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Anzalone ’16 Finds Answers with Career Test-Drive

By Ryan Anzalone ’16

As an Economics major here at Wabash, I spend a lot of time wondering what the real world will look like for a student like me. How do these skills translate to a career in finance, or any other industry for that matter? Thanks to the Career Services office and the Callings Funding, I was able to spend 3 days at an investment firm in Chicago experiencing the real world under the supervision of a Wabash alum. Chad Cleaver ’00 works at a firm called Driehaus Capital Management LLC which is a privately-held investment management firm with $12.9 billion total assets. Mr. Cleaver is the portfolio manager of the Emerging Markets fund, which generally invests in companies of all capitalizations based within countries with emerging markets.

Cleaver ’00 provided strong leadership and countless learning opportunities

This career test drive was eye opening for me. Due to Mr. Cleaver’s position in an emerging markets fund, I was fortunate enough to shadow him during many meetings with analysts from around the world. I gained valuable insight into different cultures and how different people view the problems facing the world economy. I arrived in Chicago with wide eyes and hundreds of questions and I left with lots of answers, and a much clearer view of the equity research industry as a whole.

“I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.”

This test drive was a new experience for both Mr. Cleaver and me, as it was the first test drive of its kind at Driehaus. I spent my time each day reading about emerging markets and listening to industry professional’s talk about their hopes and concerns in each country. Analysts from Korea, China, and Turkey did their best to answer the questions Chad’s team had about their respective economies. The purpose of these meetings was to give the analysts at Driehaus a clearer picture of what is happening in these emerging markets, so that they can make more educated investment decisions.

On the first day, I felt like they were talking to each other in a different language. By the end of the test drive, I noticed I was able to follow along in these meetings much better and even found myself having questions for the traveling analysts.  I was also given a company from Kenya to research in my free time, with the end goal of presenting my research to Chad at the end of my trip. The company I was researching was called Safaricom, and it is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Kenya. I read countless pages of news about Kenya’s economy and how the telecom industry was projected to change in the coming years.

My independent research, paired with my exposure to the types of questions which needed to be asked to make an educated decision, allowed me to make a final investment decision about Safaricom and present it to Mr. Cleaver. I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.

Yumnam ’17 Makes the Most of a Career Test-Drive

By: Seine Yumnam ’17

Sadly, Wabash does not have finance classes. But, worry not, there are opportunities out there just for Wabash men to lay foundation in finance: stock market focused.

During the winter break that just passed by (2013-2014), I had a Career Test-Drive with Cheevers and Company, an execution firm under the umbrella of Chicago Board Options Exchange. John Castro, Wabash alumnus, hired me. Generally, a Career Test-Drive is a very short intensive job shadowing opportunity. But my experience was too great to end it soon so I did it for the whole winter break. I walked into the firm on 24th of December. I barely knew anything about stock market, shares, trade execution, brokerage firm and whatever that has to do with trading. I am also a member of the investment club. In most meetings I would just sit and watch other team-mates throw words and ideas that made no sense to me.

  “I would definitely recommend such kind of Career test-drives to any Wabash men, regardless of whether he has career plans in mind or not. Why waste a break when you have the opportunity to figure out where your strength lies in and what your interest is?”

However, in a period of one month, things have changed. Thanks to Cheevers and the Wabash funded Career test-drive program we have. During the first week in Cheevers, I learned the terms and concepts that appear most frequently in the stock market; every single person in the office was passionate enough to deal with my lack of knowledge. In my second week I was observing what each trader was doing, questioning their decisions and actions to bid or offer.  The explanations I received were detailed with visual charts and graphs. Their calculated and precise moves completely blew my mind off. But sometimes they just had to follow their client’s orders. By third week, I was able to write buy and sell tickets without error and supervision. This was a quantum jump from my previous state of knowledge. The last week, I was awed at the volume of work that can be done sitting in an back office environment. The need for keenness and accuracy in the back office drove my attention. I got heavily involved in allocating trades, checkings and correcting misallocations, back office system renovation and much more.

