A dozen Rider University students had the opportunity to explore the inside operations of Firmenich Inc., the world’s largest privately owned company in the fragrance and flavor industry, when they took a site visit to its Plainsboro, N.J., location on October 22.
During the Leadership Trip, sponsored by Rider’s Center for the Development of Leadership Skills, the students took a tour of the fragrance laboratory facilities, learned about the company’s background and how it remains competitive in today’s market. In addition, the students had the chance to meet with the company’s executive leaders, including David Shipman ’82, vice president of Corporate Compliance, during a question-and-answer session.
“The trip was organized to provide interested students a visit to a privately owned company that specializes in a research area that most students don't realize exists — fragrance and flavor,” explained Laura Seplaki, associate director of the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.
Elizabeth Williams, a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program, said trip gave her invaluable insight into the day-to-day operations of a global business and the strategic, long-term vision of the company and how their day-to-day operations fit in with this vision.
“We were then able to bring this knowledge into a comprehensible, thorough leadership discussion with upper-level executives of the company who have achieved major success and shared with us their personal perspective on successful leadership,” Williams said. “Applying the leadership concepts and experience that we practice at Rider to an outside, real-world company through trips like this takes the learning to a whole new level that is highly rewarding and inspiring.”
The rest of the student participants included Vincent Abbatecola, a sophomore English and Journalism dual major; Barbara Artins, a senior Marketing and International Business dual major; Patrick Bickham, a sophomore Advertising and Marketing dual major; Sami Ijaz, a sophomore Management and International Business dual major; Daniel Joe, a freshman International Business and Marketing dual major; James Lythe, a junior Communication major; Steven Nowitzke, a sophomore Management major; Obiaku Ohiaeri, a junior Biochemistry major; Joanna Papadopoulos, a freshman Liberal Studies major; Cory Westcott, a sophomore Finance major; and Lan Zhang, a junior Biochemistry major.
Rider University’s Center for the Development of Leadership Skills, launched in the Fall of 2004, complements and expands upon Rider’s tradition of producing tomorrow’s innovative leaders and confident professionals by providing effective leadership training and quality programming.