Brenden King ’16 IURTC

The eight weeks spent as an intern at the Indiana University, and Research and Technology Corporation has been essential to my education as a student and my general knowledge of business development. Over the course of the internship, I was able to work as a part of the team that makes up a section of the IURTC known as Spin Up. Working directly with the head of Spin Up, Joe Trebly, we worked to build startup companies around inventions developed at Indiana University. Over the course of the experience, I learned about the commercialization process, venture capital, marketing, and intellectual property.

My primary project was to write a business plan for Grace Corporation, one of Spin Up’s startup companies. Grace Co. is a geriatric health care provider that aims to reduce hospital readmissions through their Grace Co. team model. Since their conception, Grace Co. has enjoyed great success and is being to be implement not only at IU Health but multiple hospitals in both Indiana and nationwide. One of the barriers that I had to overcome while writing the business plan for Grace, and in general the entire summer, was adapting to the different industries that Spin Up works with and being comfortable not having a significant background in that field. It was in this barrier when I began to appreciate truly my Liberal Arts education at Wabash.

Another project that I worked on was getting everything for the Innovation Showcase. A showcase is an entrepreneurial event in Indianapolis where roughly 75 companies pitch to prospective investors. Spin Up sent five companies to the event. One of which, Anagin, a company that is working towards growing inner ear cells placed in the top 5 companies. My job was to update all of their propaganda, specifically their executive summaries. The project gave some experience in both marketing and project management.

Aside from the two project I spent a great deal of time meeting with venture capital groups and CEOs of Spin Up companies. Watching Joe and the founders of the companies working with big VCs like SV Life Sciences provided me with hands-on experience that I would not have gained in the classroom. We are truly fortunate for the opportunities that both Wabash and the Lilly Endowment provide to Indiana.

Clayton Randolph ’16 Angie’s To Do List

IMG_1349Starting a new job can be a nerving experience. There’s new people, a new role, and more responsibility. But, that is also what makes a new job fun and exciting. An internship is a chance to introduce you to a role that may interest you upon graduating college. My internship at Angie’s List has been nothing short of eye-opening. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started. I had heard from others how great of a company Angie’s List was, so I was eager to see if that held true once I arrived. And, it has. Angie’s List takes great pride in their interns—there are over 30 of us here this summer—and goes to great lengths to make us feel part of the company. Interns are given daily tasks, and some take on various projects with supervisors over our time here. Personally, I’ve worked on retrieving and organizing data—using SQL (Structured Query Language)—to be given to our Call Center and Concierge teams allowing them to make phone calls to potential and existing customers. The majority of my work here, though, has revolved around a new product called SnapFix, which debuted in 2014. In short, you can upload a picture of a project you want to be completed through Angie’s List app, and we will match you will the highest rated service provider in the area. I performed an analysis of SnapFix, put it in a presentation format—and after many meetings to get it just right—delivered it to several Directors and Managers for review. I presented my findings in a presentation, detailing the reasoning behind some of the suggestions. I was amazed at the opportunity. How many times do interns get to interact with upper management on projects? I was excited I got to take part in such a project, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Who knows, maybe in 6 months, I’ll end up seeing my ideas being used.

The company has provided many fun activities for the interns here as well. We had a day at the Children’s Museum, an upcoming social media workshop, mock interviews and resume help. Did I mention there is a 24-hour softball tournament the entire company takes part in? It’s why Angie’s List has a sparkling reputation with its employees, and one of the reasons it’s a top company to work for in Indiana and the country. One of the other opportunities presented to interns is a chance to shadow different departments. This can happen up to two times. I recently shadowed the Corporate Communications team and Marketing team—and boy was it informative. I was able to talk to the Director of Communications, Media Relations Manager, Executive Writer, Content Marketing and Promotions Manager, and finally the Vice President of Corporate Communications. After the communications team, I shadowed Laura Crafton in the Marketing Department. She was incredibly knowledgeable about how to best market and brand your business, and I was able to learn a lot just in the few hours we were together.
We’ve also met many executives during our time here. That list includes interim Chief Executive Officer Mark Howell (He actually gave every intern an interesting book about how to act in the workplace when you’re just starting your career), Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Angie Hicks (she is the face of the company, and the person it is named after…and a DePauw graduate). I have also met with the Executive Vice President of Sales Insight and Optimization personally and learned about his job, how he used his education, and how he manages and leads the people underneath them. For me, all valuable information I plan to use as soon as possible once I get back to school and in future jobs.

None of this would be possible without the gracious help of the Lilly Endowment, as well as Wabash. I continue to tell others how Wabash provides opportunities that few others get a chance to experience. My supervisor, JP Patterson, is a Wabash graduate—class of 08—and has made me feel a part of the company since the beginning. He has allowed me to sit in on meetings and been very resourceful when I have questions about how the business operates. He has given me multiple opportunities for growth and development—for that, and I’m thankful. This internship has been a fantastic opportunity to learn about corporate business—and it has prepared me for a job after school, whether that is at Angie’s List or elsewhere.

