Honors Program Winter Site Visits

Business honors students had no idea what was in store when they signed up for the program’s winter term site visits. Some had never heard of either of the companies aside from a quick googling the night before. But the two site visits ended up being more intriguing and interactive than many could have imagined.

The first stop was Arcimoto, an electric car startup in Eugene. The company’s hip and exuberant president told the history of the company and that it was based on the idea that human travel can be vastly improved as far as efficiency and carbon impact go. This premise led the company to design a two-person vehicle based on a motorcycle style 1+1 platform that is steered via handle bars. With a full roll cage, it offers far more protection than a motorcycle in addition to the extra wheel in front for stability. Weighing in at less than 1000 pounds, the fully electric vehicle brings efficiency to travel at a degree the market has yet to see. Arcimoto has already developed multiple functioning vehicles and is now in the stages of ramping up production after a successful marketing trip up and down the West Coast, which landed it a large number of orders.

The second company honors students visited that day was Attune Foods, LLC. This company provided a counterpoint in terms of size and capacity compared with Arcimoto. Attune produces different granola and nut mixes for a large variety of retailers and brands. Site managers gave students a tour of the production plant, showing them the entire process of turning raw materials into packaged and finished products ready for shipment.

The company’s maximized use of space and automation would have made even the most rigorous operations and business analytics professors proud. Students saw how workers change over assembly lines for different product runs and how the company forecasts demand to ensure it has the right amount of product at the right time. Everyone especially enjoyed sampling freshly baked granola straight from the oven on its way to the packaging machine.

Altogether, both site visits exposed students to a sampling of the many different types of businesses in the Eugene community, and demonstrated how each of them fulfills its own niche in the market. These visits are a great part of the Business Honors Program, providing wonderful opportunities to diversify knowledge while putting lessons learned in the classroom into real-world context.

Story by Kennedy Salveter, ’17. Salveter is a junior studying accounting. He currently is a resident assistant in the Business Residence Community in Earl Hall and a member of the UO Triathlon Team. Salveter will be graduating in spring 2017.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.