William Yank ’19 LABB 2016- Over the course of the Liberal Arts Bridge to Business internship we focused on a consulting project with Wabash College that has supplemented me with the ability to test all of the skills we have learned thus far. An exciting learning opportunity arose as the project progressed. We as LABB interns learned the importance of a confidentiality agreement and what goes into such an agreement. The most valuable experience out of the consulting project, I found, was the teamwork aspect. After seven weeks of working on numerous business plans, negotiation teams, and business pitches together we all grew to know each other very well. Once, we were able to identify our strengths and weaknesses it made delegating the respective tasks to the consulting project that much easier. On top of that, it allowed us to work in areas we enjoyed and interacted with teammates who thought similarly to ourselves. I found that our consulting project provided an in-depth, real life example that forced the utilization of the various skills we have picked up since starting LABB. Another aspect of the project that I found beneficial was the collaboration with an actual institution. Communication between Wabash College and LABB interns proved to be crucial. Budgeting information, the project’s goals, the focus of the project, were all debriefed to us and facilitated a more conducive environment to come to a solution. Overall, the consulting project is not only a real-life application of the skills I discussed but a story I will be able to utilize in the future. Being a part of an assignment that directly impacts my school made the situation all the more real. Lastly, I want to thank the Lilly Endowment for supplementing me with this opportunity because the knowledge and experiences I have gained through this internship will be immensely beneficial as I pursue future internships and career paths.
Taylor Chilton ’17 LABB 2016-When starting this program I went in blind and did not know what to expect from this opportunity. Now I cannot believe all the experience I have gained from entering this program. From writing business plans, to financials, to being LEAN certified, and meeting alumni who may put my life on the right path in the near future, this internship has been fantastic. I cannot thank Roland enough for the opportunity. During week 6 of our internship we worked on our business plan for our application idea. I was in charge of what we would be spending our money on in terms of advertising, and also how we planned to make a profit. When doing prior presentations we discovered that our biggest revenue stream would be from data collection. My group then made that a priority by looking at all the ventures that we could sell to and generated a number for our profit. Going through this tough and tedious process has taught me a lot about the importance of small details and that revenue and profit can be generated from a multitude of areas. In the end, the goal is not to be straight and narrow with your idea of success, but to be flexible in the fact that life will push in a different direction, but to the same end goal. Thank you to the Lilly Endowment for enabling me participate in this program. It has been a blessing.
Stojan Krsteski ’18 LABB 2016-First, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment, the CIBE, and Wabash College for making this opportunity possible. The LABB Program has been extremely helpful so far. I have enhanced my knowledge immensely through the readings and the activities we have done each day. I have also learned about what goes into starting up and operating a business, and what it takes to keep it going.
Week 3 has been a great learning experience. The main focus was learning about marketing. By looking at a business from a financial standpoint, marketing is one of the most important things that a business should focus on. It was impressing to learn that businesses allocate most of their money on marketing. Without marketing, would the consumer know about the product that is being sold by the business? As the days passed by during week 3, this became a rhetorical question.
We have also learned that marketing isn’t all about commercials and radio ads. There is a lot more that goes into it. Before a business would sell their product, they need to identify what goes into the marketing mix: the product or service, the place where this product would be set, promotions such as offers and discounts, and price of the product. Identifying the 4 P’s would maximize the business’ profits because they would be targeting specific markets. Therefore, a business needs to be very careful with how they promote their product to the public.
In addition to that, Dr. Sara Drury gave us a talk on how not to be “that guy”. She stressed how important it is to be always cautious of how we present ourselves to others, and also how important it is to always market our best selves in the workplace. Especially now with social media, it is really easy for employers to form ideas on how a potential employee might be just by looking up their name on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Satchel Burton ’18 LABB 2016-Writing the business plan was a very interesting yet slightly challenging experience. Before this program, I didn’t even know this kind of document existed, let alone written one before. My business partners and I basically had to create a description of our business venture and all of its unique facets. For example, there was a Financials aspect to it as well as a marketing, risk management, and industrial analysis. As you can imagine, there was quite a large amount of work for us to do. The first step we took as a team was to divide up the work so that we could each focus on specific parts and create quality pieces. I was in charge of the Industry Analysis, Competition Analysis, and the Executive Summary.
