Lenkey ’19 “The Power of the People”

Joseph Lenkey ’19 Nantucket Bike Tours – Other than your parents, have you ever had people devote their time towards your personal growth? Here at Nantucket Bike Tours, I have three people passionate about my development. Jason ‘98 & Courtney Bridges as well as Cole Crouch ‘17 have been far more than my boss in this small business internship. They are mentors, role models, life coaches, roommates, emotional intelligence gurus, and family. Not only are they investing so much time in us interns, SaVonne Bennette ‘19 and I, but they also own two businesses and spend most of their free time helping their community. For them to give up so much of their time for me is incredible in itself, and for that I am truly grateful to have them in my lives.

This internship is not your typical one working 9-5 Monday-Friday; instead, we lead bike tours 7 days a week (rain or shine) for about 5 hours a day. Living on a beautiful island, I thought I would have all this extra time to relax on the beach, fish, and boat. Reality quickly set in here when I realized this is not a vacation internship, but a 10-week emotional intelligence boot-camp in which I devote a whole summer for personal growth. From the moment we get up in the morning (5:30am) to the moment we go to bed at night (9:30), our focus and goals are for self-improvement and how it will help us succeed in and out of the work place. A normal day looks like this: discussing a chapter in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, analyzing what our body language says on the days’ bike tour, refining our speaking skills in Toastmasters, learning how to actively listen and ask questions in conversations with strangers at a coffee shop, and debriefing the days victories and challenges at dinner. Every day I continue to develop emotional intelligence ‘superpowers.’ Powers that expand my social awareness and open my eyes to how I see myself interact with others.

One of the most rewarding things I have learned from this experience, is the power of people. We truly live in a “people economy” as Jason says and there is so much to learn and grow when you are interested in others. All the people I have met on Nantucket have incredible stories to share and experiences I can always learn from and apply to my life. An island 30 miles out to sea might seem lonely or isolated, but with this internship I have never before been closer to people. Similarly to Wabash, Nantucket is a very close knit community where you see similar faces every day. Instead of exchanging nods or a quick ‘hello’, this internship has shown me how rewarding it is to introduce myself, learn their name, and build a relationship with that person. I became more connected to this community and will use this lesson to only enhance my last two years at Wabash with fellow students and faculty.

I would like to thank Wabash College and especially the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me this opportunity to explore a different community and gain real work experience with small business. Also, I would like to thank Jason & Courtney Bridges for taking me into their home, work, and lives for my personal growth.


Budler ’19 Collaborates with High Caliber Non-Profit and Educational Firms

Nicholas Budler ’19 Huntbridge – I spent the summer as an Associate of Media and Public Relations at Huntbridge, Inc., an executive search firm in Indianapolis, with an office in Washington D.C. The focus of my work was on writing for executives and press releases, communicating with clients, supporting the leadership team, social media, and developing new business.

Thanks to the Lilly Endowment, I was able to spend part of my first summer in Washington DC and apply myself in a new area of work. As a Philosophy major I wasn’t expecting to work—ever—in Human Resources and I barely knew anything about executive search. Now, I’ve grown as a professional and as well-rounded human being. I’ve met fantastic people, worked with successful executives, and made friends from around the country.

In particular, I worked in collaboration with several high caliber non-profit and educational firms in DC as well as a bio-science firm in Indiana. None of these sectors were related to anything I had done previously but I was able to learn on my feet and adapt to the situation. I worked closely with our leadership team to close these deals, assist the executives during the on-boarding process, and support the firms throughout the searches as well as having increasing business opportunities throughout the duration of my internship.

Similarly, I spent time networking, scheduling, and meeting with both executives and candidates for open searches. This brought me into contact with unique individuals that I am now able to call friends. Thanks to my time at Wabash I was able to professionally and critically integrate myself into this environment. The communication with candidates was crucial to the success of our executive searches: screening, scheduling, and interviewing.

Finally, I had the opportunity to interview, hire, and train a new Huntbridge employee. Sitting on the other side of the table was a new experience but proved insightful to me – especially as I go off into more interviews (and, eventually, the job market) myself.

