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Craig Brainard ’16 Life enFocus

enFocus-1020Last summer, I chose not to do an internship. I didn’t even look for one, and frankly I didn’t care to. I was set on taking it easy, and using my free time to relax. I took a lot for granted by not getting back on my horse after sophomore year, but I was simply worn out from having two intensive internships right after my freshman year. There are a couple of things I can look back on now, though, and say I have learned since the beginning of last summer that have helped put internships into focus for me. Hopefully, I can help provide some insights to people who are wary of putting themselves out there, or are hesitant to take on an internship.
Let me start with this summer. I had a great time in South Bend working at enFocus. The company name stands for “entrepreneurial focus”, but I love the play on words, and that in some sense my experience provided me with my clarity and focus going into my senior year at Wabash, especially surrounding my desire to become an entrepreneur after graduation.
EnFocus is a nonprofit consulting company that was founded, in part, to help reverse “Brain Drain” in Indiana. If you have never heard of this, you have now, and it is a serious problem for Indiana, long-term. Brain Drain is used to describe the alarming statistic that Indiana is 14th in producing talented individuals out of college programs, but we are 48th in the nation in retaining that talent after graduation. The foremost reason for this trend is that most people who have lived in Indiana their whole life, or those who may just be here for school, see far more benefit in getting out than staying in. Coming from someone who has lived in Indiana his whole life, I can confirm that there has always appeared to be more opportunity beyond the Indiana border than inside of it, but the passion and excitement I saw in South Bend is just one example of how this summer has provided me clarity.
EnFocus is doing a great deal to provide meaningful opportunities to talented students, to show the potential of South Bend, and Indiana, for the future. One thing they did for their interns, not just those working directly at enFocus, but also those that they helped align with internships for the summer, is provide a professional development series. The series consisted of one-hour talks every Wednesday afternoon on subjects spanning from project management to social entrepreneurship, and we even had a chance the last week to hear from Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend and have a discussion with him. One of the things he highlighted about South Bend is its connectivity compared to the cost of living. For an aspiring entrepreneur, the realization of being so close to Chicago and being a central hub for connectivity through fiber lines, all with the ability to stretch start up dollars four times as far due to the lower cost of living, makes South Bend ideal for a budding tech company. Indiana, in general, is becoming known as a place where innovative people are creating opportunities through connectivity, and I was thankful to be a part of that is happening surrounding enFocus, thanks to Wabash College and Eli Lilly for making the opportunity available to me. One of the most rewarding parts of my experience was working on a project that will provide even more meaningful internship opportunities to Indiana students in the future, as a service.
In closing, I am not sure where I will be after graduation, but Indiana is looking more enticing after this summer. To anyone who is looking for an internship next year, take a look at enFocus if you are interested in entrepreneurship or consulting with a focus on social change. EnFocus is unique in that it offers employees 30% of their time to work on their entrepreneurial ideas. This goes for interns as well. And anyone who is not sure about internships or putting themselves out there, you won’t know until you try. Internships are one of the best ways to learn about yourself and what you might be interested in doing after school. That value should never be taken for granted, especially when companies and organizations like Eli Lilly, Wabash College, and enFocus are doing so much to provide that value to you. When it comes down to it, internships are sometimes rewarding just to put life that much more in focus. Thank you to everyone who made this summer possible and such a rewarding experience, once again, Eli Lilly and Wabash College, but also all of the great people at enFocus and in South Bend.

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.

Parker Redelman ’18 Consulting Work

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Redelman ’18

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The LABB students await their turn to present their business plans inside the MXI

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, summer time in Indiana is in full swing. Unfortunately it also means this years LABB program is coming to a close and all of us are scurrying to finish our consulting and business plans. As deadlines draw near, we shifted our focus from case studies to polishing up our final reports. Along with our daily morning discussions over Shark Tank, the first half of the week was spent with us all working in our teams for the consulting projects. We wanted to make sure we offered beneficial and viable solutions in order to help both Dr. Drury’s and Dean Raters’ concerns they presented at the beginning of the summer. As we finished our consulting we began to work in our smaller business plan teams in order to discuss the final presentations to investors on this coming Wednesday. We wanted to make sure everyone understood what was going on and be ready to get started working on Monday. When the time for us to present our business plans came we all gathered in the MXI and awaited for us to present to a panel of judges. Dean Raters was present and opened up the presentation by explaining to the judges and other members of the faculty/staff who were present what we had been doing the past 7 weeks. He also acknowledged the work of Weston Gregg ’16 who had been an integral in making sure the entire LABB program was a success. After all the groups presented the judges were then tasked with providing funding for the proposals. When the numbers were all in my group’s app idea titled MealMaker received the most funding. I would like to thank the Lily Endowment. Through its generous funding of the LABB I was able to gain many valuable skills the impact of which I am sure will continue to aid me in all my endeavors.

Griffin Levy ’17 Preparing Final Business Plans

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Levy ’17

The final week of LABB program is upon us, such a bittersweet time full of late night presentation practicing and afternoon El Charro runs. This week was mostly focused on one thing, getting our App pitches ready for our final presentation on Wednesday, July 1st. The first two  days we had no classwork so my whole group and I got together at the CIBE office in downtown Crawfordsville and hammered out every detail about our App. A little background about our app, it is a life organizational app that pushes you to accomplish and set more goals for your self, in its simplest form to explain it is x-box achievements for your life and an updating bucket list. The name of the app is LyfeGoals. On Monday we worked on flushing out of idea more, making sure that our presentation had everything we needed and that it was really clear what our app was. Tuesday was pretty much the same, but this time we putt together our PowerPoint, it took all afternoon, and later in the evening we re-grouped and practiced the presentation probably eight to ten times. By the time it reached eleven at night on Tuesday we had our PowerPoint together and were well practiced in what we were saying for our big pitch the next day.

