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.