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Martinez ’20 Develops Organizational Skills in Leadership Role

Ivan Martinez ’20 WLAIP Mentor – This past July, I spent the month interning as a Mentor in a summer institute for the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. During this intensive program, 30 incoming Wabash freshmen stayed on campus and took an English course as well as a few other class modules, and participated in team-building activities and various trips to Indianapolis. Along with 7 other mentors and 3 writing tutors, we were to serve as a “big brother” to these incoming students by providing guidance, advice, and assistance when needed.

From a daily basis, I interacted with the students each day to ask if they were alright and ease their transition from high school to college. Ensuring that the students were fine was my priority, and this included helping students cope with “homesickness”, the stress of a college schedule, and sometimes issues regarding other students. One occasional problem was getting some students to planned sessions on time or to participate in some of the team activities. This is where a significant role of my mentor position applied. While trying to find the balance between being too much of the students’ friend and being too authoritative towards them, I gave the students explanation and motivation to follow through with the rest of the group.

Also as part of my job as a Mentor, I oversaw access to the College’s Allen Center sports facility after operating hours for the students. Along with this, I planned sessions throughout the week to let our guys use the facility, while making sure that the Allen Center was properly closed down after our use of it. Arrangements with Campus Security were also made to help organize these sessions.

This internship provided me with an experience of a leadership role while also allowing me to give back to the College by mentoring the incoming students. From this experience, I will be able to take away organizational and planning skills to better help me in my future as a student as well as a future employee. I also believe I have become a more sociable person from reaching out to students and their families.

Overall, this internship had a very positive impact on me as I had plenty of fun and now have experiences to take away. I would like to thank Dr. Horton and Dr. Koppelmann for providing me with this opportunity to lead. I would also like to thank the Mellon Grant for supporting and making my internship possible.

Fullenkamp ’18 Learns the Impact of Company Culture

Klay Fullenkamp ’18 Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Business Development Intern -This summer I had the opportunity of working as the Business Development intern at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Throughout the duration of my internship I worked with the business development (BD) team completing front-end research for large events they would travel to, such as SelectUSA and Major Markets, and housekeeping details that sorted information scattered throughout their shared company drive into single documents for easier access. My research would assist the BD team with an excel sheet of the attendees of these events and would highlight the companies that fit the seven target industries that the partnership developed as the most prominent industries of northeast Indiana. The things I enjoyed most about my time at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership were the people I worked with and the work I conducted while I was there for just a brief eight weeks. From day one to my last day I was treated in a first-class manner and that is a testament to the culture in which the employees have created and bought into themselves. I felt like another employee that came to work every day rather than just an intern. The work the partnership does has a large impact on northeast Indiana. I had an idea going in of the work they did, but I came out with a whole new appreciation for what they do, as it can go unnoticed by the public at times. I felt I was able to contribute not only to the partnership during my internship, but to the Greater Fort Wayne area and the eleven counties the partnership encompasses.

Another valuable asset to the partnership is strengths coaching. Prior to my internship, I completed the Gallups Strengths Assessment. Once I began I then received strengths coaching every Friday from my coach Sonya Snellenberger-Holm. I found out more about myself through diagnosing my top five strengths than I ever would have imagined going into it. I now find it much easier to describe myself and understand even more how to sell myself on the assets and skills I possess to future employers. I would especially like to thank CEO and President John Sampson, my manager Sarah Rodriguez, my mentor Ashley Spranger, and strengths coach Sonya Snellenberger-Holm for the time they invested in me and the opportunity presented to learn more about business and economic development. Finally, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment. Without the generosity of the Lilly Endowment this internship would not have been possible and I am grateful for this opportunity.

Vedo ’19 Gets Hands-On Experience in South Bend

Nicholas Vedo ’19 enFocus – It is difficult for me to put into words all that I have received from my summer internship with enFocus and Saint Joseph health system in South Bend. My summer consulting project was focused on researching the economic and health effects of countywide smoking bans to help St. Joseph county better strategize for implementing their own ordinance in the future. On the side, I did clinical work in the main hospital campus in Mishawaka. Being Pre-Med, this hands-on volunteer time rooming patients and recording vital signs gave me real world experience that I truly enjoyed.

