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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.

Brent Tomb ’16 Learning the Ropes at FairWinds

IMG_1598_1Summer was especially busy at FairWinds Advisors, and as the first intern from Wabash, I felt the need to make a big impact.

FairWinds is a company that can provide companies with site selection services, incentive negotiation, and the required compliance. They take a very personalized approach with each client, which sets them apart. When I started my internship, Economic Development was a relatively new concept to me. I understood what I thought it meant and what I thought I might be doing, but I quickly received a crash course on exactly what FairWinds can provide a client from Jenny Massey, the co-owner, COO and President.

One of the first things I learned was that the life of a consultant can be difficult at times. When acting as the middleman, you are the one who is held accountable for problems that arise, regardless if they are your fault or not. This means that being ahead of the ball is extremely important so that everyone is happy. Because FairWinds has had such a busy year, I was able to help put a fresh spin on some documents that were used to keep the steps in the process in order.

Jenny took me with her to all of her meetings so that I could see how a project works at every stage. This meant that I was included in meetings with potential clients and meetings with current clients that were near the end of their project. It was eye opening to see not only the different types of meetings but the huge range of companies that FairWinds can assist. Some companies is start-ups with no employees while others are huge companies that are expanding with a new location or in a new state. Each company comes with completely different needs and problems. For those reasons, it was very important to be well prepared with knowledge about all possible incentives. I was able to learn a lot from listening to these meetings, often learning along with the clients.

I was also involved in helping with a few projects that Jenny and her partner, Jay, are undertaking to better the company. One of those is a new website. I had the opportunity to sit in on a creative session and have been able to help with some creative ideas for the new site that is being built. It has been a fun challenge to help create a product that is engaging and informative without being overwhelming, especially considering I had no experience with web design.

Overall, my experience at FairWinds has been extremely educational and valuable. I was able to learn about real world business by working with the large variety of clients. Being a part of the FairWinds’ team provided an in-depth understanding of some of the advantages and challenges that small businesses face. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making this internship possible, FairWinds Advisors for the opportunity and Wabash College for organizing the experience.

Chris Stazinski ’16 Co-Working & Entrepreneurship in South Bend

 

StazinskiBefore we get started, I want to thank the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for providing funding my internship experience this summer and for many other Wabash men. Without that funding, such an opportunity would be lost for many of us. Talking to students from other colleges I have realized how lucky we are to have an organization like that on our side.
My experience at Union Station Technology Center (USTC) in South Bend this summer was nothing short of unique. USTC is the largest data center in Indiana and a top 40 carrier hotel in the nation, and the primary model of Infrastructure as a Service allows the company to provide storage and high-speed connectivity for businesses ranging in size from small and local to large and national. The goal this summer for myself and my coworker, Kevin Yan ’15, and was to design a co-working studio – the Depot – within the Union Station building, and then market and recruit people to work inside of it. The Depot is to be a hub of collaboration and mutual development among freelancers, independent consultants, and entrepreneurs.
In doing research on other successful co-working studios, we were lucky enough to be welcomed into MatchBOX in Lafayette and Launch Fishers in Fishers. It was a great opportunity to network with others with a similar goal and ask questions about how they became successful. In developing the Depot, we had to utilize our liberal arts education because the tasks varied greatly. Among other things, a few of our tasks were designing the layout of the space, creating the logo for the Depot, and building and managing the website. We also created various documents such as the membership agreement and the terms of use. We were also constantly reaching out to others in the community and planning events for the Depot to gather members.
I learned a few lessons from this internship. The first and foremost lesson is the importance of having a plan and set goals. A couple times we started on a task and then lost our way. When that happened, we had to restart and tweak our approach, but it was something that could have been avoided by having several smaller benchmark goals. Another lesson that was emphasized this summer is to manage your network and utilize the connections you have. It has also stressed to me the importance of being a reliable contact myself, because how can you expect others to help you if you are not willing to help them. In all, it was a very educational internship that taught me much about entrepreneurship and will help guide my endeavors after college. Once again, thank you to Wabash and the Lilly Endowment for making this possible.

Brian Parks ’17 A True YoungLife Leader

On The job photo6 Essential Things that Consist of Being a YoungLife Leader
First off, I just want to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity of being able to intern for YoungLife. This was the incredible experience and one I will never forget.

Alternate Fundraisers
YoungLife is a non-profit organization so for it to exist funds must be raised. I found three ways to raise funds for YoungLife at Tech. The three were Restaurants, Activities, and Do-It-Yourself fundraisers. I created many proposals for YoungLife for Tech to follow through if they wanted to do a certain fundraiser within those categories.

Alumni Relations
YoungLife Tech has many alumni who are off into the world and doing their own thing, so it’s very important to stay in contact with all the individuals as much as possible. Sam and I created a spreadsheet with all of the former YoungLife affiliates, and we had about 150 total. We also plan to have an alumni reunion between August 1-12.

