Bear Treks Boston: Unum, Salesforce, and Omni Parker House

Forty-six undergraduate students embarked on our Spring 2024 Boston Bear Treks trip in March. This immersive experience took them behind the scenes of employers like Unum, Salesforce, and the Omni Parker House, providing invaluable insights into various industries and career paths. Alongside visits to corporate offices, students honed their networking skills at the Boston Executive Club of the University of Maine (BECUM) gathering, amplifying their professional connections.

The trip began with a visit to Unum headquarters in Portland, where students engaged with UMaine alums, gaining firsthand accounts of career trajectories within the benefits company. For Hannah Birkett, a junior marketing and finance student, the allure of Unum’s culture was undeniable: “I loved the culture I saw at Unum. It seemed like a very positive, healthy environment where everyone enjoyed what they did.” Nuala Glendinning, a junior finance and marketing student, had considered applying for an internship at Unum. The visit sealed the deal. “Talking to the staff made me realize that an internship there would be an excellent idea,” she says.

That evening, students enjoyed sweeping views of Boston at the BECUM event at the UMass Club in Downtown Crossing. This event is truly a highlight of our Boston Bear Treks trip. Every student appreciated the networking aspect of this event. “The experience pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but in a good way,” says Elaina Eaves, a first-year student experiencing her first Bear Treks event. Another first-year business student, Isaac Colon, relished the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. “Networking with alumni was my favorite part,” he says.


The following day, students were brought to the Boston office of Salesforce, where they delved into the dynamic world of the software giant. A senior finance major, Trevor Morrison appreciated the diverse career avenues available within Salesforce. “I liked learning that at Salesforce you can find a great job no matter what your major is,” he says.

The last stop was at the Omni Parker House, where students enjoyed lunch in their grand ballroom. Engaging with staff members across various departments offered a multifaceted perspective on the hospitality industry. “The confidence the general manager, John Murtha, has in his staff was fascinating to see, and the respect they had back was motivating,” said Robbie Lausier, a senior accounting and management student. “Their stories were unique, and I was fully engaged as a listener.” Josh Francoeur, a junior marketing student, added, “I liked how they not only talked about their job responsibilities and such but also how they loved to work together as a team. They all seemed very happy to share their experiences and advice, which was really helpful.”

By the trip’s end, students returned to campus with a newfound appreciation for the diverse career pathways awaiting them. Through meaningful connections, immersive experiences, and invaluable insights, the journey served as a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

Photos by Hannah Birkett and Andie Lovejoy