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Fenton ’15 Sunshine State

Left to Right: Adam Andrews '12, Stephen Fenton '15, and Andrew Shelton '03 at Paramount in front of their new robotic plastic injection press

Left to Right: Adam Andrews ’12, Stephen Fenton ’15, and Andrew Shelton ’03 at Paramount in front of their new robotic plastic injection press

Stephen Fenton ’15 - Halfway through my internship at Paramount Mold and Tool, I have learned numerous invaluable lessons regarding business and professionalism, as well as learning a lot about myself and how to function in a fast-paced, diverse, and completely different world. Paramount Mold is a plastic injection plant where various plastic products are manufactured, ranging from PVC pipes to remote controls to extremely important medical devices and parts. Aside from the plastic injection aspect of the factory, Paramount is unique in that it still constructs its own plastic injection tools (or molds), as well as tools for other plastic injection plants. Paramount Mold and Tool is owned and operated by Wabash alumnus Andrew Shelton ’03, and more recent alumnus Adam Andrews ’12 presides over the sales department. Although both men preside over numerous business duties, they are both highly invested in the factory itself, and the production of Paramount’s products from A to Z. In my effort to assist the Paramount staff in its continual growth, I have gathered data regarding numerous aspects of the factory and its production, and then transposing it into a digital format while providing initial analysis. I have also had the chance to compose, review, and edit workplace organizational systems and literature. In undertaking these activities, I have learned invaluable lessons regarding business, from plant management to logistics to pricing and sales, all the while learning more technical skills, from Excel to a workplace computer program called JobBOSS, and many other business important computer programs in between.

As great as my summer at Paramount has been, my time away from the office has been a tremendous experience in itself. I drove through six and a half treacherous hours of Florida traffic on the afternoon before my internship started and arrived at a place in downtown Fort Lauderdale that I had never seen and had a hard time imagining. Since then I have met great people and felt right at home; nearly everyone here is very accommodating and is willing to talk to you, which if you know me, is nice to see. I have never felt too far from home, for I’ve had family down here for what seems like half of my time here (one of the many perks of being birthed into a family of “Floridians”). I have also made numerous weekend adventures to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Miami, which is like nothing that I have ever experienced in my life. While dining at a famous Cuban restaurant and coffee shop deep in the heart of Miami, David Beckham and his family came in and sat down next to my family and I, all after an excellent, in-depth tour of the beautiful Marlins Park. Outside of the hustle and bustle of Miami, I was lucky enough to be taken out onto the deep sea with Wabash alumnus and fraternity brother Cory Olson ’85 and his live-in intern and classmate of mine, Hongli Yang ’15, where we collectively caught two amber jacks and two great and delicious gag groupers, all before I was able to catch my first ever sailfish. My summer in the Sunshine State has given me memories and lessons that will last forever, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I have been given through the Small Business Internship Fund.

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.

Miller ’16 Peace Corps in DC

Outside the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washinton, DC

Outside the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washinton, DC

Dylan Miller ’16 - This summer I have had the pleasure to intern at the Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC. Since first visiting DC in the summer of 2013, I made it my goal to spend a summer in our nation’s capital as one of the thousands of young summer interns. I was fortunate enough to land my internship through a Wabash alum, BJ Whetstine ’01, that I met while visiting DC over spring break. If you don’t know already, you’ll soon come to realize the value of being active in the Wabash community network.

Every morning I join the swarm of interns and professionals cramming into the metro trains on their way to work with a coffee in hand, a TED Talk on my iPod, and a tie around my neck. After beeping into the Peace Corps headquarters building with my nifty government-issued ID card, I join five fellow colleagues to work in the Staging and Staff Development Unit. Our office handles a plethora of issues essential to the Peace Corps’ noble mission of world peace and friendship. Before each new Peace Corps volunteer travels to their respective country of service, they undergo a “staging” in the United States that acts as an orientation to their country of service. Our office does all the background logistics such as booking plane tickets, booking hotels, coordinating staging event staff, and planning and running staging events.

A perk of working at the Peace Corps is getting to meet great people who work at Peace Corps HQ in DC and all over the country as recruiters. Most Peace Corps employees were Peace Corps volunteers themselves and have served all over the world.

Miller ’16: A perk of working at the Peace Corps is getting to meet great people who work at the HQ in DC and all over the country as recruiters. Most Peace Corps employees were Peace Corps volunteers themselves and have served all over the world.

