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Weijie Shi ’14: Interning in NYC with WP Global

Weijie Shi ’14:  My internship search was not easy.  After sending out hundreds of resumes and getting hundreds of “No”’s for answers, my battle of fighting for my dream to break into finance fell into a quandary.  Fortunately, WP Global Partners offered me an internship at this critical time.  I am so grateful for this precious opportunity with the generous help and support from Mr. Xu ’10.

For the first time, I am allocated at WP Global’s New York Office, working with one Senior Partner, a Managing Director, and a Senior Vice President. Working in WP Global’s New York Office is a totally new and different experience from one that many previous interns had before.  As a private equity fund, WP Global Partners operate their business from two basic perspectives.  One is sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities, and the other is monitoring the current portfolio for their clients.

That being said, my job responsibilities involve two aspects.  On one hand, my daily job includes meeting with fund managers who come to WP Global to pitch their funds and taking meeting notes, researching the industries where the potential investments lie, and performing evaluations on target investments.  Aside from that, I write deal reviews for potential investments which contain a company’s performance as well as the general market and growth potential.

On the other hand, I take charge of updating financial metrics and terms for current investments in WP Global’s portfolio and cleaning up WP’s database on a daily basis. In addition, I participate in making WP’s pitch books and presentation PPTs by generating charts from data analysis.

Weijie Shi ’14 with Senior Vice President, Kumber Husain

Life after work is just as fantastic as work.  New York is an amazing place to explore. Besides wonderful restaurants, Broadway shows, and various concerts, meeting up with old friends, especially other Wabash men, is also great fun.

This internship has been definitely one of my best Wabash experiences so far.  With my great sincerity, I would like to thank Mr. Stanley Xu for offering the opportunity, Career Services, Mr. Scott Crawford, and the financial support of the Small Business Internship Fund.  I strongly encourage students who are interested in developing a career in finance to apply for this internship in the near future.

 

Hezekiah Eibert ’15: Sustainability at Wabash

Hezekiah Eibert ’15:  This summer I am the Sustainability Intern for Wabash College, through Sodexo. To describe my position as quickly as possible, my job is to make Wabash green (environmentally friendly).

I started working right away this summer, with the first day of my internship being May the 6th, and boy did I hit the ground running. Within the first two weeks, I had found over $6,000.00 in savings for the college, restructured our fallen bike rental program, and created a community service event for freshman orientation next year.  I haven’t stopped there. Tim Riley, Wabash’s ground manager, and I recently took a road trip to Ohio to visit Oberlin, Kenyon and Denison. Oberlin, being ranked fourth in the nation when compared to other colleges in terms of environmental friendliness, had a lot to show us.

From their 10 acre solar array to their state of the arc water and electricity monitoring system in all their buildings to their free store and so much more. From Kenyon we saw an impressive disposal system that removed liquid from the food and created a pulp like substance that is put into their compost, a campus wide electric usage monitoring system, a recycling facility, and electric golf carts being widely used. Denison held the biggest gem of them all, The Homestead. I didn’t want to leave. The off the grid living area is truly impressive, and to quote the Denison website “The Homestead is a living-learning experience unique among American colleges and universities. It is a student-run intentional community with a focus on ecological sustainability. Twelve students per semester live and work together in pursuit of a more ecologically sustainable lifestyle. Homesteaders also work to promote their projects, lifestyle, and ideals to non-members.” Along with the Homestead Denison held a rooftop solar array, a great campus garden, as well as their own recycling center.

Now, simply copying these amazing things from these other colleges would not work for us. Wabash is so wonderfully different from every other college in the nation and the longer I stay here the more I realize this. We are also spoiled when it comes to recycling. Unlike these three colleges that are leaders in sustainability that all have multi stream recycling, we have single stream. Simply put, this means that while they all have to separate each type of recyclable material, we only have to put all recyclable material in one bin. We have all the supplies to have a very successful program and we just need our Responsible Wabash men to step up to the plate and make a slight change to yield a large impact on our community and our world.