In addition to all of the great experiences I had working, the group of interns I was with made sure that I had a very memorable summer in South Bend. I made great friends from a variety of other schools. We got together numerous times after work hours to explore the booming restaurant and bar scene of the city. I was also very pleasantly surprised to discover the many outdoor parks and recreational areas in the South Bend city area. I am a runner, so having the opportunity to get outside and tear up some pristine forest trails was wonderful. St. Patrick’s park on the north side of South Bend was my favorite and made for an interesting run since it was directly on the border with Michigan running along the edge of the St. Joseph river. A twenty-minute run took me into Michigan and back again to Indiana.

The work environment that enFocus fostered was one of constant innovation and support. I never felt uncomfortable when speaking up for an idea or looked down upon because I was an intern. The executives of the company treated all of us as equals and made sure we knew that our work was a key part of the company’s function and success. The many employee events we participated in were all enjoyable and beneficial for my professional development. One event I enjoyed in particular was the Meet the Fellows event, where enFocus basically held a banquet with all of the clients and donors they have worked with in the past. The company also invited other high ranking members of the county area to come and network with us. I met many new people that day and learned much from the stories they told me.

All in all, my summer internship was a tremendous opportunity that taught me so much. I am extremely grateful for the work of the Wabash College Global Health Initiative and the funding of the SBIF for making this opportunity available to me.

Lange ’19 Humbled by Legal Aid Society Experience

Erich Lange ’19 Louisville Legal Aid Society – The mission of Wabash College is to “educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.” While the first three parts can be learned in the classroom, I would argue that one must learn the fourth component outside of tranquil campus life. If nothing else, my summer internship at the Louisville Legal Aid Society taught me what it means to live humanely.

Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm, offering free civil legal assistance to the indigent population of Louisville, KY and the surrounding 14 counties. To qualify for Legal Aid services, a client must be at least 125 percent below the federal poverty line. Sadly, there is a great demand for Legal Aid services; for every one client Legal Aid serves, they must turn one away due to insufficient funding. Whether I was writing grants to secure funding, composing press releases and publications, drafting company policies, assisting attorneys at free legal clinics, or attending court, my serving Legal Aid’s clients, either directly or indirectly, has been the most humbling experience of my life. I discovered that living humanely not only means performing random acts of kindness and being a good person, but going the extra mile to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate “living humanely” is to share a real example from my experience. “Jennie” came to Legal Aid seeking a divorce. Her husband had walked out on her and moved out of state. Because he had abused her, she wanted was to be completely free of him and get on with her life. At this particular divorce clinic, I filled out the Divorce Decree forms for the Judge to sign if he or she granted the divorce. “Jennie” is now in the later stages of her divorce, and should soon be able to move on with her life. It did not seem like much to me at the time, but by that small act of filling out a form “Jennie” needed for her divorce, I helped her begin a new chapter in her life.

Although I may not be an attorney or even a college graduate for that manner, this experience with “Jennie” and the countless others like it have taught me what it means to live humanely. Thanks to the generous support of the SBIF and Legal Aid Society, I was afforded the opportunity to learn a lesson more important than any test I will ever take in my four years at Wabash; I learned and became a better man, and for that I am forever grateful.

Kirts ’20 Makes an Impact on Incoming Freshman

John Kirts ’20 WLAIP Mentor – This summer I was selected to work for the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program during the its third summer institute. I am very grateful that I was able to work in this program, as I felt that I did meaningful and enjoyable work.