My subtle interests in trading and banking have exponentially grown over the winter. Not only have I learned subject related ideas, but I have also become more confident in my career goals. I am in a much stronger position to plan what to do next and craft my own growth strategy. I have also honed vital skills like multi-tasking; simply put, I ate lunch every day in front of the desk while allocating trades. This multi-tasking skill is particularly important if someone is seeking a job in trading center in the USA: trading firm’s employees have no lunch breaks.

I would definitely recommend such kind of Career test-drives to any Wabash men, regardless of whether he has career plans in mind or not. Why waste a break when you have the opportunity to figure out where your strength lies in and what your interest is?  Remember, such test-drives are technically free. You can get funding from Wabash Callings depending on the number of days you are doing the test-drive.

Sean Hildebrand ’14: Exploring Opportunities in Sports Industries

Sean Hildebrand ’14:  When I was searching for an externship that would help me in my goal to one day work in the NFL, I was fortunate enough to land an opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Colts Team Facility for a day.  While there wasn’t anyone on site that worked with the actual team, there were plenty of employees scrambling around to finish various projects before the preseason opener this Sunday.  I met numerous people who worked with the marketing, sales, and sponsorship side of the organization, and I instantly became fascinated with the work they were doing. 

The first man I visited was Jim Matis, formerly known as “Mad Dog” on radio station Q95.  After 25 years with the radio show, Jim became the Colts’ sponsorship sales account manager.  Even though promotions and sponsorships aren’t what I’m looking to get involved with, it was great to learn about what goes on behind the scenes in the Colts’ facility and at home games.  For example, all those company banners you see hanging around Lucas Oil Stadium became involved with the organization through Jim.  The Colts organization agrees to market the company name around the stadium and through commercial/radio ads in exchange for a hefty investment from the company.  The more sponsors he racks up, the more the organization profits. 

I was then passed on to Andy Schwartz, the man Jim goes to once he comes to an agreement with a new sponsor.  Schwartz then gets in contact with the sponsor and finds out what kind of promotions they want with the Colts (commercials, in-game ads, radio mentions, etc.).  Once that is settled, Schwartz sets up times when the company’s promotions will be displayed on television, radio, or during the game.  He showed me the script of all the promos that will be shown during this Sunday’s preseason game:  there were eight pages worth of ads that had to be shown throughout the game.  The unnoticed amount of work that the marketing side of the organization goes through every day is simply unbelievable.  Even though this isn’t the kind of work I want to get involved with, I gained an incredible appreciation for the work that this side of the organization does in helping the Colts become even more profitable.  I also found value in seeing how fast-paced and unpredictable life in an NFL organization can be.

The following day I visited the Finish Line headquarters to hang out with Andy Rankin, a Wabash alumnus of 1998 and a lawyer.  He does real estate corporate counseling with the company, which means he makes agreements with landlords to have a Finish Line at various malls and buildings around the country.  Finish Line began in Indianapolis in 1976, and has expanded to over 650 stores across the country.  There are also over 650 separate leases for each of the Finish Line locations in the United States, and two real estate lawyers to manage them.  To show me just how busy Andy can be, he gave me an old lease for a Finish Line store that is no longer open.  Numerous amendments were made on the lease by both Andy and the landlord, and the final draft ended up being 70 pages long.  The average lease for a Finish Line store takes him roughly two hours to look over and propose changes, and he usually does this about 5-7 times each week.  Fortunately for Rankin, this is about as difficult and boring as it gets for him at Finish Line Headquarters.

After spending a day with Andy, I gained a much better understanding of what lawyers do in the sporting goods industry.  While I am still uncertain about my specific career track after graduation, it was nice to learn what a law degree and other graduate school programs can do for you.  It was also great to see what a gigantic sporting goods headquarters looks like.  Along with the warehouse, conference rooms and hundreds of offices, the headquarters contains just about everything you can ask for:  lunch room, 80″ flat screen TV, arcade, weight room, basketball court, cross fit gym, and an actual Finish Line store in the basement.  And much like the Colts’ team facility, there is a lively and friendly environment around the offices and cubicles, and everyone seems to get along and have a good time with one another.  I’m grateful to have had the unique opportunity to visit two very distinguished businesses in the sports industry.

