Ben Shank ’16 – I am very thankful for the opportunity provided to me by Wabash’s Small Business Internship Fund. It has allowed to me work a new product launch on a financial software project at a Chicago-based company, under the supervision of a Wabash alumnus. He has gained a wealth of knowledge about the business world since graduating from Wabash with an economics major. He has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and received an MBA at the University of Chicago. This is all very relevant to my future pursuits as I am currently a rising junior economics major hoping to work in the financial field. I also hope to one day get an MBA at a top school like UChicago.
I have been able to use skills I picked up at my previous internships at AMI Investment Management (also founded by a Wabash grad) in terms of competitor research. While I was primarily researching stocks at AMI with the intent to purchase them, now I am researching companies from a competition standpoint. The internship has helped me think about “marketing” in a whole new way. Before, I had associated marketing with artistic logos and creative jingles, none of which are really my forte. However, I now see marketing as gaining an understanding of your current surroundings and peers and then identifying the need. This will serve as valuable insight as I pursue a further career in business and finance.
Another interesting aspect of the internship has been the exploration of personality types and the way these impact consumer behavior. One of the first things I did upon starting the internship was to take a Myers-Briggs personality test. The (free and online) test asks you to answer about 80 questions, basically about how you operate. I found that I am an ENTJ type; look it up – it’s fun to see how well your type describes you. The goal is to not only identify what work habits work best for yourself, but also to attempt to identify how each “type” of consumer will respond to different products and features.
One of the great features of this internship is that it allows me to live in Chicago. While I work remotely, typically from a coffee shop or my apartment, I do get to meet with my boss a couple times a week to touch base. This internship forces one to develop time management skills since there are no set hours. Luckily, Wabash is structured to the point that you either sink or swim based on time management skills or the lack thereof. I highly recommend guys interested in a career in business or entrepreneurship to look into interning here through the Small Business Internship Fund in the future!