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Albertson ’15 StilL 630 Delivers for SBIF Intern

Kyle Albertson '15

Kyle Albertson ’15

Kyle Albertson 15 - From the moment I walked into the distillery on May 19th I knew that I was in for a summer of hard work.  I was thrust straight into the process of distilling rye whiskey and since then I have not looked back.  My internship consisted of two parts; a production aspect and also a sales/marketing aspect.  The production aspect of distilling whiskey is very time consuming; from mashing the grain to fermentation to then actually distilling the mash it takes a solid week of work.  However, there is a lot of down time in between those processes and therefore, many of my days consisted of hand filtering, bottling and labeling the whiskey to be sold into bars, restaurants and stores around the St. Louis area.  Along with that I would go on sales calls in the afternoons during the week.  Sales calls were a 4 to 5 hour process everyday. I would go to check on existing accounts as well as look into getting into many new establishments as well.  While there was tons of hard and tedious work involved there also came a lot of fun too.  Most weekends were times to get out to local places and do tastings to try and further market our product while enjoying ourselves at the same time.  Fun and hard work made these few weeks some of the best and most valuable weeks I have ever experienced.

Kyle Albertson SBIF Blog 2014 StilL 630After having gone through all but a week of this internship I really feel that I am ready to start thinking about starting something like this on my own – once I am graduated, of course.  This internship was able to give me a full prospective of the ins and outs of owning my own small business.  Luckily, because I was the second employee I was able to fully participate in every aspect and it was truly a great experience.

I would sincerely like to thank David Weglarz ’03 (Owner and Master Distiller of StilL 630), Scott Crawford, Wabash Career Services, and the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing this internship to become a reality for me.  I really encourage anyone looking to hone their skills in any aspect of a small business to apply! There definitely isn’t another internship out there like this one.

Hoffman ’16 Business Plan Impresses

Corey Hoffman ’16

Corey Hoffman ’16 - One of the major aspects of the LABB program was the business plans. For each of the two business plans we had to develop, we were divided into teams and had to develop a fully functional business plan (or at least what we were able to produce within the time restriction). For the first business plan, the group was divided into teams of three, and each group was given the task of developing a business plan for a restaurant. The catch was, one group had to do a food truck, one a sit down restaurant, one a franchise, one a bar, one a deli, and the last a café. This wide range of options led to some amazing creativity, a trait that appeared rather absent in many students’ initial surveys. After two weeks of many dedicated hours of work, the day to present had arrived. We were to present in front of a panel of judges, who each had tens of thousands of dollars in “play money” in which they could invest however they pleased. My group, consisting of myself and Weston Gregg ’16, created a business plan for a food truck called Golden Boy Burgers, located in Lafayette, IN. We were able to obtain the most investment money due to our low startup costs.

Using our experience from this first business plan project, we divided into new groups of four or five to create a business plan for any business of our choosing. The four groups did a recording studio, a 3D printing company, a CrossFit gym, and a social media marketing company. All groups had greatly improved from the first set of business plans, despite having one week less to do it. Other than the fact that the group sizes were roughly double those of the restaurant business plans, we were all much more experienced and understood much better what needed to be done and how to do it.

Through these business plan projects, we were able to virtually immerse ourselves in real world business, by developing financial plans, marketing strategies, brand development, and product. While there is obviously much more detailed matter that we were unable to cover due to the time restrictions, we were all able to take away a lot from these experiences, and can eventually implement them into our careers.

I would like to give a huge thanks to the Lilly Foundation and Roland Morin ’91 for making this program possible and also to the judges of each business plan for providing helpful feedback.

Budler ’17 Consulting for Wabash Scheduler

Jake Budler ’17

Jake Budler ’17 - As week 6 of the Liberal Arts Bridge to Business (LABB) internship comes to a close, the focus of us interns has turned to the Consulting Project. Throughout the past week we have done several case studies, another negotiation, and a Google Hangout, however we are all looking forward to the final week, during which we are giving our presentations about the Campus Scheduler.

Throughout the past week, we have been meeting in our groups (there are three separate groups) to discuss and prepare our presentations. The groups have taken the information learned during a community forum that was held, as well as several additional meetings, and each devised a consulting pitch for the College to improve and fix problems with the current scheduler. My group in particular has devised many solutions to problems that our current scheduler has. We decided, for many reasons, that it would be better for the College to fix the problems rather than install an entirely new system.

For me personally, the Consulting Project has been a highlight of the LABB program. The project provides a way for me to practically use much of the knowledge that I have gained in the past six weeks in a tangible and practical way. Before the LABB program I would not have been able to contribute to my consulting group what I have for our presentation. I am very excited for this upcoming Wednesday, where we will be presenting to over 40 members of the Wabash community who have given an RSVP for the presentation. It will be great to see the LABB interns have a real effect of the future of Wabash College.