Jacob Stone ’17 Benefits of LABB


Stone ’17

I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding this program. The LABB Program thus far has been an amazing experience. I have learned so much from the program and it has made me more interested in owning my own business one day. I have met alumni with amazing stories and who continue to uphold the tradition of excellence typically found in a Wabash Man. What I have seen is that these men have fought hard to grow themselves as well as their businesses. I want to apply this to my business plan because while it might seem hard now there are things that will be much harder later. The exposure we have gotten from Joe Trebley and Tony Unfried has given me many new ideas that I can use toward my group presentation.


Stone ’17 poses with for a selfie at JMI

This program has also shown me that a liberal arts education is very helpful to have in the real world. After Wabash I will be educated in many different fields and will be able to carry on a conversation in just about anything. This aspect is extremely important to the business world because networking and connecting with people is crucial if you want to start your own business. The LABB program is a great program and has become a fantastic talking point that I can use during job interviews or as an example of my experience. Before doing the program I had no prior experience and now I feel more prepared to take on the world.


Zachary Carl ’18 Alumnus Returns to Provide Excel Expertise


Carl ’18

In the first two weeks of this program, I have gained an extensive amount of knowledge that will help my future endeavors into the business world.  This knowledge was only further enhanced by the teaching of a graduate of this college, Will Weber ’11, came into our LABB program to put us through a Financial Bootcamp.

As part of his class, we learned about the mechanics of Microsoft Excel and how to create an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow.  During this Microsoft Excel crash course, we learned many formulas, shortcuts, and other helpful tips that will allow us to work much faster on our own Excel projects in the future.  During the process of learning about Excel, Will Weber we formulated the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow for a shoe store inside a mall through the use of the formulas and referencing other cells.  He emphasized the importance of connecting information so that it was significantly easier and quicker to change information.  By referencing cells, we were able to make a change to one value and have Excel automatically make changes to all the other information for us.

By creating the statements involved in forming a budget, I was able to form my own financials for the restaurant business plan.  As I was worked on forming the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow, I found the shortcuts and tips that Will Weber gave us very helpful.  The insight he provided about his own job and how he uses Excel was beneficial in that it showed us how this information could be used in the real world on a daily basis.

Prior to this week, I was not very sure as to how Excel played a role in the business world, but now I realize that it plays a crucial role in almost every business.  As I have began to work in Excel and create financial documents, I have found that it is interesting how every number relates to another number and have found enjoyment in changing individual values to see as to how they change the values in the entire spreadsheet.  I would like to thank Will Weber ’11 for putting us through his Financial Bootcamp and taking time from his schedule to educate myself and my fellow Wabash men.  I would also like to extend a special thanks to the Lilly Endowment for making this opportunity possible for both myself and everyone else involved in this program.

Elliot Burge ’16 A Step into the Real World


Mr. Burge studying material on an office desktop.

The Who

I am Elliott Burge – a junior at Wabash College from Valparaiso studying economics – and, fortunately, a 2015 summer intern at Connecta Corporation in Indianapolis. I would not have been so lucky nor had this fulfilling experience without some help from a few organizations and certain individuals. Firstly, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding my internship and many like it and for making all of these wonderful opportunities a reality. Additionally, I would like to thank Wabash College – specifically the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship led by Roland Morin and William Oprisko, Director of Student Employment and Activities. All of their time and efforts put forth smoothly set up and ran the Lilly internship programs available to me and many Wabash men. Lastly, my supervisors Alan Pyle and Derek Turner – both Wabash alumni – deserve recognition for inviting me to work with them and for challenging me in a way that allowed me to grow and learn in a workplace full of hard-working and inviting individuals. Each person, group, and organization played a vital role in my summer internship, and their collective involvement proved crucial in the support and guidance I received during my time at Connecta Corp. The memories and value to my education will surely be cherished and not forgotten.
The What

