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EVERSON ’20 COMBINING HIS PASSIONS FOR BASEBALL AND FINANCE AT CLINTON LUMBERKINGS

Brice Everson ’20 Clinton LumberKings – I would like to start off by thanking the Mellon Foundation for funding my internship opportunity this summer. I am truly grateful to be able to have a meaningful internship as a freshman.

I am currently an Operations Intern with the Clinton LumberKings, a Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners located in Clinton, Iowa.  This summer has gotten off to a great start and I’m already learning a lot about how professional sports teams operate on a daily basis.  As part of the internship, I am running a program called GameDay, which is a computer application used by all MLB and MiLB teams.  I track the entire game from the press box and document every pitch from pitch location to result of the play.  While I do this, I am constantly contacting people who work for the MLB in New York, who are helping me operate the program smoothly and resolve any issues I encounter during the games.

After the game, I work in the front office with financials, where I help count money using a bank system they have developed.  Using bags containing revenue from the game that night, we create a bank of the earnings from each bag and keep track of them individually and add all up to find out how much was made in total revenue each night and compare it to the actual inventory given by the computer.  I found this experience to be the most useful for a couple reasons: first, I plan on working in finance. Second, I get to rub elbows with the General Manager of the team, Ted Tornow, who is a great connection for me to have for more possible opportunities in the professional sports industry.

Overall, this has been an incredible experience and the knowledge and connections I am garnering can be helpful for me next summer when I intend to intern for another baseball team.  I have really enjoyed seeing what it’s like behind the scenes, from set-up to close-down, for a professional sports team.  I am looking forward to finishing my internship up strong and bringing back a story to tell for everyone to hear!


COPSEY ’20 LEARNS MORE ABOUT POLICY ISSUES AND NON-CARRIER FLEET AT CAPITOL HILL

Jonathon Copsey ’20  Capitol Hill – At the time of this writing, I am half-way through my fourth week working in the D.C. Office of Congressman, fellow Sigma Chi Brother, and Wabash Alum, Todd Rokita. I have already had many great experiences, and I look forward to many more. I would have neither heard the President, Vice President, or Ms. Conway speak, nor would I have visited the White House, performed research, and met so many great people without the help of the WLAIP. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.

I have had a handful of jobs in my short professional life, but none as busy, exciting, or informative as my current one. Despite Mr. Rokita’s busy schedule, he has taken the time to meet with all interns to get to know us and is always friendly in passing. Although the office layout is similar to that of other House offices (Senate offices have triple the staff and are laid out depending on location and building), the atmosphere of the office is what can make or break an experience. I have been blessed to be able to work with a knowledgeable and supportive staff. The staff is willing to answer questions that I have; as experts in policy issues and the legislative language, they are great resources for information on bills and policy issues. I have learned more about policy issues working here in a legislative/think tank office than in any traditional classroom.

My work focuses on attending briefings, performing research, and writing policy memorandums. There is a certain amount of autonomy as I get to attend briefings and perform research based on my interests. For example, earlier this week, I attended a briefing sponsored by Congressman Pete Session and the Navy League of the United States. I was able to listen to former Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman. I sat at a table with the Admirals. Through them and additional research I performed for my memo, I have learned more about the capabilities and specifications of our non-carrier fleet than some of the midshipmen that I am acquainted with know. Legislative Memorandums are also great tools to learn about what bills actually do. Most bills make huge changes by simply changing a handful of words in already existing documents.

Interns are responsible for leading tours of the Capitol as well. This summer was the first time I had ever been in the Capitol Building; after twenty or so times, it still has not gotten old. We are also able to go to the House Galleries at will and onto the House floor on out-of-session days. I also visited the White House with a group of IN-04 constituents.

Interns and D.C. staff get to attend many political events for free. Between June 8th and June 10th, I was able to attend a luncheon where President Trump and Senator Ted Cruz spoke, a Town Hall event with Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell, an event where Ambassador Dermer and Ms. Kellyanne Conway spoke, and a dinner where Vice President Pence was the keynote speaker. Similar events happen weekly.

