Connor Rice ’17 Building Critical Thinking, Writing, and Project Management Abilities

While undertaking my research internship with Professor Sara Drury, I found myself developing as both a writer and in my critical thinking skills.  These developments are exactly the reasons I applied for this internship.  My goal was to hone my writing skills, gaining precision.  Throughout my time at Wabash, the papers that I have written usually have a great thesis, but being able to be efficient with my writing to prove my points was a challenge.  I would often say to myself, “Oh, that sounds good, I’m going to put that down.”  I’ve learned this summer that method is not the way to write papers on any level.  I therefore had to develop my critical thinking skills to ensure that my writing was efficient and that I was clearly answering the research questions.

During this internship, my colleague Jack Kellerman and I analyzed deliberation transcripts that were conducted in a Biology class on the topic of climate change. We applied Goodnight’s theory of spheres of argumentation to form our thesis and analysis.  We were constantly referring to scholarly articles dealing with understanding the spheres of argumentation and their role in deliberation and diving into these transcripts to prove our arguments.

I learned a great deal throughout the duration of this internship.  As previously mentioned, this internship has given me the ability to write effectively and to think critically, which in the future I will apply to other professional and academic experiences.  Additionally, I developed my time management skills.  I learned how to effectively manage my time to ensure that I am meeting my deadlines.  As I mentioned earlier, Jack and I were constantly in the transcripts, and in the early part of the internship it was challenging to form a clear thesis and find evidence.  Professor Drury kept challenging us to create better arguments and prove our points.  I believe I can speak for Jack and say that we both were able to increase our ability to read and use what we read to interpret the deliberation texts.

This internship had both rewarding and challenging aspects, but what surprised me the most, was how quickly we were able to write 30 pages. The research position has also taught me to think differently in comparison to the CIBE internship I did earlier this summer.  I learned how to analyze texts and draw conclusions, which is a skill I can take with me wherever I go.  I am grateful to have had this opportunity, and the skills that I have learned in this internship will be used for the rest of my time at Wabash and in my professional career.

**Thanks to Wabash College and Division II for sponsoring this internship**

Jack Kellerman ’18 On the Right Path

There were many reasons I wanted to take part in a rhetoric research internship.  First, I wanted to learn more about the rhetorical theories of deliberation outside of my spring 2015 RHE-290 Deliberation course.  Second, I hoped to prepare myself well for a potential working relationship with the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative, as I will begin my position as a Wabash Democracy Fellow this fall.  Third, I desired an internship that would strengthen my writing—this was definitely the right internship for that!  Lastly, I was seeking an internship that would have structured times to mimic most jobs in the workplace and work in a team atmosphere, but still had an emphasis on individual time management and workload.

I learned a great deal through this internship. As a writer, I enhanced my outlining and organization techniques because of the internship’s focus on emphasis of quality work through creating specific, strong arguments in a scholarly paper.  The most challenging part of this internship was at times, I would feel lost on the objective of what we are trying to prove with a point, and found it difficult to come up with supportable claims.  This, I felt, was one of the most beneficial obstacles I came across in my academic life.  In the real world, a job with a single task in an office that is repeated daily rarely exists.  Everyday, there will be tasks given that have a ambiguous goal with no previously identified way to approach the problem or to tackle a solution with a set plan.  This, I feel, is the crux of the liberal arts degree; to be handed a task and to be able to think analytically and critically about how to approach this task using the breadth of knowledge and skills one possess. At the times, my co-intern Connor and I were navigating in gray areas and unsure of where to go in the paper, we had to rely on our intuition and some ingenuity with a dash of tenacity to get through the harder points of the drafts.  It was rewarding to not be spoon-fed the answer to, “Well, what do I do to accomplish that?”  Connor and I had to figure out that answer on our own, with guidance at the earlier stages from Professor Drury.

