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Connor Rice ’17 Building Critical Thinking, Writing, and Project Management Abilities

While undertaking my research internship with Professor Sara Drury, I found myself developing as both a writer and in my critical thinking skills.  These developments are exactly the reasons I applied for this internship.  My goal was to hone my writing skills, gaining precision.  Throughout my time at Wabash, the papers that I have written usually have a great thesis, but being able to be efficient with my writing to prove my points was a challenge.  I would often say to myself, “Oh, that sounds good, I’m going to put that down.”  I’ve learned this summer that method is not the way to write papers on any level.  I therefore had to develop my critical thinking skills to ensure that my writing was efficient and that I was clearly answering the research questions.

During this internship, my colleague Jack Kellerman and I analyzed deliberation transcripts that were conducted in a Biology class on the topic of climate change. We applied Goodnight’s theory of spheres of argumentation to form our thesis and analysis.  We were constantly referring to scholarly articles dealing with understanding the spheres of argumentation and their role in deliberation and diving into these transcripts to prove our arguments.

I learned a great deal throughout the duration of this internship.  As previously mentioned, this internship has given me the ability to write effectively and to think critically, which in the future I will apply to other professional and academic experiences.  Additionally, I developed my time management skills.  I learned how to effectively manage my time to ensure that I am meeting my deadlines.  As I mentioned earlier, Jack and I were constantly in the transcripts, and in the early part of the internship it was challenging to form a clear thesis and find evidence.  Professor Drury kept challenging us to create better arguments and prove our points.  I believe I can speak for Jack and say that we both were able to increase our ability to read and use what we read to interpret the deliberation texts.

This internship had both rewarding and challenging aspects, but what surprised me the most, was how quickly we were able to write 30 pages. The research position has also taught me to think differently in comparison to the CIBE internship I did earlier this summer.  I learned how to analyze texts and draw conclusions, which is a skill I can take with me wherever I go.  I am grateful to have had this opportunity, and the skills that I have learned in this internship will be used for the rest of my time at Wabash and in my professional career.

**Thanks to Wabash College and Division II for sponsoring this internship**

Jack Kellerman ’18 On the Right Path

There were many reasons I wanted to take part in a rhetoric research internship.  First, I wanted to learn more about the rhetorical theories of deliberation outside of my spring 2015 RHE-290 Deliberation course.  Second, I hoped to prepare myself well for a potential working relationship with the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative, as I will begin my position as a Wabash Democracy Fellow this fall.  Third, I desired an internship that would strengthen my writing—this was definitely the right internship for that!  Lastly, I was seeking an internship that would have structured times to mimic most jobs in the workplace and work in a team atmosphere, but still had an emphasis on individual time management and workload.

I learned a great deal through this internship. As a writer, I enhanced my outlining and organization techniques because of the internship’s focus on emphasis of quality work through creating specific, strong arguments in a scholarly paper.  The most challenging part of this internship was at times, I would feel lost on the objective of what we are trying to prove with a point, and found it difficult to come up with supportable claims.  This, I felt, was one of the most beneficial obstacles I came across in my academic life.  In the real world, a job with a single task in an office that is repeated daily rarely exists.  Everyday, there will be tasks given that have a ambiguous goal with no previously identified way to approach the problem or to tackle a solution with a set plan.  This, I feel, is the crux of the liberal arts degree; to be handed a task and to be able to think analytically and critically about how to approach this task using the breadth of knowledge and skills one possess. At the times, my co-intern Connor and I were navigating in gray areas and unsure of where to go in the paper, we had to rely on our intuition and some ingenuity with a dash of tenacity to get through the harder points of the drafts.  It was rewarding to not be spoon-fed the answer to, “Well, what do I do to accomplish that?”  Connor and I had to figure out that answer on our own, with guidance at the earlier stages from Professor Drury.