Working in Congress is a lot to take in, even for the most knowledgeable, but what many people just out of college often leave out is living in D.C. The city is filled with things to do. There are daily public events that range from free outdoor movies to social drinking events like Jazz in the Park. The night life, if you are of age, makes The Cactus look like Crawfordsville on a Tuesday night. And of course, seeing the monuments, Smithsonian Institution, and nearby landmarks (especially for the first time) is exciting. With the knowledge and experience I am gaining and the network I am building, I have sincerely enjoyed my time in D.C. until now and would be excited to come back if another opportunity arises.

 


Woodward ’19 Building Valuable Career Skills at Connecta Corporation

Jared Woodward ’19 Connecta Corporation – Working for Connecta Corporation has been a great experience for me. I’ve been given the opportunity to experience many areas of small business from shop work, to management responsibilities. Being a political science major and a hopeful business lawyer, Connecta has been able to provide me with the whole scope of how the small business operates. With this summer being slower on the political side, I took the opportunity to dive into the business world in order to achieve a better understanding of business.

Connecta brought on two interns this summer due to the amount of projects that were made. The biggest of these and my focus, being a hopeful lawyer, was to update the company quality manual in accordance with the new industry standard revision released in 2016. It has been my job to create a new and updated company manual from scratch to fit this standard. I was told from the start that this would be no easy task as some people make a career out of doing this while I’m attempting to do this in two months; and by being new to the company, I would have to learn a lot quickly. In doing this, I had to first read through the AS9100 Aerospace and Defense Standard and understand it before I started my work. I then had to review Connecta’s old company manual and make notes on what to revise, update, and what to get rid of. With this version of the standard and with the company quality manual being almost obsolete, the company decided to start a new manual from scratch. With this in mind, I have been updating procedures to fit the new standard and writing new ones to meet the standard while reorganizing and assembling the new manual. While it has been no easy task and still a work in progress, it really has brought me closer to the company knowing how all actions of the company work from the manufacturing shop procedure to the management procedure. It has been a privilege to lead and be responsible with a project so challenging, time consuming, and so important to Connecta Corporation that it feels like I have joined the business world. With my interest in business law, this was a perfect starting task and a hopeful first step into my chosen career path. Other day to day tasks and projects have been given to me such as technology management, quality inspection, deliveries, and set up and install of company machines and technology. I’ve also been privileged in this job by being given my own office, free range responsibilities, meaningful and important tasks, and blessed to be able to work in a friendly environment. Connecta Corporation has been a great experience and opportunity for me. I want to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for providing me with this opportunity. I’m so thankful for them allowing me to be able to work in an environment that I know will make me successful.


Atkins ’20 Visits South Bend with LABB Peers

Max Atkins ’20 LABB Intern – First off, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making these opportunities possible for myself and my peers. The LABB program had the opportunity to travel up to South Bend. We arrived early on Thursday to prepare for our meeting with Alumni Friday morning, and had the chance to tour Notre Dame’s campus Thursday evening.

Friday morning, we started to drive through downtown South Bend and saw how dilapidated it all was until we arrived at Union Station Technology Center. This once quite busy train station still had its original look of a train station on the outside, but it was in perfect condition even though the train station had been out of commission since 1971. Across the street was South Bend’s beautiful Single A baseball field for the South Bend Cubs. Both of these beautiful buildings, across the street from each other, stood out from the normal decrepit look of South Bend.

Our first alumni we were meeting with that morning was Shane Fimbel, and as we walked into Union Station, it looked immaculate. As we came to find out through spending about 3 hours with Shane, not only Union Station, but South Bend as a whole was his baby. Shane, along with many other Wabash alumnus, are trying to turn South Bend around. In 2010, South Bend was ranked 7th on a list of top 10 dying cities in the United States. Shane and many other alumni came together and said this will not happen to our city. So, the group set out to change South Bend from the run down city suffering from the “brain drain” to a main stream technological hub that will bring thousands of technology jobs to the city.

Shane is the Chief Operating Officer of Global Access Point, a data management company. His first project to change South Bend was turning run down, out of use Union Station into a high-tech data center for the Midwest. After that was completed, Shane didn’t just want to stop there. Shane took all of the LABB interns on an extensive tour of Union Station and a chain of about 3 more buildings explaining to us his vision of a technology campus that will become the hub of South Bend. In this half a billion-dollar project, Shane plans on building a parking garage that faces the renovated Studebaker car manufacturing plant that will become office space but will be open to the public as well. As you walk through the front of the complex, he plans on having office spaces there, but as you continue he has grand plans for this neglected 6 story building that is behind the already renovated office space. He wants to turn half of this giant building into a four-star hotel and the other half into condos. To make it all connected, Shane wants to dig out a tunnel connecting the front office space all the way to Union Station, connecting the entire campus. It’s hard looking at these boarded up buildings and thinking about this grand plan for a high-tech campus, especially considering the 5 or 6 years of work that has already been put into it, but Shane has no problem getting giddy like a kid on Christmas morning when he gets to explain his vision for what Union Station is to become.