This internship has given me so much.  I have experience in researching as a rising sophomore in college that has sparked an interest in looking further into a potential career path in the academic field.  I have gained skills related to writing that was discussed in the previous paragraph.  It has given me a job I felt was mentally stimulating every time I walked into the office, and has furthered my intrigue with rhetorical analysis. Whether that interest transcends into a paper for a class, research, or a potential career in the law or the academic world, the experience reassured I am somewhere on the right path.  Additionally, it has given me a great base to reach for harder-to-land internships, and interpersonal skills in a team setting that are highly marketable.  I was extremely fortunate to have such an internship straight out of my freshman year of college, and hope to continue striving for amazing internships and opportunities to better myself.

**Thanks to Wabash College and Division II for sponsoring this internship**

Jacob Stone ’17 Benefits of LABB


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.


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


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.

Jawed ’17: Both Sides Now

Both Sides Now

Today I stood and watched a man die – the life leaving his body right before my eyes. His struggle for breath became harsher and harsher until an abrupt silence fell. The immediate cause of death was asphyxiation; he literally suffocated to death in front of his loved ones. The mother sobbed on my shoulder. After a few moments we went our separate ways.

What shook me was how quickly his bed was replaced. Within 5 minutes his face was covered with a blanket and the bed carted out only to be replaced by another sick individual in the already overflowing ward. In moments like this, I look to our team physicians to see how to react. Despite witnessing sad final moments of a sick man, what equally shook me was the apathy towards death seen in the medical professionals; it seemed almost casual. The team noted his death and methodically moved on to the next patient as if he had only fallen asleep.

At times it is easy to see these physicians as cold. After some time and thoughtful discussion with our physicians, however, I believe this appearance comes not from a disregard for patient life but rather an understanding. Our physicians understand that they are only a quick blip in their patient’s lives. They understand that they are simply the final stop for these patients after years of poverty, sickness, and societal failures.

The medical system in Uganda failed our patient in two ways. First within immediate care facilities; Mulago Hospital only has a handful of ventilators for its hundreds of patients. Because ventilators are scarce, physicians are forced to decide which patients are able to use the equipment based on their condition. Unfortunately for our patient, medical officers decided that his chance of survival was too low to justify use of the ventilator; he would take away from another patient who would have a better chance. The second failure is significantly more intricate. While our patient’s immediate cause of death was asphyxiation, his underlying causes were opportunistic infections contracted from being HIV+. If he simply took his HIV medications, he would be significantly less likely to contract diseases like cryptococcal meningitis or tuberculosis and would likely live a long and healthy life. Exactly where the health system failed him is difficult to pinpoint. Was it a lack of medication adherence and follow up by physicians? Was it the lack of availability and accessibility of antiretroviral drugs? Or perhaps it was even earlier with lack of counseling on safe sex practices that allowed him to contract HIV in the first place? Structures are crumbling not from just the top but from the core foundation.

1434980435890bUnfortunately, these stories are a commonplace and can take a toll. Being around so much sickness and death often makes you forget about the other side. After this particularly long day, I dragged myself back to the office from the ward. In the tunnel connecting the two, a man stopped me. It isn’t uncommon to be halted in the labyrinth of Mulago Hospital by people needing directions. Not knowing the hospital very well, I instinctively began to lead him to the office where he could receive better directions. I quickly stopped when he asked me something that caught me off guard. He asked me if I remembered him. It was Kasim! Kasim was a patient we discharged a few weeks back who presented with severe confusion from cryptococcal meningitis and seizures. I was barely able to recognize him as he was standing, smiling, speaking clearly, and wearing his nice clothes – conditions I had never seen him in. I will never forget what he said next: “You saved us, you saved us!” We shook hands and even got a picture together. Even though I had a minute role in his recovery, that moment changed how I thought about many aspects of healthcare. I returned to my desk with a big smile and a different point of view. I have no doubt that my few moments with Kasim will remain the highlight of my experience in Uganda.

I juxtapose these two patients for contrast but not at all to reconcile the ups and downs. The success stories remain independent of the failures. Each day has its unique combination of joy, sadness, challenge, frustration, and success. I would have it no other way.

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.

