Shijie Guo ’14: Gaining Experience in the Capital of China

 Shijie Guo ’14 – Getting up at 9:00AM and driving with Hao Liu’11 to Sanlitun becomes my new routine every weekday. This summer, I am doing an internship at Hao’s company—Sinoway International Education Group (SIE) in Beijing. Thanks to Career Services and the Small Business Internship Fund, I can get an unforgettable working experience in the capital of China.

Sinoway International Education Group is a company that hosts the first and the largest international summer school in China. There are four campuses this summer, and each of them are located in a major city in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing. I am working at the headquarters as an Intern Assistant Manager. My first task was to collect data about students during the past two years and this year. I categorized all the students by school, gender, and class year. Then, the business development department could use those models to analyze the development situation in each school.

Hao’11 shares his apartment with me so that I can get more chances to talk to him. He always talks about how to start a business and how to manage a company. I have learned a lot of business development strategies from him, and it turns out that my next task is to find a good way to offer textbook service for our students next summer. Since we promise students that we can offer genuine U.S. edition or international edition textbooks at a very low price, I have to do some research regarding textbook import, copyrights, and even shipping cost and delivery dates. International copyright is an important thing for an education company. Some big education companies in China have been involved in lawsuits regarding international copyrights. I am currently doing some research in order to know the basic information in this industry, and find a good and efficient way to offer cheap and legal textbooks for students. I am interested in this job and looking forward to completing it well.

On June 25, Dr. Melissa Butler, a professor from political science department of Wabash College, taught at the  Shanghai campus and came to our Beijing office to attend an academic meeting. I was so proud to hear that she told a professor from another university that SIE is our “Wabash Mafia” in China. Some colleagues ask me how I like Wabash, and it is always one simple answer: it is hard, but it will be worth it.

At the end, I want to thank Hao Liu’11 and the Wabash College Small Business Internship Fund for giving me such a great opportunity. Two years ago when I just got my visa to the States, I never thought that I could work in Beijing after two years. I also want to thank my Phi Delta Theta brothers, for the confidence and brotherhood that they give me.

Jeremy McDonald ’13: Manage or be Managed

Jeremy McDonald ’13 – When I first accepted this internship through the Small Business Internship Fund, I thought I had a fair idea of what I would be doing.  One of my good friends from Wabash, Ryan Lutz, had recommended that I apply, and upon learning that I had been offered the position, proceeded to give me advice.  Shortly after arriving and being thrust into the world of DESHO Productions, however, I realized that as helpful as his pointers may have been, there were things that they couldn’t have possibly prepared me for.

DESHO’s president, Aisha Davis, has a favorite phrase: “Manage or be managed.”  As I have become immersed more deeply in this internship, I have realized just how appropriate that motto is.  As event planners, we are expected to overcome any obstacles that could possibly arise and threaten a show from running smoothly.  Performers not turning in the relevant forms, performers not showing up on time, meeting deadlines for press and ad releases, and so the list of potential hang-ups goes on and on, with the threat of being overwhelmed ever present.  But it has been helpful to keep Ms. Davis’ phrase in mind, to remind myself that it is my duty to manage whatever situation may arise, and not allow its difficulties to manage me.  In any case, my ability to think on my feet has improved significantly in the short time that I have been working at DESHO.

My primary responsibilities have included running Live! on Woodrow Wilson Plaza, an annual summer concert series that is free and open to the public, and takes place in the shadow of the Ronald Reagan Building and the EPA.  I, along with the other interns, must make sure that the artists arrive on time, set up with the sound crew, and start both the sound check and the show on time.  Once the show starts, I then have to take periodic decibel readings and head counts, as well as record general observations about the audience’s reaction.  At the end of the show, I then must supervise the breakdown of the stage and pay the performers.

A whole host of other tasks must be accomplished before Live! even occurs, however.  I have to send out the contracts, sound tech, security, and W-9 tax documents to the artists, and ensure that they return them to us in a timely manner.  Then, as part of our promotional campaign to bring greater exposure to Live!, I must constantly update our social media sites, including our Facebook and Twitter pages and our blog.  Beyond these duties, I have also been directed to draft press releases and artist bios that we send to media outlets to increase awareness of the series.  In accomplishing these tasks, I have found that the enormous amount of writing I have done in the past three years at Wabash has served me well.

Now, I suppose that up to this point I have emphasized the rigorousness of the job, but there are undeniable perks as well.  I was lucky enough to see the Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight, in person as she kicked Live! off on June 6th.  She has been far from the only talented artist to grace our stage, however, as we have had a diverse array of performers, from flamenco dancers to alternative rockers, showcase their gifts.  It certainly has been a refreshing and entertaining experience to see the many ways in which people choose to express their artistic abilities.

