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Marco Ortega ’17 The Business of Brewing

Wow did I have an interesting day this Friday.

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Ortega ’17

My fellow LABB Interns and I visited the IU Research and Technology Corporation and the Triton Brewing Company in Indianapolis. While Wabash alum Joe Trebley ’01 was quite the cool guy to talk to at IURTC, I’m going to be focusing on my first tour of a craft brewery. (I swear it’s not just because it involves the creation of beer!) I can genuinely say I learned a lot about brewing and all the factors that go into the business in general.

 Alum David Waldman ’93 is the co-founder of Triton and gave us a detailed tour of the brewery; he covered the history behind the building, (it used to be an army base,) what goes into creating a batch, and their unique competitive advantage. Triton prides itself on not only quality ingredients, but also having the highest quality water go into their beer. Considering more than 95% of the beer consists of water, they figured starting with ultra-pure H2O would give their beer a distinctive taste/advantage.
 It should be said that I not only learned what went into making their beer, I also learned that running a brewery isn’t easy. It is one of the most scrutinized goods in the economy; another good that is comparably more scrutinized is pharmaceuticals. As a brewer, you need to be aware of mandatory government regulations, how many bags of hops you have on hand, how much is expected to be brewed by a certain date, and many, many other constant concerns. Sure, you get to brew and create beer for a living, but you are still running a business that deals with ever-changing markets, demands, and competition.
Marco and Dave strike a pose at Triton Brewery

Marco and Dave strike a pose at Triton Brewery

I feel that this experience really broadened my horizon in terms of my perception of the craft-brewing industry. There are passionate brewers behind each brewery that go through the same creative struggles as David. There is much more than meets the eye in terms of difficulty in starting, running, and succeeding in craft-brewing. This trip also reminded me that one can follow their passion and bring it into their everyday career life and succeed. I feel very excited for my life after Wabash and to execute my ambitions as well.

I’d really like to thank the LABB Program at Wabash and also the Lilly Endowment for granting me this beautiful opportunity to explore the many facets of business, marketing, and entrepreneurship along with these on-site visit experiences.I know the things I learn and people I meet during these next few weeks will better prepare me for my life after Wabash.

Alejandro Reyna ’17 Because Someone Helped Me

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Reyna ’17

This past Thursday the LABB group visited two Wabash men in their nesting grounds. Joe Trebley, who is the Head of Startup Support and Promotion at the Indiana Research and Technology Corporation in Indianapolis (IURTC), and David Waldman the Co-Founder of Triton Brewing Company.

Talk about two distinct paths with more peculiarities. Joe and David both personify how a person works with unwrought materials and makes their own polished product that is their profession. What I learned from both of them is something you just cannot learn in a classroom.

While at IURTC Joe told us how he got to IURTC working with Startups with a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry. His story was filled with successes and failures and like and prudent Wabash Man, Joe said he learned more from his failures. Joe through those hurdles was able to blend “science and business,” the two things he saw himself wanting to work with. At IURTC, Joe aids IU students and professors take their research ideas and make them turn a profit. One of the great Startups that he is working on is changing the treatment for PTSD victims.

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LABB students, Zack and Alex share an umbrella while waiting for their food in front of Triton Brewing

That same day the LABB group visited Triton Brewing Company and we met David Waldman. David was an English major at Wabash and now owns Triton Brewing Company. David humorously gave us the ups and downs of how runs a successful business that, as he put it, produces a “controlled substance”.  It was a change of pace from being in an academic/professional setting at IURTC to then a brewery. What was the same with David and Joe is they both acknowledged that they were talking to us and giving up their time “because someone helped” them when they were a bit unsure of what they wanted to do. David and Joe knew maybe some of us might be unsure but that they were there to help us.

David and Joe did teach us a lot about what they were doing and how their Wabash education helped them get there. While a majority of LABB is in the classroom reading very interesting Harvard Business Cases, getting out interacting with successful alumni doing what they enjoy is also a very beneficial part in LABB. Many thanks to the Lily Endowment for this opportunity!

Delon Pettiford ’17 Real World Marketing Applications

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Pettiford ’17

During week three of the LAAB internship we transitioned to the ideas and strategies of Business of Marketing. Throughout the week we learned a numerous amount of relatable business terms for marketing, strategic marketing vs tactical marketing, and the importance of networking. Monday we all had given our own business pitches for a theoretical restaurant which allowed us to use some of these experiences in a real world situation by creating things like income statements, balance sheets, and marketing strategies. We have also been given great opportunities like meeting alumni such as Rob Shook IBM’s chief strategic industry solution. His talk about motivation, creating opportunities for yourself, and networking was great encouragement for us to reach out to alumni because they are here to help. He spoke of how he stood on alumni’s shoulders to reach his goals and as a Wabash man he owes it to the college to pay back his dues and help out the younger generations of Wabash students.