For the industrial analysis I just took a look at the market in which our company would be competing in, which was the coffee creamer market, and I described its current and future state. Next, I looked at all of our competition and mainly focused on how we could gain an advantage over these other firms. Finally, the executive summary was just a quick summary about what our business venture was and what it entailed. When we all finished our own respected parts we then put them together as a team. This required some editing and conversing so that we were all on the same page. For the finishing touches, we added graphs, important images, and a nice laminated covering so that it presented nice to the investors.
After we completed the business plan, I realized how important it is when really starting a business. There are a few main jobs that the plan does. One, it gives your business organization. It really covers all the areas that need to be addressed and the plan itself forces you to consider every different component and how it all comes together. Second, the business plan is one of the first things investors see when they look at your business. So it is important to have it clear, concise, and filled with useful content that would convince the investor why he or she should put their money into your business. Third, the business plan keeps you accountable. There are tons to work on when starting a business. The plan forces you to make sure you have all your components down and that you are knowledge about every corner of your venture.
All in all, writing the business plan was a great experience and it helped me and my group really understand what our business did, how it would do it, and when it do it. It made our ideas into concrete plans in which we could execute. Thank you very much to the Lilly Endowment for giving me such a great opportunity, I am truly grateful for this program.
Kyle McAtee ’19 LABB 2016-Week five in the LABB program was a success, full of business pitches and field trips. The mini business pitches took place on Monday and Thursday, while the most fulfilling events occurred on Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday my colleagues and I went to The Engledow Group in Carmel, IN and Friday took us to Triton Brewery in the Lawrence area of Indianapolis. I really felt the Wabash connection with those business owners, but I also learned some things as well. The thing I mostly got out of this week was the realization that the Wabash Liberal Arts degree prepares you for anything, and with that, I’ve really gained confidence in the ability that Wabash has to help me reach my business potential.
John “Jack” Leppert ’19 LABB 2016-Throughout the duration of the LABB program, students have been exposed to aspects of the college that we may not be taking advantage of. During week six, all 21 interns visited Dr. Porter, professor of chemistry, in the 3D printing lab. You might be thinking, what does chemistry have to do with 3D printing? The answer: absolutely everything. Not only was Dr. Porter able to explain the applications of 3D printing, he was also an expert in the science behind it.
Dr. Porter encouraged us to think of 3D printers as very precise hot glue guns. These extremely advanced “hot glue guns” could print plastic, metals, and even glass. Using 3D imaging, the printer builds the figure one layer at a time, allowing it to be printed with an extreme amount of precision. However, where the user gains precision, he or she sacrifices time. One of the few drawbacks of 3D printing is the long period of time it requires to complete each project. Dr. Porter explained that one small plastic figure could take an entire day to complete.
Applications of 3D printing are growing rapidly. In our very own 3D printing lab, Wabash students have printed Wabash memorabilia, key chains, toys, and even a prosthetic hand. The college prints the prosthetic hands for $25 dollars and donates them. This saves patients thousands of dollars that they would have otherwise had to spend on their own. At only $3,400, most of the students found the cost of each individual printer surprisingly cheap. After all, it does feel rather futuristic.
Finally, Dr. Porter encouraged us to think of the possible applications of 3D printing in our personal lives. 3D printing is an evolving technology and so are its applications. One day we may be able to buy a 3D file of a device and have it printed in our own home instead of buying the device itself. This could revolutionize the way that consumers buy their favorite things. As future innovators, learning about this technology was certainly interesting and could possibly benefit us in our future business endeavors.
Hayden Baehl ’18 LABB 2016-Week four has concluded; unfortunately, it is all downhill from here. Looking back on the last four weeks, I have really enjoyed the program. The LABB program thus far has been a great resource to me. I have acquired a broad, extensive range of knowledge that will be beneficial to me regardless of my professional career, moreover, I have also befriended many fellow LABB interns, and I value each and every relationship. Though I have enjoyed quality time with my fellow LABB interns, week four challenged my colleagues and me. Negotiating is a very daunting task regardless of the other party, friends or not. Trying to come to an agreement where each side must give a little is not easy, several times the two parties did not reach a consensus. However, I truly benefited from the experience.