I can easily say that Shane is one of the most passionate men I’ve ever met and his love for South Bend exceeds the love any man has for his hometown. His passion is infectious and is a good model for young entrepreneurs like myself. I hope to replicate his passion and drive in my own future endeavors.


Dean ’20 Experiences Business Through Insurance

Jacob Dean ’20 State Farm Insurance – On behalf of myself and my fellow WLAIP participants, I would like to begin by thanking the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for funding the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. Throughout the summer going into my freshman year of college, I knew this summer of 2017 was going to be one to remember as I was one of thirty others to be granted the opportunity of interning at a place of my choosing. Early on, I chose to intern at a local State Farm Insurance Agency in my hometown of Brazil, Indiana.

Going into the summer of my sophomore year I couldn’t wait to begin my internship at State Farm and learn all the ins and outs of the insurance and risk management world. Almost immediately I was able to experience a licensed agent make an abundance of sales from simple auto policies to life policies. Within the first week I was also able to experience a financial endeavor as Jenni Marietta, the owner of the office I intern at, helped a client save and invest money as she is also licensed in financial planning with a series 6 and 63 license.

Within the office, I handle most of the retention needs. Normally I will make several calls throughout the day and make sure everyone’s policies are in order and see if there are any changes that need to be made or simply answer any questions they may have. Along with this, I am in charge of setting up the appointments to renew clients’ policies. I will pull up the agent’s schedules and place appointments throughout the day for clients to come in and renew their policies when they are getting close to expiring.

Overall, I have had so much fun communicating with an array of individuals day in and day out. Learning how the office functions has really opened my eyes. Never would I ever have imagined that so many components go into making a business operate smoothly. One thing that really caught me off guard was how complex and difficult some of the systems they use were. The first time I looked at a screen while an employee was getting a quote for a policy, I was mind blown by all the jumbled numbers on the screen. I had no idea what I was looking at! Over the course of the month I have learned simple things such as speaking to clients in a professional manner as well as learning terminology regarding insurance. More importantly, I have learned how to get my foot in the door of a business to open opportunities for myself later in my career as a hopeful business man, and none of this would have been possible without the help of the Mellon Foundation and the WLAIP.


Stachowski ’19 Given the Opportunity to Build Business Skills

Ben Stachowski ’19 LABB Intern – When I first heard about the LABB Program I felt that it was not for me. I am studying History and Biology and felt that business did not apply to me. After talking to a handful of people about the program, they told me that I should give it a shot. I was told that even though I was not studying business, this internship would give me a look into different aspects of business and would be helpful in my future career. My peers could not have been more right. After only the third week of the LABB program, I already believe that my finance, marketing, and presentation skills have improved immensely.

Week 3 was mainly focused on marketing. On Monday, Mike Simmons from Eli Lilly and Co. came in and shared knowledge he had with us about marketing. He taught us about SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and how this analysis helps companies and how they use it to brand themselves and find their competitive advantage. We also learned about the 4 P’s of marketing or marketing mix, which are product, place, price, and promotion. All of these are essential to creating an intellectual marketing strategy. We also did an exercise with Mr. Simmons that discussed the different markets and customers that Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, and Speedway target. We closed the day by speaking about the different ways we can distinguish ourselves from others. He told us that if you are looking for a job in marketing that problem solving, data analysis and curiosity are the keys to being successful.

The rest of the week, Mr. Morin talked with us about the “down and dirty” of marketing. One of the biggest points of the week was that there are two types of marketing: strategical and tactical. Many people know about tactical marketing, which is applying the marketing mix with advertisements, sponsorships, social media, etc. Strategic marketing is just as important. It helps with long-term decisions and involves determining prices and forecasts to plan research. We also looked at a handful of business cases throughout the week. One that stood out was the case about Walt Disney. We talked about their marketing and how the Mickey Mouse logo is universal and will never get old. This is one of the reasons the Disney brand is so recognizable and popular.