This internship has given me so much.  I have experience in researching as a rising sophomore in college that has sparked an interest in looking further into a potential career path in the academic field.  I have gained skills related to writing that was discussed in the previous paragraph.  It has given me a job I felt was mentally stimulating every time I walked into the office, and has furthered my intrigue with rhetorical analysis. Whether that interest transcends into a paper for a class, research, or a potential career in the law or the academic world, the experience reassured I am somewhere on the right path.  Additionally, it has given me a great base to reach for harder-to-land internships, and interpersonal skills in a team setting that are highly marketable.  I was extremely fortunate to have such an internship straight out of my freshman year of college, and hope to continue striving for amazing internships and opportunities to better myself.

**Thanks to Wabash College and Division II for sponsoring this internship**

Cole Crouch ’17 SBIF Cements Career Goals

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Jason Bridges ’98, Courtney Bridges (wife and business partner) of Nantucket Bike Tours with Wabash interns Cole Crouch ’17 and Michael Haffner ’16

Hello, from 30 miles out to sea!

My internship at Nantucket Bike Tours with Jason Bridges ’98, and his wife, Courtney, has been informative, active, and transformative. I am learning and developing a working knowledge about small business in the hospitality industry. I am building more professional relationships and social skills than I ever could’ve imagined. Some of the skills include developing self-awareness as it relates to others and my own attitude, values and behavior patterns (like smiling more). Additionally, I am always striving to succeed at daily or weekly goals and challenges.

Throughout the last month and a half, the day-to-day experiences working at NBT have taken the small business aspect of this internship to the brink. Everyday, Michael Haffner ‘16, Jason, Courtney, and I, the NBT team, lead at least two bike tours – a town view and tour out to Cisco Brewery. But aside from leading daily bike tours, Michael and I are constantly developing social media campaigns, networking door-to-door with our business cards/brochures, creating advertising strategies with hotels and other local businesses, learning QuickBooks, editing the website, and booking more bike tours! Together, the NBT team makes simple and complex decisions in areas such as marketing, pricing, website design, etc., around the dinner table, over delicious coffee at the Handlebar Café, or during an intense game of euchre.

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Crouch applies some Small Business elbow grease to the NBT equipment

Learning how to effectively compliment others, as well as understanding others’ motivations, interests and desires have been the single greatest lessons I’ve learned this summer. In his novel, How To Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated, “The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.” Every week, we are reading a new chapter in the novel and then applying Carnegie’s lessons to our everyday experiences.

Although I’m interning 861 miles away from Indianapolis, after just day 10 on the island, Nantucket began feeling like a second home. Ever since I arrived off the ferry, Jason and Courtney have fully immersed my fellow interns and I in the community and culture here on the island. Whether it is biking hundreds of miles around the island, running in a weekly community 5k run, attending the Maria Mitchell Red Tie Soirée Gala at Sankaty Head Golf Club, or volunteering on a Saturday evening at the Comedy Festival, we are continuously making our presence known as engaged community members and leaders.

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Crouch and Haffner with Courtney Bridges

Overall, this internship has challenged my goals and career ambitions in more ways than I ever imagined. My two dreams of owning my own business and becoming a lawyer have been even more cemented this summer. I will carry with me the experiences and lessons, as well as relationships and memories for a long time. I look forward to applying them in the future.

I would like to thank all of the alumni contributing to the Small Business Internship Fund. I am extremely thankful for my opportunity at Nantucket Bike Tours, which has been made entirely possible through the efforts of alumni at Wabash College.

Daniel Thompson ’17 Fourth Street Law ‘Suits’

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Wabash intern Daniel Thompson ’17 at Legal Aid Society of Louisville

For my entire college life, I have wanted to become an attorney.  Walking down Fourth Street, the business hub of Louisville, I watched the suits hustle back and forth from their offices to their meetings to their cars and to their equally well-dressed colleagues.  This summer, I have had the opportunity to be a shadow following these individuals.  No longer am I pretending to counsel clients in a mock trial; I am sitting down with real clients and real attorneys to discuss real legal matters.  Each morning, I get to dress up and walk down the business hub with all the other attorneys, and for a brief moment, I feel like I have accomplished my aspiration to become an attorney.  But then I exit the elevator, open the door to Legal Aid Society, and enter my office where I realize how much more I have to learn until I become a real lawyer.

