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Nick Sommer ’15 The Many Hats of Business

IMG_5324Wearing many hats

Nick Sommer ’15 - Growing up working in a small family business, I accustomed to working in an environment where everyone is close to each other, and every worker wears many different hats.  Finding Connecta Corporation has to be one of the closest internships I could have found to my family’s small business.  In this small manufacturing business of small precision parts, I have put my liberal arts education to the test while working through the long list of a variety of projects to be completed by the end of the summer.  Working for a company of this size (less than 20 employees) I have to produce quality work and contribute immensely in order to help the company continue to do business.

My work this summer has required me to wear many different hats as one may say.  I’ve done jobs from repairing parts, to accounting work, and even marketing.  Since I started later in the summer, I was thrown into the middle of a huge project: completely redesigning the way the company stocks their raw material.  This system involves reorganizing material into PVC pipes, separating them by material, alloy, and purchase number.  My to-do-list for this summer has also included updating the company’s website and creating and posting on the company’s social media pages, along with many other miscellaneous tasks.  My fellow intern, an engineering student at Butler University, and I have created videos, sales brochures, and bounced ideas back and forth in order to improve and modernize the company’s marketing capabilities.

What have I learned from this experience?  Well, it would be tough to squeeze everything I’ve learned into one blog.  One aspect that I have learned is not only vital in a business setting, but in everyday life as well.  This is accountability.  Since this is such a small business, you are expected to pull your weight and complete each and every job in a timely manner.  The business is like a team; where everyone is expected to do their part and work together in order to be successful.  I know I can rely on anyone here in the company for help and I can count on them as more than just co-workers.

I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for making this internship possible.  Having real world experience is very important for any student to gain before graduating from college, and what Lilly Endowment provides for students like me is awesome.  I would also like to thank Mr. Scott Crawford and Mr. Alan Pyle ‘67 for giving me this opportunity to work for Connecta Corp.

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.

Grant Klembara ’15- Corporate Marketing

Grant picGrant 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, handshaking, 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 of 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.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “That’s great Grant… But what have you been 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 of 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 the Lindsey and the Allegient Team.

There’s a difference between being busy and doing busy work. 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 has not been a part of this experience. There’s a reason for that. Allegient recognizes the importance of personal improvement and the value of first-hand 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.

Hanes ’16 Hanapin & the PPC Community

Sam Hanes ‘ 16  - So this is awesome. I am in week four of my internship here at Hanapin Marketing in Bloomington and it’s been a blast!

As soon as I got back from studying and singing in Ecuador (also a Wabash occasion), I had two days to gather myself and get down to Bloomington. The first day was a great day for orientation, as I was able to sit in on REDBOP day at Hanapin. REDBOP is held once a month and is a day of research in which we all get together and discuss and present new topics and tactics that we have learned or problems that we have solved. The Director of Talent and Culture at Hanapin, Chris Martin, was my first contact as he guided me through the interview process and coordinated my internship. It has also been great to meet and interact with the CEO of Hanapin and Wabash graduate Pat East (’00).

I have really enjoyed my time at the office. All of my coworkers have been pleasant to work with and are always willing to help me out no matter how busy they are. Since the internship is Pay Per Click Marketing, the work environment is relaxed (they bump music in the office all day) and the employees are young and tech-savvy.

Sam Hanes

But it hasn’t all been rainbows and lollipops. Going into the internship, I had barely any marketing experience and absolutely no PPC experience. For those unfamiliar, Pay Per Click, PPC and Paid Search are all terms for advertising online (like on Bing or Google) where a company pays money for users to click on that advertisement. Hanapin specializes in digital advertising for their clients.  Without any experience, and without being extremely techy (for a young guy), the initial tasks were quite overwhelming.

I was finally able to get the ball rolling. Each day I worked with my mentor, Amanda West-Bookwalter, on learning new tasks. Each time I learn a new task, I get account managers that ask me to perform those tasks on their accounts. The amount I’ve learned about PPC and all of the work that Hanapin does for their clients in just four weeks has been incredible.  Despite all the fun and learning, I have still been put to work! I have:

  • Ran spelling and 404 checker audits for all of our clients
  • Put together congruency analysis and reports for enterprise-level clients
  • Performed a mobile audit for an enterprise-level client
  • Worked on keyword research for enterprise, small business, and retainer clients
  • Done landing page assessments for Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Run affinity analytics in Google Analytics
  • Worked on a keyword build-out for an enterprise-level client

These are just a few specific tasks I have worked on, not to mention all of the different software and PPC terms and tactics that I have learned!

I couldn’t be happier with my internship here at Hanapin. I’d like to give a big thanks to Hanapin, Wabash, and the Lilly Endowment for making this possible. I’ve become extremely interested in the world of PPC and the PPC community, and the company culture at Hanapin is something that I enjoy and appreciate. My first internship experience is something that will benefit me in the future no matter what path I take!

Shank ’16 Chicago Finance: Sink or Swim

Shank '16 puts Wabash time management skills to use as he works remotely from Chicago Starbucks.

