Connected Learning in Detroit

Part of the group of students who traveled to Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Pasco)
Part of the group of students who traveled to Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Shannon Pasco)

By Shapleigh Webster – 1851 Staff

Hospitality and business students were accompanied by assistant management Professor Loredana Padurean to spend an October weekend in Detroit to learn about the ecosystem and growing businesses.

Padurean was excited when she heard about the opportunity.

“I went right to Dean Ostrow,” said Padurean. “He was on board 150 percent. ‘Go and learn, we’ll pay for everything,’ he said. We only had two weeks to line it all up, and he made it happen; he deserves the credit.”

Before the students went on the trip, they studied specific companies like Quickenloans and Compuware and visited them while in Detroit. Many students did not know what to expect before going on the trip, but what they found was surprising.

“Everyone thinks [Detroit] is gloomy, that it’s where all dreams go to die. But we found just the opposite,” said Padurean. “There are hundreds of startups, it’s an energetic and inspiring place to be.”

Junior Christopher Jones was so inspired from his trip to the city that while there, he bought a house and is planning on returning after graduation.

“This city has an energy like I’ve never seen before,” said Jones. “It’s palpable and contagious. I’m coming back after graduation and I’m bringing my father here to start our business.”

Padurean said she believes her students were inspired because they saw many people their own age doing great things like running companies.

The students will also be writing case studies about their trip. Their papers will be published as academic papers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

This trip was a very successful connected learning opportunity for students and Padurean will be adding the trip to her curriculum.

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