The highlight of the week came on Thursday and Friday when we were going through LEAN certification. The experience and the knowledge that I gained going through the course in itself was very self-rewarding. When I learned that LEAN was a philosophy more than a technique, I realized that being a Wabash Man gives us, Wabash Men, a leg up on the competition. LEAN manufacturing is not about knowing the information but more so about thinking critically and knowing how to apply the philosophy to day-to-day operations. My favorite part of the week was venturing out into Crawfordsville and going to Dairy Queen. Stojan, Nolan, Connor and I evaluated the process from the time we walked in to the restaurant to the time the food we left. This experience allowed us to apply our knowledge to the real world. The LEAN certification was very appropriate because many of us in LABB have aspirations to one day owning our own business. Furthermore, if one wants to bootstrap their startup or acquired company, one will need to apply the LEAN to make sure that the business is minimizing waste and optimizing capital, thus maximizing profits. Lastly, I am eagerly waiting the final three weeks where we will be presenting our business pitch and consulting project.
Preston Hadley ’18 LABB 2016-The LABB Program is my first internship that I am doing through Wabash. I am extremely excited to start this program and learn all that I can about businesses. This internship gives me an opportunity to learn how to be successful in the business world without having to take any business classes in school. Instead I can take a seven-week internship funded by the Lilly Endowment where I learn how to properly run a business, present a business idea to investors, and how to consult with a business on ways for them to improve their business. Along with that I can also network with many successful businessmen from the Wabash Community and learn what they did that helped them become so successful. The last part of this program that I am thrilled about is that I will get to improve my skills in public speaking. One fear that I have always had is public speaking. Through this program I will be doing several presentations in which I must get up in front of an audience and present my case. This will help me overcome my fear and also teach me how to properly speak in a business setting. This will assist me tremendously in the future as I enter the business world and work to become a successful analyst. The skills I will learn from this program are perfect to help me become an analyst because I will be able to see every aspect of the business and learn how to properly consult a business so that I can see how a business is doing and help them figure out what exactly they need to do to ensure that their business is profitable. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving my classmates and I the opportunity to do this internship and become more proficient in business.
Ja’Von Langley ’19 LABB 2016-In the first three weeks of the LABB Program, I have learned an extensive amount of information that will help my future in the business world. I have met with alumni, who have done some tremendous things in their lives and tell some tremendous stories. One in particular was Jeremy Cage, class of 1986, he talked to people in a colloquium over Big Bash Weekend about “Releasing their Full Potential” and his experience sailing across the world. He and many other alumni have taught me to work hard, dream big, and be humble – that will you get a long way.
I’d say Week Three was a big week for the LABB program because all twenty-one of us were working so hard on our restaurant business plans to present to possible investors on Tuesday. My group, which consisted of four people including myself, were trying to create a deli. Our goal was to be one of the top delis in Indiana by providing unique foods and a speedy food pick-up service, but to do that we needed some investors on board to help us get our project going. Our hard work paid off, as our group got first place with the most amount of money from investors. It was a huge achievement for the group and we’re so proud of our hard work.
Along with the pitches, we started learning about marketing; strategic marketing vs. tactical marketing and the importance of it. We have had many hands-on activities where we could practice our marketing strategies and entrepreneur skills. Through these activities, I have built strong relationships with co-workers that will last forever. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding the program. I would also like to thank Wabash College and the CIBE program for giving me this opportunity. This internship truly means a lot to me, and I have learned so much. It has truly opened my eyes to the real-world work that goes into a business and has only motivated me to be the best in whatever career path I choose in life.
Dalton Vachon ’19 LABB 2016-Week two was a different type of week for us Lilly LABB interns. With Memorial Day on Monday and Big Bash on Friday, the week was a bit shortened. Although, it was shortened it was still a very busy week, as we had to fit everything into those few days. We started the week off presenting our executive summary’s, for our restaurant, to a group of investors. The executive summary, for my group, was for a restaurant we are interested in starting-up, in Indianapolis, IN. This was very intimidating, for myself, but also a great opportunity. We have been working very hard on these business plans, so to get feedback, was great for my group, and others as well. Also, gaining practice of presenting in front of high level investors, was a new opportunity for me, to help expand my presentation skills. On Friday Big Bash started, and having the chance to work at Big Bash and interact with the alumni, was a great opportunity to take advantage of the “Wabash Mafia.” I was lucky enough to meet numerous amounts of alums and not only share my store, but hear their story as well. Being able to have that opportunity was great for me, as I would not have had that, if I were not on campus. Making more connections while I have been here, at Wabash, has been wonderful for me. I would like to thank Roland Morin, the CIBE, (Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship) and the Lilly Endowment, without these three things I would not be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Although, we have only completed two weeks, my business knowledge has already expanded, and the opportunities I have been given, are very rare, and I am very lucky to have been able to take advantage of them.