Brown ’17 Experiences a Ride Along

Wesley Brown: EPD – Through a series of connections with Wabash College alumni, I was lucky enough to meet Detective Peter DeYoung with the Evansville Police Department (EPD).  Detective DeYoung set up a four day long externship for me on the dates of July 20-23, 2016.  During this externship I got the opportunity to job shadow the daily lives of three different units within the EPD.

On Wednesday, July 20, I rode along with patrol officer Kyle Thiry on second shift from 3:00pm-11:00pm.  During this time I learned about the role and utmost importance of patrol officers in local law enforcement structure.  Patrol officers must be almost completely self sufficient, and use critical decision making skills in a timely manner in order to properly serve the public and at times protect themselves.  Patrol officers are literally the boots on the ground for law enforcement agencies, and are imperative in solving large and small issues in the community.  I did not realize how constant the work of a patrol officer was until Officer Thiry explained the dispatch and response system to me.  From the time Officer Thiry and I got into his patrol car, we were continuously on “runs” until the end of his shift.  During my ride-along we went on a variety of dispatched runs including criminal mischief, noise complaints, domestic disputes, breaking and entering, and assault in progress.  Officer Thiry responded to each call in order of urgency, while simultaneously handling each situation with equal diligence and concern.  My ride-along with Officer Thiry was an extremely exciting and eye-opening experience.

On Thursday, July 21, I shadowed a detective with the Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) Unit of the EPD from 12:00pm-5:00pm.  Usually this unit leads Gang Task Force operations and enforces the law by utilizing statistical data based on geographically focusing efforts on areas with high concentrations of crime in the city of Evansville.  However, on this day I rode with one of the ILP detectives during an important surveillance operation.  This was surprisingly the most exhilarating day of my externship because the detective I rode with was forced to exceed the speed limit and make several traffic violations, all in an unmarked pick-up truck in order to keep track of the vehicles we were tailing.  From my experience with the ILP Unit, it was clear that being a detective in this unique niche of law enforcement would be a thrilling career.

On Friday and Saturday night, July 22-23, I shadowed EPD Detective and Wabash College alumni Peter DeYoung on third shift from 8:00pm-4:00am.  Detective DeYoung was working on about eight different cases and investigations at the time.  In order to solve these cases and track down crime suspects, Detective DeYoung utilized unique tools such as county jail phone/video recordings, the EPD database systems, crime scene evidence, and even Facebook.  Detective DeYoung has a large amount of freedom within his shift regarding the way he performs his job, as often times he can do things on his own time as long as he completes each case file within a month of the investigations’ completion.  During my externship we left the office a few times to look for suspects at locations where they might have been.  While shadowing Detective DeYoung, he also interviewed two separate stabbing victims at a local hospital in order to find out what exactly happened in the situation, who the offender was, where they might be, along with any other useful information.  It was intriguing to view and learn about the process of criminal investigations from start to finish, in the detectives’ office and in the field.  Detective DeYoung said he uses valuable critical thinking skills that he developed during his four years at Wabash College and has been able to sharpen through his career in law enforcement.

This four-day externship was an eye-opening and exciting experience that has ultimately further inspired me to pursue a career in law enforcement.  On the last night of the externship Detective DeYoung gave me an application for the EPD and spoke with me in depth about the yearlong application process.  With my senior year and graduation from Wabash quickly approaching, the EPD will be one of the law enforcement agencies that I apply for this upcoming school year and hope to be a part of one day.  I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Detective DeYoung for his generosity in setting up this invaluable experience.  I would also like to thank all the brave men and women of the Evansville Police Department for their service to the community and for welcoming me during my time throughout the department.

Armuth ’19 Exposed to a New Field


Armuth ’19 with his externship advisor

Connor Armuth ’19: IRHA – If you are one of the people who thinks that externships aren’t valuable because of their length, you are wrong. Assumptions like that are what limit students. I know this frequently happens because I was one of those students who downplayed the significance of externships before I landed mine.