Wilson ’13 Expands Wabash Opportunities

I did not expect a summer job to affect my career prospects. As my study abroad opportunity in Chile finished, I realized I had more than a month available to work. However, not many people are willing to hire an individual for only one month. But, I noticed an opportunity to work with Career Services as a fellowship intern to research and build our fellowship resources. Yet, the most unintended consequence of this funding was our Gap Year Program resources.

Over the summer while working on our Career Services’ web site to create a new fellowship section, I noticed our underdeveloped gap-year program resources. After talking with Assistant Director James Jeffries and Director Scott Crawford, they let me redesign and boost our gap year resources and information. This gap year refocus seemed to impact our graduating student body, including myself.

This upcoming summer I will begin working with Citizen Schools as a Teaching Fellow. I will work for two years on the South Side of Chicago in a struggling middle school that extends their school day by three hours to give students more individualized attention and experiential learning. Though the program’s extended learning time, Citizen Schools hope to break the vicious cycle of the underprivileged by giving them real-world experience and academic mentoring.

Other students have undertaken similar challenges to handle global and international struggles. This year over 5% of our student body have accepted positions to teach and volunteer in prestigious gap-year programs!

  • ·         Tyler Griffin, Teach for America, Atlanta, GA
  • ·         Jose Herrera, Teach for America, Indianapolis, IN
  • ·         Alejandro Maya, Teach for America, Tulsan City, OK
  • ·         Francisco Olivia, Teach for America, Indianapolis, IN
  • ·         Wyatt Lewis, Schuler Program, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Ronnie Sullivan, Schuler Program, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Garrett Wilson, Citizen Schools, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Matt Paul, Culver Academies, Culver, IN
  • ·         Charles Hintz, Peace Corps, Mozambique, Africa
  • ·         Keaton Becher, Cross Hill Mennonite School, Cross Hill, SC
  • ·         Logan Rice, Wuxi Big Bridge Academy, English Teacher, Wuxi China

Until recently, gap year programs have been uncommon in the United States. Many gap year programs developed over the past 20 years in a variety of different fields ranging from agricultural, education, civic service and internships. Now, thousands of recent high school and college graduates are exploring gap-year possibilities before and after college.

If you are unsure what you want to do after college or want to try something different, try a gap-year program. You will be able to travel, explore and go outside your comfort zone. I am nervous about my experience, but I am ready to try something unexpected.

Just because the field isn't in playing shape doesn't mean the front office isn't working hard.

Alumnus and Professors give Hopkinson ’15 a Spot in the Externship Lineup

–By Jocelyn Hopkinson

Prospective students will hear how helpful the Wabash faculty and alumni are when they visit for Honor Scholar Weekend. Admissions and students advertised the same things to me when I was a senior. Part of me thought these advertisements were exaggerated, but I recently discovered I was wrong—all I needed to do was take the first step and reach out.

I reached out to Professor of Economics Kealoha Widdows about potential summer-school options. I met with Professor Widdows and discussed my post-Wabash ambitions. She told me to work with Career Services and required I report back to her. I’ll admit my mother had urged me to visit Kane House for a year, but I never made it over. However, I found I was much more accountable when a professor requests something from me!

I worked with Scott Crawford and other Peer Career Advisors to update and improve my resume. More importantly, I was urged to contact Wabash alumni. Again, I took the first step and reached out to Mark Osnowitz ’12 via LinkedIn.

Just because the field isn’t in playing shape doesn’t mean the front office isn’t working hard.

 

A few summers ago, Osnowitz interned with the Normal Cornbelters, a professional baseball team in the Frontier League in Normal, IL. I have an interest in sports business and thought an externship with a small organization would be very beneficial because I could absorb all the business’ aspects.

Osnowitz was more than willing to help and played an instrumental role in me landing the externship. After a few messages on LinkedIn, Osnowitz contacted team President and Owner Steve Malliet and General Manager Kyle Kreger. Osnowitz put in a very good word for me. From that point on, it was up to me not to screw up and fortunately I was able to avoid any mishaps.