Nothing can compare to real, raw, hard experience, especially when it comes to learning law.  For years, I have heard that you don’t learn to become an attorney in law school but in a law office instead.  For the past several weeks working at Legal Aid Society, I have learned how to file divorces with the courthouse, how to request expungement records from the law clerk downtown, how to navigate the Louisville legal archiving network, how to research attorney profiles, how to analyze client demographics, how to conduct myself around clients professionally, how to interact with other attorneys in a business environment, and most importantly, how to become a young professional.  I don’t remember reading any of those course listings in the law school catalogues.  Already, I feel that I have an advantage over law school prospects because of this summer experience.  Not only have I attained a plethora of legal knowledge, but I have begun to build an invaluable network.

Two weeks ago, I fumbled aimlessly through piles of legal documents in search of what an attorney called a uniform citation.  I remember foolishly nodding my head after receiving these instructions as if I knew what the hell a uniform citation looked like.  Wanting to impress the attorney, I set off down Fifth Street, entered the legal archives building, and confidently requested case #21-CI-000972 from the dead-eyed law clerk.  After writing down the case number, the clerk disappeared for a few minutes behind the legal document labyrinth.  He returned with what must have been a thousand page case file.  There was a motion to appear in court, a lengthy legal brief, exhibit A through exhibit F, a subpoena, a crumbled receipt from Wal-Mart, a copy of a fake ID card, and even a transcript of a 5-second conversation.  Hidden somewhere in this ogre of a file was a small sheet of paper labeled uniform citation, and the thought of finding it made me want to hurl.  Luckily, an attorney with greying hair noticed the panicked look on my face and asked if he could help. I smiled and politely asked if he could help me find the document. Of course, he brushed through hundreds of pages for what seemed like five seconds and pulled out a small yellow paper titled uniform citation.  He smiled back at me and reminisced with me his days as an intern.  We sat there and chatted about the law profession for at least 15 minutes before I remembered I needed to return to work and deliver the document.

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Thompson with fellow Legal Aid Society interns

I see Mr. Reever, a successful divorce attorney in Louisville, almost every day at the court house now, and he knows my name.  Mr. Reever is one of several attorneys who have selflessly paused their busy day to interact with me.  It’s through these daily interactions that I have been able to develop a network of well-known attorneys and legal professionals.  Even inside the office at Legal Aid Society, I have the opportunity to follow the attorneys to the courthouse and watch them in action.  Sometimes I’m able to stay after a trial and chat with the judges about the cases.  I get to hear how both sides navigated their way through arguments and how successful their approaches were.  If the judge is in a particularly good mood, he or she will ask me to stay for the day to observe some other high-profile cases.  Three weeks ago, I was able to watch a heated jury trial.  There were objections, there was crying, there was laughter, there were gasps, and there were cheers.  A few times, it seemed more like a reality television show than a court room.  It’s during these moments that I am most excited to be a lawyer because I remember it’s not about writing, or arguments, or procedures, or even the law.  It’s about people.

Law school seems to approach faster and faster into my life, and this internship at the Legal Aid Society has illuminated that path.  It has reaffirmed my aspiration to become a lawyer, and it has heightened my dedication.  Without this internship, I would be miles behind my competition.  This internship will not only give me an experience that I can proudly discuss in my next job interview, but it will give me invaluable skills necessary to become a successful lawyer.  Maybe one day, I’ll need to find a uniform citation for my own client.  Luckily, I’ll know exactly where to go, who to ask, and how to find it.