Overall, week 3 has been a great learning experience. I would like to thank Mike Simmons for coming in and discussing his marketing experiences and knowledge with us. I would also like to thank the Lilly Endowment and Roland Morin for giving me this great opportunity. I am excited for the next 4 weeks of learning and very confident that this program will help me in my future endeavors.


Steele ’20 Immersed in the World of Marketing

Weston Steele ’20 LABB Intern – This past week was a crash course in the world of marketing, and from segmentation to the 4 p’s, I feel somewhat proficient in marketing. I realized I had learned something after watching the Microsoft 2017 E3 press conference. When Mike Simmons visited us on Monday, he had us look at Microsoft’s mishandling of the release of the Xbox One. We analyzed how Microsoft mistook what their customers wanted, and failed to take their needs into account. Watching their press conference this year, it was clear to see that they are obsessed with their product, and they haven’t quite made that shift from just selling game consoles to selling entertainment. It’s sort of like the railroad industry vs. the transportation industry, and how railroads would be more successful if they expanded to branding themselves as transportation rather than just railroads.

The biggest thing I can take away from Mr. Simmons’ visit is the difference between selling “why?” and selling “what?” It’s important for businesses to tell the consumer why they are selling what they are selling, not just come out and say what they are selling. It’s not compelling to a consumer when the business is very straightforward, and doesn’t drive customers to make that purchase. It made me think about why I make the purchases I do, and what sort of products have great marketing and company appeal.

It was great to see two marketer’s opinions on the matter, and a quote from Roland Morin that stuck with me was “If you get 10 marketers in a room, you’ll get 12 opinions.” I think that’s why marketing is appealing to most, the fact that it is so very diverse, and that everyone has unique ideas. That’s why I’m attracted to the business world, because I believe for a business to be successful, it needs to have a multitude of diverse opinions flowing through it.

It’s been great to get a glimpse at all various aspects of business, and to see what drives a company to be successful. It’s feels like an opportunity to take risks in a safe environment, where there is no real fear of failure. I don’t feel afraid to experiment, and find new more efficient ways to perform tasks, and that has given me plenty of opportunity to expand my repertoire of skills. The feedback is fantastic as well, providing insight on how to improve my skills in communication, innovation, and participation within a group. I’m excited moving forward, and I’ve got a better idea of what I want to do as a career.


Beard ’20 Innovates at Summer Internship

Mitchell Beard ’20 Local Motors – For most, when they hear a young man proclaim they are interning in Washington D.C. they immediately think of our Nation’s capital building or one of the many large office buildings that span the streets of the city. In many case they would be right; however, my internship is not one of these at all.

I do not sit in an office space waiting for someone with an “important” job to give me directions to the closest coffee shop and an exact recipe of how they would like their tall cappuccino made. I do not wait around for someone to give me a stack of documents that must be taken to the copy machine. Instead, I have been given the opportunity to create a project all my own. This is possible because of the destination of my internship, Local Motors and funding from the Mellon Grant.

Local Motors is a young multi-million dollar company that works alongside designers and technology companies to co-create new products. In their spirit of co-creation, they have allowed me to use their entire laboratory within their National Harbor facility for my internship. Found within this lab are a variety of tools including 3D printers, some of which are even large enough to print out full size cars.

In order to take advantage of what this lab has to offer and give back to the company, I have started to work on a special project. Local Motors newest creation is called Olli. Olli is a self-driving shuttle bus powered by IBM’s Watson technology. This bus has the ability to converse with customers and look up destinations and take its passengers autonomously to their destination. I believe this product has great potential; however, because the shuttle is not completed there is no way the company can demonstrate the technology it has to offer to consumers. This is where I come in.

After only a few short days at Local Motors I quickly gained a lot of interest in Olli but understood that the company itself did not have a small scale version or final products to show consumers. I quickly came up with an idea how to face this issue and pitched it to the Local Motors (LM) National Harbor (NH) General Manager. I explained to him that if consumers started to become familiar with self-driving vehicles on a smaller scale, it would be easier in the long run to sell the idea of self-driving vehicles. After a while of deliberating with him and an engineer that I have been working with closely, I came up with a solution and course of action. My solution was to create a “Micro Olli”. A similar, small scale Olli that has the ability to drive around LM NH sales facility and interact with customers.