I spent between two and three hours per day with the office staff over spring break. Each day consisted something new and ranged from stadium management to ticket sales. The Cornbelters’ front-office staff only has seven full-time employees so the different departments are a one or two-man operation with the help of a handful of interns. The staff provided me with personal attention every day and was excited to help me learn, similar to the Wabash faculty.

My week started by shadowing Kreger. He oversees an umbrella of responsibilities including ticket sales, corporate sponsors, and community relations. He also holds the power to make personnel decisions, but leaves them to his coaches and scouting department.

“Ticket Sales Tuesday” occurred the following day. I met with Vice President of Ticket Sales Joe Rejc. Always looking to improve, Rejc explained how the team planned to increase ticket sales from last season. He reiterated what Kreger had told me, that more groups (churches, businesses, youth baseball teams etc.) would be targeted this season. After laying out the strategy, he showed me March’s game plan. Rejc and other sales members are required to hit specific sales numbers and if everybody accomplishes their goals, the team will increase its sales.

The other part of the revenue stream is corporate sponsorships. Director of Corporate Partnerships Lori Johnson met with me Wednesday to explain her job. She sells advertising space inside and outside the ballpark for local businesses such as outfield signs, box suites, and billboards. She also handles trades, which occur when the Cornbelters give advertising to a local business in exchange for that business’ services. For instance, if a new player has nowhere to stay, he may live in a hotel for a certain amount of time and the hotel will get free advertising at the Cornbelters games. The team doesn’t receive revenue from trades, but costs are less if not zero.

Kreger harped about starting out in ticket or corporate sales. He said every employer wants to know how he can increase his revenue and if you intern in a sales position, you can put that number by your name and quantify your skills.

Hopkinson ’15 saw a lot of faces of the organization in a short time

Stadium Operations Manager Ryan Eberle showed me the Corn Crib on Thursday. Eberle is responsible for a variety of tasks—stadium and locker room cleanliness, utilities, dugout and field conditions to name a few. He is also in charge of event and game-day logistics.

I spent my last day with Business Manager Heather Manint. She handles the team store, accounting, and other general business activities. Friday alone entailed of meetings with a health-care provider and sales tax auditor. 

I finished my job-shadow experience with a much better idea of sports business operations and where my interests lie. I plan to heed Kreger’s advice and look for an internship in ticket or corporate sales in the future—possibly even with the Cornbelters. The gentle shove from Professor Widdows and enthusiastic help from Osnowitz and Career Services made this possible.

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A Young Wally at the Chicago Stock Exchange

During my previous winter break, I did an one-month externship at Cheevers & Company on the floor of Chicago Stock Exchange with one of our prestigious Wabash alumni—John Castro. I met John during a career services event in downtown Chicago.  He is on the advisory board of the Security Traders Association of Chicago and he’s an institutional trader at Cheevers and Company. Being an Economics and Math double major; I wish to pursue a career in investment banking or consulting. So I thought it would be great if he could host me this winter for a job shadowing externship. Luckily, I talked to the right guy, a guy who eventually became my first mentor in the industry of finance.

Zuo ’16 gets his feet wet with an externship in Chicago

My externship started as soon as the semester was over. Working in the Financial First building next to Chicago Board of Trade in downtown Chicago gave me a completely different working experience. During this externship, I felt I was treated as an actual intern because everyone in the office was always willing to help patiently and took my questions seriously. At the very first week, Mr. Castro helped me go through most of the basic finance terms and concepts and taught me how to conduct effective finance researches. He showed me how the business was operated from different offices and how the stock trading was executed as a whole. Later on, he started to put me in front of different desks to see how different sectors of the business works.  I went to the back office to see how they do the daily clearing of all the trading records, traveled to the compliance office to see how they keep track of every executed stock, and I have been to the actual CBOE trading floor to see how brokers start the trade by making their first calls.  Castro not only helped me to get better comprehensive approaches to the stocks trading and finance world, but also helped me expand my social networks. I also helped my boss to write buy and sell tickets on a daily basis to better understand the nature of business.