When I came to Wabash, I had no intentions of going into the “healthcare” field. The reason I am using quotes is that my assumption, the first problem being the word assumption, was that if I didn’t want to be a doctor or nurse or dentist I didn’t have a place in healthcare.

Thanks to the Indiana Rural Health Association taking me under their wing for their annual conference, I discovered an entire field of jobs that I had no idea existed. One of my good family friends works in healthcare policy and hospital management. He knew I was interested in business and wanted to expose me to the business sector of health. At first, I was skeptical, thinking that it would be a waste of my time because if I wasn’t a bio or chem major I wasn’t going to be involved with healthcare whatsoever. Little did I know, by the last day of the conference, I would have a summer internship offer for next summer.

Thanks to Career Services, I have had a little bit of practice networking just like every other student who has been to one of their networking events. By networking, I was able to communicate properly with professionals in the healthcare sector of business, and it turned out that I left with an internship offer. At first, I was shocked because this conference is the only exposure I had ever had to this type of work, but the man who offered it to me said he wasn’t worried about my lack of experience. If you show someone that you are motivated and willing to get out of your comfort zone, that shows the attributes of a valuable employee. Anyone can learn something like policy, but not everyone can approach it with the same attitude and willingness to work.

Getting out of my comfort zone led me to meet a group of amazing individuals who work in a field that I just so happen to find fascinating. Healthcare policy is something that liberal arts students have a place in. If it weren’t for our family friend pushing me to attend this conference, I wouldn’t know anything about the debates and board meetings on the change in healthcare policy.

I understand how lucky I was to have this opportunity presented to me after a casual conversation about school. This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a connection you cant explore a new field. Professionals love to help out college students who are exploring the workforce because we are the future. It is very easy to think that you aren’t worth the time of a certain alum or that trying to talk to them would be a waste of their time, but I learned something that you have to conquer that fear. Believe it or not, they want to help you.

Anzalone ’16 Finds Answers with Career Test-Drive

By Ryan Anzalone ’16

As an Economics major here at Wabash, I spend a lot of time wondering what the real world will look like for a student like me. How do these skills translate to a career in finance, or any other industry for that matter? Thanks to the Career Services office and the Callings Funding, I was able to spend 3 days at an investment firm in Chicago experiencing the real world under the supervision of a Wabash alum. Chad Cleaver ’00 works at a firm called Driehaus Capital Management LLC which is a privately-held investment management firm with $12.9 billion total assets. Mr. Cleaver is the portfolio manager of the Emerging Markets fund, which generally invests in companies of all capitalizations based within countries with emerging markets.

Cleaver ’00 provided strong leadership and countless learning opportunities

This career test drive was eye opening for me. Due to Mr. Cleaver’s position in an emerging markets fund, I was fortunate enough to shadow him during many meetings with analysts from around the world. I gained valuable insight into different cultures and how different people view the problems facing the world economy. I arrived in Chicago with wide eyes and hundreds of questions and I left with lots of answers, and a much clearer view of the equity research industry as a whole.

“I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.”

This test drive was a new experience for both Mr. Cleaver and me, as it was the first test drive of its kind at Driehaus. I spent my time each day reading about emerging markets and listening to industry professional’s talk about their hopes and concerns in each country. Analysts from Korea, China, and Turkey did their best to answer the questions Chad’s team had about their respective economies. The purpose of these meetings was to give the analysts at Driehaus a clearer picture of what is happening in these emerging markets, so that they can make more educated investment decisions.

On the first day, I felt like they were talking to each other in a different language. By the end of the test drive, I noticed I was able to follow along in these meetings much better and even found myself having questions for the traveling analysts.  I was also given a company from Kenya to research in my free time, with the end goal of presenting my research to Chad at the end of my trip. The company I was researching was called Safaricom, and it is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Kenya. I read countless pages of news about Kenya’s economy and how the telecom industry was projected to change in the coming years.

My independent research, paired with my exposure to the types of questions which needed to be asked to make an educated decision, allowed me to make a final investment decision about Safaricom and present it to Mr. Cleaver. I found this experience to be highly valuable and it helped me decide which direction I wanted to continue pursuing as a career. These three days were some of the best spent three days of my college life so far.

