Beard ’20 Learns The Importance Of Understanding The Client

Mitchell Beard ’20 —When you approach many College Seniors and ask them what they did over the summer, you are sure to get a variety of different answers. “I went to the beach with my friends.” “Read a few great books.” “Went on a family vacation.” And while I could give all of those answers, what stands out for me is my 2019 summer internship working as a marketer and business analyst with Safe Hiring Solutions, made possible by Wabash College and the Mellon Grant.

The first few days of work were boring, to say the least. The Director of Marketing, Claudi Hurt, gave me my first few assignments, all in research. She told me “this is one of the most import

Mitchell Beard ’20

ant jobs we do here. For us to fulfill our commitment to security, we must first understand the needs of our clients and who they are before we can do much of anything else.” At the time I was kind of disappointed, but then by the end of my internship, I realized how right she was.

After gaining a grasp of the importance of security, the current market we are in, and the needs of our customers, I started to do web development. This was a struggle for me at first since the last time I had done any website coding was in high school with outdated methods. However, I quickly picked it up and within a few weeks of my internship recreated all three of their company pages to a platform that was aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and functional on a mobile device. After completing this project, Mike McCarty, CEO & Founder & Wabash Alum, recognized my talent in creating marketing material and shifted me to my next project, managing social media.

My initial thoughts, this is going to be easy. I do my social media, how much different could it be? Within the first post or two, I realized something important. These posts are in some ways representing everyone in the company, but I’m the one speaking. Do I sound like them or me? After asking myself this question, I moved to the next, who am I speaking to? Then I realized something. I already had the answer to both questions after doing all that research at the beginning of my internship, and after shaking my head for a few moments after realizing how right Claudia was, I continued my work.

Finally, this summer I had the chance to collaborate with Eric Stauffer, VP of Technology & Wabash Alum. We worked on a variety of tech projects together such as moving older server files, updating a chat box, and working on developing new software.

As I reflect on my summer internship, I’m thankful for the opportunity. I have been able to grow both professionally and personally. I look forward to my senior year continuing my work with Safe Hiring Solutions as a Sr. Innovation Consultant with the Center for Innovation Business and Entrepreneurship.

Lewis ’20 Has Life-Changing Experience In The Mountains Of North Carolina

Marlon Lewis ’20 — Before I begin, I would like to first give thanks to Michael Dill ‘71 for his generosity and commitment to giving back to Wabash. The Dill Fund was established to support the educational mission of the College by enabling students to explore off-campus opportunities outside of the normal academic year. I was given the opportunity to pursue a workshop in Penland North Carolina at Penland School of Craft. It was a two-week intensive glass casting workshop led by Sayaka Suzuki. Without his contributions, I would not have been able to afford my summer experience

I had no idea what was in store for me on this journey. The drive from Asheville to Penland was beautiful. Mountain ranges, rivers, streams and forest on both sides of the road. I had never seen the landscape of North Carolina before, so I was completely taken aback by its beauty. My driver made

Marlon Lewis ’20

a left turn about 40 minutes into the trip, and we began ascending up the mountainside, the small town we just were in vanishing behind the thick tree lines. The driver nor myself had any idea what was yet to be seen further ahead. Up two thousand feet from the nearest town, we emerged out of the forestry and it was just beautiful. Huge open fields and behind it over a hundred years of Penland history atop the mountain. They integrated their historic log cabin buildings and their modern additions beautifully.

To my surprise, there were only five undergrads besides myself out of the 180 people in the 18 sessions that took place over the same two week period, that was a huge shocker to me because I had just assumed that everyone would be relatively around my age. There were people of all ages and backgrounds, people from over thirty states and seven countries. One thing that shocked me but wasn’t really a surprise was the lack of Black bodies in the programs. There were two others besides me, one of whom was a resident artist of Penland. It was great to meet so many people from places all over and to hear their passions and stories and experiences. The knowledge they would pass on just in our subtle interactions was priceless. We were all brought together because of what we knew Penland could give us a life-changing experience.

