Investment Club Field Trip to New York

The Investment Club took to the streets of New York City last week to examine a luxury designer brand’s headquarters. On Wednesday, November 13, 20 students journeyed to the national headquarters of Chanel.
At Chanel, students learned about the company’s marketing and advertising strategies and got a glimpse of what working at the company is like. The trip allowed students to explore how the principles of economics, many of which they had explored in club meetings beforehand, apply to the real world.
The visit started off with a tour of the main working space, which allowed students to see Chanel’s progressive style of open-office workplace. The majority of employees do not have their own offices and do not meet in meeting rooms; instead, meetings are held in the cafe or on couches scattered across the lobby.
After the tour, students had a chance to explore the clothing and jewelry on display, like tops made of gold and custom-made vintage hats with feathers.
Finally, five employees gave a presentation and answered students’ questions about how the fashion industry works, how Chanel spends its budget, and the effects these expenditures have on the business.
The trip gave students a glimpse into what may be a future career for some of the students who attended. Rock Zhu ’20 said, “At the start of the presentation, a Hotchkiss alumna talked to us about her journey from Hotchkiss to Chanel. She asked us who our English teachers are and said that she will never forget Mr. Frankenbach’s class, as well as the story of how he changed his name to Vardama for three months in college. This was definitely amazing to me, since it was really nice to see that bond among Bearcats, and how a teacher or the reminiscence of a shared memory can unite us.”
The trip provided the Investment Club with exposure to economics in the real world. Mr. Jarrod Sisk, instructor in mathematics and faculty advisor to the Investment Club, said “The [goal of the] trip was to get the kids exposed to various facets of investing. We’ve gone to places before, like Morgan Stanley, with financial services, and this was a bit different, since we went to a private business that doesn’t have investors. They talked about how they ran their business and dealt with different areas.”
This year, the club will also visit Bowlmor, a bowling company with a Hotchkiss alum CFO, to learn about running a company with fixed costs.