The skills that I have learned from both the Consulting Project and the LABB program as a whole are very valuable for me. Being a rising sophomore, I feel like LABB was the perfect way to spend my first summer of college. I learned a lot about different facets of the business world, but more importantly to me was the exposure to real businesses. The trips that we took around Indiana, the guest speakers that we had, and finally the Consulting Project are experiences that are invaluable real world experiences that I will be able to use in the future.

 

Goddard ’15 SBIF Provides Non-Profit Experience

Seton Goddard ’15 - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote about the American justice system, pointing out that, “If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” Justice Brandeis was a Louisvillian and a Kentuckian whose zeal for the law, fairness, and justice for all was unmistakable. His spirit and his approach to justice lives on every day at the Legal Aid Society in downtown Louisville, where I’ve been working for the last eight weeks.

Seton Goddard SBIF 2014 Legal Aid Society 2

Left to Right: Dr. John Fischer (Prof. Emeritus), Jeffrey Been ’81, Seton Goddard ’15, and Nick Maraman ’10

Legal Aid provides free civil legal services for people in Jefferson County, Kentucky (Louisville) and thirteen surrounding counties in Kentucky. This means that Legal Aid doesn’t handle any criminal cases, and they see none of the glamorous and stunning Law and Order cases. Instead, Legal Aid’s attorneys and staff work on behalf of families and individuals who have been victims of abuse, are suffering post-war effects (veterans), live in dangerous housing conditions, or who struggle with a wide range of other issues. Without Legal Aid, none of the 4,000 clients they work with annually would have access to attorneys or legal assistance in a system that is nearly impossible to navigate. Indeed, Legal Aid’s work is hugely important, and its effects are profound and widespread. As someone who believes that building strong communities starts with filling in the cracks that many of us have helped create, I was thankful to be a part of an organization that works every day to fill in those cracks and give assistance to the most economically disadvantaged among us.

Seton Goddard '15 with fellow Legal Aid Society interns. Goddard is the only undergraduate student to intern with LAS, and works alongside students from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Seton Goddard ’15 with fellow Legal Aid Society interns. Goddard is the only undergraduate student to intern with LAS, and works alongside students from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

While I am neither a lawyer nor a law student, I have been able to have a hand in these efforts, working with Legal Aid’s Development Director, Julia Leist. Through my work with Julia and also Jeff Been ’81, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society, this internship has given me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of fund raising, development, and non-profit management. From grant writing, to donor relations, to administrative work, I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects this summer, all related to funding the Legal Aid Society. Because Legal Aid is a non-profit and clients do not pay for their services my supervisor (Julia) is responsible for securing funding to pay the salaries of attorneys, cover administrative costs, and supplement the funding that comes from state and federal agencies. Without Julia’s work, Legal Aid’s resources would be even more limited, and when they must turn away many of the clients who apply for assistance, Legal Aid can use as much funding as they can track down. Most of this is secured through grants, and some of it also comes from private donations in the Louisville and greater Kentuckiana communities. My internship allowed me to write some of these grants, assist with the writing of others, and work with the private donors in Louisville – opportunities I certainly would not have gotten without this summer experience.

Even though I don’t know that I’ll go into the legal profession after I finish at Wabash in May 2015, the work that Legal Aid does has made one thing even clearer to me: there are countless issues that lead people into poverty, and even more issues that keep people in poverty. That being said, while I could have an impact through America’s justice system, I think it is also important to address the issues that land people in poverty, and I hope to pursue opportunities in those areas once I graduate. Thanks to Jeff Been ’81, Julia Leist, and the Small Business Internship Fund for this great opportunity to put the skills I have gained at Wabash into practice for the sake of helping those who, in many ways, society has forgotten.

Scofield ’17 Consulting Project Impacts College

Daniel Scofield ’17

Daniel Scofield ’17 – Each year the LABB program interns are assigned a consulting project to work on based on a request from the college.  The problem that arose this year for the program was the Wabash Scheduler.  It was put upon us to analyze and come up with recommendations on how to improve the current system and we absolutely had no restrictions.  We were then divided up into three separate groups to see who was able to come up with the best plans on how to fix the scheduler problem.  Once assigned to our groups, we held a community forum as well as meetings with individuals from various departments who actively use the scheduler.  The forum as well as the meetings allowed us to gain valuable input and knowledge on the current issues with the scheduler.  After we had enough data and understanding of the scheduler, it was time to put our critical thinking skills to the test and begin coming up with possible solutions.

We were told that cost was not an issue and this allowed the groups to explore all possible outcomes which varied from a simple remodeling of the current system to an extreme which was to introduce a third-party software.  I was a member of the group that thought it was in the best interest for the college to move on with a third-party system.  Since the software was far pricier than remodeling the current system, it was very important for us to convince the audience that the software was what the college needed to fix all of the current problems with the scheduler.  The ease of use and time saved using the software would compensate for the higher price which is what we advocated.