Yumnam ’17 Makes the Most of a Career Test-Drive

By: Seine Yumnam ’17

Sadly, Wabash does not have finance classes. But, worry not, there are opportunities out there just for Wabash men to lay foundation in finance: stock market focused.

During the winter break that just passed by (2013-2014), I had a Career Test-Drive with Cheevers and Company, an execution firm under the umbrella of Chicago Board Options Exchange. John Castro, Wabash alumnus, hired me. Generally, a Career Test-Drive is a very short intensive job shadowing opportunity. But my experience was too great to end it soon so I did it for the whole winter break. I walked into the firm on 24th of December. I barely knew anything about stock market, shares, trade execution, brokerage firm and whatever that has to do with trading. I am also a member of the investment club. In most meetings I would just sit and watch other team-mates throw words and ideas that made no sense to me.

  “I would definitely recommend such kind of Career test-drives to any Wabash men, regardless of whether he has career plans in mind or not. Why waste a break when you have the opportunity to figure out where your strength lies in and what your interest is?”

However, in a period of one month, things have changed. Thanks to Cheevers and the Wabash funded Career test-drive program we have. During the first week in Cheevers, I learned the terms and concepts that appear most frequently in the stock market; every single person in the office was passionate enough to deal with my lack of knowledge. In my second week I was observing what each trader was doing, questioning their decisions and actions to bid or offer.  The explanations I received were detailed with visual charts and graphs. Their calculated and precise moves completely blew my mind off. But sometimes they just had to follow their client’s orders. By third week, I was able to write buy and sell tickets without error and supervision. This was a quantum jump from my previous state of knowledge. The last week, I was awed at the volume of work that can be done sitting in an back office environment. The need for keenness and accuracy in the back office drove my attention. I got heavily involved in allocating trades, checkings and correcting misallocations, back office system renovation and much more.

My subtle interests in trading and banking have exponentially grown over the winter. Not only have I learned subject related ideas, but I have also become more confident in my career goals. I am in a much stronger position to plan what to do next and craft my own growth strategy. I have also honed vital skills like multi-tasking; simply put, I ate lunch every day in front of the desk while allocating trades. This multi-tasking skill is particularly important if someone is seeking a job in trading center in the USA: trading firm’s employees have no lunch breaks.

I would definitely recommend such kind of Career test-drives to any Wabash men, regardless of whether he has career plans in mind or not. Why waste a break when you have the opportunity to figure out where your strength lies in and what your interest is?  Remember, such test-drives are technically free. You can get funding from Wabash Callings depending on the number of days you are doing the test-drive.

Sean Hildebrand ’14: Exploring Opportunities in Sports Industries

Sean Hildebrand ’14:  When I was searching for an externship that would help me in my goal to one day work in the NFL, I was fortunate enough to land an opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Colts Team Facility for a day.  While there wasn’t anyone on site that worked with the actual team, there were plenty of employees scrambling around to finish various projects before the preseason opener this Sunday.  I met numerous people who worked with the marketing, sales, and sponsorship side of the organization, and I instantly became fascinated with the work they were doing. 

The first man I visited was Jim Matis, formerly known as “Mad Dog” on radio station Q95.  After 25 years with the radio show, Jim became the Colts’ sponsorship sales account manager.  Even though promotions and sponsorships aren’t what I’m looking to get involved with, it was great to learn about what goes on behind the scenes in the Colts’ facility and at home games.  For example, all those company banners you see hanging around Lucas Oil Stadium became involved with the organization through Jim.  The Colts organization agrees to market the company name around the stadium and through commercial/radio ads in exchange for a hefty investment from the company.  The more sponsors he racks up, the more the organization profits. 

