truly bring people together instead of pushing them apart.
Through this presentation, I have a more positive view of lobbying and the role it plays in
government. Business is a very important part of our society and economy, and its interests
should be taken into consideration. Clearly, politics is all about balance, and it is up to our
elected officials to maintain ethical behavior and put the interests of the individual citizens above
any money or benefit they may receive from companies.
V.

VanWagner Company VisitNew York City


Even though many of my classmates didnt seem to like the visit to VanWagner, I thought

it was extremely interesting. I love hearing stories of people who live the American dream. It is
so inspiring to watch entrepreneurs make a way for themselves through hard work and
determination.
I thought there were a lot of similarities between VanWagner culture and the culture of
the company I work for, Cintas. Our company is founded on the belief that no one is too good for
any job. Many of our higher-ups started as drivers or working in production. I think this is a very
important lesson for students in Lindner Honors-PLUS to learn. We are extremely fortunate to be
a few steps forward than many of our peers. We must understand that the way to earn the respect
of those people is to work alongside them as partners instead of as a superior. I think the lesson
of professionalism that Richard Schaps spoke about is important too. The lines between personal
life and work life are becoming increasingly blurred and integrated into one another. While I

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dont think this is necessarily a bad thing, it does make work relationships become more personal
which can have negative impacts at the workplace.
On the other hand, the company differed in a major way from Cintas. While I understand
that both of the men we spoke with have a reason to brag about themselves, I think they spend a
little too much time talking about money. It became a little tacky. Cintas prides itself in being a
humble, often times dirty job. We dont pay exorbitantly, but we offer something unique to our
partners: the opportunity to be on a team of individuals that truly cares about one another.
VanWagner missed the mark on this front. They spent a little too much time talking about how
successful they were. This is a great lesson in remaining humble; if someone doesnt, it can be
seen as a turn off.
VI.

JPMorgan Chase Company VisitNew York City


I absolutely loved hearing from Mrs. Beer during our visit to JPMorgan Chase about her

success in the business world. As a woman, I know that there are distinctions in the workforce.
Statistically, there are more men than women and they are paid more and have higher-level jobs.
I could not have been more inspired to pursue a career and upper level management positions.
Similar to Mrs. Beer, I work in an industry that doesnt attract many females because of the
nature of the business. I can learn a lot from her example: she is incredibly successful and paved
a way for herself in the business world, while remaining humble and down-to-earth. She is a
fantastic role model for all of the women in LHP, showing that hard work does pay off in the end
and that the glass ceiling only exists if you construct it yourself.
During this visit, I also gained a more positive view of the banking industry. The way in
which Mrs. Beer spoke about the company made it seem very ethical and upstanding. JPMorgan
Chase was one of the few companies that claims they didnt need the TARP funding that they

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were given. The companys CEO is an active critic of the bailout and government regulation of
the banking industry. This is a very different viewpoint from what we have learned about in
class. I dont recall hearing the arguments against regulation to the level that Mrs. Beer spoke
about. The argument that the combination of investor and consumer banks can be ethical is an
interesting one. I am still unsure how I feel on this issue. I think that on many levels both sides
have a convincing argument to make on this matter.
VII.

Conclusion
I think that I have gained a lot from the Domestic Trip. My view of politics and business

has become more positive since meeting with individual companies and lawmakers. It is
important to have this understanding of the inner workings of government and corporations. This
benefits not only my personal career but the impact my actions will have on the people and
groups around me.
The trip has also affirmed my interest in my majors, Industrial Management and
Information Systems. Seeing marketing companies, CBX and VanWagner, and banks, JPMorgan
Chase and Citibank, made me glad I picked the major I picked because I dont think I would
want to work in those industries. Although we didnt go on any visits to manufacturing
companies, many of the lessons and best practices we learned on the visits are cross-functional
and apply to my major as well. I found the visits in D.C. to be much more applicable to what I
will come across during my career with politics and lobbying since that affects every sector.
Additionally, learning about lobbying piqued my interest in a potential future career. I would
love to work and live in Washington D.C. for at least a year at some point during my life. I think
lobbying would be an interesting career path that requires much knowledge of the company and
industry you are working for, which would be a great job to have during my career.

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Ultimately, I loved becoming closer with all of my classmates. I made a conscious effort
to spend time with most of them at some point during the trip. I got to know everyone on a more
personal level which is a great foundation for the international trip. We got the opportunity to
explore each city and have fun together at the same time. My favorite memory was visiting the
Department of Justice in Washington D.C. through a connection of Mitchells. We were given a
tour, something that many people do not get the opportunity to do, and were able to see the
Attorney Generals office. We got to stand at the podium in their press room, which was an
incredible experience.
Overall, I learned so much on the trip. This was my first experience on an academic tip
and makes me very excited to go to South America in the spring. I love traveling and I always
learn so much about the culture of each place we go to. I am glad I had the opportunity to travel
with all my classmates to Washington D.C. and New York City.