Jeremy Minor ’16 Licensing For The List


IMG_0116As I wrap up my eighth and final week interning at Angie’s List, I have been reflecting on all of the meaningful experiences I’ve had since arriving on June 1. After spending this past spring studying abroad in Spain, I was very nervous about returning home and immediately starting an internship. Those worries were quickly put to rest during my first week because of the culture at Angie’s List, the people in my department, and the variety of my work.
Angie’s List has two locations in Indianapolis. The first of which is called the Landmark building that mainly houses the sales team. The second location, in which I am located, is a campus that is just one mile from the center of Indianapolis. The campus is small and very easy to navigate, much like the campus at Wabash. Each building is unique and houses one or a few different departments within Angie’s List. I work in the Campaign building, which is painted and decorated much like the building of someone running for political office. From the moment I walked in the door, I noticed the difference in culture that Angie’s List has. The dress code at Angie’s List is casual, so I was able to wear khaki shorts and a nice shirt on a daily basis and fit right in. This is much different than the internship I participated in last summer, in which I was required to dress professionally on a daily basis. While the dress code is more relaxed than most big companies, everyone still has to put forth their best effort in the work that they do on a daily basis.
This summer, I was given multiple unique projects that involved licensing for the Service Providers that use Angie’s List. I also ran a Daily Report for the new Scorecard feature that involved me learning some new skills on Microsoft Excel and implementing those skills on a daily basis. The project that I spent the most time on was the creation of a spreadsheet that details the unique requirements for General Contractors in all 50 states. I would go through each state’s General Contractor licensing requirements and determine details such as: how much it costs to receive a license, what educational requirements (if any) there are, and what type of insurance is necessary to obtain before performing and General Contracting work. As I wrap this project up, I am nearing 40 pages of information solely for General Contractors. I also created an Excel sheet that organizes each category and summarizes the requirements. This benefits the company in many ways, but the largest contribution goes towards those that perform audits on General Contractors. They can easily look through the database and know exactly what is required of a General Contractor anywhere in the United States and complete the audit more quickly and efficiently.
While I enjoyed the work culture and the projects that I worked on each day, my experience at Angie’s List wouldn’t have been as positive as it was without the people that surrounded me on a daily basis. The Fulfillment department was extremely friendly and helpful from start to finish. One of these people was Scott Morrison, a 2014 graduate from Wabash, who is working at Angie’s List as an Orr Fellow. Scott, along with my manager Bethany Hart were both great resources and I enjoyed working with them on a daily basis.
As I finish up my last day at Angie’s List, I am thrilled that I was given the opportunity to intern here for eight weeks. I’d like to thank Angie’s List, Wabash College, and the Lilly Endowment for allowing me to participate in this Internship. I will miss the people in my Department and the other interns that I met through the experience, but I am also excited to begin my senior year at Wabash.

Tyler Trepton ’16 Indianapolis Round Two


Internship PhotoMy second summer interning in Indianapolis has been a blast. I was hesitant last summer to live in a new place away from home and did not know of the emerging tech boom in the Indianapolis area. Truth be told I was excited to get back to Indianapolis this summer and work for another tech company in the area. After doing some research and hearing from other interns and people at career services they recommended Archon Apps. Archon apps is an app development company who focuses on eliminating the use of paper. Their products: Cirrus Security, Archon Safe and Cirrus have been very successful in the event security, water, and constructions business in eliminating the use of paper for these companies by creating customs forms for these companies which improves performance and makes it easier to track records.
Since my first day Tony Unfried the CEO and founder of Archon Apps a Wabash graduate from 2003 informed me of the main products Archon Apps offers and informed me of my project for the summer was to create a product called MyMobile, which replicates a company’s web site and transforms it into a custom mobile application anyone, can download for free on their smartphones. In this day and age with the amount of smartphones out there an easy way for companies to reach their customers 24/7 is to put something they see multiple times a day in the palm of their hands an app. So I was given an idea with one client already and told to make this your business and make it grow.
So with have I exactly done with MyMobile? Tony and I created a weekly plan with goals to keep me moving forward and to learn different aspects of developing a product. For the first four weeks, I did research on the product and other competition analyzing what they offer when it came to price and features and compared their model to ours to determine what our key focus should be. Also I looked at the customers and what should our target market be for this product with which we settled on companies who would use the app frequently to make changes whether that was a menu at a restaurant of a drink list at a bar or even golf courses, and there pin placements for the day. After the target market was found I set up meeting times with some great Wabash alumni to discuss the importance of technology in their field and if an app would benefit their company.