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LABB students finishing up their negotiation practice

Throughout the internship I’ve learned real world business situations from the many hands-on activities we’ve done throughout the internship, site visits of different start up business, and building relations and meeting alumni. I’ve also learned to speak “business” in the sense of learning many different business vocabulary and understanding all the paperwork behind starting and owning a business. I would like to give a huge thanks to the Lilly Endowment for funding the program. I’ve learned so much in the first three weeks that can be applied to many real world situations. With my Rhetoric major and Econ minor I plan to get into business marketing and then one day own my own business. This internship has opened my eyes to the actual work that goes into business and has motivated me to continue to follow my dreams because they are definitely obtainable with hard work and dedication. Thank you Lilly Endowment

Connor Rice ’17 Continued Education in Marketing

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Rice ’17

First off I would like to take a brief moment to thank the Lilly Endowment for providing me with the opportunity to take part in the LABB program. This week we welcomed our instructor Roland Morin, back from relinquishment of his role to Will Weber ’11 who is was versed in finance and took on the responsibility of imparting his knowledge onto us. At the beginning of the week we did our restaurant pitches that were supposed to one, give us an idea of what being an entrepreneur is like, two, to provide us with the experience to give pitches in front of judges who acted as potential clients, and finally as Roland delicately put it, “to never want to start a restaurant ever”.  I thought all the members of the Labb program did a fantastic job presenting their restaurant ideas to the judges and I quickly became aware of how innovative my fellow co-workers are.  My group in particular received the most investments from the judges so we were very excited that they found the family restaurant to have the most potential out of all the great ideas that the other groups presented.  Later that week we had Dean Raters come in and present his consulting project that presents a challenging but doable task.  My colleagues are excited to begin working on that project and I am sure they will be efficient and effective with their efforts.  With Roland back in the mix we

The LABB students sit and listen as Dean Raters explains their upcoming consulting project

The LABB students sit and listen as Dean Raters explains their upcoming consulting project

went through a Marketing 101 crash course that took us through the essentials of marketing and it gave us an opportunity to practice the strategies and concepts we learned in group activities.  After participating in the marketing immersion program and my brief experience with the Labb program I believe that marketing is the career path for me.  Roland’s expertise in the field has and will be valuable for myself and my co-workers for the duration of our internship and for possible future internships.  We capped off a successful week with guest speaker, Rob Shook talking about his career with IBM and the keys to having a successful career in business and in life.  I was moved by his words and he is definitely an alum that all Wabash men should aspire to become.  He has proven to be a successful man of the industry as well as a man of faith and for that I can call him a hero of mine.

Chris Szostek ’17 Hurdles in Financing

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-Szostek ’17

This week was the Financial Boot Camp. We were lucky enough to have Will Weber ’11 come into class to teach us everything we needed to know about the financial details of starting, maintaining, and operating our own business.  Personally, the largest hurdle that would come to my mind in starting a new business was generating the initial capital. It was always tough to get my mind around the amount of capital needed to start a business. I couldn’t understand how anyone did it! It seemed like you had to already have a boatload of resources to work with. How can anyone do it from nothing? All of my questions were answered and more. Will was very generous with his knowledge and gave all of the details on creating a start-up from nothing. Will taught us about where to find the initial capital and where to look for investors. It boiled down to four main avenues. Bank loans, angel investors, friends and family, and credit cards were the best solutions. We learned about the pros and cons of each source, and what to expect when lobbying for initial investments. We learned how to finance and how to budget our ventures. After looking at the hard figures, and learning how to map out our financial forecast, everything suddenly became clear.  Starting a business no longer seemed like a pipe dream. The LABB internship has already far surpassed my already high expectations, and it is only the beginning of week 3! I look forward to what else is to come, and I am very excited to learn how to build even more bridges to business. I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Lilly Endowment for funding this incredible program, Will Weber for lending his time this past week, and Roland Morin for taking the lead in the LABB program.

McHale Gardiner ’17 The Business of Finance

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Gardiner ’17

My name is Mac Gardiner and as you probably already know, I am currently an intern involved in the Liberal Arts Bridge to Business program at Wabash College for the summer of 2015.  We have just completed our second week of the program, which was an intensive and interactive week focused on finance.  The financial boot camp was ran by Will Weber, an alumni from the class of 2011.  Mr. Weber ran us through the three essential documents that a business will need in order to function: a balance sheet, income statement, and cashflow.  When examining these documents, we spent a particular amount of time focusing on factors a small business start-up would have to consider.

