Nordelo ’20 Develops Valuable Marketing Skills

Emmanuel Nordelo ’20 Elite Pest Elimination – This summer I have had the opportunity to become a marketing and sales associate for an up-and-coming company called, Elite Pest Elimination. I have had the chance to work with one of my wrestling coaches, Mr. Castro, and his brother, Joey Castro, the company’s manager. As a marketing and sales associate, I have had a couple of memorable moments in the last four weeks. Mr. Castro has made me responsible for the creation of our website, along with the creation of our fonts, web page address, etc. So far, the most memorable memory I have if the first “project” Mr. Castro put me in charge of. Without mercy, Mr. Castro immediately made me in charge of contacting one of their clients that lives in London in order to have him create multiple fonts and our company logo for the website. I remember having to send this client information about our company and having to gather information about his efforts in negotiating a price. I had to use Google Currency Converter to find the correct conversions from U.S dollars to Pounds. Having to deal with the time change was also another obstacle I faced; I actually had to use the World Clock App on my phone in order to set up alarms that alerted me when to email our customer. Aside from this experience, I have also had to contact many other clients in order to present our services to them. I personally feel that my internship experience is much different from others because we do not actually have a set location/office where we meet. Every day, I wake up to an email from my bosses explaining what those day’s goals are and I have to accomplish them without having anyone there to push me and make sure I finish them. So far, I have truly enjoyed my internship experience; which surprises me since I have never really been interested in marketing prior to this experience.  I would like to thank Wabash College, as well as the WLAIP Program for the amazing opportunity that they have been able to present me with. I am sure that I have developed skills in the last four weeks that will help me later in life. I am excited to see what the next 4 weeks of my internship brings me and what new things and new people I will meet because of it.

McMann ’20 Experience in the World of Logistics

Zach McMann ’20 Commodity Transportation Services – To start things off, I want to thank everyone who has made this astounding experience possible. Thank you to Wabash College for the opportunities given to me. Thank you to the Small Business Internship Fund for making this internship possible. Thank you to my friends and family who have supported me through every aspect of my journey making it to the point. The past month has been nothing but a massive learning experience for me. Helping some of the logistic brokers in the office has taught me more than I could imagine. I have gained confidence in multiple areas of communication, logistical analysis, and brokering. Erik has taught me how to lead conversations while on the phone with other brokers and customers. The other brokers in the office have taught me valuable skills in analyzing spreadsheets and creating my own. One of the most interesting things that I have learned would be communication with truck drivers. There is a science to it for sure. A large aspect of speaking to them is realizing that they are humans too. They are people who make mistakes and at the end of the day, communication is the most important detail in life. Without communication, Commodity Transportation Services would be non-existent. Another aspect of this business that I have learned is organization. I have never been an organized person and that has truly caught up with me since I have been working here. I have made mistakes because I did not have my work in any order. The other gentlemen the office have taught me valuable skills such as spreadsheet creation or file coordination to keep me on my feet. To them, I am forever grateful because I know that these skills will come in hand through the rest of my three years at Wabash. I know I will be using my communication skills in the future as well. When I began working at CTS I wasn’t sure how to talk on the phone or communicate effectively with others that I did not know. After a few weeks and some training, I have learned how to sound more confident while conversing business. It has made me realize that other people want to make money as well so it has made it easier for me to influence whether or not they want to accept my offers. Bartering is a large part of this communication so learning how to read people’s voices has truly helped me succeed. Another portion of the job that I will value throughout my time at Wabash will be the note taking. I have learned how to take quick yet effective notes while here in the office because there is often times little information that is given to us. The opportunity given to me from the SBIF and Wabash College has been humbling to say the least. I will be eternally grateful for the people that have made this available to me and my fellow Wabash men. There is no amount of thanks that can be given to truly express these opportunities.

Williams ’20 Extraordinary Opportunity to Lead in the Workplace

James Williams ’20 Property Manager at B.E Property Management – I would first like to thank Wabash College for the numerous opportunities placed upon me to excel and grow as a person. Being a member of the 2016 WLAIP program allowed me to choose a fully paid internship for the 2017 summer of my choice. An extraordinary opportunity, I pondered where I should partake my internship at. Being from South Bend, IN I had made networking connection that lead me to secure a potion as a Property Manager over Irish Crossings of Notre Dame through B.E. Property Management.

When asked if I was interested in this position, I felt that it did not fit my personality, and was unsure of what skills I would be able to build. However, after speaking and meeting with Lisa Brunner, the owner of B.E. Property management, she quickly reassured that I would learn many new skills and this opportunity challenge me and help me grow as an individual.

In the first weeks of my summer internship, I found out Mrs. Brunner was correct in every way possible. After being given the agenda for the week, I thought the next few days would be simple. However, it was not until performing these activities as well as managing 2 crews that I knew that this was going to be much more difficult than I had thought. The most difficult thing I faced was trying to manage two crews comprised of many people with different attitudes and personalities. Managing, teaching, and learning side-by-side with these individuals really helped develop my patience as well as my communication and team building-skills. Being the youngest property manager is most definitely difficult, but with developing my leadership skills at Wabash prior to this experience definitely had an impact on my work, as I feel that I could accomplish that of what older managers do.

My favorite skill that I have encountered thus far would have to be the mastering of a zero-turn Mower. The zero-turn mower is our main mower equipped with a grass striping kit to make the lines in the grass defined and noticeable. By my second week of cutting grass, I was encouraged to cut the grass more often due to my fine lining of the grass.

One thing I have learned thus far, is that it is important to remember people’s preferences when managing their landscape. For example, many older residents like longer grass around four inches long, where younger residents prefer their grass to be around two inches. Typically, we like to meet them right in the middle and keep the grass at 3 inches in order to meet the preferences of both demographics, while keeping the grass looking even. Another thing I have learned is to get to know the people you work with. One of my crew workers prefers to be called by a different name, and by doing this we have been able to develop a relationship and we feel more comfortable with each other. Keeping people’s preferences in mind is important so they know you care about them.

