Stults ’20 Experience in First Week of LABB Program has been “Eye-Opening”

Drew Stults ’20 LABB Intern –  When I first met the director of the CIBE, Roland Morin, he immediately recommended that I apply for the LABB summer internship program. At first, I was weary and skeptical, as doing the LABB program would mean that I’d have to spend a summer in Crawfordsville. However, after talking to past participants, I had heard good things about the program and it changed my mind. So, I went ahead and applied, and when I was offered the position, I accepted immediately. I’ve always had a deep founded passion for business, and the LABB program has allowed me to apply not only my pre-existing knowledge, but also to grow and learn more.

This first week has been incredibly eye opening. We talked about what it truly means to be an entrepreneur as well as the steps to take that allow one to become a better leader within the work place. Along with this, Roland taught us how to create a well-drafted business model and how to network properly. Furthermore, we’ve also learned how to build the perfect resume as well as a professional LinkedIn account. As you can see, we’ve had an incredibly busy, yet productive, first week at LABB.

Roland also introduced us to two consulting projects that we will be working on the remainder of the program, which is exciting because we could potentially bring a positive change to student life. We’ve also begun working with teams of 4 or 5 creating a new business model for a food truck. This business plan includes the products that we want to sell, how we plan on selling them, who we want to sell them to, and how much the product will cost. Along with this, we have created a balance sheet that tracks the total cost of the operation. We then will pitch our business model to “investors” who can choose which company they would like to invest in based on each team’s presentation.

Not only is LABB allowing us to apply our new business knowledge to real life situations, but we will also have the opportunity to travel to other businesses across Indiana to see their everyday functions. Along with this, we will get the opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and network with professionals.

All of this, of course, would not be possible if not for the Lilly Endowment. We are gracious for this opportunity as it paves the way for our future success in our careers. Through the Lilly Endowment, Wabash College is able to give students like myself to understand business operations with real-life experience.

After only 5 days, I can already see myself learning new techniques and strategies and I am excited to see myself and my peers continue to develop over the next six weeks.

Wannemuehler ’20 Learns Valuable Business Skills

Henry Wannemuehler ’20 LABB Intern – I am excited to spend my summer building on skills to fuel my future aspirations of being an entrepreneur. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and Wabash College for providing this opportunity to build on these skills through the Liberal Arts Bridges to Business program offered by the Center for Innovation, Business and Entrepreneurship. This internship gives myself and 17 other Wabash men the opportunity to learn business skills that will build valuable skill sets for our careers.

In our first week in the LABB program, we were given the task to give a short one-minute pitch about ourselves based on our Gallup StrengthQuest results. At first, I was a little surprised by the results, but I soon realized how I can use my positivity and communication skills to best project myself as a leader. I also learned that my personality pushes me to exceed expectations, which can help me push others around me to do the same. All of these qualities will help me find a concrete way of leading peers in my future career. The StrengthQuest was useful as it was used to develop “elevator pitches” about who we are and the qualities we possess that characterize our leadership styles. Without the StrengthsQuest, I never would have known the abilities I need to utilize to make everyone around me, as well as myself, better.

While testing our elevator pitches, Roland Morin and Jacob Pactor, constructively critiqued our pitches to help build the best introduction for ourselves. I never realized how much important information I left out about myself when introducing myself to someone new.

This was a great exercise to do before we developed our networking strategy. I thought I was familiar with networking based on my efforts with current and past students, but we examined articles such as “The Science of Networking” by Loren Gary that taught us the four different types of networking, allowing us to choose the best fit for our personality, while also giving some good advice on how to properly network. Fortunately, my ability to think critically helped me realize the best networking strategy that best fits my profile and utilize it in our networking activity.

One thing I have really enjoyed, is that we get to split up into small groups similar to what you would expect in the business world. We make our teams and try to optimize each individual’s strengths to create the best outcome for each project. We currently have been working on a pitch for a Food Truck business in Indiana. It is exciting to have people around you with the same goals, and it creates a competitive culture that we always see here at Wabash. With six weeks left in the program, I’m looking forward to being pushed to the extent of my capabilities while learning important skills along the way; and the LABB program, as well as everyone involved, will do such that.