Ben Stachowski ‘19 enFocus – This summer I interned at enFocus in South Bend, IN. My internship consisted of working on two projects throughout my eight weeks in South Bend. Both projects required frequent client meetings, internal team meetings, research, and presentations. I sought to intern at enFocus because I wanted an internship that would allow me to grow my entrepreneurial and professional skills while getting the chance to make an impact on the projects that I worked on. enFocus’ brand promise is “Smart People. Bold Ideas. Greater Good.” This message means that enFocus believes that if they empower talent then they can help to build better communities by creating opportunities to start new ventures and innovate within existing organizations.
In my first project, an enFocus fellow and I worked with the Elkhart County Solid Waste Management District to implement a recycling education program into the Elkhart County Schools. This project was in its very beginning stages, so I had to complete a couple of weeks of best practice research before I could start convening focus groups and taking site visits. Once research was completed, I set-up these meetings and helped to facilitate a handful of them to gauge the best ways to get recycling curriculum into the schools. After hearing from many different schools in the community, we realized that many of them did not even recycle. As many consultants and entrepreneurs have to do, we had to make a pivot in our project and turn our focus to getting recycling bins into the schools before we could implement the recycling education curriculum. I finished my project by presenting my findings to the Elkhart Solid Waste Management Advisory Board and writing an internal final report for the next fellow that was going to continue this project and to the advisory board to summarize what we had completed and a timeline for the future. The hopes are to have this project off the ground by the beginning of next school year.
As for my second project. I worked with another intern and fellow to create a business plan for a film office in Goshen, IN. This project had a lot of client meetings to grasp the interest for the film office and surveying filmmakers in the area to figure out what was important when creating a film office. Once collecting this data, we performed a market analysis and then wrote the business plan. Off of the business plan, we created a presentation that would later be presented to the City of Goshen.
Overall this internship has been a great experience. The fellows were very welcoming and open to any and all of the intern’s ideas. There was truly a family atmosphere at enFocus, which allowed everyone the opportunity to work at their peak potential. I would especially like to thank Patrick Jones (Class of ’15) who is the Program Director at enFocus and the CIBE for giving me this great opportunity. I am very confident that this internship will help me in my future endeavors.