I was then passed on to Andy Schwartz, the man Jim goes to once he comes to an agreement with a new sponsor.  Schwartz then gets in contact with the sponsor and finds out what kind of promotions they want with the Colts (commercials, in-game ads, radio mentions, etc.).  Once that is settled, Schwartz sets up times when the company’s promotions will be displayed on television, radio, or during the game.  He showed me the script of all the promos that will be shown during this Sunday’s preseason game:  there were eight pages worth of ads that had to be shown throughout the game.  The unnoticed amount of work that the marketing side of the organization goes through every day is simply unbelievable.  Even though this isn’t the kind of work I want to get involved with, I gained an incredible appreciation for the work that this side of the organization does in helping the Colts become even more profitable.  I also found value in seeing how fast-paced and unpredictable life in an NFL organization can be.

The following day I visited the Finish Line headquarters to hang out with Andy Rankin, a Wabash alumnus of 1998 and a lawyer.  He does real estate corporate counseling with the company, which means he makes agreements with landlords to have a Finish Line at various malls and buildings around the country.  Finish Line began in Indianapolis in 1976, and has expanded to over 650 stores across the country.  There are also over 650 separate leases for each of the Finish Line locations in the United States, and two real estate lawyers to manage them.  To show me just how busy Andy can be, he gave me an old lease for a Finish Line store that is no longer open.  Numerous amendments were made on the lease by both Andy and the landlord, and the final draft ended up being 70 pages long.  The average lease for a Finish Line store takes him roughly two hours to look over and propose changes, and he usually does this about 5-7 times each week.  Fortunately for Rankin, this is about as difficult and boring as it gets for him at Finish Line Headquarters.

After spending a day with Andy, I gained a much better understanding of what lawyers do in the sporting goods industry.  While I am still uncertain about my specific career track after graduation, it was nice to learn what a law degree and other graduate school programs can do for you.  It was also great to see what a gigantic sporting goods headquarters looks like.  Along with the warehouse, conference rooms and hundreds of offices, the headquarters contains just about everything you can ask for:  lunch room, 80″ flat screen TV, arcade, weight room, basketball court, cross fit gym, and an actual Finish Line store in the basement.  And much like the Colts’ team facility, there is a lively and friendly environment around the offices and cubicles, and everyone seems to get along and have a good time with one another.  I’m grateful to have had the unique opportunity to visit two very distinguished businesses in the sports industry.

Wilson ’13 Expands Wabash Opportunities

I did not expect a summer job to affect my career prospects. As my study abroad opportunity in Chile finished, I realized I had more than a month available to work. However, not many people are willing to hire an individual for only one month. But, I noticed an opportunity to work with Career Services as a fellowship intern to research and build our fellowship resources. Yet, the most unintended consequence of this funding was our Gap Year Program resources.

Over the summer while working on our Career Services’ web site to create a new fellowship section, I noticed our underdeveloped gap-year program resources. After talking with Assistant Director James Jeffries and Director Scott Crawford, they let me redesign and boost our gap year resources and information. This gap year refocus seemed to impact our graduating student body, including myself.

This upcoming summer I will begin working with Citizen Schools as a Teaching Fellow. I will work for two years on the South Side of Chicago in a struggling middle school that extends their school day by three hours to give students more individualized attention and experiential learning. Though the program’s extended learning time, Citizen Schools hope to break the vicious cycle of the underprivileged by giving them real-world experience and academic mentoring.

Other students have undertaken similar challenges to handle global and international struggles. This year over 5% of our student body have accepted positions to teach and volunteer in prestigious gap-year programs!

  • ·         Tyler Griffin, Teach for America, Atlanta, GA
  • ·         Jose Herrera, Teach for America, Indianapolis, IN
  • ·         Alejandro Maya, Teach for America, Tulsan City, OK
  • ·         Francisco Olivia, Teach for America, Indianapolis, IN
  • ·         Wyatt Lewis, Schuler Program, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Ronnie Sullivan, Schuler Program, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Garrett Wilson, Citizen Schools, Chicago, IL
  • ·         Matt Paul, Culver Academies, Culver, IN
  • ·         Charles Hintz, Peace Corps, Mozambique, Africa
  • ·         Keaton Becher, Cross Hill Mennonite School, Cross Hill, SC
  • ·         Logan Rice, Wuxi Big Bridge Academy, English Teacher, Wuxi China

Until recently, gap year programs have been uncommon in the United States. Many gap year programs developed over the past 20 years in a variety of different fields ranging from agricultural, education, civic service and internships. Now, thousands of recent high school and college graduates are exploring gap-year possibilities before and after college.