I should say this is definitely the most unique externship going through Wabash Career Services.  Since the duration of this externship is one month- which is much longer than any other ordinary two-day job shadowing externship- I received more chances to interact with other people in the office. At the end of the externship, I could greet everyone in the office by their names and their normal lunch orders. And unlike other “employers,” my boss bought me launch every day. In order to show the special cares for the international minorities in the office, we had Chinese-Tuesday every week. Furthermore, being a freshman, I am a blank sheet of paper to this “messy” industry, so Castro assigned me different readings and independent research after work so that I could have better understand of the theories in terms of social practices. Furthermore, this externship expanded my horizon in the finance industry and helped me to build the relationship to the people who are working in stock exchange and investment banking.

 

Castro served as a mentor for Zuo during his internship, providing real-world experience in the world of finance

This externship is definitely unforgettable, not only for the knowledge I learned about the finance industry, but also because of the people I met during this winter break. John Castro is my boss who hosted me throughout my externship; he is a Wabash alumnus who graduated in class of 1997. He is my mentor more than my teacher in many ways, he is a real example of how a Wabash man think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively and live humanely. John is now considering hosting one Wabash every winter and if you are available and interested in Finance, then you can’t miss it. Eventually, I should say, so proud to be a Wabash man!

-Yiyuan Zuo Tiger ‘16

Clark ’16: Constructing a Foundation Through Externships

            During the first business week of January I participated in an externship at Nusurge Electric Company in Cleveland, Ohio.  I was able to get an externship there with the company because my uncle is the operations manager for the contracting company within Nusurge. During this externship I experienced the “business” side of construction. I was interested in seeing how an operations manager functioned in a construction company. I noticed how much the OP (Operations Manager) is out of the office. It is the OP’s job to visit the various construction sites to oversee the projects that the company is contracted for. The OP has many responsibilities including: checking with the foremen to see what their needs are, buying and distributing the equipment necessary to completing the job, calling business’/organizations in an attempt to get the company in on the projects. I learned how competitive the construction business is. There are a plethora of construction companies across the world, but there are only so many projects that need workers.

            In the three days of my externship I visited construction sites, handled important paperwork, functioned as a secretary, and networked with various foremen and owners of construction companies.

            Apart of performing day-to-day construction tasks, Nusurge has to purchase a myriad of expensive equipment that’s needed at the construction sites; and with that comes the bills from the companies that supply the tools to Nusurge. So, as part of my first day of work, I sorted hundreds of copies of the invoices that Nusurge received from the businesses across Ohio. Organizing the invoices from the company will prove useful. I learned that the invoices are like receipts that can be referred to if Nusurge was ever to be audited by the government. I also organized and sorted complex manuals and schematics containing the instruction necessary for the operation of the electrical wiring in the buildings Nusurge worked on.

            Additionally, I was asked to receive incoming calls for Nusurge and take down any information that was to be relayed to the manager. I analyzed multiple recorded messages on the voicemail where I also relayed information of high importance to the manager.

            By partaking in this externship I realized that I like to be in control of the projects and be the coordinator people refer to when they need something. I would rather coordinate behind the scenes then do the manual labor or be on the “front lines” per say. This experience is motivation for me to start my own business and be my own boss. I do not feel I could function at an entry-level job for very long. Watching the manager delegate and handle the higher matters rather than the trivial ones intrigued me.  I do not necessarily want to work in the construction business, but I learned that whatever job I do I want to be in charge. The externship at Nusurge taught me what it takes to be the leader in charge of a competitive business.

-A.J. Clark

Checking the Pulse on Hospital Administration–An Externship

I certainly wanted to stay as productive as possible during these past four weeks of winter break.  Thanks to the assistance of Career Services, I had the opportunity to spend three days conducting an externship with Terry Hamilton ’89.  Mr. Hamilton, an economics major in his time at Wabash, is President of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in suburban Detroit.  My exposure to the world of healthcare prior to this externship was limited to visiting a grandparent in a hospital, going to a check-up, or as a hospital volunteer in high school.  Administration may not be able to be seen from your back in a hospital bed; rather, it is what makes the process as seamless as possible (even though it may not always be all that seamless).

