Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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New travel study trip offers students real world business experience

Emily Dean/ Winonan

A new study abroad opportunity for students taking the Tourism Marketing class will be available this summer and will take place at multiple ski resorts in New Zealand.

The six-credit class will teach students how to take customer experience and turn it into usable data for marketing, instructor Ryan White said.

White said he has partnered with Mt. La Crosse, a local ski resort, to apply the collected data for their company.

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White and his students will map out customers’ experiences, White said, by using a tool called Customer Journey.

“We want to look at the customer’s attitude toward the experience as they go through the process,” White said.

He said their goal will be to create a customer experience while in New Zealand and then help apply that data to Mt. La Crosse’s customers.

White said Mt. La Crosse is excited to see what ideas students come up with to help change their customers’ experience for the better.

“It will be our job to come up with that new thing to offer,” White said. “It could be something simple like a new change, or it could be a completely new way of approaching the traditional concept of skiing at a resort.”

The two-course trip will be open to anyone who has completed 60 credits by summer, White said.

White encourages people from different majors to consider the trip and not to be deterred by the marketing title.

“This course is open to anybody because everyone is going to use the principles of marketing,” White said. “No matter what job you go into you will be asking: what do my customers want?”

During their stay at the resorts students will have free reign of the resorts with no planned activities. The idea is to have the students experience the resorts as a customer, White said.

“We have to figure out what the customer wants and the best way to do that is to look at it from their point of view,” White said. “That’s what we are trying to do.”

Although the class is open to any student who is of junior status, White said the trip is for hard working students looking for an adventure.

“I’m looking for a type of student who is open to adventure. This is a very expensive trip, and it’s not an easy class,” White said. “I want to push students, and I want them to get something out of this class.”

White said ski or snowboard experience is not required, but people who have a passion for skiing would get more out of the trip.

The trip will cost $8,300 total and include everything except lunches, White said. The trip will be the most expensive study abroad program Winona State offers.

“The biggest hurdle we are seeing so far is how expensive it is. But one thing that people don’t realize is there is no easy way to fly halfway around the world and do what we are going to do,” White said. “You are going to go to the adventure capital of the world, and you are building your resume in the mean time.”

Megan Graf, an exercise science major, said the price tag of a trip like this should not intimidate students.

“It’s expensive, but it’s worth what you are getting,” Graf said. “It’s an experience, and you are traveling. It’s something you may never get a chance to do ever again.”

Although Graf does not plan on studying abroad herself she said she has known people who have benefited from studying abroad.

“My friend found out that her credits almost doubled when she studied abroad. It was probably worth it,” Graf said. “If I had a major were it would benefit me to go I’d maybe consider it, but I feel like it doesn’t personally benefit me.”

As for Graf, she said she feels more comfortable staying in Winona for her college experience but advises students to get the most out of their education and to study abroad without worrying about the cost.


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