 

 

 

Michael Haffner ’16 Takes “On” Nantucket

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Haffner ’16 with fellow Wabash intern Cole Crouch ’17

As I searched for internships this summer, I knew I wanted to do something unique that would have a lasting effect on my life.  I was longing for an internship experience where I truly had to “buy into” the business.  I wanted an experience where I felt like I could make a difference, learn lifelong lessons, and think on my feet.  My internship at Nantucket Bike Tours with Courtney and Jason Bridges ’98 has met and exceeded all of these expectations.

I have learned many things while leading bike tours around this beautiful island 30 miles out to sea.  The first lesson I learned was that, when running a small business, one must be “on” at all times.   Whether eating out at a restaurant, walking through town, or eating dinner at home while booking a bike tour for the next day, a small business owner must always be “on.”  In a tight-knit community like Nantucket, one must be smiling, friendly, and eager to seek conversation with others at all times!

Another valuable lesson I have learned thus far is to be involved in the community.  Whether volunteering at a local event, supporting a friend’s endeavor or even just showing up to town meetings, it is important to be involved.  Not only does this help create relationships you may not have had, but it also shows that you are a leader in your community.  We have been given the privilege of a Wabash education and in turn, we have an obligation to give back and lead when possible.

One of my goals for the summer was to become more comfortable and confident in social environments.  In addition to reading and analyzing Dale Carnegie’s How to Make Friends and Influence People, Courtney and Jason have put Cole Crouch ’17, Kazimir Koehring ’18, and myself in social settings where we need to interact with others.  We discuss the importance of body posture, eye contact, and confidence.  Being a naturally shy person, this was difficult for me at first.  However, after attending events such as the Maria Mitchell Gala, the Samuel Owen Art Gallery, and the Nantucket Comedy Festival, I have become more comfortable when seeking conversations and approaching others.

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Jason Bridges ’98 (center) with wife Courtney are hosting 3 Wabash interns through the Small Business Internship Fund in summer 2015. Haffner ’16, Crouch ’17, and Koehring ’18 are working in both of the Bridges’ businesses: Nantucket Bike Tours and The Handlebar Cafe, for a broad small business operations experience. Bridges have hosted many interns during their 4 years in the SBIF program.

In addition to these great lessons, I have improved my ability to think on my feet.  It is impossible to predict what will happen on a bike tour or where the day will take us.  When running a small business, one must be open to change and have a stable mindset when challenges arise.  Whether we’ve been picking up last minute bikes for a tour, fixing bikes, or scheduling last minute customers, I have learned to make quick, responsible decisions.

As a rising senior interested in a career in dentistry, I am grateful to be learning these lessons now.  Meeting different people on the bike tours each day, attending community events, and always being “on,” have given me a glimpse of the relationships, interactions, and insights that are all a part of running a successful small business.

I believe that my entire experience so far will enhance my ability to practice dentistry one day and will allow me to enjoy the relationships I build with my patients.  I am thankful that Wabash is able to provide great opportunities like this through the Small Business Internship Fund.  I see great value in experiencing a small business first hand and I look forward to learning more throughout the summer.

Taylor Miller ’16 Venture Analysis/Assessing the Squeeze

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View from Miller’s workspace at Option3

My name is Taylor Miller and I write to you from beautiful Santa Monica California where the Small Business Internship Fund has allowed me to intern with Option3, a company that takes medical technology from concept to commercialization. At Option3, it is all about assessing each opportunity and mitigating risk to maintain as much control as you can within the business model, which I think is fascinating. This kind of operation takes vision. That is where my boss and Wabash Alumnus James Dreher comes in. One of my favorite quotes and mottos to live by is “Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze.” In this industry, you have to be fully aware of what else is out there and how you are going to make your product the number one product among its competitors. That means researching every facet of the operation before pursuing it financially or building it in the workshop. This has been my job for the past month; to assess the squeeze. I am a venture analyst and I research the market size, regulatory path, risk load, reimbursement, ramifications of device failure, and even intellectual property. Patent searches have become my enemy, but I have learned so much about the precision and understanding of leverage needed to be an entrepreneur. Aside from researching, I have spent my summer here traveling up to San Jose for a business meeting one week and the next going into surgery to observe laparoscopic specimen removal. This internship has in no way been one-dimensional. I have been meeting with and discussing current projects with engineers, doctors, and finance experts where I am the only one in the room without a PhD or MBA. I was kind of hoping some of their genius would rub off on me.