I have also been lucky to have the aid of a fellow Wabash man, Reggie Steele.  He has been invaluable in helping me to acclimatize and learn how to perform all the tasks I have been entrusted with.  I was also extremely fortunate with my housing situation, as my pledge brother Jason Farbstein has graciously allowed me to live with his family this summer for free.  One of the selling points of Wabash is its networking capabilities, and I have had the good fortune to be a beneficiary of them this summer.  So to close, I would like to extend a thank you to both Wabash Career Services and Ms. Davis for the opportunity they have given me.  Now, back to work, as we have a huge salsa-themed 4th of July celebration to prepare for!

Andrew Dettmer ’15: Experiencing the Challenges of a Non-Profit

Andrew Dettmer '15 and Eric Eversole '94

Andrew Dettmer ’15 – This summer I have learned something important; while many of us may complain about the amenities that Crawfordsville has to offer, at least it is not the center of the sun that D.C.  could be.  Seriously, with a temperature of 99 degrees and 65% humidity, why on Earth did we think this was a good place to build our nation’s Capitol?

In all seriousness though, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend this summer in Washington, D.C. working for the Military Voter Protection Project (MVP Project) headed and founded by Eric Eversole ‘94.  I would like to thank him, and the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me this wonderful opportunity.  I truly appreciate it.

After seeing overseas military voters being unable to vote time and time again and the Justice Department failing to do enough solve the situation, Eric left the Justice Department to start the MVP Project as a non-for-profit to do what he saw the government fail to do.  Now, as MVP expands, it has moved from strictly a watchdog function into also working to actively increase the amount of military members who vote in the elections.

Working for Eric has provided an experience I’m not sure that I could have received elsewhere.  Working for a non-for-profit comes with its own unique set of challenges, and working for one that deals with such complex issues such as federal, state, and local laws, military policy, and politics means that every action the organization takes must be carefully thought out.  So no only have I learned about all of these complicated issues, but Eric has also given me advice on the paths open to me as someone who is interested in the field of law.

I, along with Jim Youn ’14, am handling the social media for MVP Project.  To many, social media may seem relatively easy or something that is a matter of just getting people to find your page and keep them there.  Well, how do you do that?  How do you generate consistent content for each page? How do you attract more followers or get your tweets trending on twitter?  There is a science behind all of that.  It was not too long ago that I really didn’t think that creating a Facebook was worth my time; now I’m sitting in meetings and listening to experts talk about how to best approach the various aspects of it.

While Mark Zuckerberg may have originally created Facebook in order for college kids to create networks of friends, it is now an important, integral, and necessary part of any business wanting to create a real presence and way for people to connect with the company.  While Facebook may not be around forever, social media is here to stay, and business has begun to realize its importance to their advertising and marketing.

Yet like all internships, what I learn in the office is just part of the experience.  Thanks to Hayden Wetzel ‘72 I got to spend two evenings cooking with a family from Azerbaijan, and see the look in their eyes as they had their first s’more.  That’s something that I never thought would be an eye-opening experience for me, but it made me realize all the simple pleasures in life that we as Americans sometimes forget to appreciate.

Well, I have approximately 6 weeks left here in this great city, and I’m sure I will have more rewarding experiences and memorable moments before I leave to head back to Wabash.  It’s been an incredible summer, and I can’t be thankful enough for the opportunity I have had.



Amerling ’14: The Perfect Working Combination

Alex Amerling ’14 – I am working at Mercury Marine, the worlds #1 producer of Inboard and Outboard marine engines, and absolutely love it. I am currently working in the PD&E (Product Development and Engineering) department as well as working on the water at our testing facility. At my desk, I have been working on improving safety within the department and the company as a whole. For starters, I got to paint all the yellow poles in the plant with a fresh coat of safety yellow, not the most exciting, but these jobs must be done. I am also going through the safety orientation used for all new hires, analyzing it, and making corrections when necessary. In the future I am going to be doing some product testing, taking parts off the production line, testing for a particular color, in order to assure the quality of product being produced is consistent.

When I work at the testing facility my day is never the same. As the only intern there, (a plant consisting of about 25 engineers, 15 technicians and 1 me!), I have been tasked with doing everything from fabricating testing mounts for salt water testing to shoveling away the dead fish that wash up on the boat landing. No matter what, everyday is interesting, and I get the beautiful sunshine on my back. I am also learning some important skills, like how to weld, use a butane torch, and other really cool things. It’s the perfect combination of desk work and working with my hands, it makes time fly by.