After all of the research had been done and numerous practice presentations had been completed, it was finally time to stand up to give our recommendations.  Some would say it could be a little intimidating presenting in front of the president, deans of the college, and many other high up officials of the college, but to myself I just saw it as a chance to explain my group’s ideas in order to help out the college.  Since I believed in the product that I was presenting it made it very easy to try and sell it to the individuals in the audience that morning.  It was a great honor being able to work on this consulting project because it showed the great amount of trust that the college held in us.  It’s not very often that a college passes along a significant campus problem to a group of students and that is what makes this program so special.  Not only do you learn the essentials of business through discussions and site visits, but you also have projects that you have the opportunity to see all the way through.

Cisneros ’15 Freight Broker in Phoenix

Alex Cisneros SBIF 2014 1Alex Cisneros ‘15 - While in search for a summer internship I spoke with one of my fraternity brothers on what I would hope my summer would entail. I wanted to work for a startup company because I hope to own a business after Wabash.  He told me he knew of an alumnus who was moving to a new company, Mr. Erik V. Ness ’94; he was moving to Commodity Transportation Services (CTS), which he and his partners would open up. I got in touch with Mr. Ness and he offered me the job. Through the Small Business Internship Fund I would be interning in Phoenix, AZ working as a freight broker along with a few other Wabash men.

Thus far, working for CTS has been a great learning experience. Everyday I learn something new. In the trucking industry you need to be very aware of what is happening on a daily basis; from weather news to gas prices and everything in between related to freight logistics. I was given three simple rules for this business that I believe apply to everyday life situations: 1) Always be honest 2) Know as much as possible about the load before making a call and 3) cross your t’s and dot your I’s.  Paying attention to detail is very important since you are dealing with cargo that is worth more than fifty thousand dollars.

My duty as a broker is to negotiate with trucking companies on a rate for them to haul fresh produce from one state to another.  Although this may sound easy, I’ve come to learn that in this business anything can go wrong. From the moment you agree with a trucking company on a rate to the moment they deliver you are responsible for that load.  This means you need to be aware of location and time for pick-up and delivery, make delivery appointments with different companies, and make sure the truck is doing well on transit. You need to be in control of all this while still trying to book more trucks for different loads.

Alex Cisneros SBIF 2014 2I am able to stay under control on all these situations, because I have become very close to my co-workers who have helped me incorporate my skilss into the job very easily. My co-workers are brothers and they are by far some of the most remarkable men I have met. Anytime I have a problem they are always there to help. Currently, with the help of my co-worker, I am dealing with a sixty thousand dollar cargo claim on one of the trucks I hired. He has been of great help and is teaching me how to deal with complicated situations as they arise. Therefore, I am more than happy to work alongside these great individuals.

Working for CTS has definitely been one of the best summer experiences of my life so far. I would like to thank Mr. Erik V. Ness, Mr. Scott Crawford, Career Services, and of course the Small Business Internship Fund, without their help this great experience would not be possible.

Whittington ’15 Business Crash Course

Joel Whittington ’15

Joel Whittington ’15 - The Liberal Arts Bridge to Business (LABB) program has been one of the most educational experiences I have had at Wabash, and it is almost over. It’s hard to believe that there is only one week left of the LABB program. It has been a challenging summer so far; by this point we’ve covered everything there is to cover about business startups and starting businesses of our own.

With our business plans done, IBM was the focus of this last week. The tech giant is a far cry from the small startup companies we had read about. Like the other firms we have looked at, we read a study covering a major decision that affected the direction of the company in a major way. This study dealt with IBM’s creation of BlueGene, the world’s fastest computer, in the early 2000’s.

We did more than just read about the company. On Wednesday we got the chance to talk, via Google Hangout, to Bill Kerst, a self-proclaimed ‘Wabash Groupie’, and Rob Shook ’83. Both are employed by IBM and have traveled the world on projects for the company. We spoke for a little over an hour about the pros and cons of working for Corporate America as opposed to smaller firms. Surprisingly, Rob told a story about how IBM had taken care of his family on one of his business trips to Australia in a way that didn’t fit with the ‘Evil Empire’ persona that big corporations all seem to have. At the end of the talk, these two very successful men gave some advice on getting our feet in the door in a large corporation like IBM. Bill’s advice was to “shadow people wherever possible” while Rob ’83 strongly advocated interning, which is how he got his start at IBM. Both men were cool to talk to and it was a pretty laid-back conversation. Like everything else in this program, I got a lot out of this conversation. This program really is a crash-course MBA. I never would have thought I could learn as much about business as I have in the last six weeks. I’ll be a little sad when it’s over after next week, but I know it’s been worth every minute and I’m glad I was chosen to take part.

