The Companies That Inspire Business Majors

Seton Hall University’s Caroline Weeks

Square: “I admire the mission of Square. The company believes that everyone should be able to participate, and most importantly, thrive in the economy. As a result, they are building easy tools to empower and enrich everyone. I see the tangible impact that Square has when I visit family-owned businesses and small businesses. Square becomes a partner for its customers. Furthermore, Square’s mission is both global and local. They are delivering economic empowerment across their many markets. All the while, the Square Hardware product is elegantly designed and supported by powerful software technologies.”
Adedotun R. Adejare, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School)

Terra Cycle: “I admire their social mission to change the world by altering the way we view waste. The company finds ways to reuse or upcycle otherwise unrecyclable items. TerraCycle is transforming our waste from a linear system to a circular one. This transformation is crucial for reducing our environmental impact on the planet. Many businesses, such as Proctor & Gamble and Nestle, are beginning to take notice and are fundamentally changing the way we buy, consume, and dispose of products. TerraCycle is the perfect example of how businesses can solve the world’s most pressing problems and make a profit while doing so.”
Caroline Weeks, Seton Hall University (Stillman)

Tesla: “Tesla’s commitment to questioning the impossible and lack of complacency are what I admire most. Too often, the way that we operate within society is taken for granted and never questioned. Tesla has chosen to question the present and change the way that we operate, specifically within the realm of transportation. In spite of the damaging effects of fossil fuel consumption, we continue to operate vehicles and machinery that perpetuate the destruction of the environment. Tesla has attempted to find a superior alternative to gas-powered vehicles. Not only this, but they are beginning to create models that provide this option at a price that many consumers are able to pay, leaving little excuse for consumers to continue driving cars that are a detriment to the environment. Tesla’s innovative and beneficially disruptive qualities make it an incredibly interesting, and personally admirable company.”
Robert Knight, Wake Forest University

TheSkimm: “What started as a daily email newsletter has blossomed into a go-to source for global news, financial advice, and much more for many Millennial women. Started by two female entrepreneurs, TheSkimm knows its audience inside-and-out. It consistently produces relevant and exciting content that breaks down the toughest subjects into manageable pieces. As someone who is just getting started in her professional life, TheSkimm is an incredible resource. I’m exposed to new ideas and different ways of thinking thanks to this company and I truly respect the way that it does business.”
Katie Schuchman, University of Pittsburgh (Katz)

Toms Footwear: “Wherever I go and whatever I do in life, I hope that my career will reflect a component of civic commitment and social consciousness. It is for that reason, that I most admire a company like Toms Footwear. Motivated by seeing children without shoes in Argentina, Blake Mycoskie started Toms with the mission statement of donating one pair of shoes to children in need for every pair that they sell. To date, they have donated 60 million pairs of shoes! Toms is  a testament that profit and societal contribution are not mutually exclusive.

Georgetown University’s Julia Hyman

I intend to devote my life to creating a truly affordable housing industry, producing inexpensive dwelling units that are attractive, clean, plentiful and profitable. Toms serves as a constant reminder that the endeavor of creating a profitable enterprise while doing good in the world is indeed attainable.”
Julia Hyman, Georgetown University (McDonough)

Trader Joe’s: “Most know Trader Joe’s for its low prices on unique, high-quality food items. However, their non-conventional and creative business model frequently goes unnoticed. First, and most impressive, Trader Joe’s sells less than one-tenth the number of SKUs compared to its competitors, but they still manage to generate twice the revenue per square foot. I admire how they focus on the quality of the selections, as 80% of their products are part of the Trader Joe’s brand. Even with the limited shelf space they have, Trader Joes devotes a plethora of resources towards thinking outside the box and innovating. Whether it’s their category leaders who travel the world purely to understand how to bring international food into the store or their very own internal tasting panel who tests these peculiar flavors, Trader Joe’s is always searching for the “next best thing.”

Finally, they have proven how cultural awareness and stellar customer service can cultivate business growth. Trader Joe’s hones in on their customers’ wants and needs as the diverse array of ethnic cuisine reflects the melting pot of customers they attract. Further, its employees are intentional in developing an authentic and meaningful relationship with each and every customer, which in turn leads to lifetime loyalty. Above all else, it’s an incredibly positive and supportive place to shop. While some may see going to the grocery store as a stressful chore, Trader Joes’ customers see it as a pleasure.”
Meredith Wolpert, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

United Airlines: “I’ve been obsessed with the airline industry for as long as I can remember. I was very passionate about Continental Airlines for its remarkable turnaround in the late 1990s from one of the industry’s worst airlines to becoming one of the most globally-admired airlines. In the time since United and Continental merged, I’ve remained passionate about United and I especially admire the way the company has performed in the wake of a rocky merger.

In addition to its strong operational performance (which has improved dramatically in the last two to three years), the more intangible components behind United’s success are equally impressive. I admire United’s leadership team and how they have re-defined United’s culture, how they have brought together two behemoths in United and Continental, and how they are continuing to innovate and push the boundaries of what an airline can be, all with the customer in mind. I expect 2019 to be an exciting year for United.”
Adam Kershner, Babson College (Olin)




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