One thing that has really opened my eyes during this internship is seeing peoples burning desire to work. Some of my crew members are faced with difficult situations, such as having no ride to work, or no one to watch their kid, but somehow can always show up on time and be willing to work hard. Seeing their smiling faces even in times of adversity really made me appreciate them and encouraged me to be the best I could be.

I have really enjoyed my time as a property manager because it has given me an opportunity to tackle many different tasks. I have done irrigation systems, lawn care, resident care, and billing/filing. I never had thought being a property manager at Notre Dame would teach me such a diverse set of skills, which have encouraged me to be a better leader, manager, and person.

Again, I would like to thank Wabash College, IU Health, and B.E. Property for this great opportunity to learn, grow, and excel as a person. Thank you!

Marr ’20 Financial Literacy Helps Solidify Business Pitch

Alexander Marr ’20 LABB Intern – First off, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and Wabash College for allowing my peers and me to experience the LABB program. It truly is a learning experience as well as a place to gain and build relationships.

This week, we learned from Valerie Griffin about three different financial statements. She walked us through a program that helped us make our own income statements as well as balance sheets based on statistics from different companies. If any of us wish to run our own business, it is essential to be able to successfully write an income statement and balance sheet. We also created business plans for food trucks and presented them to investors, which proved rather nerve-wracking. Later in the week and following into the weekend, we had an opportunity to communicate with Wabash alumni at Big Bash.

On Tuesday, we gave mini pitches of our business plans for food trucks. Intended to be around 7 minutes, each turned out to be about 20 due to constructive criticism as well as questions from investors. Many of us felt unprepared, incapable of being able to answer questions that were presented, which gave us incentive to develop our business plans with greater depth. Further research and new ideas were needed to create a full business plan and a successful pitch. Luckily, we were given until Thursday to regroup and take considerations for our plans. One addition that my team included in our final presentation was a sheet with backgrounds and personalities of all our group members, which gave a basis of who we are and where we come from. Another concept that my group developed further was a budget that focused on the initial costs and each monthly cost, which let our investors envision the start to our business.

On Thursday, we gave our pitches on the full design of our food trucks. Four groups made and presented an entire business plan for investors to hear, who appropriated money to invest according to how well each business plan was. We also saw our peers present their ideas as well, which helps establish standards for these presentations and gives expectations for progress for future business plans and presentations. As nerve-wracking as it was, it was great to hear positive feedback about how much we have progressed as well as hearing that Roland Morin was impressed with our work.

Friday and Saturday gave my peers and I our first opportunity to network since we began the LABB program. I conversed with more than 40 alumni, of which 2 handed business cards to me allowing me to contact them in search for a job in the future. Many of the alumni were very curious about the internship that I have this summer, and the idea seemed to strike all their attentions. I recognized the importance of the key ideas to remember when networking, including a proper handshake, speaking with confidence, and being open minded. Taking the time to focus on being able to effectively network has a greater importance than I had initially thought.

It certainly has been a busy and full week, with many learning experiences in the classroom as well as introducing ourselves in the real-world setting. I can say that I have gained knowledge that makes me better understand the business world. Again, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment and Wabash College for making this experience possible. I am looking forward to what the next 5 weeks have in store for myself and my peers.

Frank ’19 Kick-Starting Business Career through LABB Program

Evan Frank ’19 LABB Intern – During my first two weeks of the LABB program, I have learned about finance and entrepreneurship, topics that are otherwise unavailable in a traditional liberal arts classroom. However, I am starting to assimilate how the critical thinking and analyzing abilities learned through an inter-disciplinary liberal arts education can be utilized in the world of business and finance. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for providing my peers and me this opportunity to kick-start our business careers.

Our focus for the second week centered on finance and the importance thereof. Valerie Griffin, a veteran of the field, coached us to help improve our understanding of finance. Throughout the week, we learned how to analyze financial documents such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements to make business decisions. The LABB program has exposed me to information in addition to my already diversified academic curriculum to help develop real world skills that I can use after school.

Our predominant task for this week was to deliver business pitches about our food truck idea that each group developed.  We had a lot of fun doing this project.  There were four groups – two with five members and two with four.  The goal was to sell our idea with two pitches to a group of investors that would decide whether they wanted to invest in our idea.  We gave our initial pitches on Tuesday and our final pitches on the following Thursday.  For the first pitch, the groups received 10 minutes to give an idea of what their company would look like.  My group talked about where we would operate, what food we would sell, when we would be open, etc.  We missed a lot of details originally, but we were able to identify some of those shortcomings after the presentation with the help of the investors.  The second pitch was then much more refined.  The groups were given 20 minutes a piece and in addition to the original ideas of the truck, we were able to talk about the finances of the food truck, what food we would sell, who we were competing with, etc.  The second pitches were much more polished as all of the groups could improve from the feedback we were given after the first pitch.  The feedback was especially helpful to develop a better understanding of all of the factors that go into pitching a business idea – in this case, specifically factors such as paying the chef, finding locations, having a licensed place to prepare food before serving. All these along with the financial projections go into establishing a sustainable food truck.  I felt it was also great practice to get in front of both the groups and the investors to sell our ideas.  I am not used to speaking in public, and I understand the importance of this in business and finance fields.  As such, this program is helping me to broaden my avenues.

So far, the LABB program has shown me how to think from a business perspective.  My goal going into the program was to figure out how my education would fit in in the real world of business and finance, and I am very pleased with the progress I have made so far.  I look forward to continuing my growth during the remaining weeks of LABB.