Glass casting was a style of art I had never heard of before Penland and the technique pat de ver I had no experience with. Our Instructor Sayaka was phenomenal; the two weeks we spent with her felt like two months. Our days started at nine in the morning and many times did not end until three in the morning to go to sleep and do it over again. I made lasting connections with my workshop mates as well as with those in other workshop sessions. Whether it was camp fires on the noll or jam sessions in the cabin, we were always finding something to do and express our creativity.

I was able to channel thoughts and ideas that wouldn’t have been possible if I did not have the opportunity to attend. My artistic ability, insight, and vision all achieved new levels thanks to this experience.

There was a road name “Road to the heavens above” that was beautiful to me, it was perfect for where I was. I had never seen a street or road name like it in my life, and it was one of the last things I could expect to see when I arrived, but it’s a detail and a sight that will remain in my memories for a lifetime.

Hogan ’21 – Learns Importance Of Relationship Building

Zack Hogan ’21 — Relationships are set in stone, they never change. Or so I thought.
Now, I was nice to others when I interacted with them, but I didn’t go out of my way to talk to the people I had relationships with, and I especially didn’t push myself to meet new people. This summer Jason Bridges, my boss, mentor, and friend, showed me the importance of people.

Jason owns two businesses on Nantucket island, the Handlebar Cafe and Nantucket

Zack Hogan ’21 (left), Adam Zorich ’21 (center), and Jason Bridges ’98 (right)

Bike Tours. Although his businesses have specific products and services (coffee and bike tours), he runs them through the lens of emotional intelligence. He taught us to treat everyone, no matter who they are, as a person first. Importantly, he reminded us that this is a mindset for life and not just for work.

It took a couple weeks for me to fully realize what Jason was preaching to us. My epiphany happened one day as I was walking around downtown Nantucket. I passed an elder from the community on the sidewalk, and as I passed her, I looked back and said a simple ‘hello’. Immediately following my greeting she stopped in her tracks. She asked me if I knew her, to which I said no, and continued to introduce myself. We had a wonderful conversation for a couple of minutes and she had the largest smile on her face. Following the conversation, I realized that she must’ve been so taken aback because no one else had said hello to her that morning. In fact, she was so surprised that she assumed I must know her. Later in the day I saw her once again and she had that same large smile when I said, ‘hello again Anne’. By talking to her that day I completely surprised her and changed her mood. It was that day that I realized the power of a simple greeting, the power of relationships.

Since that day through bike tours and within the Nantucket community I have realized that every person has something interesting about them that they would like to share. Now, timing is key, but you never know what can happen when you chat with someone new. Through people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve built, I’ve learned from others as well as myself, both given and received advice, and even connected different people to benefit one another. Feel free to reach out and talk to me, I would love to talk about some of my experiences.

In closing, I would like to thank the small business internship fund for providing me with the opportunity I had this summer, my co-NBT intern Adam Zorich for always having my back and collaborating with me day in and day out, and Jason and Courtney Bridges for investing in me and always pushing me to improve.

Filippi ’21 Bridge Builder Strategies Internship

Ben Filippi ’21 — I want to thank the small business internship fund for making my internship with Bridge Builder Strategies possible this summer. Without the generous alumni donations that make up these funds, Wabash men (myself included) would be much less prepared for life after graduation. I spent my summer working with Mike Simmons, the CEO who graduated from Wabash, Max Kurkowski, a current Wabash student, Jeff Shields, the Vice President, and Clayton Lewis who will be a sophomore at Huntington University. I learned something different from each person and how the team of five interacted.

