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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!

Ortiz

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.

Taylor ’15 Applies Passion for Start-ups

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am start-up crazy. I love learning about start-up companies, working for start-up companies, and generally try to incorporate them into conversation as much as possible. So when looking for my summer internship it was a clear choice to interview through the Small Business Internship Fund (SBIF), which offered a chance to work with start-ups/small businesses across the country with a stipend. Yeah, I’m getting paid to learn. I met some really great alumni during the interview process who were all working on some really cool ventures. In the end, a start-up consulting firm called W-Advisors & Co. seemed liked the right fit.

Taylor '15 attends Detroit Economic Club Luncheon

Taylor ’15 attends the Detroit Economic Club Luncheon session titled “De-Globalization: Retooling Global Operations for Strategic Advantage.” Pictured (from left to right) Jim Moffat, Chairman & CEO Deloitte Consulting LLP; Dr. David Cole, Chairman Emeritus, Center for Automotive Research, Chairman, Auto Harvest; David Szczupak Executive Vice President of Global Product Organization, Whirlpool Corporation.

W-Advisors & Co. is a consulting firm based out of Detroit, MI and is run by David Woessner ’01. David had spent the last 7 years consulting for large firms like Deloitte and P3, but now he was ready to put the skills he had acquired to the test in his own venture. His interview process required the examination of a series of work packages and the creation of a proposal on the packages I would like to work on. The interview process was unlike any other I had in the series and it was the first sign that this internship would be learning intensive. It did not let me down.

My internship could be broken down into three sections: business development, corporate consulting, and personal growth. I have spent two weeks so far in the city of Detroit helping to establish W-Advisors as a company and a brand. I’ve gotten the chance to attend networking events like the Detroit Economic Club luncheon, where I met some of the biggest movers and shakers in Detroit; participated in a meeting with C-level executives; and built out many of the company structures that will exist once my internship is complete.

The other four weeks of my internship have been spent in Greenville, SC working at the ZF Transmissions factory. I have been playing a supporting role here, along with a team from P3 North America, as we work to help our client overcome some systemic obstacles they are facing. The days run from 6am-6pm for 6 days a week, with some more outside assignments sprinkled throughout the gaps. I thought my 8am Research and Methods class was tough. I’ve had to become a PowerPoint/Excel pro, because I’ve learned that communicating through visual representation is key in consulting. My biggest achievement so far is turning 2 months of truck check-ins/check-outs (over 2,500!) stored in boxes, into a meaningful data set, and eventually into meaningful slides, in order to show the impact our team has had on shipping and receiving. I’m now managing a multi-million dollar project plan, and with that learning more than I could have imagined about the way a nearly $1B factory is run.

Woessner '01 and Taylor '15

Woessner ’01 and Taylor ’15 at the Wabash Admissions Networking Event held at a Detroit Tigers game

If you know me, you know that on top of being fascinated with start-ups I am also very interested in understanding the way people work. This experience, so far, has challenged my conception of myself and of the professional world. I’ve seen that sometimes executive meetings can look just like fraternity chapter meetings and that even pay checks are not enough of a motivation for a work force. I’ve seen that some people, no matter the age, are still not able to put themselves after the greater good. I’ve seen that just because you want something doesn’t mean that you are willing to make the tough choices to get it. I’ve also seen that there are people out in the world who truly want to make the most positive impact that they can. I’ve met people who have opened up to a curious young man and shared themselves in the hopes that their experiences would help him grow. I’ve seen people driven by such passion, that even though they are unsure of what is to come, they are certain that what they are doing is right. I’ve learned that if you want to see it in the world then you must be willing to create it. I’ve found mission, courage, and strength inside myself that I thought was a distant possibility. It’s only week 5. Let’s see what the rest of this internship has in store.

Johnson ’16 Out of Classroom, Away from Desk

Jordan Johnson '16 SBIF MeiWu

Johnson ’16 measures vibrations from a nearby railway

Jordan Johnson ‘16 – In my brief stint here at Mei Wu Acoustics I have learned many new and unexpected things. My time as an intern through the Small Business Internship Fund has already helped me to begin developing a better idea of what I want to do as a future profession. First off, I have always thought I wanted a job where I can get out of the office and go do site visits and observe the situation, instead of being solely an office worker. My new position has solidified my perspective on wanting to get out of the office on occasion. Part of my job as the intern has been to go help setup equipment on site visits. I have thoroughly enjoyed the visits, as I have had the opportunity to see a large portion of the beautiful Bay Area and other parts of California.

This leads me to discuss what it is like working in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Different than I had originally thought, work is quite relaxed and on your own time. Most places don’t have distinct rules on when you have to arrive or how long you work; you are still required to get your work done, but if you want to do it at home that is fine. I really enjoy this part of the work culture in California. It makes life a little less stressful when you have other things bogging down your mind (high rent payments, cost of food, gas, etc.).

As for what I do on a daily basis, 60% of my time is spent in the office working on a computer or helping the other engineers on their projects. I have really appreciated being able to help some others in the company, because it usually means they have to take some of their personal time to show me what they are working on and how they did it. Some of the things I have been asked to do include: copying data and simplifying calculations in Excel, creating spreadsheets to make projects easier, taking measurements, recording data, and best of all, marching through woods covered in poison oak in order to take a sound measurement (since I am supposedly immune to poison oak). Not to mention walking right over the top of a rattle snake.

Jordan Johnson '16 SBIF MeiWu 2

Left to right: Tom Pizarek ’09, Mei Wu Acoustics’ owner, with employees, Josh, Gabriel, Eric, and Jeff

On the more technical side I have learned a lot about acoustics and engineering; but surprisingly, I have learned more about doing business with other people and how a small business manages to get work. Sure, in class you can learn to calculate the sound pressure level of a noise equally dispersed throughout a room, traveling through gypsum wall board with wood studs, and then again equally dispersed into another room (taking into account the reverberation time of the room, transmission loss from the wall, and directivity). Yet, school can’t teach you how to explain how this works to a business owner who doesn’t want to violate noise codes, and may know nothing about acoustics or engineering. I have learned that being able to explain how things work to a customer is one of the greatest struggles for engineers and acoustical consultants. Hopefully having the opportunity to see and hear this occur first hand, will help me in the future when I become an engineer and need to explain what is going through my head.