Road Trips are one of the most special things the iSchool does here at Syracuse. While we do have classes in Database Management Systems and Organizational Systems (two courses that apply directly to the financial and consulting world), it wasn’t until I visited companies on a road trip that I could fully comprehend and see for myself how those classes are necessary to be a successful IT professional in the finance industry.

I was expecting to walk away from the Buffalo Sports Road Trip with that same type of immersion experience I got from the New York City Road Trip. When we went to companies like Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte, it’s truly quite the immersion experience seeing how our major and how the School of Information Studies applies to running Fortune 500 companies.

The Buffalo Road Trip was different. Only after meeting the professionals on the Buffalo Road Trip, the difference between the two trips really opened up my eyes to all the possibilities open to me with my Information Management and Technology degree here at Syracuse. Despite how different the job market in New York City and Buffalo are, it’s amazing to think that both markets correlate directly to an Information Management and Technology degree background.

I have always found that I do best work when I’m interested in the subject, and for me, that subject is sports. Most of my life has been occupied by sports, either playing or watching. I was the kid in my school who not only played on three different athletic teams, but also knew more sports statistics and trivia than anyone else.

By visiting the Buffalo Bills’ facility, I was able to go behind the scenes to not only see their locker room and their media room, but I was also able to see how they holistically run their franchise. As a sports fanatic, it’s easy to get caught up in the sport, and forget that the game is also a big business. By going on this road trip, I was able to meet employees that are the true backbone of the organization.

Buffalo Road Trip participants in a studio at the Buffalo Bills facilities.

Buffalo Road Trip participants in a studio at the Buffalo Bills facility with Senior Producer Mike Adamek

I was able to have a one-on-one conversation with Mike Adamek, the Buffalo Bills’ Senior Producer who runs all of their video production. I took away a ton of insight from Mike. He recently got home from the 2016 Senior Bowl, an event focusing on giving senior college football prospects the ability to showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts, coaches, and even part-time sports bloggers. His work with the Senior Bowl was extremely impressive. After looking at his work, he really did an excellent job at getting Bills fans aware of future rookies.

For those of you who don’t know, the Bills are the second-smallest market in the NFL (National Football League). It’s not just the market that could potentially force them to sell the team, it’s also that the Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999. Since then, their division rival New England Patriots have won four Super Bowls.

Despite the deterrents, Bills employees work together to find ways to make Ralph Wilson Stadium sell out each home game. They continuously work extremely hard to fill the stadium and continue to make the money that is necessary to keep the franchise in Buffalo. While their roles are different, their final goal is the same, which requires powerful teamwork. The team at the Buffalo Bills works collaboratively: they rely on each other to complete projects successfully.

When I realized that playing sports wouldn’t be my career, I wasn’t sure how to incorporate my love of sports into my future. By going on the Buffalo Road Trip and meeting professionals who work in the NFL, the road trip provided the perfect segue for what I may be interested in doing in the future.

Because I’m a freshman, I have time left here in Syracuse to figure out what I want to do. By going on Road Trips, I keep discovering new avenues that I could go through with my major. For a major that’s a bit hard to explain, these Road Trips do an amazing job of giving my major much more clarity. By going on this road trip, things became just a little clearer for me.

The Syracuse University iSchool runs Road Trips every semester. The next upcoming Road Trip is to New York City, highlighting the Travel and Hospitality Industry. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm on April 1, 2016.

You can also explore past Road Trips.