Ben Filippi ’21 (left) & Mike Simmons ’88 (right)

I learned several things from Mike. The first thing was how to apply my liberal arts education to the business world. It was the main goal I wanted to achieve with my first internship and Mike continues to help me find new ways to apply what I have learned from Wabash, especially as a rhetoric major, to consulting. From creating content for marketing to interacting with the powerful network in the healthcare industry, I realized how important the right messaging is. I also learned how important every day is in a small business. Mike spent way more than 40 hours a week working, but it was because he believed in what he was doing and the future success of the company. Like most college-aged students, I wasn’t thrilled when my alarm went off before 7:00 in the morning but I genuinely loved going to work every single day, and I can’t wait for my future work opportunities with Mike through the CIBE, another opportunity made possible by Wabash alumni donations. I learned from Max how to carry yourself as a college student doing such important work. He never carried himself as an intern, but instead, like an experienced employee. That mindset of not thinking like an intern in college but instead a meaningful employee gave me the confidence to work on such important projects. Jeff taught me the importance of having diversity in the workplace. Jeff was a former teacher and would always preach having the younger guys share their thoughts on everything because we had a different perspective. Just like Mike had a different perspective with his marketing background from Jeff’s teaching background. Clayton taught me the importance of communicating your struggles with those around you. Just like at Wabash, when we are encouraged to seek help from our resources. Clayton and I both struggled with time management and by him opening up about that we both worked to hold each other more accountable.

By the end of the summer not only had I learned way more than I could ever capture in 500 words, but I also found a job that I love doing, and I cannot thank the small business internship fund enough for that.

Page ’22 – Business Innovation Program (BIP)

Andrew Page ’22 — The first week of the BIP internship was a great learning experience, and I can tell that this program will help me significantly in my understanding of business. The following three days, we went through the Financial Boot Camp with Zackery Carl ‘18. Zack showed us the ins and outs of Microsoft Excel and how it’s a useful tool in the business world. Mr. Carl helped walk us through a financial model in Excel and various other exercises to sharpen our business and critical thinking skills. For the financial model portion, Mr. Carl taught us how to create a number of things including

Andrew Page ’22

an income statement, a balance sheet, a cash flow statement, and working capital, depreciation, and debt schedules. Knowing how to create these parts of a financial model will be very beneficial to us when we start our food truck business in the coming weeks. I am confident that everyone participating in the BIP internship learned a lot about Excel and have benefited from the concepts that we learned from Zack.

We also worked through logic problems to strengthen our critical thinking skills. At first, we walked through the projected monthly profit of the local Applebee’s together based on only our assumptions and without the help of the internet, and then we were broken into smaller groups, where we were assigned abstract questions and told to find an answer without looking anything up. For example, my group’s problem was, “How many ping pong balls can fit into a 747?” Although my team’s answer was roughly 45,000,000 ping pong balls off, it was a very enjoyable exercise that taught us the importance of thinking critically and modeled some questions that we may be asked in an interview someday. I would like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity.

Perkins ’22 Gains Valuable Experience In Business

Reagan Perkins ’22 — I want to thank the CIBE for funding my experience in the Business Innovation Program. I would also like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity to participate in such a great program. Approaching my last week, I can reflect upon the experiences I have been so fortunate to have. I learned a lot during the first week while working in Microsoft Excel with alumnus Zach Karl ‘18 during his financial bootcamp. I learned many tricks and valuable skills, such as how to create a balance statement, income sheet, and cash flow statement. At the moment, I want to go into finance or business so that these skills will be beneficial to me throughout my life.
I also enjoyed going over valuable case studies such as Disney, Proctor and Gamble, Chase Sapphire, and Kate Spade. These were valuable as I learned how to make decisions when running a business. Reviewal of these cases allowed me to begin thinking like an entrepreneur and taught me how to make decisions in the business world. I will be able to use this in the future, not just when working at or running a business, but as I make decisions in other areas of my life such as buying a house or starting a family.
Another significant aspect of this program is the number of valuable alumni encounters. I much appreciated meeting Rob Shook ’83. Meeting with him was fantastic because he changed the way I viewed networking and altered my approach to building essential relationships. I enjoyed visiting David Waldman, as he taught me about how committed one must be to start their own business and continue operating it. Jacob Stone ’17 was able to show me what it means to build your brand and how to popularize that brand. Tony Unfried ’03 and Jim Engledow ’78 demonstrated the importance of market research and what it means to “ask the right questions.” Shane Fimbel ’02 and Jim Abercrombie ’02 convinced me of how important it was to adapt to and learn new technologies, while Pat Jones ’15 reminded me that helping the community and others around you should always be the top priority when running a business. Kas Koehring ’18 taught me the basics of emotional intelligence and how I can utilize it in the workplace. Mike Simmons ’88 taught me the basics of marketing, how to apply it, and how to be good at it.
The lessons and skills I have acquired during the Business Innovation Program will be of great value to me during my future career.