As a morning-time ritual, Mr. Hamilton and I reviewed two important sets of documents.  The first is a daily census of the hospital.  In my time at St. John’s, the hospital was experiencing numbers nearing capacity.  Upon my arrival, there were 22 patients in the emergency room who were going to be admitted to the hospital, but were waiting on a bed.  It’s great news for a hospital administrator when it comes to knowing “business is booming,” but by the same token, one cannot hope for high patient satisfaction ratings when waiting 12 hours or more for a room.  An important number that we looked at when it came to the operations of the emergency room is the LWBS, or left without being seen, number.  In the recent days of heavy patient volume, there were, at times, 10 to 15 patients who had checked-in to the emergency room, but had decided to leave before being seen by a physician.  By using linear regression through Excel, we were able to look at the number of ER visits and how that correlated to the number of LWBS patients.  With the equation you find from that linear regression, the question becomes: what number of ER staff will it take to minimize the LWBS number?

The second document set is a detailed safety report from the previous day.  Another great tool that St. John’s utilizes each morning is a “safety huddle,” where representatives from each department meet to discuss what occurred in the past 24 hours that was unsafe for patients.  This can range from falls to putting the wrong identification wristband to a delay in care.  It’s a great way for staff to constantly ask what can be done to better serve patients, and question what can be learned from situations where something does go wrong.

A side of the healthcare system that I didn’t know about prior to my visit was the role of a hospital president as a liaison between the hospital and physicians.  In the case of St. John’s, physicians at the hospital are not employed by the hospital, but instead choose to practice medicine there and choose to send their patients there.  Hospital administrators are forced to walk a tightrope and hold contract negotiations as though they were the GM of a professional sports franchise.  Essentially, the administrator must keep physicians happy in order to ensure that patients are happy and being treated with the utmost of care.

The experience reminded me, yet again, what great opportunities I’m afforded as a Wabash student.   I want to extend my thanks to Career Services, Mr. Hamilton for his kindness and time taken with me, and the entire staff of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital for making me feel so welcome and providing such a great environment for me to learn and observe.

 

Patrick Bryant ’16

Behind the Scene in Financial Advising–An Externship

Editor’s Note: Brian Beardmore ’14 discusses his recent externship with Greg Charnes ’00.

During my previous two years of enjoying the 4 week long break that the college is so kind to give its non-seniors, I decided to do what I could to ensure that I did nothing productive. I enjoyed my extra time as much as I could before I would get the expected slap in the face given by the ensuing semester. This time, however, I decided to do something that could actually helpful to my future and that was through the participation in an externship.

I spent two days in Newburgh, Indiana (just East of Evansville) shadowing financial advisor Greg Charnes ’00 of Ameriprise Financial. Although the stay was brief, the experience and knowledge that I gained were far more valuable and extensive than I could have hoped for. It gave me a much better idea of what goes on in the day-to-day necessary work, most of it in which clients do not see.

Charnes has quite a bit of clients between his Nashville and Newburgh office locations and frequently meets with his clients to discuss their finances and what to do with them. However, my visit happened to be on a two day period in which he did not have any scheduled meetings. To many people this may sound as if I would not be able to learn much, but he had quite a bit to accomplish despite the lack of meetings.

Much of Charnes’s work comes from the preparation of meetings through research and organizing. The stock value of numerous companies are extensively researched to give Charnes a good idea of where the company is, has been and could look to go in the future. He advises his clients on what stocks to buy and sell, so having quite a bit of knowledge on these companies is crucial. Organizing files for his clients also took up plenty of time. The updating of information was necessary to ensure that surprises are minimized when the meetings happen.

This type of work took up most of the time I was there and I could not be more thankful for what I learned. Not only did I learn a bit more about stocks and how to look at them, I also learned a bit more on how to deal with people. In an economy that has plenty of upward and downward swings, keeping clients at ease and encouraged can be a difficult task. So much of what goes into this job is being able to not only make the clients comfortable, but to build a relationship with them as well. Advisors want their clients to be able to trust them and to not think that they are just trying to make money off of them.

Charnes and his co-workers seem to have the attitude that they are not simply helping people make money; they legitimately enjoy their job and are looking out for others that need financial advice. I am incredibly thankful for the experience that I have and I recommend anyone who might be interested in that field to visit them.