I’ve grown up around Mercury Marine (it’s in my hometown) so being able to work here for the summers in the Engineering Department is an opportunity I am too lucky to get. Also, fingers crossed, I am hopefully going to get to use my physics background and do some Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) testing on the water, this means I get to be out on the water all day. Getting to test boat engines is a once in a lifetime opportunity, here in Wisconsin, life is good.

Chew ’13: Understanding A Small Business

David Chew ’13 – Benefitting from the Wabash College Alumni connection and the opportunities Career Services provide, I have taken full advantage of The Small Business Internship Fund Program.  This has given me the chance to work at a small business and receive a better understanding about what it takes to run a business.  I currently work at Liquor Mart, which is partly owned by Wabash College Alumnus Bob Charles ’59.

I actually met Bob Charles today at Liquor Mart.  He is credited for the co-development of the McDonald’s Happy Meal and the invention of the two-lane drive-through.  Not to mention how he founded the Imagine Foundation, which helps over 2,000 people with developmental delays or cognitive disabilities.  It is rare that one is able to meet a man of his caliber.  While we were conversing, he stressed that I learn as much as I can from this experience and that this is a program put in place for students like me wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Throughout my internship in retail management at Liquor Mart, I have been rotated throughout different departments of the store.  The different departments help the establishment run smoothly as a whole.  I have been working for five weeks now.  During my employment, I have experienced the positions of I have learned a substantial amount thanks to the SBIF.  I have experienced what it takes to keep a business running and learned how Liquor Mart maintains their status as one of the best Liquor Stores in the nation.  Without the SBIF, this opportunity would not be possible for me.  I am also enjoying Boulder Colorado and the beautiful Rocky Mountains which I have never been able to lay my eyes upon.  That is another plus to the SBIF, it allows you to step out of your comfort zone, for me that was Indiana, and experience life in a totally new way.web order management, beer department management, and now beginning my training as a manager.

The first week of my two week interval, I usually spend time learning how to do the job, then the second week I experience the position first hand.  I have noticed the importance of every position in the business, whether it involves communicating with customers or negotiating with sales representatives.  They are all an important asset to the success of the business.

While taking advantage of the opportunities Career Services provide, I have realized how important and beneficial their program can be.  I would advise every Wabash student to get involved with Career Services as early as possible.  Wabash College is extremely lucky to have Scott Crawford and Career Services supporting and funding our will to do more while in school.  This is an incredible experience and it would not be possible without the help of Career Services and their Small Business Internship Fund Program.  Thank you.

Valentine ’14: New Product Launch Internship

Jared Valentine ’14– Going into the summer after my sophomore year at Wabash College, I was looking for an internship program that would allow me to pick up where I left off at the end of the previous summer.  Having worked in sales and business development in the summer of 2011 after completing the Business Immersion Program, I was determined to land an internship that would be focused in an area of business that I am very interested in and have not worked too intently in thus far in my career. With a heavy focus on product development and marketing, I am currently learning how to work in a field that I do not have a terrible amount of experience in, but enjoy.  Since participating in the Marketing Immersion Program during my freshman year at Wabash, I have always had an interest in looking into marketing and this internship is giving me that opportunity at last.  However, this program is giving me insight into much more than just marketing, for example: it is allowing me to witness the long, enduring process that is product development; it is presenting me with the opportunity to studying a wide variety of business strategies; it is giving me the chance to advance my communication, professional, and interviewing skills through meetings with an array of financial professionals and prospective consumers.  I have had all of these insights and I am only in the third week.

Brian Mantel '93, Jared Valentine '14

Since it is as if I am consulting on a product launch, I do not need to be at an office or with my boss every day.  Instead, I am working from the comfort of my own bedroom in rural Jay County, Indiana.  With an office located in Naperville, IL (the greater Chicago area), I am required to make semi-frequent trips to the area to meet with my boss, Brian Mantel, as well as to other places so to meet with professionals of the financial field and consumers for research and other business purposes.  While working from home has its disadvantages in the communication department since Mr. Mantel and I meet via phone on occasion and rely on email the majority of the time, there are definite advantages such as flexible lunch breaks and morning pajamas.  In all seriousness, it does force one to be responsible and make sure that they are staying focused on the task at hand and meeting deadlines for projects and other work.  In this way, it’s a burden which ultimately leads to better time management and a stronger will to avoid distractions from friends, entertainment, and younger siblings who are on summer vacation.