Pipiras ’22 Takes Steps Towards A Career In Business

Sam Pipiras ’22 (left) & Andrew Page ’22 (right)

Sam Pipiras ’22 — The Business Innovation Program is an outstanding opportunity that some CIBE consultants are lucky to be a part of. Thanks to the incredibly generous alumni support Wabash College has, we can do some amazing things. Like this past week, we had Mike Simmons ’88 the President of Bridge Builder Strategies talk about his personal experience in marketing and discussed two case studies such as Real Madrid Club de Futbol and An Entrepreneur’s New Product Development Journey. While analyzing the Real Madrid case, Mr. Simmons and his team emphasized the importance of brand and product management. Another critical factor I took away from the reading is that the best businesses are the ones that create meaningful relationships with their customers.

On the other hand, when discussing the Product Development case, Mr. Simmons pointed out many pushbacks entrepreneurs face when developing their product. In the case, Gauri Nanda’s products failed because she did not have an overall understanding of the market around her. We learned that market research is crucial when starting out and will make or break your product. This past week we also worked on our consulting projects. In an effort to reach Wabash’s goal of a 5.5% endowment draw rate, our consulting group is creating a plan to maximize the efficiency of Trippet Hall. Throughout the school year, Trippet Hotel’s occupancy rate is about 2-3% and costing Wabash millions of dollars. Our objective is to figure out how much revenue Trippet can bring in if the occupancy rate is about 60% during the school year. For our final BIP project, we had to come up with a technology/app-based idea, and my group came up with Travail. Travail implements a software system that is directly linked to a personalized app we create for that hotel, resort, or cruise. The hospitality industry is losing a lot of money because their customers are going to local restaurants, bars, and excursion activities off hotel property. The service we provide for the hospitality industry focuses on promoting “on-campus” resort activities and improving hotel efficiency. The app has many features that set us apart from any competition such as pool/beach seat reservations, one-on-one communication with concierge, specify a time slot for room cleaning, restaurant reservations, poolside ordering service, on resort activities itinerary, and much more. Through the Business Innovation Program, my peers and I learn essential business skills, practice real-life business scenarios, and deliver business plans/pitches. I would like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity.

Gonczarow ’22 Takes Crash Course In Business

Andrew Gonczarow ’22 (left) & Seth Gallman ’22 (right)

Andrew Gonczarow ’22 — Wabash College’s Business Innovation Program has been very educational. This week, we focused on the financial side of business. Orr Fellow and recent grad Zachary Carl ’18, who works for Lacy Diversified Industries, came to Fusion 54 to show us how to make a financial statement in addition to giving us a tutorial of Excel. For example, I learned a useful short-cut in Excel called “v-lookup.” I can now confidently say that I can make a financial sheet. We focused most of our time learning how to make a cash flow statement, balance sheet, and an income statement. I also learned a lot of new financial terms in the process. I had the opportunity to practice my critical thinking skills by answering case studies which are complex mathematical/logic problems. My group had to figure out how much pizza is eaten per day in the United States. After looking up the population of the United States, we were able to estimate that about seven million pizzas are consumed in a day! I’m looking forward to this coming week where we will be discussing case studies on leadership in addition to giving a four-minute presentation on a topic that we are passionate about.

One lesson I have taken away from reading about the different types of effective leadership is that a good leader must have emotional intelligence. The keys to unlocking emotional intelligence include motivation, self-awareness, social skills, self-regulation, and empathy. We will also begin making our business plans this coming week for a food truck. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Business Innovation Program and would like to thank Wabash College’s Center of Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. I would also like to thank Alejandro Reyna and Roland Morin for the opportunity to take part in the Business Innovation Program. Lastly, I would like to thank Zachary Carl for taking time out of his busy schedule to teach us the basics of finance. I am looking forward to these next six weeks of learning and applying the skills that I have acquired over the past week.

