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
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 This was a struggle for me at first since the last time I had done any website coding was in high school with outdated methods.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.