I am only three weeks into this internship program and am already working on multiple projects and learning more and more every day for current and future work.  So far in this internship I have mostly focused on research so to catch up on the current problem that my product is focused on working with and am more recently working on a few different projects in the market research area.  The program is heading in a direction that excites me and is very flexible to my desires of what I want to get out of this summer.  I look forward to what the remainder of the internship and what it has in store for me as my work transfers from research to more hands-on work in marketing, finance, sales, and a other areas of business.  Hopefully this program will help me narrow my interests and allow me to have a better grasp on what it is that I want to do after graduation.

Matthews ’15: Learning to Negotiate

Brody Matthews ‘15 – This year I was one of the few students fortunate enough to join an internship through the small business internship fund. I received this opportunity through Erik Ness and United Perishable Logistics. Since returning to my home state of Colorado I have been able to enjoy my family and social life accompanied with a great work environment. The business I joined is a brokerage firm owned by a produce company known as Martori farms, which is where our primary business comes from.

Working in a small business is a great way of gaining actual knowledge in the field and experience with this type of business. You are forced to gain the required skills very quickly and you begin contributing to the company immediately.

The office has 4 full time employees, Erik, Brandi, Blu and Jordan. Everyone has helped me tremendously with learning the ways of conducting business. My main tasks are to either “book loads” or find trucks and put their information into an email list serve. We are given a list of loads that need to be picked up and delivered in a certain time frame that all have different qualifications. We typically use trucking equipment called a “reefer” which is a refrigerated carrier; this may change depending on the shipper’s preference. We will then deliver these products to our own local Wal-Mart’s and Sam’s Clubs!

Over the little time that I have worked with UPL, I have gained the skills of negotiating and have begun to learn the importance of organization. It is our job to make sure that all the parties involved know what’s going on and that the final delivery goes smooth. There are many different factors that weigh into loading a truck and making sure he delivers on time. Everything is always in a constant state of change and there is no guarantee. It has been fascinating to witness and become a part of what is a very fast paced and evolving business. There is no easy way to find trucks and nothing goes as planned, so it’s hard to get a step ahead. The drivers we search for are in low supply and high demand, so the competition makes negotiating that much harder.

It has been great being home and working this internship at the same time. It has been a difficult task in itself balancing my new work life with the social life I had been accustomed. I am looking forward to finishing out the summer on a strong note and heading back to Wabash.


Peller ’13: Insight to Running a Small Business


Adam Andrews '12, Tyler Hardcastle '15, Andrew Shelton '03, J.J. Peller '13

J.J. Peller ’13 – Thanks to the Small Business Internship Fund program, I have a great opportunity this summer to work and learn at Paramount Molded Products, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Paramount was acquired less than a year ago by Wabash College ’03 alum Andrew Shelton.  Paramount is a plastic mold injection company that produces molded products for clients in many different industries.

In just a few weeks, I have learned a tremendous amount about the production process, the marketing strategies, and the customer relations that are vital to running the business.  Though I had preconceptions about the amount of hard work that is required to run one’s own business, I now see first hand the realities of it.  Andrew has helped me to begin understanding the thought process necessary for a business owner.  He is constantly thinking about the next several steps he needs to take in order to grow his company.  Andrew often sits and talks with Tyler (Tyler Hardcastle ’15 is also doing an internship with Paramount this summer through the SBIF) and me about what he’s thinking, why he’s thinking that way, and how putting those ideas into action will benefit Paramount.

Adam Andrews, who graduated from Wabash this past May, did an internship through the SBIF a couple summers ago working with Andrew’s company TrackPack Coolers in Indianapolis, IN. Adam moved down to Ft. Lauderdale two weeks ago to begin his career as National Sales Representative for Paramount Molded Products. Since he already has experience with TrackPack, he has been able to help Tyler and me learn more about how that business operates. We’ve reviewed sales sheets, talked about how he pitches products to retailers, and we are currently looking at the marketing of TrackPack.

It’s been an interesting summer internship so far. I have learned a lot in the few weeks that I’ve been here and I expect to continue to increase my knowledge as I progress through the remainder of the internship. I know what I gain from this internship experience will help me to succeed in whatever career I undertake after I graduate from Wabash next May. The Wabash College SBIF provides an invaluable opportunity for students to immerse ourselves in business in order to be better prepared for the competitive jobs that we want to pursue after we finish our studies at Wabash.

Underclassmen who read this, take full advantage of these funded internship opportunities as you go forward with your Wabash career. SBIF presents opportunities that we probably would not have otherwise had available to us if we were not at Wabash. Thanks to the SBIF program and Andrew Shelton for providing me the opportunity for this learning experience.

J.J. Peller
Wabash College ‘13