Job-Shadowing
Being able to job-shadow Christians was perhaps the best experience I encountered throughout the internship. I was able to shadow four wonderful people and experience a day with them at their organizations. I met with Jessica who works with MATS, which is a Missionary Auto Dealership. Tyler Sadek is a financial manager for TEAYS Investments, which invest in farms around the world. Phil Edwards is an assistant pastor at SOMA church; his job is to connect the neighborhood to the church. Lastly, Jack Nikcevich is a regional director for YoungLife, who oversees all YoungLife sites in Indiana and Kentucky.
Public Relations
During the internship, I sat in on a lot of meetings and gatherings with my supervisor. I was able to share my experience in YoungLife to about 50 people. I also talk to donors who support YoungLife about how YoungLife has changed my life and how it has directed to where I am today. I also attended a gathering of urban pastors around Indianapolis, who talk about how all churches must come together to change the community.

Video Project
Tanner Halbeigh and I are in the process of creating a testimonial video to show that the investments and generous donations of our donors are changing kids’ lives every day. We shot footage of B-roll, which consisted of my childhood home, sporting events, community, and much more. This will be a collaboration with myself and Jayion’s (current YoungLife member) testimonies.

Student Relations
I went to the school lunches about 2 to 3 times a week signing kids up for camp and sharing to them about myself. I attended clubs and Bible studies weekly throughout my internship that occurred on Mondays and Fridays. I shared the experience of being a Christian and going to college in front of 30 kids. Nearly every Saturday we would have work days that kids would attend to raise their funds to go camping and I attended nearly all of them. Work days consisted of anything from building a patio to cutting grass.

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.

Tyler Regnier ’16 Challenges in Inventory and Product Development

Tyler Internship BlogTest Gauge & Backflow Supply Indianapolis fills quite a unique niche in the Indianapolis market. The company, which was founded in 2011 by James Probst, supplies backflow prevention devices, backflow repair parts, and backflow test gauges. Additionally, the company runs a week-long course several times a year, which educates and certifies plumbers to test properly backflow devices. Prior to the start of the internship, I had very limited knowledge of backflow devices, but I soon learned that a backflow prevention device prevents contaminated waste water from flowing into clean domestic water lines. Working for Test Gauge & Backflow Supply has broadened my business horizons, and given me experience in inventory management, product line development, and the diverse components of a small business.
As Product Development Intern, I have helped create and promote Test Gauge & Backflow Supply’s water quality product line, working closely with the company’s new water quality specialist, Larry Owen. With 30 years of experience in the world of industrial water softeners and reverse osmosis systems, Larry was asked to join the company to head the water quality line. I was given the task of marketing the product. Working with others in the company, I was able to devise a product development plan including market research, pricing, product selection, print and online marketing materials, and a detailed set of goals to guide the development of our new product line.
Being my first in-depth experience working for a company that provides a tangible product, developing the water quality product line has certainly been a learning experience. Some aspects of the product development plan were fairly self-explanatory, such as pricing and product selection. Others, such as creating professional print marketing materials and performing market research, were much more challenging. I conducted online research, read product catalogues, and had numerous discussions with James and Larry, all to gain a better understanding of the industry and properly identify the best potential suppliers and customers. I then compiled a list of potential customers using various online resources such as NAISC codes and websites of plumbing and mechanical engineering associations, which we then used as our starting target market.

In addition to developing the water quality line, I have assisted the company as they improve their inventory management processes. Working for a retailer has opened my eyes to how inventory can so strongly impact cash flow. Turning profits as a retailer is not simply about making sales. Profits are strongly impacted by the amount of inventory kept on the shelves, the amount of time that inventory sits, the method in which the inventory is purchased, and multiple other factors. Currently, I am analyzing how customers receive their product, either by will call, shipment from our warehouse, or shipment directly from our supplier’s warehouse. With this information, we can adjust our inventory to meet the needs of our customer without purchasing excess inventory.
In addition to my newly acquired knowledge of inventory management, my position with Test Gauge & Backflow Supply has allowed me to improve my professional skills. Working closely with Larry and James has greatly improved my teamwork skills. Each of us has had specific roles in creating the new product line and depend on each other’s outcomes to complete our tasks. Additionally, this position has given me the opportunity to set and track specific goals. Towards the beginning of my internship, I worked with the other members of the team to create a list of specific goals and completion dates for establishing, marketing, and selling water softening systems. I have also practiced and improved my Microsoft Excel skills that I learned in ECO-251 with Dr. Howland and Dr. Byun. I use Excel nearly every day to figure pricing, compile market research, track customer contacts, and much more.