But back to what I’m doing. We are currently looking into electric golf carts and cars, restructuring our community garden (to raised beds), a solar roof for the Allen Center, a electricity monitoring system for our buildings (at least our newer ones), a bike rental system, a free store, and much more. I am so excited to be bringing these crucial changes to Wabash College and hopefully I’ll be able to leave a positive legacy behind and make some long standing changes. I’ll do my best to lay the ground work, but at the end of the day I need the Wabash community, students, staff and faculty alike, to stand together and help push the college into the future.

 

Live Ever Die Never, Wabash Always Fights,

Hezekiah Eibert…

Micah Chowning ’14: The nitty gritty of digital marketing in the modern age: Big Data

Micah Chowning ’14:   New York’s Madison Avenue was firmly locked into advertising lore with the TV show Mad Men.    While the luster of the offices and the lusts of the lifestyles are embellished in the show, the fundamental premise of marketing is the same: speak to the individual.

Thanks to the Small Business Internship Fund, I have been on the Mad Ave this summer interning for a digital marketing firm, Wasabi Rabbit.  The nitty gritty of digital marketing in the modern age: Big Data.  Today is the age of social media and data—lots of both—and companies are only beginning to learn how to turn these areas into revenue.  There is tremendous potential in these tools; but marketers are still discovering the path from the data to the individual.

With the team in the conference room

My involvement at Wasabi Rabbit has been diverse.  My first order of business upon arrival was to immerse myself into Google Analytics, the Swiss Army Knife for website data.  With an account, Google will track website data such as unique visitors, visitor paths, click sources, time spent on pages, links, everything.  Its functions range from simple to complex.

I arrived in the midst of online campaign run by Wasabi Rabbit for its major client, Marketwired.  We needed to track which emails and ads generated site traffic, and which site visitors became sales leads.  With Facebook ads, website banner ads, Google search ads, emails, blog posts, and even postcards directing people to the site, there were many different aspects and items to consider.  Along with daily updating the number of unique visitors and goal conversions, I looked into the conversion rate for each day of the week, along with the click rate for each Tip Sheet Marketwired sent out via email.

Marketwired is in the midst of a rebranding, having acquired Sysomos and wanting to combine the Marketwire news service and the Sysomos social media listening tools into one distinct brand.  Hence, Marketwired.  Part of this process is combining two websites into one, and I’ve been responsible for listing the URLs and page names for the resource sections of both marketwire.com and sysomos.com.

Using Marketwired’s social media listening tools, Heartbeat and MAP, I’ve also been able to do research into social media conversations about Marketwired’s products and competitors’ products, along with finding reviews in blogs and tech sites.  While not NSA-level, both tools turn the buzz about products into distinct voices and allow the user to get a sense of what’s going on in the web.

Tim and Gina talk about the campaign in a spirited fashion

A few other research tasks involved more creativity than data analysis.  Tim Lyons ‘91, the managing director here at Wasabi Rabbit, was putting together a marketing proposal for a potential client that is involved in Alzheimer’s education; looking into the proposal’s different aspects and needs was eye-opening.  I’ve also researched the pros and cons of a business using Twitter’s Direct Messaging feature, along with topics relevant to social media and investor relations.

Additionally, the experience of the City has been another great element to the experience.  New York is, in one (overused) word, awesome.  The city crawls with energy, making sleep seem unnecessary and movement mandatory.  My days typically last from 6:30 AM to midnight.  There is always something to do, something to see, something to try.  It suffices to say that I’m on the lookout for a I♡NY shirt.

