Zach Leander ’18 Major Markets-Interning at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership this summer has been an outstanding experience. Being my first internship, I have learned so much about myself and so much more about a true professional environment. Landing this internship was extremely exciting for me. Being my first true interviewing process, I was quite nervous. However, being able to go through a couple rounds of interviews taught me so much about the process and was excellent experience for me. Moving to Ft. Wayne on my own for a few months and being 4 hours away from home was another brand new atmosphere. This has taught me an immense amount about myself, and general life skills needed to have a productive life outside of a work environment.
During my time with the Regional Partnership I have done countless miniature research projects. I have also been fortunate enough to experience some real world site visits, investor and county meetings, and general business gatherings. My team would target trade shows in certain parts of the world where promising companies might be located and set up meetings with them. A big part of my research work was to gather all available information on these trade shows, companies, and some surrounding demographics. Using a couple different search engine databases and sometime just plain Google I would put all the information into an Excel document and send it off to my advisors so they could reach out. Doing this work helped me develop productive researching skills and of course excel work. I found that the Excel course at Wabash was extremely helpful in preparing me for this internship.
The best part for me was when we were able to land a company and get them to explore their options on relocating here. I was able to go out with them and see first-hand everything they looked for in site selection, investor meetings, real estate deals, construction, country tax incentives, etc. These visits really opened up my eyes and gave me a further understanding of everything that comes into play when a business is looking to relocate and or expand. It was fantastic for me to actually witness these things first hand, instead of it being in a classroom or someone telling me about it. I was able to learn more about different career paths and gain a feel for various professional environments.
Overall, this experience could not have been any better. I’ve enjoyed working at the Partnership over the past 8 weeks and I am extremely grateful for having this opportunity.