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Successful senior expeditions put learning into reality

Walla Walla University business and engineering seniors toured corporations, firms, and on-going projects during educational trips meant to prepare them for their upcoming graduation. These trips provided vital, unique experiences and lessons to students who are about to step into the professional field. 

Both trips included tours of relevant businesses and projects. Business students toured Electric Mirror, a high-end luxury mirror manufacturer. Students toured the company’s warehouse, utilizing the operations management skills they learned in class to understand the operations process within the facility. They also heard from the company’s chief executive officer, Jim Mischel, about how to keep Christ at the center of a business. 

They finished the weekend at Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory, where Alex Bryan provided lessons on becoming better leaders in the business world through Christ. Senior business major Torvy Wilkins felt the trip had a great balance of fellowship, reflection, and education. He appreciated the knowledge he gained from the tours and enjoyed experiencing the natural beauty of Rosario Bay with his fellow students.

The engineering students visited a Washington State Department of Transportation construction project, a structural firm in downtown Seattle, an ongoing light rail construction zone, and a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant. The light rail project focused on a civil engineer's role in construction project management. The structural firm tour took students around downtown Seattle to see ongoing high-rise and mid-rise building construction. Students got to see the techniques and methods they had been studying for the past four years being utilized in the real world, and the variety of tours meant there was something of interest for everyone. 

Senior civil engineering major Jenna Fanselau appreciated the value of seeing and hearing about the real-life processes from initial design to the end of construction. She said, “Hearing about things that went wrong in the field and how they were addressed is learning that can't necessarily be taught in a classroom.” 

Wilkins felt his experience was the perfect getaway before preparing to make the final push to graduation. Fansalau says, “I personally appreciate that Walla Walla University takes the time to encourage this outside learning through senior trips and other opportunities presented to us.” 

For more about the WWU School of Business go to, and for more about the WWU Department of Engineering visit Read a previous story about adventure learning at WWU here.

Posted May 10, 2024.

Students at Rosario
Engineering student group photo