While running, the "mash" has to be broken up to produce sugar

Peters ’14: Gaining Experience with (Kindred) Spirits

A couple months ago, while reading over the various descriptions of available internships through Wabash, I read the words, “Our intern will have to wear a lot of hats.”  The description belonged to my current summer employer StilL 630 in St. Louis, MO and could not have been a more accurate description of the position.  After a resumé submission, a phone interview conducted while my car was breaking down on the Pennsylvania turnpike, and a mad dash to secure summer housing, I made the move to St. Louis to begin working with David Weglarz ’03 at his start-up craft distillery.

I’ve been at the distillery for three and a half weeks and I feel as I’ve done every job in the distillation business.  David uses the tagline, “From Grain to Glass,” to describe the process of making our whiskey products, and again he is spot-on with his description.  We start by combining water with our chosen grains for the spirit (malt rye, barley, winter wheat, etc.) in a mash tun.  The mash tun is about six feet tall and holds 500 gallons.  It also requires regular cleaning, a perfect job for a summer intern no doubt!

Here I am cleaning out the mash tun, where the whole process starts

The process continues with the mixing of these ingredients during various heating and cooling steps.  The “mash” is then brought to one of our four fermenters where yeast is pitched in to begin breaking down the usable sugars provided by the grain into alcohol (getting interesting right?).  While it is in the fermenter for a 2-5 day period, the mixture is now called distiller’s beer; think Sam Adams without all the hops being added.  The distiller’s beer is then brought to our still, which was handmade right here in St. Louis.  At StilL 630, our current spirits our double distilled, which means we run the liquid through the distillation process twice.  The first run, called the “stripping run,” boils off usable alcohol, leaving water behind.  This alcohol is about 45% alcohol by volume (ABV) and will be run through the freshly cleaned still (also the job of an intern) again in a “spirits run.”  This is the good alcohol that will end up in a bottle or a barrel.  We make cuts of this alcohol first however, as the spirits come off in three categories: heads, hearts, and tails.  Hearts are the good alcohol that is drinkable (once proofed down, even for college kids) while heads remind me of moonshine.  Tails are used when a whiskey is barreled for aging.  The esters of the tails react well with the charred barrels and give it the amber color that we are used to in whiskey.

While running, the “mash” has to be broken up to produce sugar

But like I said earlier, lots of hats are worn.  I’ve bottled our whiskey, labeled it, and then sold it by walking to bars and giving tastings.  Right now we survive on word of mouth advertising and social media buzz (follow us @STILL630 or on Facebook).  So instead of hats, I wear a suit as often as a dirty work shirt.

With all this work being done, that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun however.  I personally love going out to different venues to run tastings and talk with patrons, bartenders, and restaurant owners.  We get to drink the whiskey that I helped make and get to spread our proud product around the city.  I’ve even taught David to play some lacrosse in our down time.  Also, David and I were lucky enough to score free ultimate BLT’s from Crown Candy Kitchen, a historic STL kitchen that has been featured on Food Network multiple times, for just talking to them!

It’s bigger than my head!

David, his wife Sydney, his newborn son Mason, his big dog Jake, and I actually just returned from Louisville, KY.  David and I went on a bourbon trail distillery tour, visiting the likes of Maker’s Mark and Heaven Hill, to do some research but also have a great summer experience.  And so far that’s exactly what this summer has been.  I’m extremely happy to have been chosen for this position and I would like to thank the Small Business Internship Fund and Wabash College Career Services in helping me earn this position!

One last thing however, you over 21 year-olds need to keep your eyes open for Rally Point Rye Whiskey and Big Dog Jake White Whiskey on a shelf near you to help some Wabash brothers out!  David is on his way to taking over the industry, I’m just glad I can be here for the first few steps.

Cheers!

Alex Amerling ’14: Physics in the Real World!

Alex Amerling ’14: I have interned at Mercury Marine for the past three summers, and each year my job gets more interesting. Mercury is the world’s #1 producer of boat propulsion systems (boat engines) and I get to work with the best and brightest in the industry every day. This year I am working with the Engineering Facilities group, and it’s the coolest job I have had so far.