My position as a mentor and writing tutor, with additional roles as parent liaison and blogger, provided me with a broad spectrum of responsibility and experience. Most impactful to my time working this summer was the change and development I witnessed in the 30 students with whom we writing tutors worked closely on English 101 papers and assignments. The challenge presented to the students to complete college-level work after variable levels of preparation from high school pushed them to grow. To watch and engaged with the incoming freshmen who at the start of July were reluctant to ask for help and who did not ever practice drafting papers before, and to see them at the end of the month eager to have another set of eyes on their work so they could change anything necessary, was not only satisfying for my role, but further important for their college readiness. My job as a writing tutor also gave me invaluable experience working with the professors for the program and the students to both teach and catch the students up on subtle, good student behaviors, and to assist in every part of the writing process from a semi-authoritative voice; I acted as eyes and ears for the professors, but in a less intimidating manner gave instruction. My role as a parent liaison and blogger enabled me to gain other memorable and valuable experiences.

In order to acquire accurate and clear information on the students’ happiness and work in the program, I needed to engage with the students and go to the same events and activities so I could answer any parent’s questions, and write frequent blogs. This aspect of my job for the WLAIP was enjoyable as I became friends with the future Wabash men, and educational for me due to the empathy necessary for understanding and remembering the transition to college-level work and general student life.

Overall, the program and my roles in it gave me professional experience working with students in academic and social settings, as well as practice being in dialogue with the parents of the students during the summer institute. I am exceedingly grateful to the Mellon Grant for making my experiences possible and purveying my stipend for the month of work.

Khan ’19 “The enFocus Experience: One of Constant Growth and Learning”

Ahad Khan ’19 enFocus – Having declared my major as political science the spring of sophomore year, I was still figuring out what I could do with my degree. I was encouraged by school staff to consider internships that interested me rather than worrying about how pertinent a position was to my major. Hearing this advice repeatedly helped me to comprehend that companies look beyond a person’s major when hiring. I started my internship research still unsure what exactly I was looking for. The only preference I had was to work for a nonprofit organization. It was after applying this filter that I stumbled across enFocus Incorporation on Wabash’s Career Services website. The internship description intrigued me, so I probed more into the company and researched their website. enFocus’ ongoing projects and their impact in the community got me very excited, especially the consulting aspect. To understand more, I got in touch with one of the upperclassmen who interned with enFocus last year. He explained the nonprofit organization’s mission to me and shared his personal experience. That got my enthusiasm levels even higher and I decided to apply.

I was fortunate to have received the internship offer by the beginning of spring semester. Upon my arrival to South Bend, I was ready to learn about consulting, non-profit work, and community engagement. As the internship concluded, I felt that I had learned beyond what I anticipated going in. I did not just learn skills imperative for succeeding in a professional environment but forged great relationships with other interns and employees. I improved my understanding of business complexities while at the same time enhanced my interpersonal skills. All of my learning experiences were strengthened due to a staunch support network present at enFocus. Everyone helped each other, celebrated accomplishments together, and never overshadowed anybody. This type of working environment made things very comfortable for me as an intern. My project supervisors’ constant guidance allowed me to take charge of the projects with ease. Their openness toward discussing issues and thinking side by side with me on how to tackle them gave me a sense of reassurance. The generous support assisted me to further challenge myself and enabled me to work on a variety of projects throughout the summer.

I started my internship performing a wages and benefits analysis for northern Indiana. The project entailed understanding and analyzing lots of numbers which I thoroughly enjoyed. Once done with this project, I assisted in drafting some agreement forms for enFocus. That involved significant reading and understanding of crucial information. I also worked on establishing a telemedicine program in the city of South Bend and that project involved considerable research and data analysis. Lastly, I worked alongside three other interns to revamp South Bend’s Adult Education Program. It was an ongoing summer-long project which involved meeting with the client, understanding the key issues faced by the organization, and recommending best practices to improve overall efficiency. All four projects helped me to work in diverse capacities, allowed me to understand real-time problems, and improved my overall skill set. I feel very satisfied with the internship experience because I did not expect to learn so many new things in such a short span of time.

Ultimately, I am grateful to the Lilly Endowment without whose funding this internship would not have been possible. The funding truly gave me an opportunity to make a positive impact in the state of Indiana. I remain thankful that among so many more qualified candidates than myself, I was given the chance to be a part of the coveted internship program.