If you are unsure what you want to do after college or want to try something different, try a gap-year program. You will be able to travel, explore and go outside your comfort zone. I am nervous about my experience, but I am ready to try something unexpected.

Alumnus and Professors give Hopkinson ’15 a Spot in the Externship Lineup

–By Jocelyn Hopkinson

Prospective students will hear how helpful the Wabash faculty and alumni are when they visit for Honor Scholar Weekend. Admissions and students advertised the same things to me when I was a senior. Part of me thought these advertisements were exaggerated, but I recently discovered I was wrong—all I needed to do was take the first step and reach out.

I reached out to Professor of Economics Kealoha Widdows about potential summer-school options. I met with Professor Widdows and discussed my post-Wabash ambitions. She told me to work with Career Services and required I report back to her. I’ll admit my mother had urged me to visit Kane House for a year, but I never made it over. However, I found I was much more accountable when a professor requests something from me!

I worked with Scott Crawford and other Peer Career Advisors to update and improve my resume. More importantly, I was urged to contact Wabash alumni. Again, I took the first step and reached out to Mark Osnowitz ’12 via LinkedIn.

Just because the field isn’t in playing shape doesn’t mean the front office isn’t working hard.


A few summers ago, Osnowitz interned with the Normal Cornbelters, a professional baseball team in the Frontier League in Normal, IL. I have an interest in sports business and thought an externship with a small organization would be very beneficial because I could absorb all the business’ aspects.

Osnowitz was more than willing to help and played an instrumental role in me landing the externship. After a few messages on LinkedIn, Osnowitz contacted team President and Owner Steve Malliet and General Manager Kyle Kreger. Osnowitz put in a very good word for me. From that point on, it was up to me not to screw up and fortunately I was able to avoid any mishaps.

I spent between two and three hours per day with the office staff over spring break. Each day consisted something new and ranged from stadium management to ticket sales. The Cornbelters’ front-office staff only has seven full-time employees so the different departments are a one or two-man operation with the help of a handful of interns. The staff provided me with personal attention every day and was excited to help me learn, similar to the Wabash faculty.

My week started by shadowing Kreger. He oversees an umbrella of responsibilities including ticket sales, corporate sponsors, and community relations. He also holds the power to make personnel decisions, but leaves them to his coaches and scouting department.

“Ticket Sales Tuesday” occurred the following day. I met with Vice President of Ticket Sales Joe Rejc. Always looking to improve, Rejc explained how the team planned to increase ticket sales from last season. He reiterated what Kreger had told me, that more groups (churches, businesses, youth baseball teams etc.) would be targeted this season. After laying out the strategy, he showed me March’s game plan. Rejc and other sales members are required to hit specific sales numbers and if everybody accomplishes their goals, the team will increase its sales.

The other part of the revenue stream is corporate sponsorships. Director of Corporate Partnerships Lori Johnson met with me Wednesday to explain her job. She sells advertising space inside and outside the ballpark for local businesses such as outfield signs, box suites, and billboards. She also handles trades, which occur when the Cornbelters give advertising to a local business in exchange for that business’ services. For instance, if a new player has nowhere to stay, he may live in a hotel for a certain amount of time and the hotel will get free advertising at the Cornbelters games. The team doesn’t receive revenue from trades, but costs are less if not zero.

Kreger harped about starting out in ticket or corporate sales. He said every employer wants to know how he can increase his revenue and if you intern in a sales position, you can put that number by your name and quantify your skills.

Hopkinson ’15 saw a lot of faces of the organization in a short time

Stadium Operations Manager Ryan Eberle showed me the Corn Crib on Thursday. Eberle is responsible for a variety of tasks—stadium and locker room cleanliness, utilities, dugout and field conditions to name a few. He is also in charge of event and game-day logistics.

I spent my last day with Business Manager Heather Manint. She handles the team store, accounting, and other general business activities. Friday alone entailed of meetings with a health-care provider and sales tax auditor. 