I have built 3 portable data acquisition units that are used to collect on boat data. These data loggers can collect temp, rpm, voltage drop, you name it, these guys can do it. So far, one went to Panama City FL, one to Seattle and one to Malaysia. I have been soldering, slicing and drawing up wiring diagrams for these units so that whoever has to make these in the future can do so easily. When I was first tasked with building these units the first thing I thought was “wow, this is shockingly like my Electronics class.” Building the units was the first task, and then I had to get them to work. This took a lot of testing in the DYNO cells (where the engines are tested) to get the math of the unit to work properly, but after a few hours and some strong words directed at this little box, I got it.

The corporate environment here is something that is not for all people but I have been able to assimilate and operate within it. As the new Head PCA, I want to let everyone know Career Services can help you learn how to properly operate within a big company like this. Sending emails to other professionals, how to dress and how to approach people are all things you can stop by the office to get help with. It’s not rocket science, but there are some things that may escape individuals.

I’m happy to be back at Mercury and it truly is amazing working for the most innovative individuals in the industry. It’s an honor to have these people ask me to help them do their work. I am proud to say that I am an employee of Mercury Marine, and will continue to enjoy my summer!

Safe Boating,
Alex Amerling

Jacob Burnett ’15: Legal Aid Society Teaches How To “Live Humanely”

Jeff Been ’81, Meagen Agnew, Jacob Burnett ’15, Julia Leist Adams

Jacob Burnett ’15: Walking into the Legal Aid Society’s office in downtown Louisville, you read: “Our mission is to pursue justice for people in poverty,” on a hanging sign overlooking the inside of the office.

What better way to live humanely than to speak for those who have had their voices silenced? Here, at Legal Aid, we work to restore hope in every tangible and intangible sense. To speak more specifically, Legal Aid provides legal assistance, in matters of civil law, to low-income people in Jefferson and the 14 surrounding counties. Every year, Legal Aid assists more than 4,000 clients in civil matters with programs, clinics, preventative education, and legal representation.

On my first day, I read the 2011 and 2012 Litigation and Activities Docket that outlines the different programs Legal Aid offers with client accounts and success stories. Reading about domestic violence, slum lords, and pure legal abuse people face brought tears to my eyes. These clients try to navigate in an unfamiliar and confusing legal world with no direction; however, there is hope. Legal Aid acts as a safe haven to help guide people to reach the most beneficial results for them and their families.

My work at Legal Aid encompasses development and administration. I help the Director of Development, Julia, and the Director of Administration, Meagen, with matters that pertain to funding Legal Aid and managing marketing or other administrative duties. Most notably, I have worked on the “Justice for All,” Annual Campaign to raise $300,000

that will fund Legal Aid and its many services. Furthermore, I have helped research and write grants that will fund programs that help people every day. I have worked with my bosses to help organize and research past information relating to funding partners and donations that will help projects in the future. Julia and I will design and assemble the 2012 Annual Report that Legal Aid distributes to the community and funding partners that outlines the effects Legal Aid has made in the community. With Meagen, I compiled and updated a media directory list, social media posts, and an e-newsletter. In all, I have valued every opportunity with these departments because it helps me understand how non-profits effectively operate. The projects I have worked on taught me valuable Excel, writing, researching, and managing skills.

Because of my work with many projects, I have been exposed to great insight and unique experiences.

One highlight of my internship occurred on the 35th floor of thePNCTower at the Bingham Greenebaum Doll law office that overlooks all of downtownLouisville for the first meeting of the “Justice for All” Campaign Committee. I sat in my seat as 15 of the most distinguished and accomplished lawyers inLouisville grabbed Panera box lunches and sat around the table. I acted as a fly on the wall as the committee discussed and outlined the strategy to accomplish their goal. Before and afterwards, I happily introduced myself to all the attorneys around the table; it was a humbling experience. As I left the office that day, Jeff told me, “You know, you got to experience a unique opportunity today. Not every intern gets to sit at a table with some of the most successful lawyers in Kentucky.”