During my eight-week internship program, I faced not only many tasks and obstacles but also completed many goals and projects. The variety of roles and responsibilities given to me most likely exceeded those of the majority of other Lilly interns. I thoroughly enjoyed the frequent changes in pace and setting while on the job. From picking up and dropping off orders, to entering many different forms of data and organizing inventory, to orchestrating a company-wide cookout and utilizing my previous cooking skills, I could not imagine a more well-rounded and diverse job experience. Sometimes I would sit all day working with Excel, writing emails, or making phone calls; and other days I would do more physical work, such as moving inventory, mowing and trimming the lawn, or inspecting products as the machines produced them. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with everyone at Connecta in one way or another and being able to apply myself on both sides of the business. Throughout my internship, I met a lot of great people who welcomed me and taught me so much. I very much appreciate all the lessons and knowledge with which these past eight weeks have rewarded me.
The When & Where
My internship took place at Connecta Corporation, which sits at the corner of Boulevard Place and 34th Street just north of downtown Indianapolis, IN. My time here spanned from May 8th to July 10th. I originally lived in Valparaiso, which lies in the northwest part of Indiana – as some would call “The Region.” Moving from a city with a little over 30,000 people to one with over 800,000 a few hours away, I had a lot of adjustments to make. Luckily I have friends who grew up and live in Indy, but the challenges of learning new streets and an entirely different city altogether still confronted me. I first noticed how much just driving around differed, most notably the traffic density and size. Despite that, I still greatly enjoyed the city of Indianapolis and all the wonderful things it offers. My experiences in and around the city indirectly related back my internship, and none of them would have occurred without it. Once again, I thank everyone who played a role in making this all possible. I learned a lot even outside of work about people, living on my own, and life in general, and that made all of my time here that much more worthwhile.
The Why
Some may wonder why I chose to work with Connecta, why I wanted to live in Indianapolis, or why I searched for an internship in the first place. I decided to look for an internship because of how competitive getting a desirable post-college job (or any job really) is nowadays. An internship provides very valuable experiences and awareness that separate prospective employees from ones with just their degree. I would rather be the best employee than the smartest. People have told me it is better to know how to use what you know as opposed to just knowing more than the person next to you. A quality college education and a good internship help individuals achieve not one but both of those. I felt that I needed to find an internship because of how much they offer. Secondly, Indianapolis seemed like the perfect location for me. I wanted to explore somewhere new and to excite away from home. Chicago would have been interesting, but that meant I would stay at home and have to commute by car, train, or bus 45 minutes to an hour away. I knew I did not want either of those, so I chose Indianapolis. Not only could I choose somewhere near my workplace to live, but I could also spend every day with some of my friends and have a summer filled with all new places and faces away from my comfort zone. South Bend – although a bit smaller – also seemed like a viable option with similar qualities and enough distance from Valpo. This brings me to my final question and answer: as I applied to several internships both in Indianapolis and South Bend, I began waiting patiently – a bit too anxiously as the end of the school year approached – and then I started getting replies to my applications. I received three or four emails in about three weeks’ time stating how I was not the ideal person these businesses wanted. Then almost out of nowhere I had an interview over FaceTime with Alan and Derek from Connecta. It went surprisingly well, especially since we scheduled it in the morning during my spring break. Before I knew it, I eventually walked out of my second interview at Connecta with a summer internship. Connecta was also the only place that interviewed me, so that made the decision a bit easier. My decision to take on a Lilly internship with Connecta Corp in Indianapolis instead of something else turned out wonderfully, and I could not be happier with the results – direct or indirect. I never thought this past summer would have played out the way it did, but there is not much I would change. In addition to everyone who had an impact and played an active role, I am thankful for everything this internship brought to my life and all of the lasting memories that came along with it. I can only imagine what else the future holds.

Niki Kazahaya ’18 A ‘Stellar’ Summer

Photo Jul 09, 3 22 27 PMThrough the gracious contributions of the Lilly Endowment, I have been given the opportunity to work alongside the Mayor of Crawfordsville, Todd Barton ’00. As his intern, my primary task has been to assist in the application process of the Stellar Communities program. The Stellar Communities program is a partnership comprised of various state agencies to help spur community development in smaller communities. If a city is designated as a ‘Stellar Community,’ it becomes the higher priority for existing grant funding from the state. This enables communities to execute high-dollar projects on a much shorter timescale. Much of the application process has involved outlining projects the city plans to pursue if awarded this designation.

Mayor Barton has approached this year’s application by identifying two overarching problems in Crawfordsville. First, the city has noticed a void of young adults, ages 22-35, residing in the community. Second, more professionals working in Crawfordsville are commuting from other areas to work. To remedy this, the city is working to improve a quality of life. In turn, this will draw those demographics to Crawfordsville. Perhaps a unique project of Mayor Barton’s vision is Fusion 54.

Many Wallies are aware of the recent opening of the Wabash Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship in the Chase building. The Wabash CIBE is conveniently housed alongside Indiana West Advantage, the Chamber of Commerce, and Crawfordsville Main Street. These organizations are strategically housed together to promote healthy collaboration across these separate entities. Furthermore, it enables young talent from Wabash to be actively engaged in the community where their skills are put to good use. Fusion 54 is modeled on this concept but a much larger scale. The Fusion 54 building would be located on the corner of Washington and Franklin Street where it would house the same organizations plus a tourist’s center and senior center in a 20,000 square ft. building.