 

On Thursday, May 28, after spending the first two days describing the functions the three financial statements served, we began to construct one for an imaginary shoe store we were beginning.  Before we did this exercise, I never realized just how many factors have to be considered when beginning a business.  For a simple shoe store, we had to generate our number of employees, hours opened, location, pricing for the shoes, how much it cost for us to sell the shoe, and many more factors.  As we began to think of an aspect we would have to consider about the business, three more seemed to pop up.  It gave me just a glimpse of how much research and time spent developing ideas has to go into simply beginning a business, let alone running it when it is started.  There are many different factors that must be considered before even opening the store.

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Gardiner ’17 practicing Excel after taking part in a 1 week financial boot-camp

After we had developed our different factors, we began to assign costs to each one.  Now, if you were beginning your own business, these numbers would be figured through countless amounts of research of the market you are entering into.  For our sake, we estimated values based on our own experiences.  After assigning costs, we could finally construct an income statement in an Excel spreadsheet.  Excel allows you to easily calculate values and change the numbers depending on different scenarios.  Once we had built our expected income statement, we could then build out our other two financial statements, the balance sheet and cashflow.

Going through the financial aspects of running a business will force one to define their market, the product they are selling, and above all else, appropriately define for themselves what there business will be.  It forces you to develop the other aspects of your business appropriately because in order to have an accurate financial prediction, you must define what you are doing.  This week of finance has been very eye opening to say the least.  When running a business, at the end of the day it all comes down to the dollar figures and how you are generating more of it.  Going through and understanding the three essential financial statements any business needs truly helps one get  grasp on the entire ins and outs of business itself. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving me this opportunity to further my knowledge in finance and business in general.

Deryion Sturdivant ’17 Talking Business

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Sturdivant ’17

First week is down in the books. During our first week we were tasked with crafting a business plan for a variety of different restaurant types. Beginning this business plan has been eye opening as I am just being introduced to the business field. There is so much that goes into a single business plan and I am intrigued to learn the ins and outs of it, as we work on it the next two weeks. One of this week’s highlights was watching Shark Tank. I’d never seen this television show before. Watching entrepreneurs give pitches of a lifetime in front of four “sharks”, venture capitalists, gave me ideas for future endeavors. I was able to make connections to real life business, and our current business plan because of the show. Every company is backed by a strong business plan, as it is the foundation and glue to any successful company. Weston Gregg, who led the LABB program the first week, occasionally paused the show, to ask questions that kept us engaged. Often he would ask if we would invest in the entrepreneurs company, I’d like to think that investing in other people’s dreams is just as important as investing in your own. Next Monday we are planning on giving pitches of our own and I hope to use some of the concepts of presenting that that we were able to observe on Shark Tank. Many times on Shark Tank poor ideas are overshadowed by the strength of the presentation. It is my goal to be such a strong presenter that no matter the content, I am captivating and convincing. For example, the group of interns gave pitches about ourselves in order ascertain our strengths and weaknesses so that we could be divided into groups for our first business plans.  I take pride in my ideas and values, which is what I believe made my pitch strong. I was assigned to a group that I believe is going to be extremely successful. To be apart of the business field, we must be self-confidence, and put our best foot forward in every endeavor. Finally I would like to thank the generosity of the Lilly Endowment for providing me with the opportunity to take part in the LABB program.

The LABB students after introductions on the first day of their internship

The LABB students after introductions on the first day of their internship

Christian Rodriguez ’17 Productive Business Background

Rodriguez ’17

I would first like to take this opportunity to thank the Lilly Endowment for its generous support and investment in my education. The first week of the Liberal Art Bridge to Business (LABB) program has just been completed and my fellow LABB interns and I have already taken part in engaging exercises and activities to help us develop a better understanding for business and entrepreneurship. Some of these exercises included Power-Point presentations with the goal of improving our speaking skills and confidence in front of a live group of listeners. For example, our first task consisted of making a 5-minute presentation over a topic of our choice, with a wide variety of topics ranging from “Why Chipotle is the best restaurant in existence” to favorite sports teams and movie series’ on television. Keep in mind that after 5 minutes of presenting, many colleagues were encouraged to give positive feedback on how we each presented. Dean Oprisko was also present to provide helpful tips on how to give a more effective and convincing presentation. Tips ranged from body language and time management to voice intonation. I would like to thank Dean Oprisko for donating his time and efforts to the LABB program.

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Alejandro Reyna ’17 gives his 5-minute presentation in front of his fellow LABB interns

I felt it was very effective watching others being critiqued as well because I was able to learn from their presentations and polish my own. Preparation for the presentations included creating a personalized Power-Point with valid information and practice presenting to others on our own time. Practice was necessary until we could we could comfortably present our Power-Points within 10 seconds of the 5 minute mark. The significance of the 5-minute mark was to teach us how to provide valid information to business associates without taking up too much of their time because in the real world, time is money. Also, practice in front of others was necessary to make us more comfortable in presenting. This whole exercise was very helpful in getting me out of my comfort zone and communicating in front of large groups effectively and persuasively which is an essential ability in the business world. I look forward to the following weeks of the LABB Program and learning more about business and entrepreneurship!