Another highlight found itself in the second floor court room of the Hall of Justice. I sat in the jury box with a paralegal from Legal Aid, Brenda Bacon (what a name!), and got to watch Eviction Court proceed. Afterwards, Brenda, a known veteran of the county court house, introduced me to judges and attorneys she knew throughout the building. Since then, I have attended numerous Eviction Court hearings, domestic violence hearings, motion hours, Legal Aid clinics, and acted as a court runner for the office. I have sat in on client interviews for divorces and wills. Attorneys have allowed me to read their legal case documents, taught me about court and paperwork processes, and gave me valuable career and law school advice. Essentially, I have been immersed in practical and hands-on legal knowledge that I wouldn’t have obtained in law school.

Apart from the work I do, this opportunity has allowed me to interact with amazing people. The entire staff is fun, laid back, and extremely welcoming; they love their jobs and understand how rewarding this work can be. Because of this office environment, I have enjoyed everyday at the office.

Legal Aid saves lives, restores hope, and pursues justice. Without the Small Business Fund, I wouldn’t have gotten this opportunity to witness the practice of ruthless empathy. I would like to thank my bosses Julia, Meagen, Jeff Been ’81, his partner Eric Graniger, and every member of the Legal Aid Society. The work done in this office and many others throughout the country defines what it means to live a life of purpose.

Shijie Guo ’14: The Operations Side of PROFUSA

Five months ago when I started my internship hunting, I did not imagine that I could spend this summer in San Francisco. Thanks to the Small Business Internship Fund, Mr. Khurram Tahir ’01, Mr. Scott Crawford, and Career Services, I could gain the opportunity to intern with PROFUSA, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup company. When I confirmed my internship offer in April, I knew it would be the best summer I could ever have. The first month of my internship just proved my thought—I have never been this busy and happy. Although I have to wake up at 7:00 a.m. in order to catch the 7:30 a.m. Bart and the bus, I cannot wait to start my work every day.

As an Operations Intern, I spend most of my time working together with my mentor, Mr. Bruce Smith, who is the Director of Operations at PROFUSA. PROFUSA is a biomedical company with a concentration on continuous glucose monitoring. Like many other startup companies in the Silicon Valley, the PROFUSA team is science and technology oriented—more than 70% of the team members hold Ph.D. degree. While most of our team members are accomplishing goals in the labs, Bruce and I are working on accounting, finance, human resources, and other tasks on the operation side in our office.

One of the biggest advantages working in a startup company is to get a lot of exposures in many various tasks. My first project at PROFUSA was internal audit. By going through the expense reports, invoices, and bills of the company, I got to know the company quickly from a financial aspect. My second task was to set up a standardized human resources management system. Together with my mentor Bruce, I created a recruiting manual and a package of human resources management documentations. Recently I am working on monthly close and payroll with Bruce. When we finish the monthly close, I will spend more time on my long-term projects, which include creating an internal database and looking for a more efficient way for PROFUSA to document all the files. I have also done several other small projects, including creating a company organizational and a corporate biography.

I am thankful for the liberal arts education at Wabash. I feel confident because I am well equipped with the knowledge I learned from the accounting courses, economics courses, and the computer science courses that I took at Wabash. I would like to encourage my fellow classmates who are interested in entrepreneurship and startup companies to take advantage of the Business Sequence program at Wabash.

I want to thank Mr. Khurram Tahir ’01, an investor of PROFUSA, for bringing this great opportunity to Wabash. I also want to thank Mr. Scott Crawford for creating the connection between Wabash students and alumni in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last but not least, I would like to thank Jackson Ding ’11, for giving me advice on my career path and hosting me at his place during the first week when I arrived in the city. Without the support from Wabash alumni and Career Services, I could never have this great experience.