The second half of the internship I have been working on developing the website to drive traffic and to draw possible clients interest to the company. With the website up and running I have been following up and reaching out to more companies to gain interest and funnel to the website to check out what we have to offer. Finally, I have been combining my research into a complete business plan showing the work throughout the summer and the benefits of MyMobile.
It has been a privilege to work with Tony at Archon Apps; I would like to thank him for accepting me as his intern for the summer, and providing me with a great learning experience. Also, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment Fund, without them none of this would be possible. Their partnership with Wabash College has and will continue to help young Wabash men continue to pave their way to a successful future.

Craig Brainard ’16 Life enFocus

enFocus-1020Last summer, I chose not to do an internship. I didn’t even look for one, and frankly I didn’t care to. I was set on taking it easy, and using my free time to relax. I took a lot for granted by not getting back on my horse after sophomore year, but I was simply worn out from having two intensive internships right after my freshman year. There are a couple of things I can look back on now, though, and say I have learned since the beginning of last summer that have helped put internships into focus for me. Hopefully, I can help provide some insights to people who are wary of putting themselves out there, or are hesitant to take on an internship.
Let me start with this summer. I had a great time in South Bend working at enFocus. The company name stands for “entrepreneurial focus”, but I love the play on words, and that in some sense my experience provided me with my clarity and focus going into my senior year at Wabash, especially surrounding my desire to become an entrepreneur after graduation.
EnFocus is a nonprofit consulting company that was founded, in part, to help reverse “Brain Drain” in Indiana. If you have never heard of this, you have now, and it is a serious problem for Indiana, long-term. Brain Drain is used to describe the alarming statistic that Indiana is 14th in producing talented individuals out of college programs, but we are 48th in the nation in retaining that talent after graduation. The foremost reason for this trend is that most people who have lived in Indiana their whole life, or those who may just be here for school, see far more benefit in getting out than staying in. Coming from someone who has lived in Indiana his whole life, I can confirm that there has always appeared to be more opportunity beyond the Indiana border than inside of it, but the passion and excitement I saw in South Bend is just one example of how this summer has provided me clarity.
EnFocus is doing a great deal to provide meaningful opportunities to talented students, to show the potential of South Bend, and Indiana, for the future. One thing they did for their interns, not just those working directly at enFocus, but also those that they helped align with internships for the summer, is provide a professional development series. The series consisted of one-hour talks every Wednesday afternoon on subjects spanning from project management to social entrepreneurship, and we even had a chance the last week to hear from Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend and have a discussion with him. One of the things he highlighted about South Bend is its connectivity compared to the cost of living. For an aspiring entrepreneur, the realization of being so close to Chicago and being a central hub for connectivity through fiber lines, all with the ability to stretch start up dollars four times as far due to the lower cost of living, makes South Bend ideal for a budding tech company. Indiana, in general, is becoming known as a place where innovative people are creating opportunities through connectivity, and I was thankful to be a part of that is happening surrounding enFocus, thanks to Wabash College and Eli Lilly for making the opportunity available to me. One of the most rewarding parts of my experience was working on a project that will provide even more meaningful internship opportunities to Indiana students in the future, as a service.
In closing, I am not sure where I will be after graduation, but Indiana is looking more enticing after this summer. To anyone who is looking for an internship next year, take a look at enFocus if you are interested in entrepreneurship or consulting with a focus on social change. EnFocus is unique in that it offers employees 30% of their time to work on their entrepreneurial ideas. This goes for interns as well. And anyone who is not sure about internships or putting themselves out there, you won’t know until you try. Internships are one of the best ways to learn about yourself and what you might be interested in doing after school. That value should never be taken for granted, especially when companies and organizations like Eli Lilly, Wabash College, and enFocus are doing so much to provide that value to you. When it comes down to it, internships are sometimes rewarding just to put life that much more in focus. Thank you to everyone who made this summer possible and such a rewarding experience, once again, Eli Lilly and Wabash College, but also all of the great people at enFocus and in South Bend.

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