So of course this internship has offered an opportunity to absorb and learn very valuable life lessons as well as real world knowledge, but I would not be doing this post any justice if I didn’t mention my summer outside of work. Santa Monica is very different from anything I’ve experienced in Indiana. Back home things are simple and quiet. Here, the traffic never stops and the people are even more non-stop. That’s what I like about living here though; there are so many motivated individuals. It doesn’t matter if the goal any given person has in mind is a productive one or not, they are driven to achieve it. Street performers line the streets when the sun goes down, and when it comes back up you can count on a herd of fitness enthusiasts running the boardwalk. I’ve also made my way into the city of Los Angeles for a Dodger baseball game and to a Street League Skateboarding competition, which is the professional league for skaters. It seems like there is always something going on here; in fact, tonight there is a concert on the beach that I’ll be attending after work. Thanks for reading, but now I should get back to work.

Ryan Anzalone ’16 Gaining Experience at a Non-Profit

During my internship, I have had the opportunity to work at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in Fort Wayne, IN. The Regional Partnership is a non-profit economic development organization on the cutting edge of collaborative regional development. Allen County and its 9 surrounding counties have come together and dedicated time, money, and other precious resources to the betterment of the entire region, with the goal of building, marketing, and selling Northeast Indiana to increase business investment and bolster the local economy.


Anzalone2As an intern, I am involved in almost all aspects of the Partnership. I have assisted almost everyone in the office with at least one project related to the work they do, including by not limited to, marketing, investor relations, business development, data analytics, and general administration. My main projects, however, have been related to Vision 2020. Vision 2020 is a regional initiative designed to transform Northeast Indiana into a top global competitor by focusing on a common mission to develop, attract, and retain talent. There are many aspects to the Vision 2020 project, but the main part is called the Big Goal Collaborative, led by Project Director, Ryan Twiss. The Big Goal Collaborative (BGC) is focused on helping to provide support at every point, cradle to career, so each child will exercise his or her right to succeed in school and life, and will become an economically prosperous adult. It is pretty clear why it is referred to as the ‘big’ goal, because it is essentially the all-encompassing task of uplifting an entire region’s population to be the best that it can be.
Anzalone1Because of the broad nature of the BGC, and the amount of time it takes to complete a project, it is impossible for me to help with everything, however there are some cool projects blooming right now, and my internship came at a perfect time to provide critical assistance in these areas. The two main projects I have worked on are the Talent Moves Here initiative, and the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of the region. Talent Moves Here is a regional initiative, led by the Regional Partnership, which is working to bring elite talent to fill the jobs at local businesses.
This can take a lot of different forms, and part of my work has been researching what the best tactics can be for tackling this goal. The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem refers to the small business climate in the region, and most of my work has revolved around researching and creating a road map for the ecosystem, and where the regional strengths and weaknesses are.

The non-profit world is much different than any environment I have worked in before, and everyone is extremely busy due to challenging nature of funding new positions at a non-profit organization. I can tell that my presence over the last few weeks has helped the Partnership continue to lead to region toward economic success. I don’t think this is the career for me, but I am glad to have gained this experience. I would like to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for providing me with the opportunity to work at this great organization.

