Monday, July 14, 2014

The Washington Campus: Our week in D.C.

By John Hollfelder, MBA'15

The Washington Campus weeklong course in D.C. on Managing Business, Government, and Public Policy offered a unique and candid look on the influence American politics has on organizations across the globe.

The course invited MBA students at Kelley and other top tier schools to take a rare look into Congress’s legislative process and the financial impact Congress has on both small and large employers.

I learned that business leaders and politicians need to be fluent in both business and politics — the days of mutually exclusive knowledge no longer exist.

We were exposed first hand to the inner workings of Congress and the policy making process through speakers from top lobbying firms, former Clinton advisors, US Department of Homeland Security, and senior lawyers from the Federal Trade Commission. Each speaker offered a wider lens on the political business landscape by covering trade policy in a global business world, intellectual property, cyber spying, and the Federal Trade Commission’s unfair practice lawsuits.

We also spent a day on Capitol Hill, sitting in on a foreign affairs oversight hearing to discuss the government’s involvement in the search for the more than 60 Nigerian girls and women who were kidnapped in June. Later that same day, we had the opportunity to meet Indiana’s Congressman Todd Young. Not only did Mr. Young take time out of his schedule to speak with us and take photos, he also offered great advice as future business leaders.

The weeklong experience ended with a group project that simulated a real life business issue, and answered which proper channels the company would need to pursue to most influence legislation.

Having completed the Washington Campus experience, I feel more equipped to proactively handle arising business issues.