Once I finalized my bill of materials for Micro Olli, created a Gantt chart, and designed a code to run the robot, I pitched my idea to the labs director of LM. She loved the idea and quickly approved my budget to start.

This amazing opportunity would not have been possible if it had not been for the gracious help of the Mellon Grant, my family and their support, and Wabash College.


McAtee ’19 Gains Valuable Experience for Future Career

Kyle McAtee ’19 Test Gauge and Backflow Supply Inc. – My internship this summer is taking place in Indianapolis, IN at a company called Test Gauge and Backflow Supply Inc. This internship is about marketing, sales, and project management. The company that hired me deals mostly with supplying plumbing companies, fire protection companies, and cities with back-flow systems, which deal directly with water safety. Basically it separates the good water from the bad water and we sell them for the manufactures. Along with that, Test Gauge provides customers with technical support in the field when they’re installing and receiving the parts needed to do their jobs. My boss, James Probst, really took me under his wings and guided me, trained me, and taught me many critical things this summer. He started this company along with another entrepreneur in 2012. This job really pushed my understanding of personal relationships with customers and employees. Something my boss emphasized to me was, in order to be successful you have to treat people as if they’re human beings, people matter.

On the technical side of things, my understanding of Microsoft office was pushed. Not just word, but excel was the main thing I have worked with this summer. Deciphering data, and organizing spreadsheets was half of my job. In order for Test Gauge to run smoothly, we needed to be more organized and have all customer information more accessible. Along with Microsoft office, I learned our company’s personal portal that monitors inventory, sales, and customers online. This was something I’ll need to get used to if I want to continue in management.

One of the more interesting days in this eight-week internship happened when we met with a committee from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). This board included the commissioner of IDEM, Bruno Pigott. This was exciting for me because I sat in on a, at times heated, debate about Indiana Legislature and watched my boss not back down from something that could affect the state’s clean water supply. By far, the biggest thing I learned from this internship was how to do REAL work, but not only working hard but also being passionate about things. Maybe I won’t be working in the field of back-flow when I’m older, but the experience I had this summer will prepare me for any job I have after Wabash.

This opportunity was something that would have never been possible without Wabash Career Services, the Lilly endowment, and the people supporting me along the way. Thank you.


Murphy ’20 Performs Under Pressure at Commodity Transportation Services

First and foremost, I want to thank and praise the generosity of all of those involved in making this internship experience possible. I would like to thank Wabash College for putting me in a position to learn and grow this summer, as well as the Small Business Internship Fund for funding my endeavors this summer. This past month at CTS has been one of the most transforming experiences that I have ever been a part as I have progressed in ways that I had never thought possible. From the first day, my fellow interns and I were “thrown into the fire”, as we were placed on the phones communicating with unique and differing people from all around the country moving produce and brokering freight. This was a world that I was completely naive to and after this experience, I have become completely immersed within logistics. My boss, Erik, has instilled a newfound confidence in myself when I communicate with others, as well as, taught me new and effective ways to go about problem solving in a department that I am not familiar with. These skills are directly applicable to struggles I have, and will continue to face in the real world each and every day, and I see myself becoming a well-rounded individual from this opportunity as a whole.

Participating within a successful business has also shed light on the importance of communication within today’s society. Commodity Transportation Services is a business that has been built and grown around hard work and communication, and the attitude of the employees has rubbed off on me, changing me for the better. Working in the logistics business is high pressure and is a very intricate profession due to the several moving parts and factors that have a major effect on a simple task being completed. I have learned to become more organized while handling multiple projects at a time, while finding a more efficient way to get things done in a timely manner. The multitude of skills that I have been able to gather in my short time here has been insurmountable, and will be easily transferable into many aspects of my life.

Currently, I have progressed into booking and handling my own loads of freight moving throughout the country, similar to full-time employees. This has put me in a position where I have to be extremely responsible, and I have learned to be tactful in my approach to problems that constantly arise. As my final weeks at CTS approaches, I hope to become even more confident and comfortable with working with others in this ever-changing business. Though challenging, I have been able to learn so many things from my time at CTS and will continue to progress. With this being said, I cannot be more grateful to Wabash College, Erik Ness, and the SBIF for this experience.