 

 

Michael Krutz ’18 Setting Himself Apart from the Rest

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As a Small Business Immersion Intern, I am experiencing an internship unlike anything most college sophomores are getting the chance to this summer.  While working primarily from my home computer, it may seem that an internship based off of a laptop would have little to no work. Well, I can attest that none of that is true.  My internship is with an e-commerce start-up for consumers and businesses where I am independently responsible for projects that the rest of the team rely on.

Some of my initial projects include reviewing and updating our web knowledge center, consisting of thousands of financial management tools (and making use of my economics classes hourly!). Keeping all of our information up to date is crucial. Another project that I have been working with is the competitor analysis for our individual firm. Taking a look at similar services around the market allows for the small business to become more efficient through improvements at every step.  While undertaking these tasks I am in constant contact with my business immersion mentor and Wabash alum. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening we have individual phone calls where we discuss our weekly goals, current tasks and jobs for me to do.  Then on Saturday mornings we have our weekly whole team conference call with colleagues from across North America.

While I have been working for about one month now I am excited for what the rest of the summer will bring.  I recently spoke to a former intern who was extremely impressed with all the work that has been accomplished since he was last working the previous summer. This is an incredible opportunity to be able to be a key component to the launching a new service that is in its closing stages of final development. Thanks to Wabash College, Career Services, and the Small Business Internship Fund, I am able to experience something this summer that very few college students can attest to being a part of.

James Kennedy ’16 Experience is Better than Money

3Blackdot Influencer Marketing Agency

Los Angeles, California

JK1In my first 2-weeks here in Los Angeles I’ve learned two important things besides the fact that the food in amazing: (1) You never know where you will go/who you will meet and (2) be prepared to take on roles you didn’t expect. At 3Blackdot I’ve met and worked with some of the biggest gaming influencers in the world including VanossGaming, a YouTube comedy gamer that has over 2.3Billion Views on his channel. After showcasing some of my design skills for the company, Vanoss independently contracted me to design a new logo for his YouTube channel that will represent his brand to 12.6 million subscribers/viewers. While working for 3Blackdot as a Content Development and Talent Management Intern, I received additional contracted work by networking around LA including designing marketing materials for Undertow Films, a production agency with shows on a variety of networks such as AMC, Discovery Channel, and ESPN. Choosing to Intern for 3Blackdot with the SBIF, instead of another internship program, was one of the best and hardest decisions of my life. I was in a tight situation where another Internship offered extremely competitive wages in Carmel, Indiana which made me think about what I wanted to get out of my last Summer as an Undergrad. Ultimately it’s not about the money. It’s about what you take from the experience. My professional development thus far cannot simply be described in a one page blog, but let me give it a shot.

For starters, I live in Pasadena and commute the 1hr 30mins twice a day to and from work. I live with Clinton Jones, or Pwnisher, a YouTube Short Film Director that you would recognize if you watch the RocketJump YouTube Channel. I’ve learned from Clint that California pizza is worth having 3 nights in a row and that having a full on Nerf Battle with 5 guys in their mid twenties is still acceptable.JK4

In my second week working for 3Blackdot, Luke Stepleton, Wabash class of ‘03 and President of 3Blackdot, schooled me in YouTube101 and the power of organic marketing. It’s incredible to see just how influential YouTubers are when it comes to driving traffic to certain campaigns and events. My job at 3Blackdot (as an intern) is to visualize the success and impact that these Influencers have made on millions of subscribers/followers around the world through dynamic proposal decks for companies like YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. I had a chance to socialize with thousands of Influencers at this years E3 Convention, even sharing a drink with Comedian Andy Milonakis at the YouTube Ace Hotel rooftop party. Other events that I attended was the red carpet Walking Dead E3 exclusive party, and the Xbox/Twitch VIP party where I networked with Nintendo employees and celebrated with MiniLadd, a YouTube comedy sensation. In LA, the work pays off.

