Maine Business School’s inaugural Bear Trek to explore Portland-area businesses

More than 50 Maine Business School (MBS) students will visit three Portland-area businesses — UNUM, Tyler Technologies and WEX — on Friday, Nov. 8 as part of the MBS Bear Treks program.

“All three are successful firms who have been good partners with the Maine Business School,” says Rick Borgman, the Dennis McConnell Professor of Finance who helped organize the trip. “We hope to similarly explore other areas of the state in the future.”

MBS Advisory Board member and UMaine alum Pat Maiorino sponsored the event, focused on the business school’s new focus on academic adventures. Among the employees students will meet at the businesses are MBS alumni. 

“While we often bring business leaders to campus, we wanted our students to experience firsthand what vibrant, successful businesses look like,” says Borgman. “We want to help students see themselves in this professional setting, to meet some role models, and to learn some career skills.”

The Bear Treks program was designed to better connect MBS students to the vibrant employment and living opportunities present in the state. In addition to networking with business leaders, students will participate in panel discussions, presentations and Q&As.

“The goal of Bear Treks is to showcase what a thriving business looks like and does, and to help students gain insights on how they can make the transition from college to professional life,” says MBS associate dean Nic Erhardt, who is co-leading the experience with Borgman. “We also hope that these kinds of trips will help students understand that Maine is an excellent place for professional development and employment that offers a range of opportunities right in our backyard.”