Shank ’16 Chicago Finance: Sink or Swim

Shank '16 puts Wabash time management skills to use as he works remotely from Chicago Starbucks.

Shank ’16 puts Wabash time management skills to use as he works remotely from Chicago Starbucks.

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.

Shank '16 SBIF Adorant2

This is a picture I took of Lake Michigan while walking on Lake Shore Drive during my internship.

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!

 

 

 

Conti & Overton All-American Business Model

Joey Conti ’15 –  Hey All! It is week three of my internship here at the Overton Network and the small business brainstorming has reached a peak.

Jeremy Overton ’00 and I started off the summer by outlining some personal goals of mine. While we explored that concept of personal improvement this question came about: “How in the world do you market success on the track to a potential employer?” I think that student-athletes across the nation, in all sports, and in all divisions eventually run into this problem. When a potential employer asks you, “What kind of skills do you have that make you a suitable candidate for this position?” It won’t bode well for you to answer: “I run pretty fast, actually.”

So we set out to conquer this question in a small business setting and one of the first answers we came up with has its roots in the training that takes place for athletes who want to be great. We were able to identify 5 actions that an athlete takes on their way to greatness, that we believe a small business owner does too.

  1. Decide – The athlete has to decide on a plan and then make the actual decision to train hard
  2. Follow – The willingness to stick with the original plan without deviation or hesitation
  3. Trust – Trust in your plan and your coaches to do what is necessary to achieve your goals
  4. Visualize - The athlete has to be able to visualize the landmarks and goals and recognize them when they happen
  5. Celebrate – You have to enjoy yourself and know when to relax

Snapshot 2 (6-25-2014 4-07 PM)In the next few weeks I will be visiting with a number of small business professionals (we have been calling them small business All-Americans) in an attempt to refine this list using their philosophies on each of these subjects. In the end I am going to be able to use this information to put together the All-American Business Model (you see what I did there?).

Jeremy Overton is a Wabash Graduate from the class of 2000 and the owner of The Overton Network. He uses his network as a means of connecting people in the Haubstadt, IN community with one another. In fact, his expertise in strategic coaching and financial consulting has earned him the nickname, “Mr. Miyagi!”

Thanks to Lilly Endowment Inc. and Wabash College for making this whole thing possible.

Cheers,

Joey-san

PS – Be sure to check out Jeremy’s blog (click the Overton Network link above) for his perspective on the Indiana Internship Program, too!

Regnier ’16 Liberal Arts and Finance

Tyler Regnier ‘16 - This summer I am interning for Thane Bushong ’96 at Private Capital Management Group, Inc. in Noblesville, IN.  PCMG Inc. is a personal finance firm offering investment, mortgage, insurance, and financial advising services.  I am also working on efforts within PCMG’s sister company, Timberline Properties, LLC, a property management group in Noblesville.  My responsibilities come in a wide variety, ranging from tax abatements, to kitchen remodels, to investment portfolios.

I started this position with mostly soft skills, such as strong interpersonal skills and a detail oriented mindset.  My main technical skills included proficiency in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, which I gained from my statistics course with Dr. Byun.  Through this internship I have been able to strengthen both my analytical and technical skills, as I review investment portfolios and prepare presentations for various clients.  I have always been able to balance seeing and addressing the fine details of a situation while also keeping the larger picture or final goal in mind.  I have sharpened this skill by working on various projects in investments, and more so in real estate and property management projects with Timberline, LLC.

Tyler Regnier '16 (far right) with coworkers

Tyler Regnier ’16 (far right) with coworkers

Due to my diverse interests, I have now narrowed my career path.  At this time I am working towards a career in personal finance, law, or education.  From a young age I have held an interest in finance and investments.  Working at PCMG Inc., has enabled me to develop and strengthen that interest.  I am enjoying this position in personal finance, and I find stock research and portfolio analysis to be a invigorating activity.  In addition, the personal interaction with clients is a vital part of what draws me to personal finance.  I can certainly see myself in a full-time position similar to this internship.

At PCMG Inc., I have been handed a number of tasks that I know little to nothing about.  For instance, I am currently working on a tax abatement proposal for a historic building in downtown Noblesville that Timberline Properties, LLC will soon be renovating to create professional office suites.  This task is teaching me to handle situations with a steep learning curve, a skill which will be valuable in future positions.  Coming into this job, I knew nothing about local tax laws and incentives.  Through talking to local officials and business owners, I have been able to compile information on tax incentives to complete this tax abatement proposal.

My Wabash liberal arts education has enabled me to perform the wide range of tasks that this position requires of me.  Due to the wide array of subjects covered by a liberal arts education, my Wabash experience has enabled me to take on very diverse responsibilities as well as tasks which I initially know very little about. This internship has helped me further develop my skills and refine my career path.  I am very grateful that through Wabash and the Lilly Endowment, I am able to have this internship experience.