To date, I’ve designed agency proposal decks for integrations with companies such as Verizon, 29/29, Legendary Films, Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, Chideo, ZigZagZoom, and many more. In the past week, I’ve learned to not only design effective proposal decks but I’ve also taken on the task of designing, modeling, and animating additional video game characters for a new multiplayer PC game.

When It comes to describing this internship, the best way to put it is that I have a big role to play as an Intern, in working on not just one project, but all projects. I do believe that I will be coming back soon.  If you have any questions about what it’s like to live, work, and play in LA feel free to email anytime! Consider taking an internship in LA despite the cost. It is well worth it.

Kazimir Koehring ’18 Handlebar Cafe: This is Nantucket

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Hey, I’m Kazimir Koehring, an incoming sophomore at Wabash College. Thanks to the Small Business Internship Fund, I am currently enjoying my summer 30 miles out to sea on the elegant island of Nantucket. Jason and Courtney Bridges of The Handlebar Cafe hired me as a marketing intern but I can say I knew, just from the interview, that this internship was going to be so much more than marketing. During the first month here, I have learned SO much about coffee. In reaction to this new coffee knowledge I know that I’ll be walking down the coffee aisle one day and our head barista Hannah will pop into my head convincing me not to buy pre-ground coffee and listing all the reasons why. From latte art to adjusting the espresso grind, Hannah has taught me everything I know about coffee and it has blown my mind.
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Speaking on the Handlebar’s employees, Hannah is perfect for Jason and this business. Driven and devoted to coffee, Hannah is specialized enough for Jason to be able to trust her to make important decisions concerning the coffee Handlebar is serving. This consistency creates a quality product and gives Jason a chance to commit more attention to other components of the business. Having this specialized knowledge, Hannah is also able to train people like me: someone who has no prior knowledge in coffee. Thanks to Hannah, Jason’s philosophy on hiring is now based on potential for growth. He sees the constant customer interactions at the Handlebar as strong learning points for any employee. Making espresso drinks can be learned but being able to engage others and being nice is something that is built into one’s core.

When running a small business there are several components that need to be accounted for that may otherwise be overlooked by customers. There are the previously stated parts, such as having strong employees, that are necessary to run a successful business and then there are parts that are essential to any business. Paying rent, keeping a steady product supply, having an opening/closing procedure, and scheduling are just several of the overlooked components within a small business that I’ve seen so far. Since myself and two other Wabash men are living with Jason and Courtney, we hear about these overlooked instances on a daily basis. For a small business to even have a chance, there needs to be a strict awareness for the little things. Once the little things are taken care of there are more opportunities to look at the bigger picture and search for expansion.

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kaz2While learning about the essentials and necessities of a small business, I see many opportunities for the Handlebar to grow. One of those is through community outreach. The Handlebar is “a community space disguised as a coffee shop,” and we have to work hard to uphold this statement. We get out in the community and volunteer as we will for “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” that takes place on June 29th and as we have already for “Bike Nantucket.” We also get out and run every Tuesday night for Brant Point Runners Club.

Along with volunteering, we uphold our community space by establishing a strong social media presence. We show support for events and groups on island, such as The Nantucket Film Festival and the Maria Mitchell Association, by posting pictures that have the potential to bring business to both parties. Without this collaborative attitude in Nantucket, it would be difficult for us to accomplish a community space disguised as a coffee shop; but when you walk into the Handlebar, you can just feel it.

When I am not working on the floor being a barista or cashier, I am searching for new ways the Handlebar can maintain its goals as well as advance them. Along with finding events to hold outside of the Handlebar, such as the sunscope, and finding creative posts to support local events, such as the Espresso Film Reel, I am also looking into how the Handlebar can expand. I want to pursue expansion because I see opportunities where the Handlebar can thrive. Some of these ideas will take substantial amounts of money that a small business might not have. I have to do baseline research and present a plan before these ideas can begin. This is a difficult task for me, but I am looking at this as a possible larger project that can challenge me and produce results for the Handlebar.

 

 

 


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