Shank ’16 puts Wabash time management skills to use as he works remotely from Chicago Starbucks.

Ben Shank ’16 - I am very thankful for the opportunity provided to me by Wabash’s Small Business Internship Fund.  It has allowed to me work a new product launch on a financial software project at a Chicago-based company, under the supervision of a Wabash alumnus.  He has gained a wealth of knowledge about the business world since graduating from Wabash with an economics major.  He has worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and received an MBA at the University of Chicago.  This is all very relevant to my future pursuits as I am currently a rising junior economics major hoping to work in the financial field.  I also hope to one day get an MBA at a top school like UChicago.

I have been able to use skills I picked up at my previous internships at AMI Investment Management (also founded by a Wabash grad) in terms of competitor research.  While I was primarily researching stocks at AMI with the intent to purchase them, now I am researching companies from a competition standpoint. The internship has helped me think about “marketing” in a whole new way.  Before, I had associated marketing with artistic logos and creative jingles, none of which are really my forte.  However, I now see marketing as gaining an understanding of your current surroundings and peers and then identifying the need.  This will serve as valuable insight as I pursue a further career in business and finance.

Shank '16 SBIF Adorant2

This is a picture I took of Lake Michigan while walking on Lake Shore Drive during my internship.

Another interesting aspect of the internship has been the exploration of personality types and the way these impact consumer behavior.  One of the first things I did upon starting the internship was to take a Myers-Briggs personality test.  The (free and online) test asks you to answer about 80 questions, basically about how you operate.  I found that I am an ENTJ type; look it up – it’s fun to see how well your type describes you.   The goal is to not only identify what work habits work best for yourself, but also to attempt to identify how each “type” of consumer will respond to different products and features.

One of the great features of this internship is that it allows me to live in Chicago.  While I work remotely, typically from a coffee shop or my apartment, I do get to meet with my boss a couple times a week to touch base.  This internship forces one to develop time management skills since there are no set hours.  Luckily, Wabash is structured to the point that you either sink or swim based on time management skills or the lack thereof.  I highly recommend guys interested in a career in business or entrepreneurship to look into interning here through the Small Business Internship Fund in the future!

 

 

 

King ’16 Business Plan Satisfying Experience

Brenden King ’16

Brenden King ’16 - It is hard to believe that 5 weeks have already passed in the LABB program. In these first 5 weeks, we have covered everything from writing a business plan to a crash course in marketing and finance. Roland Morin ’91 our instructor and boss was not joking when he said we would receive a mini MBA this summer. This past week may have proven to be the most challenging, but most rewarding, for the course. For our past business plan we were given a few weeks to gather information and present our idea, for this time around we were given a week and I think the entire group agrees that we were able to deliver.

Split up into groups of four to five, we were each tasked with finding an idea for a business and presenting it to prospective investors. My group was made up of Ryan Anzalone, Thanh Tran, Denzel Wilkins, and myself. After a few sessions we came to the idea of a 3D printing schematics company. With only a week to prepare our group, along with the other three, we used every minute we had granted to us to put together our plan.

The end result could not have been more satisfying. All of the groups were able to build their plans with only a week for preparation. The other businesses that my peers created were a marketing firm, a record label, and a cross-fit gym – all of which were researched and presented professionally. The next and final step for the program is the consulting project for Wabash College. I would like to thank the Lilly Foundation and our instructor Roland Morin for making all of this possible.

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.

 

Anzalone ’16 Alumni Provide Glimpse into Marketing Careers

Anzalone ’16

Ryan Anzalone ’16 - Wabash has countless benefits, but I have found that the liberal arts education alone falls short in terms of job preparation. The Liberal Arts Bridge to Business (LABB) is a perfect program for me because it has allowed me to get the business-focused education that I felt was missing from my normal Wabash experience.

This week was particularly interesting for me because we learned about marketing. We visited a firm called JMI and learned all about the world of auto sports marketing. A big thanks to Wes Zirkel ’98 for taking the time to share his wisdom and teach us about his experience with marketing. Everything about JMI was cool, down to the exotic car showroom which we got to look around in. Here’s a look at one of the awesome cars in the showroom.

A peek into JMI's exotic car show room as Zirkel '98 gives LABB Interns a tour of the facilities

A peek into JMI’s exotic car showroom as Zirkel ’98 gives LABB Interns a tour of the facilities

Later that day, we went to Triton Brewery and got a grand tour of the facility. David Waldman ’93 followed his passion and founded Triton as a high quality craft brewery. I got to learn about the entire process of brewing starting from the water that comes into the building to the bottled beer which leaves the other side. David, we all had a great time at Triton and enjoyed learning about your career, as well as your time at Wabash.

Before this week started, I understood marketing as advertising primarily, but I learned that there is so much more to it. I’m not sure if I have enough creativity to be a good marketer, but I would definitely enjoy my work if it was my career. The LABB program has taught me and my peers so much in only three weeks, and we are all looking forward to the final four weeks. A special thanks to the Lilly Endowment which made this opportunity possible and to Roland Morin ’91 for pushing us all to work hard and continue to learn about the complex world of business.