Although I did not become a certified backflow tester, I did participate in parts of our backflow training course. Our week long course includes classroom training and hands-on backflow device testing in our custom wet lab. Here, I am testing a reduced pressure principle backflow assembly using a differential pressure gauge (see picture).

I am extremely grateful to both Wabash and the Lilly Endowment, which have allowed me to gain and sharpen my professional skills through this internship. I would also like to thank Kim Johnson who provided me with expert advice and assistance as I designed and created a print product catalogue for the company!

Jacob Stone ’17 Benefits of LABB

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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.

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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

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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.

Ezequiel Godinez ’18 The Blue Depths of Marketing

blog picFirst off, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment program for providing me with such an incredible opportunity. I applied for numerous internship positions, but I was very excited when I found out I had been chosen as the intern for Blue Marketing. I served, over an eight-week period, as a graphic design/ social media “guru” for Blue Marketing located on Main Street in Crawfordsville. Blue Marketing is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency that serves a variety of businesses and organizations. With Blue being a smaller company, their size and expertise allow them to manage all of your advertising and marketing needs such as the following: marketing campaign, company brand strategies, and logos, and working on a single projects. Over time, they have retained many faithful and active clients that play a big part in their success! My time with Blue Marketing was a wonderful experience that I was extremely thankful to be a part of. I learned what “work-life” was like in the business aspect of the working world. I not only gained, but I also strengthen a few key attributes that will surely prove effective later on in life. I felt as if I strengthened my trustworthiness and independence with my employer by showing up on time every day to work ready to present my materials to my coworkers. I consistently offered any helpful advice with the topics at hand because I represented that younger audience that Blue Marketing, if they could connect with this pool of youth, could establish connections they would hope to develop over time. I got to study and research what today’s social media experts like and dislike in posts and images. With my position in the company, I was constantly on the computer. I revamped the company’s social media in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram realms. I was able to bring my perspective on what “followers” and “friends” on these sites liked to see and mess around with. I brought lots of content, contests, and engaging information to these audiences and felt that I was very successful in my actions! Examples such a new page likes on Facebook and new Twitter followers furthermore proved the methods I was using were proving effective. I worked mostly on Facebook and one of my key projects involved the “building up” of the 2015 Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival. Bringing my creative/spontaneous mind to the table, I came up with a few games and ideas that proved successful and showed in the huge crowds the festival gathered over the weekend! The memories and picture I took are surely something I will not forget! Additionally, I learned to create different designs and edits through Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign programs on a Macintosh computer. I truly value these skills that I have gained throughout this process and hope to maintain these skills so they may be a valuable asset in my job search some time from now! Thank you very much for this experience to explore the blue depths of marketing and I am greatly honored to represent such a prestigious school in Wabash and such a great program through the Lilly Endowment! Thank You!

Maetrics and I by James Suess ’17

Suess, Jim Picture-BlogThis summer I had the opportunity to work on the fifteenth floor of the tallest building in the area. On my first, thirty-second elevator ride to Maetrics’ domain I remember being nervous, but maybe more anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. I was there for a marketing position, but I had never taken a marketing course in school, nor read more than a few articles online about the subject. To make things worse, I was told in the introduction meeting that the sole marketing guy for their firm had moved on to a new company just a few weeks prior. At this point, I doubted how beneficial this internship would be, but soon after they explained what I’d be doing for them.

Over the course of the summer, I was to be their social media marketer and utility man. Maetrics uses the social media managing service, Hootsuite, which provides a platform for businesses to organize and schedule automatic posts. For the first few days, I was gathering a sense for the industry to understand how things worked, and what kinds of articles to post. I quickly learned what is right for a tweet is not necessarily the best for a LinkedIn or Facebook post. I researched the best social media marketing practices by looking at competitors’ pages to see what they did right, and by sifting through the various articles on social media. We developed an employee engagement survey to help gain feedback from employees, and hopefully be able to take a few quotes for our LinkedIn profile. Another project I helped complete was reducing a 3,500-word whitepaper into a 3,500 character, one-page magazine advertisement. Every morning I would gather information on the life sciences industry and our clientele to send the management team a daily update. I was able to sit in on weekly HR meetings and even offer my opinion when I thought of a good idea. The recruiters asked me to create beneficial tag lines to put in a pamphlet that we will give out at conferences when trying to find fresh talent. The best part of my internship was the president of the company’s go-to guy when it came to research. Every week he would have new companies, people, and products for me to research, so it kept me on my feet and gave me experience in digging to find information.

All in all, I enjoyed my time at Maetrics, and would recommend this company to anyone. My coworkers made the office a fun place to work, and the management works alongside you, not over a top of you. I am grateful to the Lilly Endowment for providing this opportunity to me. I now have a better picture of what I’d like to do after Wabash.


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