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Cuevas ’21 Finds Immediate Use for Lessons Learned in LABB

Daniel Cuevas ’21 LABB Intern – The most helpful portion of LABB so far for me has been creating and presenting our business plans. On the first day of this program, we were assigned group projects: to write up a business plan for a potential food truck. With only about a week until my group presented our pitch, we got right to work. The project proved to be much more intensive than I originally thought. My group had to account for a succinct marketing plan, a brand image, a niche that separated us from other food trucks, and a three-statement projection for one year. The project required creativity, market research, and lots of critical thinking. I met multiple times with my group to continually refine our business plan. Our final plan consisted of creating a food truck called, “Sweet Things,” where my group and I would sell over-the-top desserts that looked visually appealing and would mesh well with social media. An example of such a dessert would include a chocolate ice cream cone with a Snickers bar in there, a donut on top, and a dash of sprinkles. Our truck was based in Santa Monica, and the target audience included millennials and young families. About a week after the first day of LABB, we were presenting our food truck pitch to a panel of mock investors, which included Wabash faculty and staff. The presentation went fairly well. Afterwards, the investors gave us constructive criticism and tips for our own improvement as entrepreneurs. The comments and advice were invaluable; I was able to see things I had not originally considered, and I was able to see areas on which I can improve. I came out of that project with a huge amount of knowledge and drive. Creating and presenting these business plans provided me with real-world experience that I could put to use right away. Just last weekend, I returned home to Northwest Indiana to be with my family, and I visited my mother at her floral shop. Once I arrived, I immediately began working on a social media plan for the shop in order to give the social media campaign some direction and specialization. I made this plan with everything I learned in mind: target audience, niche, and much more. The LABB Program and its real-world projects have already taught me so much, and I can’t wait to gain more knowledge and experience in the remaining three weeks of the program.