I finished my job-shadow experience with a much better idea of sports business operations and where my interests lie. I plan to heed Kreger’s advice and look for an internship in ticket or corporate sales in the future—possibly even with the Cornbelters. The gentle shove from Professor Widdows and enthusiastic help from Osnowitz and Career Services made this possible.

A Young Wally at the Chicago Stock Exchange

During my previous winter break, I did an one-month externship at Cheevers & Company on the floor of Chicago Stock Exchange with one of our prestigious Wabash alumni—John Castro. I met John during a career services event in downtown Chicago.  He is on the advisory board of the Security Traders Association of Chicago and he’s an institutional trader at Cheevers and Company. Being an Economics and Math double major; I wish to pursue a career in investment banking or consulting. So I thought it would be great if he could host me this winter for a job shadowing externship. Luckily, I talked to the right guy, a guy who eventually became my first mentor in the industry of finance.

Zuo ’16 gets his feet wet with an externship in Chicago

My externship started as soon as the semester was over. Working in the Financial First building next to Chicago Board of Trade in downtown Chicago gave me a completely different working experience. During this externship, I felt I was treated as an actual intern because everyone in the office was always willing to help patiently and took my questions seriously. At the very first week, Mr. Castro helped me go through most of the basic finance terms and concepts and taught me how to conduct effective finance researches. He showed me how the business was operated from different offices and how the stock trading was executed as a whole. Later on, he started to put me in front of different desks to see how different sectors of the business works.  I went to the back office to see how they do the daily clearing of all the trading records, traveled to the compliance office to see how they keep track of every executed stock, and I have been to the actual CBOE trading floor to see how brokers start the trade by making their first calls.  Castro not only helped me to get better comprehensive approaches to the stocks trading and finance world, but also helped me expand my social networks. I also helped my boss to write buy and sell tickets on a daily basis to better understand the nature of business.

I should say this is definitely the most unique externship going through Wabash Career Services.  Since the duration of this externship is one month- which is much longer than any other ordinary two-day job shadowing externship- I received more chances to interact with other people in the office. At the end of the externship, I could greet everyone in the office by their names and their normal lunch orders. And unlike other “employers,” my boss bought me launch every day. In order to show the special cares for the international minorities in the office, we had Chinese-Tuesday every week. Furthermore, being a freshman, I am a blank sheet of paper to this “messy” industry, so Castro assigned me different readings and independent research after work so that I could have better understand of the theories in terms of social practices. Furthermore, this externship expanded my horizon in the finance industry and helped me to build the relationship to the people who are working in stock exchange and investment banking.


Castro served as a mentor for Zuo during his internship, providing real-world experience in the world of finance

This externship is definitely unforgettable, not only for the knowledge I learned about the finance industry, but also because of the people I met during this winter break. John Castro is my boss who hosted me throughout my externship; he is a Wabash alumnus who graduated in class of 1997. He is my mentor more than my teacher in many ways, he is a real example of how a Wabash man think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively and live humanely. John is now considering hosting one Wabash every winter and if you are available and interested in Finance, then you can’t miss it. Eventually, I should say, so proud to be a Wabash man!

-Yiyuan Zuo Tiger ‘16

Clark ’16: Constructing a Foundation Through Externships

            During the first business week of January I participated in an externship at Nusurge Electric Company in Cleveland, Ohio.  I was able to get an externship there with the company because my uncle is the operations manager for the contracting company within Nusurge. During this externship I experienced the “business” side of construction. I was interested in seeing how an operations manager functioned in a construction company. I noticed how much the OP (Operations Manager) is out of the office. It is the OP’s job to visit the various construction sites to oversee the projects that the company is contracted for. The OP has many responsibilities including: checking with the foremen to see what their needs are, buying and distributing the equipment necessary to completing the job, calling business’/organizations in an attempt to get the company in on the projects. I learned how competitive the construction business is. There are a plethora of construction companies across the world, but there are only so many projects that need workers.

            In the three days of my externship I visited construction sites, handled important paperwork, functioned as a secretary, and networked with various foremen and owners of construction companies.