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The LABB students working at the CIBE Offices

The big day is here, it’s the day of or final pitch and the competition is fierce. We all arrive at the MXI around 8 and my group makes sure to squeeze one more practice in before we do our final presentation. The way these presentations works, is five judges from the Wabash community come and each have $50,000 to invest in whichever App they like the most. The can invest there money in which ever way they want, and our group needed some big time money to win. Our group ended up going second and the presentation went pretty well. We all did the best we could do individually, I think some of the questions we got asked were really tough and had no answer for which ended up hurting us a lot. Most of the questions we got drilled on were things about target market in advertising, which we didn’t have a lot of explanation for. After every group had gone the judges spent time privately deliberating on who should get the money. When they were done they all came out and gave us some feedback group by group. The biggest thing they said about ours was to make sure we know our audience and have compelling reasons to sell our app. We ate lunch and just like that, it was over. Thursday the 2nd was out last day, a bittersweet time. We all arrived at MXI and discussed what we did and didn’t like about the LABB program with Roland, and we also talked about how we think our presentations went the day before. We found out how much the investors put in each company, and our group only got $25,000 so we ended up tying for last with another group. A little disappointing, but we did our best. And just like that, we had turned in our iPads and the LABB program was over. Overall a great experience and something that really changed how I view business and entrepreneurship. I would like to take a moment to thank the generosity of the Lily Endowment which allowed me to participate in the LABB program.

Nicholas Frye ’16 Wrapping up LABB

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Frye ’16

For the final week of the program, we met in our groups to finalize our business plans and presentations for the apps that we have been working on.  My group was working on the Cardbazaar app.  The Cardbazaar is an app that could be used to buy, sell, or trade unwanted to gift cards with people across the nation.  Our group and the other groups had been working on our different apps for several weeks now, so we already had most of the information that we needed.  We were just meeting to fine tune all of the information that we had gathered and fill in the loose holes to our environmental analysis, marketing strategies, and our financial overviews that we had already written.

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All the Phi Psis in the LABB program pose for a dapper photo

After all of the information was gathered we were able to make our PowerPoint to use for the presentation. To make our presentation even better some of the group members were able to make the format of the application and add in features that would make it simple to use.  Once this was all put together, we then began the process of rehearsing the presentation.  I could not tell you how many times that we ran through the whole thing, but I can tell you that it all payed off during the actual presentation.  Our group ended up tying for second place out of all of the presentations. The next day after the presentations was the wrap-up session.  Here we discussed options that we could do to improve the program in the future by adding or taking away certain aspects of the program.  We then turned in our iPads, which was a shame considering that they had been extremely useful throughout the summer.  Of course, after this was over we all delivered our goodbyes to each other and we all went our separate ways.  I had a blast this summer being an intern for the LABB program.  I was able to learn so much information in such a short time and would recommend this program to everyone for next summer.

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.

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.

 

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.

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!

Yumnam ’17 Consulting at P3 North America

Seine Yumnam ’17 - Get up at 4:30am, start working by 6am, then return back by 8 pm, and go back to work at 10 pm again for a while – an introduction to the schedule of a consultant.

Yumnam '17 proudly poses with the P3 North America Core Values behind him

Yumnam ’17 proudly poses with the P3 North America Core Values behind him

Coming right out of my freshman year and consulting for BMW is, of course, challenging. It seemed like the entire world was on my shoulders – a lot of responsibilities to take care of on my own. P3 North America sent me as a consultant to be a member of a quality control task force at BMW. I was given full responsibility of two production lines in BMW from day one to manage and monitor. In addition to that, I produced daily data analytics to pinpoint the unit in the supply chain that needed more attention for quality control. My reports and analyses were the foundations of the decisions that the task force lead would potentially make. My performance and speed kept the regular meetings and discussions going. In addition to doing these regular tasks, I was able to outperform P3’s and BMW’s expectations of me. I added greater detail to the already existing data analytics and helped in narrowing down the areas to focus on for problem solving; and furthermore, I designed a project management concept for one of the entities in the supply chain for BMW X5. I went forward with it, implemented, and saw the results with my own eyes – making a valuable contribution to BMW and a moment of satisfaction for me.

Wondering how I survived the pressure? P3 colleagues were always there to give support wherever necessary. They understood my level of knowledge and experience, and accordingly they gave time to guide me even though they didn’t work in the same project as I was in. Their support and understanding kept me motivated. I would particularly thank Emma Knapp who is the Executive Assistant of the CEO for her warm welcome. She has always been reliable. She made me feel like I was a part of the P3 Team.  I want to thank P3 as well for trusting me and sending me to BMW in South Carolina, the only worldwide supplier of BMW products, to deal with the BMW leaders, customers, and other corporate-level associates.  My performance at BMW would reflect P3’s capability, and P3 was ready to take that risk. To keep up with these challenges and all the expectations my colleagues from P3 had, I worked at least 14 hours every day and said good bye to my weekends. But this was a milestone skill development opportunity, and I have acquired significant knowledge of how to effectively interact with clients, understand their needs/problems, and offer solutions.

P3's Emma Knapp welcomes Yumnam to the team

P3′s Emma Knapp welcomes Yumnam to the team

Right now I am back at the Detroit office from South Carolina. My new work package is to develop a project concept to increase international trade for the Michigan based small to medium sized companies.  P3 is working on it as a partner with Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund. I am heavily engaged with this project and my dad, an economist, gives me useful insight on this. So, I am not alone and helpless. Everywhere I turn, there is support.

So far I have been to South Carolina, Atlanta, and Detroit. This work-travel experience blends well to give me a balanced summer. Nothing would have been possible without the Small Business Internship Fund, and I am really grateful to Career Services for providing such a game changing experience.