Since working at the Peace Corps, I’ve gotten a great overview of how a federal agency operates. I was even able to attend a training conference in Norman, OK that all Volunteer, Recruitment, and Selection (VRS) employees within the Peace Corps agency attended. I was able to attend informative sessions about how to operate an official government agency social media account, diversity outreach, marketing and research, recruitment techniques, government agency purchasing power, customer service, and much, much more. I was even honored to hear the newly appointed Peace Corps director, Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate.

It has only been a month into my internship, but I can already tell that my skill set has grown and the knowledge and experience I have gained will carry through to future internship, career, professional, and educational ventures. I would like to thank BJ Whetstine ’01 for bringing me on as an intern and the Coonses for endowing this public service internship grant which allowed me to partake in this wonderful educational and professional development experience that I know will act as a vital building block in my growth as a successful professional and citizen.

Purucker ’16 Classroom to Healthcare

Scott Purucker ’16 - It is incredible to think that my internship with Tx:Team is already half way completed. I guess what they say is true, time really does fly when you are having fun.  Not only am I enjoying the internship but I also feel that I am making, as President Carroll Nelligan always says, meaningful contributions to the company and their mission of allowing everyone to live the healthiest life possible.

Purucker '16 with Spencer Sheridan '12

Purucker ’16 with Spencer Sheridan ’12

This summer, thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, I have the opportunity to work as the Finance and Clinical Operations Intern at Tx:Team in Indianapolis.  Tx:Team is a nationwide therapy provider whose home office is located here in Indianapolis.  They have therapy sites in Indiana, South Carolina, Maryland, and Mississippi.  I have been fortunate enough to visit several of the sites located here in Indiana and meet many therapists who are often the face of the company.  Prior to the start of my internship at Tx:Team, I had little knowledge of the therapy and healthcare industries, but thanks to the patience and knowledge of all the employees of the home office as well as copious amounts of reading, I have grown to have a much better understanding.

My daily tasks at Tx:Team include updating several key metrics and compiling reports on these metrics, as well as attending meetings about the direction of the company in the future.  In addition to these daily tasks, I have been working on several larger projects.  These projects include creating a dashboard to better track the success of different therapy sites and creating a presentation regarding a new coding system that will be implemented soon.  Both of these projects have allowed me to contribute meaningful work to the home office and I have learned a great deal from them.  I have used quite a bit of my knowledge from classes at Wabash College for both of these projects.  Most of all, my use of Microsoft Excel.  Not only have I used the tools that I learned in the classroom, but I have also used critical thinking to make my way through these projects. I look forward to completing these tasks and taking on new tasks to help Tx:Team.

I am working with three fellow Wabash men at Tx:Team: Scott Benedict ’98, Spencer Sheridan ’12, and Patrick Bryant ’16.  Each of them have been very helpful in guiding me as I work and are a large reason for my incredible experience thus far.

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.

Zurek ’16 Business: Challenge and Reward

Mason Zurek ’16

Mason Zurek ’16 - I came into this program fairly hesitant. Business was just something that never seemed to suit me. I’m not a numbers guy, but I love to read and write which is why I’m fairly sure I want to be an attorney. Also, I enjoy competition immensely and law seemed like the proper way to go. So, I figured I could take this program and learn more about business in order to help me later if I go into corporate law.

Yet, as we learn more about business, and specifically entrepreneurship, I find myself hooked for two reasons: the challenge and the potential reward. The idea of putting everything you own on the line in order to be successful is scary, yet enticing. What could be more possibly exhilarating than seeing your gamble pay off? I view it as a competition against myself; seeing if I can actually set out and start a successful business is now something that greatly interests me. The other reason I mentioned, reward, is more of a dream scenario. Building a successful business and selling it off for enough money to retire comfortably by 40 would be wonderful.

In conclusion, I have been having a great time with this internship. I’ve been engaged, questioned, and forced to rely on the analytical skills Wabash has taught me. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks.

West ’16 Confirms Interest in Chemistry Career

Korbin West ’16 - Since I started my internship, I’m quickly learning how little I really know about chemistry. And that is a fantastic feeling. While my internship is flying by, I’m trying to pick up as much as I can because there is no better learning environment than an immersive one, like that provided by the Indiana Internship Program. For the past month I’ve been working at Perfinity Biosciences, a small bioscience company in West Lafayette. Perfinity mainly focuses on proteomics, the study of proteins. Every person is made of tons and tons of proteins, just like the hemoglobin in our blood or the insulin in our pancreas. However, there is still so much the world doesn’t know about proteins, which is where Perfinity steps in.