My duty is to coordinate with the department heads on collecting the necessary materials for the application process. I work with an Anderson University intern on visiting the potential sites of these projects and take pictures to send to the engineering firm. I also serve as a peer editor to Brandy Allen, director of Planning and Community Development, on the writing portion of the application. However, if I am not working on Stellar, I am in charge of other tasks, such as organizing job fairs, writing proclamations for the Mayor, or sending out press releases to local media.

This internship has been a great experience as it has highlighted the importance of the liberal arts. Throughout the summer, I have dealt with a wide variety of issues relating to political science, economics, sociology, and many more. Despite my intention to be a psychology major, I feel well equipped for my internship because of the valuable critical thinking and communication skills Wabash has instilled. Again, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and the entire staff at the Crawfordsville City Building.

Mitch Singleton ’16 A Business and Marketing Adventure

Internship pic for Wabash 1     Hello, my name is Mitch Singleton, and I am a rising senior here at Wabash College, who had the fantastic experience of interning with Allegient this summer. Allegient is an IT and Business Consulting company located on the north side of Indianapolis in Carmel. No, it is not the airline company, which I soon learned is a very common mistake people make judging by some phone calls we receive a day from people looking for their lost baggage. I was very excited to start my internship here just a few weeks back, but I did not know what to expect. Many questions were running through my head. Was I going to be running to get people coffee and donuts each morning? Or was this going to be an actual business learning experience? Thankfully, it was the latter. I have learned so much while interning here at Allegient thus far, and I am sure there is more to come.

I cannot imagine interning here is like it would be at most companies. Everyone here treats me like an equal, not like a typical college intern. They don’t ask me to do anything they wouldn’t do themselves, they challenge me intellectually, and they reward me when I do a good job. As I said, it is much different than the internship idea I had in my head previous to my start. My supervisors here have given me responsibility in many different areas of the company and allowed me to work independently to achieve goals while I have been here, yet still guiding me through the internship journey at the same time. I am still soaking it all in but I have learned much about the industry business of Allegient and the business world as a whole through my experience here.

I am technically a marketing intern here at Allegient, so I work with the marketing team and closely with the digital marketing efforts of the company. This includes managing our social media accounts, researching new media content, and scheduling/publishing content and blog posts. This was much of my day-to-day activity, but I also worked on many other projects including an employee profile survey that was to be sent out to all employees in the company and attended countless miscellaneous company meetings. They have taught me here how to behave appropriately in a professional environment, how to communicate effectively with peers, and how to take pride in what you do.

Allegient has taught me a lot about what to expect in the real world, and that was the main reason I took this internship, to learn what life would be like after Wabash. After interning here, I have come to the realization that it is not so bad! Allegient is a place for opportunity and growth. I only hope that whatever company I end up working for post-Wabash is half the company that Allegient is. I am incredibly grateful to Allegient, Wabash College, and Eli Lilly for the opportunity to have this internship because I know it has impacted my life in a very positive way. Allegient is full of great people who love their job, excel in their work, and believe in a community workplace. When they call it the Allegient family…they mean it.

Cole Crouch ’17 SBIF Cements Career Goals

Cole Crouch Blog 1

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.

Cole Crouch Blog 2

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.

Cole Crouch Blog 3

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.

Michael Haffner ’16 Takes “On” Nantucket

Haffner Blog 1

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.

Haffner Blog 2

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.

John Dotlich ’18 Business Plan Presentations


Dotlich ’18

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The LABB students present their Business plans in front of a panel of judges

Over the course of this internship, we had the chance to create two business plans. This was an interesting, challenging, and rewarding experience that I am glad to have been a part of. The first business plan we were assigned to create was one for a restaurant. I was in the lucky group that was assigned to design a business plan for a food truck. The catch was that we only had a week to do it. My responsibility was writing the financial documents. This was a useful experience because we were taught how to use Excel to create the financial spreadsheets, which will most likely be a useful skill to have in many future careers. Although it was time consuming and stressful, I do believe I learned a lot about budgets, income statements, cash flows, and balances. The next business plan we were assigned was to create an app. This was a challenge because in this technologically frenzied culture most app ideas already have been created. I had never heard of writing business plans for an app, but I have learned that there is more that goes into creating an app than you think. I had the assumption that if you were good with computers, creating an app would be cheap and easy; which is not true because designing and programming can take months and cost thousands of dollars to develop. The group I worked with came up with a business plan for an app that acted as an index for recipes and suggests meals that can be made from entering ingredients. Overall, I thought writing these business plans gave me useful tools that I will use later on and have given me confidence to be able to write my own someday. I learned about presenting to investors, working with partners, and the preparation that goes into creating the first version of a business plan. The only thing I wish was different was if we had more choice in what industry we were making business plans for, because I think it would be interesting to create a plan for a product or service company. I would like to thank the Lily Endowment through which I was able to take part in the LABB program.

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