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STEWART ’19 FURTHERS HIS ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAM THROUGH WORKING AT A START-UP

Samuel Stewart ’19 On Target Health – This blog post is about the internship I was fortunate enough to have during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. I had no idea what to expect as I was walking into a start-up company, was going to be the only intern, and the industry I would be working in was something I knew nothing about—healthcare. However,  it was an amazing experience and here are some stories and highlights from my experience.

As On Target Health was aiming to go after what was described as a “whale” of a potential client I was tasked with finding a public, state contract between two corporations. The document itself was extremely hard to find and took me 2 full days of research to locate. I was tasked with understanding the various performance guarantees, health code reimbursements, and a variety of other important details that needed to be summarized so that we had the upper hand in the upcoming negotiations. Getting to play such a vital role in such a unique sales negotiation was not just rewarding, but extremely exciting. Being the only intern in the entire company and working with the CEO and Director of Business Relations granted me an unbelievable amount of transparency within a start-up company that I hope to apply when I become an entrepreneur one day!

Through my boss, Tim, I have learned invaluable networking skills and how to communicate with complete strangers to generate interest in our company without seeming like I’m trying to sell something. I was able to secure a meeting with a CEO of a company in Muncie, IN, by meeting the CEO’s step-son by complete accident in Boston, MA. This meeting generated new interest from the CEO’s company in On Target Health’s Program and I was the one on the frontline making it all happen. The confidence I had to make this happen was attained through white-board sessions with my boss, free sales classes that my boss helped me get into, and the fact that I was encouraged (as an intern) to speak/chime-in during any meeting regardless of importance. It was very nerve-wracking to be put on the spot, but extremely rewarding when all set and done.

At the end of my internship, I have learned networking etiquette, the strategic decisions that a start-up company is faced on a daily basis, how to analyze ROI reports to help articulate our value proposition to prospects/clients, how to create various marketing handouts, and much more. All of this was possible because of the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. I truly feel more prepared for the business world now, and it has eliminated any nervousness I have about an internship next summer. Because of this experience, I am excited for the years of business I have ahead of me and will be sure to recommend any experience similar to mine to other, younger students.

*The picture I have attached is of me networking with another alumnus, per my boss’s request, to learn more about a difference benefit offered within the healthcare industry to increase my understanding of the industry as a whole.