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Bulls Business Community Connects to Tampa International Airport

Students from the Bulls Business Community met with senior Tampa International Airport management during an exclusive tour of the airport's facilities on Friday.

Students at Tampa International Airport

The Bulls' tour started at PEMCO, a partner firm at Tampa International, which overhauls and repairs aircraft. In a specialized hangar where aircraft modifications are performed, PEMCO CEO Bill Meehan guided the group through fuselages in different stages of modification while answering questions about the company's strategy and vision. Climbing into planes being rebuilt for Brazilian and Chinese clients, students learned about the company's revenue structure and international reach before meeting with members of the airport's executive team.

The tour was one of several corporate excursions planned for residents of the Bulls Business Community. Aiming to introduce these young business students – largely freshmen and sophomores – into business careers beyond the corporate towers, the tours are a way to help students understand that their business degrees can lead to a myriad of careers beyond the traditional ones they might expect.

And Tampa International is an important local employer with many regional connections. "We're dialed in on bringing community together- Tampa International works with organizations like Tampa Bay Partnership, Feeding America Tampa Bay, and convention and visitors bureaus to bring all the pieces together" said Justin Meyer, the airport's director of air service development.

Meyer, along with other members of the airport's marketing and finance management, addressed students in the airport's boardroom, sharing the airport's consumer research insights, international expansion goals, and twenty-year master plan.

Students at Tampa International Airport

"This has been a great opportunity for a backstage look at how businesses are run," said student Ify Akaniru. "When you think of a business you think of the numbers, but getting to go behind the scenes lets you see that there's much more," she said. And students did go beyond a typical traveler's domain, with tours of the airport's newest wing and control room at the on-site police station.

Student Shelby Thomas valued the connections made during the visit. "I appreciate the BBC for the amount of contacts I can make, not just within the program but in the business community as well," she said. "It really opens up paths- lets us see where our degrees can take us."

The Bulls Business Community is a "living and learning" residence for undergraduates in specialized business programs. BBC residents enjoy special programs, advising privileges, and access to business leaders. Incoming freshmen are admitted based on academic performance and SAT and ACT test scores, and enjoy a number of "beyond-the-books" learning experiences like this one.

Another resident, Magdala Saint-Louis, said the connections made from tours such as this one are valuable to her. "As a second year student, I'm making connections and having professional experiences that even most typical seniors don't get to enjoy," she said. "The BBC is the best resource for exploring what's out there in the business world after graduation."