The FLAME club travels to Minneapolis for spring trip

Jeralyn Wessel – Staff writer 

About thirty members of the FLAME (Future Leaders and Mission Entrepreneurs) club loaded onto a bus Wednesday afternoon, March 22, and headed north to Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Thursday and Friday were spent touring and hearing from several organizations in the twin cities to learn about different areas of business. From banking and accounting to evangelism and supply chain management, leaders at the various companies shared about the extensive careers within the field of business. 

First, the group heard from Craig Veurink, a senior vice president at U.S. Bank. He shared about how his company is combatting the growing fear of banking since the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10. 

Then, the club members headed downtown to KPMG and Baker Tilly – two large accounting firms. While both companies share similar roles in business, they both explained ways they were distinct in their field. 

“Baker Tilly has a really connected workspace, and it was interesting to learn about all the different sides of accounting,” Malorie DeKam, a sophomore accountant for the club, said. “I didn’t really know about the consulting side at all.” 

Thursday finished with a stop at Pulse, a company that hosts evangelistic events across the country. The group was able to hear how business skills can be clearly used to share the Gospel across the nation and world. 

In the evening, most split into smaller groups to explore the area. Some headed downtown via train for a stark change from Sioux Center scenery, and others wandered across the street to the Mall of America for some shopping. 

Friday brought two final stops for the group. First, Jay Kroeze, a Dordt alumni, led the group around the headquarters of Cargill, a company that handles the origination, processing, and distribution of a variety of agricultural products. Then, the FLAME club members concluded the trip at C.H. Robinson, a supply chain and logistics company. C.H. Robinson employees shared how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their business strategy and how transportation methods are constantly evolving. 

The range of business types that the group visited allowed members to see occupations that they may never have considered before or known about. 

“These trips give students some exposure to different businesses out there and helps with their future career,” Kassie Brands, the Financial Co-President of the club, said. “They can learn from and network with professionals within their career field.” 

Along with career development, the club trips are also a good opportunity to meet and connect with fellow students on similar career paths. 

The FLAME club is open to students of any major, as it offers the development of skills that anyone can use in their future jobs. All members begin as workers in one of the coffee shops on campus and work a shift weekly. After a semester as a worker, students can apply for several different board member positions. Trips occur each semester and are open to any active club member. Within the last year, the club has also traveled to Denver, Colorado, and Omaha, Nebraska. 

Contributed photo 

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