Reel ’18 Enhances Data Analysis Skills During Internship

Sam Reel ’18 PoliticalBank – Throughout my internship with Politicalbank, I have learned a lot of valuable experience working with a start-up that can be translated to many different job fields.  Start-ups require a lot of work in all aspects of business; therefore, I was able to get experience in fields such as sales, marketing, data compilation/analysis, and sitting in on meetings with executives of the company.  All of these different projects I worked on allowed me to add many great skills/job experiences to my resume.

At the beginning of the summer, I was tasked with a massive data compilation and analysis project about past elections.  I had to compile many of the winners from past elections and analyze the demographics of the political sphere in the country.  Once I was completed with the analysis, I had to write many different installments of a data report that focused on many different demographics.  For example, the different installments would be about gender, party, office type, and many other things.  When looking for internships for the summer of 2017, I was looking for an internship where I could polish my data analytic skills that I have learned throughout my schooling so far.  This project fulfilled that want.

I was then able to get a taste of sales and marketing on two different levels.  I approached the sales on the individual candidate level and the organization level.  Before I would begin cold-calling and contacting different groups, I went through sales training with the sales department within the company.  This was another added benefit that I was able to receive during this internship.  I had never had any formal sales training before this summer, but now it can be an important talking point in future interviews when looking for a job.  Once I completed the sales training, I was able to begin cold-calling and contacting candidates that would be running for office in 2017.  It was very good experience on how to remain conversational when making a sales call.  When calling the individual, I would either be trying to get them to claim a profile on the website or buy products from the campaign store.  This was good experience also because I had to change the sales pitch depending on what I was selling.  When trying to form partnerships with advocacy groups/political organizations, I had to change the sales pitch again.  I wasn’t necessarily selling anything for monetary value, but I had to sell the company as a whole and remain conversational.  Having this sales and marketing side of the internship will be very beneficial to my future career.

Overall, I learned a lot about the ins and outs of running a business, which is extremely beneficial no matter the field you are in.  I am extremely grateful to the Lilly Endowment to make this internship possible.

Moore ’18 Applies Skills Learned in the Classroom During Internship

Chandler Moore ’18 Jeffrey A. Boggess Law Clerk Intern – This past summer I had the esteemed opportunity to Clerk for alumnus Jeffrey Boggess ’89.  As someone interested in practicing the Law I found the opportunity both encouraging and motivating.  Upon my first day of the internship I was observing a jury trial over a case regarding an attempted murder, what is more exciting than that?  The weeks following I was prepping documents, observing mediation, and calling clients.  The experience was so special because it took my interest of practicing the law and my experience from pre-law classes with Professor Himsel and actually put those skills and lessons to practice, what I saw was a perfect, although bumpy at times, translation of learned skills from the classroom to the law office.

What I was able to experience throughout my weeks at the law office was the day to day life of a small town attorney.  The truth I found, rather quickly, is most of the work is done out of the Courthouse and in the office.  I would arrive to work each day with post-it notes of tasks that I was assigned, these tasks would range anywhere from looking through medical records for a Personal Injury case to prepping documents to be produced for a Guardianship hearing.  One of my most noteworthy tasks during my internship was preparing an exhibit of screenshot text messages for an all day hearing.  I sifted through hundreds of text messages looking for keywords, I printed out hundreds of the text messages and then stamped them so that they could be used as an exhibit.  The next day I went to Court to observe the hearing and my work was used as a significant argument for our side.  It was encouraging to see my work used in front of the Putnam County Judge.

On top of all of my unique experiences this summer it was great to hear the stories and experiences from my boss, a fellow Wabash man, who holds his Wabash education as important and lasting today as he ever has.  I cannot thank Wabash College, my boss, Jeff Boggess, and the Lilly Endowment Fund enough for the great opportunity I had this summer.  I would encourage any underclassmen to go out and find internships in your areas of interest and really observe the day to day practices because as I learned, any experience at all is absolutely priceless and so important for your development as a student and a man.