            Apart of performing day-to-day construction tasks, Nusurge has to purchase a myriad of expensive equipment that’s needed at the construction sites; and with that comes the bills from the companies that supply the tools to Nusurge. So, as part of my first day of work, I sorted hundreds of copies of the invoices that Nusurge received from the businesses across Ohio. Organizing the invoices from the company will prove useful. I learned that the invoices are like receipts that can be referred to if Nusurge was ever to be audited by the government. I also organized and sorted complex manuals and schematics containing the instruction necessary for the operation of the electrical wiring in the buildings Nusurge worked on.

            Additionally, I was asked to receive incoming calls for Nusurge and take down any information that was to be relayed to the manager. I analyzed multiple recorded messages on the voicemail where I also relayed information of high importance to the manager.

            By partaking in this externship I realized that I like to be in control of the projects and be the coordinator people refer to when they need something. I would rather coordinate behind the scenes then do the manual labor or be on the “front lines” per say. This experience is motivation for me to start my own business and be my own boss. I do not feel I could function at an entry-level job for very long. Watching the manager delegate and handle the higher matters rather than the trivial ones intrigued me.  I do not necessarily want to work in the construction business, but I learned that whatever job I do I want to be in charge. The externship at Nusurge taught me what it takes to be the leader in charge of a competitive business.

-A.J. Clark

Checking the Pulse on Hospital Administration–An Externship

I certainly wanted to stay as productive as possible during these past four weeks of winter break.  Thanks to the assistance of Career Services, I had the opportunity to spend three days conducting an externship with Terry Hamilton ’89.  Mr. Hamilton, an economics major in his time at Wabash, is President of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital in suburban Detroit.  My exposure to the world of healthcare prior to this externship was limited to visiting a grandparent in a hospital, going to a check-up, or as a hospital volunteer in high school.  Administration may not be able to be seen from your back in a hospital bed; rather, it is what makes the process as seamless as possible (even though it may not always be all that seamless).

As a morning-time ritual, Mr. Hamilton and I reviewed two important sets of documents.  The first is a daily census of the hospital.  In my time at St. John’s, the hospital was experiencing numbers nearing capacity.  Upon my arrival, there were 22 patients in the emergency room who were going to be admitted to the hospital, but were waiting on a bed.  It’s great news for a hospital administrator when it comes to knowing “business is booming,” but by the same token, one cannot hope for high patient satisfaction ratings when waiting 12 hours or more for a room.  An important number that we looked at when it came to the operations of the emergency room is the LWBS, or left without being seen, number.  In the recent days of heavy patient volume, there were, at times, 10 to 15 patients who had checked-in to the emergency room, but had decided to leave before being seen by a physician.  By using linear regression through Excel, we were able to look at the number of ER visits and how that correlated to the number of LWBS patients.  With the equation you find from that linear regression, the question becomes: what number of ER staff will it take to minimize the LWBS number?

The second document set is a detailed safety report from the previous day.  Another great tool that St. John’s utilizes each morning is a “safety huddle,” where representatives from each department meet to discuss what occurred in the past 24 hours that was unsafe for patients.  This can range from falls to putting the wrong identification wristband to a delay in care.  It’s a great way for staff to constantly ask what can be done to better serve patients, and question what can be learned from situations where something does go wrong.

A side of the healthcare system that I didn’t know about prior to my visit was the role of a hospital president as a liaison between the hospital and physicians.  In the case of St. John’s, physicians at the hospital are not employed by the hospital, but instead choose to practice medicine there and choose to send their patients there.  Hospital administrators are forced to walk a tightrope and hold contract negotiations as though they were the GM of a professional sports franchise.  Essentially, the administrator must keep physicians happy in order to ensure that patients are happy and being treated with the utmost of care.

The experience reminded me, yet again, what great opportunities I’m afforded as a Wabash student.   I want to extend my thanks to Career Services, Mr. Hamilton for his kindness and time taken with me, and the entire staff of St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital for making me feel so welcome and providing such a great environment for me to learn and observe.


Patrick Bryant ’16