Without getting too technical, we find ways to break down and analyze these proteins so others can discover more information about them. Imagine you find a newspaper that has been crumpled up into a ball, this will be our example protein. To be able to read the paper (a.k.a. extract information from the protein), we have to find a way to un-crumple it without ruining it. In a way, this is what Perfinity does for other researchers/drug companies, so that they can find new ways to battle disease and discover more secrets of the body.

West '16 transfers a protein solution to test tubes, allowing him to simultaneously monitor a dozen reactions over the course of a day.

West ’16 transfers a protein solution to test tubes, allowing him to simultaneously monitor a dozen reactions over the course of a day.

As an intern, I spend a lot of my time helping out wherever I can. The majority of my time is spent in the lab, where I have various responsibilities. My daily activities range from making stock solutions for our spectroscopy equipment, to validating old protocols and researching new ones. My time here has greatly helped me develop my chemistry skill set, as well as strengthening my abilities in many other aspects. Although some of my work is quite challenging, I’m continually learning from my co-workers how to approach these issues and I’m picking up plenty of new techniques and methods. However, just like any liberal arts experience, I’m learning much more than just the chemistry behind it. Whether it’s discussing the economics behind our product, presenting results at company meetings, or anything in-between, I’m constantly rounding out my experience.

The past couple weeks have been an absolutely incredible time for me. I continuously wonder if I’m going into the right field, as I’m sure is also the case for many of my fellow classmates. I would ask myself “What if I can’t stand working in the lab all day?” or “What if I don’t have what it takes to make it?” Now, I’m happy to say, that I don’t find myself asking these questions anymore. I’ve enjoyed every second of my time here at Perfinity and although I’m not nearly done with working to improve my skills and proficiency in chemistry, I feel confident in my decision to pursue chemistry.

 

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.

Grant Klembara ’15 - In late January, I attended the winter Trustee-Alumni Board Dinner with some of my fellow Wallies. After mingling with a variety of doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other successful alumni, I found myself sitting at a table with Jim Kerr ’92, the VP of Business Development at Allegient, LLC. Eager to make good first impressions, students anxiously introduced themselves around the dinner table. Alumni, on the other hand, cracked jokes to break the ice and calm the noticeable tension. Before long, everyone began sharing stories, ideas, concerns, and life lessons that related back to our beloved college. Jim and I swapped stories about sports and life, recounting the sweet memories that will forever shape our views of Wabash. The night ended with contact sharing, hand-shaking, goodbyes, and promises to keep in touch.

Little did I know that four months from then, I would be the newest member of the Allegient marketing team—sitting just on the other side of the wall from Jim’s office. With no previous ‘corporate’ work experience, I really didn’t know what to expect. Guidance from Brad Pusateri ’14, my fraternity brother and Allegient’s last Wabash intern, eased some of that uncertainty. He helped me through the application process and introduced me to Lindsey LaBerge, Allegient’s Marketing Manager.

Since my first day in May, I’ve had not only the privilege to work with Lindsey and Josh Burkhead, the newly hired Social Media Coordinator, but the opportunity to learn from them and their experiences. I’d like to thank both them and the entire Business Development Team for supporting and directing me these past five weeks, and for accepting me as a member of the team. It truly has been an amazing learning experience.

Klembara '15

Klembara ’15

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “That’s great, Grant… but what have you being doing for the past five weeks?” I’ll stop dancing around the question. I’ve been Inbound Marketing Certified for Hubspot, a company providing a SaaS to help other companies with their online marketing strategies. I’m also currently working on a sales certification in two Microsoft products: SharePoint and Dynamics CRM. I’ve written several blogs addressing Allegient’s new partnerships, researched Allegient’s use of social media outlets and produced reports/schedules for each (i.e. Twitter and LinkedIn), and I’ve participated in business meetings, webinars, in-person seminars, and event planning committees.

One of my favorite experiences thus far has been my interaction with Element Three, a marketing agency just down the road. Allegient is currently in the process of formalizing a “Brand Plan,” to help enhance and direct their marketing efforts. From a marketing perspective, I simply couldn’t be with Allegient at a better time. I have been free to actively participate in the discussion thanks to Lindsey and the Allegient Team.

There’s a difference between being busy and doing busywork. There’s no doubt I’ve been busy. This internship has proven to be unique; activities such as filing folders, making copies, and running tedious errands have not been a part of this experience. There’s a reason for that. Allegient recognizes the importance of personal improvement and the value of firsthand experience. No matter how big or small their role is, each employee is seen as a valuable resource to the company. I believe it is that attitude that separates the good companies from the great ones.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the Lilly Endowment Fund, so to them I am thankful. This partnership and investment in Wabash College students will undoubtedly continue preparing young men for a successful future.