Winter ’21 Applies His Liberal Arts Background To Fintech

Nick Winter ’21 — This past summer, I have had the opportunity to test my liberal arts education in the world of sales. No, there is not a sales 101 on the Wabash curriculum. My Rhetoric Major, as well as a wide breadth of courses from Biology-101 to Accounting-202, helped me adapt and become successful in my internship this summer. It is a true testament to the fact that Wabash gives you the essential formula to understand and learn new topics on the fly.

Financial technology or fintech was not a subject that I had a deep understanding in un

Nick Winter ’21

til this summer. I went through the interview process and was hired as a Market Development Associate for Adorant Group in Chicago. Adorant Group is a fintech company that has developed a platform called MyMoneyRoadmap. This platform was created to help financial advisors prospect, interact, manage, and plan for their clients on a whole new level. The platform makes it streamline and easy for a CFP to manage and navigate their books of business.

One of the first tasks I had to do was take a crash course to learn the platform. This seemed like an endless task at first; however, members of the team were able to get me up to speed and make the transition as easy as possible. After learning the essentials of the platform, I was able to practice cold calls and demo scripts with senior sales members of the team. It was important to focus on language selection, tone, and substance to create a successful phone call.

The sales coaches were able to help me “ask important questions.” By asking important questions, I was able to learn more and more about the pain that each advisor had. This allowed me to learn about the needs of their practice and how our software may be a good fit. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I took coaching head on every day. Members of the Adorant team were more than a pleasure to work with. The challenges that I faced during my experience did not seem daunting because of the great team I had around me 24/7. I am very grateful to receive this paid internship from the Small Business Internship Fund. I am looking forward to using the skills I have learned this upcoming semester at Wabash.

Davidson ’21 Connecta Corporation Internship

Jack Davidson ’21 — This summer, I spent my time as an intern at Connecta Corporation in Indianapolis, Indiana. Connecta specializes in crafting small, precision parts. Throughout my eight-week internship at Connecta, I worked specifically in the business department, specializing mainly in logistics. I was tasked with processing shipping and receiving, along with analyzing inventory in order to predict future purchase orders. When working in shipping and receiving, I had to locate parts and make sure they were being shipped on time and to the correct location. Once the parts were located, I would process the shipment on the online system. Also, I worked with clients to ensure we were receiving parts on time in order to keep our production runs on schedule. Additionally, I worked frequently with Rockwell Collins, one of Connecta’s top customers. Throughout my work with Rockwell Collins, I analyzed future shipment quantities in order to assist in bringing shipments back on schedule. Along with this, I downloaded Collins’ shipment spreadsheets, which outlined shipments from June to the following year, and analyzed whether or not we had stock or needed a production run on specific part numbers. This work was instrumental in improving the relationship with Rockwell Collins, as it improved on-time shipments and correct quantities.  Furthermore, I helped create and update an Excel spreadsheet which helped locate part numbers and ensure deliveries were being made on time to our different customers. In my opinion, this was one of the most influential things I did while at Connecta. Essentially, the excel spreadsheet outlined our shipping schedule to our various customers. This allowed each of our future shipments to be located in one place, leading to improved organization and on-time shipments. Further, the spreadsheet also allowed us to track where parts were in the production process. So when customers asked where a specific part number was, we were easily able to relay that information.

Overall, my eight-week internship at Connecta Corporation provided me a great opportunity. I believe this helped me grow significantly as an employee in the workplace. I acquired various new skills and sharpened other skills that will greatly help me in the future. I would like to thank Wabash alum Alan Pyle for giving me the opportunity to intern at Connecta. Additionally, I want to thank the Small Business Internship Fund at Wabash for funding this internship. Without the help of the Small Business Internship Fund, this life-changing experience would not have been possible!

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