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Kurkowski ’20 “There is much more to marketing than what you see”

Maxwell Kurkowski ’20 Bridge Builder Strategies – This summer, I have been working for a start-up company called Bridge Builder Strategies.  BBS is a consulting firm that’ mission is to develop strategies, processes and tactics that help organizations build bridges with their communities and create unique experiences that result in lasting relationships and impact.  Along with the consulting firm, I am also assisting in developing a non-profit organization called The Crossroads Center for Social Impact.  This organization aims to achieve maximum community impact and bring a better quality of life for our city and the people who live here.  This will be done through collaborative partnerships with interested members of the community, funders, businesses, government, non-profits, educational institutions and the faith-based community.  I have been working for Wabash Alum, Mike Simmons along with a current Wabash student, Micah Walker.  My role this summer has mainly been the marketing aspect of Bridge Builder Strategies.  However, this company being a start-up, I have had the opportunity to learn much more than just the marketing component.

Some of the important roles I have assisted in include, strategy development and business planning, business development opportunities, social media strategy and website development.  I have also attended business meetings associated with current and potential clients of Bridge Builder Strategies.  During my internship, there are a few things that stick out to me that I have learned.  As a whole, seeing how much time and work it takes to start a company has been eye opening to me.  There are many things that go on behind the scene in a company that need to be done in order for a company to be successful.  Seeing this happen first hand has been an experience that you cannot get in a classroom or online.  I have also learned many basic marketing tools that are used by companies to help enhance their brand.  There is much more to marketing than what you see.  It has to do with empathizing with clients, building relationships, and understanding the needs and wants of customers.   Business vocabulary is another skill that I have made strides in.  During my internship, I have had to do tons of research.  As I began reading countless articles and familiarizing myself with the field of work I am in, I realized that there are many words that I just had never seen before.  This gave me lots of trouble understanding many important components of my role this summer.  So, every time I read something I did not understand, I wrote it down, researched it and did my best to understand it.  This was one of my biggest takeaways this summer.  Understanding how to research properly and teach myself things online has been extremely helpful in my success this summer.  The second half of my internship has been developing the official website for Bridge Builder Strategies.  Before my internship, I had no knowledge of building a website.  I was a bit nervous to take on this role, however, after much research, YouTube videos and playing around on the website editor, I can now say that I can build a website on my own.  I am near the end of my internship and I am finishing up the Bridge Builder Strategies Website.

I am extremely grateful I had the chance to work with Mike Simmons this summer.  He has been an amazing mentor to me as well as an educator.  I have learned more than I could’ve imagined this summer and I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it to school, future career opportunities, and my everyday life.