Fenton ’15 Sunshine State

Left to Right: Adam Andrews '12, Stephen Fenton '15, and Andrew Shelton '03 at Paramount in front of their new robotic plastic injection press

Left to Right: Adam Andrews ’12, Stephen Fenton ’15, and Andrew Shelton ’03 at Paramount in front of their new robotic plastic injection press

Stephen Fenton ’15 - Halfway through my internship at Paramount Mold and Tool, I have learned numerous invaluable lessons regarding business and professionalism, as well as learning a lot about myself and how to function in a fast-paced, diverse, and completely different world. Paramount Mold is a plastic injection plant where various plastic products are manufactured, ranging from PVC pipes to remote controls to extremely important medical devices and parts. Aside from the plastic injection aspect of the factory, Paramount is unique in that it still constructs its own plastic injection tools (or molds), as well as tools for other plastic injection plants. Paramount Mold and Tool is owned and operated by Wabash alumnus Andrew Shelton ’03, and more recent alumnus Adam Andrews ’12 presides over the sales department. Although both men preside over numerous business duties, they are both highly invested in the factory itself, and the production of Paramount’s products from A to Z. In my effort to assist the Paramount staff in its continual growth, I have gathered data regarding numerous aspects of the factory and its production, and then transposing it into a digital format while providing initial analysis. I have also had the chance to compose, review, and edit workplace organizational systems and literature. In undertaking these activities, I have learned invaluable lessons regarding business, from plant management to logistics to pricing and sales, all the while learning more technical skills, from Excel to a workplace computer program called JobBOSS, and many other business important computer programs in between.

As great as my summer at Paramount has been, my time away from the office has been a tremendous experience in itself. I drove through six and a half treacherous hours of Florida traffic on the afternoon before my internship started and arrived at a place in downtown Fort Lauderdale that I had never seen and had a hard time imagining. Since then I have met great people and felt right at home; nearly everyone here is very accommodating and is willing to talk to you, which if you know me, is nice to see. I have never felt too far from home, for I’ve had family down here for what seems like half of my time here (one of the many perks of being birthed into a family of “Floridians”). I have also made numerous weekend adventures to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Miami, which is like nothing that I have ever experienced in my life. While dining at a famous Cuban restaurant and coffee shop deep in the heart of Miami, David Beckham and his family came in and sat down next to my family and I, all after an excellent, in-depth tour of the beautiful Marlins Park. Outside of the hustle and bustle of Miami, I was lucky enough to be taken out onto the deep sea with Wabash alumnus and fraternity brother Cory Olson ’85 and his live-in intern and classmate of mine, Hongli Yang ’15, where we collectively caught two amber jacks and two great and delicious gag groupers, all before I was able to catch my first ever sailfish. My summer in the Sunshine State has given me memories and lessons that will last forever, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I have been given through the Small Business Internship Fund.

Alan Ortiz ’17 LABB Introduces Business Concepts

Alan Ortiz ’17 - The Liberal Arts Bridges to Business was an excellent opportunity for me to see what the business world is like.  It is an excellent program full of fun and great opportunities to learn a great amount about the business world.  All seven weeks were a great experience and I will definitely recommend it to as many people as I possibly can next year.  Throughout the seven weeks I had many challenges to overcome and a great amount of work to do, but it was exciting work and I really enjoyed all the tasks that I had in hand, because I was able to work on many of my weak spots.  I was challenged to think critically everyday and I got to talk to many extremely successful alums.

There were many great experiences throughout the seven weeks, but my personal favorite was when we visited JMI and met with Wes Zirkel ’98.  He talked to us about the business side of marketing and how lawyers are extremely involved in marketing deals.  He also showed us the sexy side of marketing and I was extremely impressed by what he does.  I also enjoyed his stories about all of the work experience that he had and everything that he has done throughout the years.  I was extremely impressed by all of his achievements and all that he has done at such a young age.  At JMI we also got to see many exotic cars, which I thought, were really cool!

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Ortiz ’17 at JMI

The last week of the LABB program we presented our consulting project.  This was a project that we had been working on for about 5 weeks.  My group suggested to incorporate a new system called EMS.  I thought that our presentation was a great one and even though I did not have the chance to present I think that our work paid off.  In conclusion I would like to say that doing this program was something that has really helped me in being a more educated individual in the business world, and I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and our teacher Roland Morin ’91 for putting this internship together and allowing us to have this great opportunity.


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