Brogi ’22 Rubs Elbows With Powerful People On Capitol Hill

Joshua Brogi ’22 — I spent this summer in the heart of Washington D.C., soaking up the sticky atmosphere of both the humidity and the politics. The program I was a part of is called The Fund for American Studies, a non-profit which brings together college students from all over the country to, as their slogan reads, “Live, Learn, and Intern.”

As part of the “live” aspect of my summer, I was housed at the George Washington University, located several blocks from the White House, and spent most of my free time wandering around

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson (left) & Josh Brogi ’22 (right)

the city, visiting countless spectacular (and free) sites, including Smithsonian museums, famous monuments, and Congressional offices.

The “learn” component of my experience involved a captivating bi-weekly class called, “Leadership and The American Presidency,” taught by a renowned Princeton political-science professor and a former congressman. In these classes, we openly discussed our perspectives on current politics, along with the role of the American presidency throughout history. We had lots of educational experiences outside of the classroom too, for example, the lectures on Capitol Hill, in which prominent political figures such as Sens. Rand Paul and Angus King, would give us first-hand experience and advice on DC, politics, and our blooming professional lives. Along with this lecture series, I was fortunate enough to learn hands-on about the American presidency, from visiting presidential landmarks like Lincoln’s Cottage, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and The University of Virginia.

Lastly, the “intern” aspect of the program allowed me to work with the Homeland Security Today Magazine, researching and reporting on DHS topics like counter-terrorism and immigration, at a time when these issues are more relevant than ever, due to the Southern Border issue and rampant lone-wolf mass-shootings. More than anything, this internship changed the way I watch and read the news. I now have a far better understanding of how important and impactful the talking heads on TV are to our very democracy, and I got a glimpse of the arduous and expeditious production that goes behind the daily print.

This summer couldn’t have laid a better foundation for my professional and (hopefully) political life, and the connections and knowledge I’ve gained here, I know I’ll be utilizing for years to come. I want to express my boundless thanks to the Graham Fund and The Reagan Institute for allowing me these truly life-changing experiences.

Ramsey ’21 Spends Summer In The Cloud

Tyler Ramsey ’21

Tyler Ramsey ’21 — As my sophomore year neared its end, I had little time to find a summer internship that would make or break my next two years at Wabash. I knew I had a passion for computers, and I was dedicated to taking the IT route, I just could not find the right fit. As time ticked, I encountered Shane Fimbel, CEO of Trek10, located in South Bend, Indiana. Dr. Fimbel offered a summer intern position at Trek10, and it would not have been possible without the generosity of the Small Business Internship Fund and the CIBE for helping me secure it. The experience I had at Trek10 was nothing but life-changing.

The opportunity to work for Trek10 not only allowed me to expand my knowledge within the tech field but also gave me a route to take for my next two years at Wabash. I have a couple of experiences I would like to share from my summer internship with Trek10. The first experience I would like to share is obtaining my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. On the first day of my internship, Dr. Fimbel explained the significance of technical expertise of the cloud, since Trek10 is a company that is solely focused on cloud computing. Trek10 gave me every resource possible in order to feel comfortable and confident with Amazon Web Service tools and its features. As an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, I have a general knowledge of AWS tools and resources in addition to a strong understanding of different pricing models for a client who is looking to switch their company over to AWS. I believe that this certification opened more doors for me in the upcoming year or two as I finish my time here at Wabash.

Although I’ve had much more experience with the tech side of things, I also had the opportunity to gain experience in the research and development side. I was tasked with finishing an ongoing research paper that Trek10 plans on publishing in the near future. I created a digital database that pulled in a select few of researchers who produced papers about serverless computing. The database I gathered not only allowed me to produce various graphs, but it also allowed me to construct the relationships between the researchers in the database. In order to connect the authors through their work, I used a network analysis tool software called Gephi that produced a large visual representation of the connections. The graph takes a lot of trial and error, but once I applied the ideal filters for our results, I was able to show how connected each author was and whether or not they were put in a certain group (community). The research paper was a great learning experience because it gave me exposure to conducting proper research and how to write a research paper properly.

All of this would not have been possible if it weren’t for the CIBE for helping me secure my internship and the Small Business Internship Fund for funding my summer internship.

Strahla ’21 Embraces The Grind Of Interning For Stanton Chase

Brent Strahla ’21 — I would like to preface this blog by thanking the donors of the Small Business Internship Fund. Without it, I might have spent another melancholic summer in Indiana working my high school job(s).

To get to the meat of my experience, have you ever ridden on public transportation

Brent Strahla ’21 (left) & Lukios Stefan ’21 (right)

? For the first time this summer, I was a consistent rider of the Washington Metro.

I think the blog can end there.

If you have ever been a consistent rider of public transit, we could most likely classify you as someone who has “Seen It All.” There seemed to be confusion as to whether the Metrobus was a bedroom, bathroom, or bus. Residents of the DMV area might mistake it as any of those. By the end of my Internship, I started to understand why they understood the Metro in this way. It’s a gruesome commute in one of the most humid places in the USA. It’s economical to use the bus as a bed, bath, and transportation option…

After about 90 minutes of commuting one-way, I came to the place where I spent more hours than most can probably say, the “Office.” The calm before the storm was between the time of 7AM-9AM. Our office had a 9:30 AM start time. This meant if I got to work early enough, I could squeeze out a cup of tea before the storm came.

Most workdays were the same, non-stop preparation, analysis, research, and business development until noon. At noon, you had about 5-10 minutes of lunch preparation followed by eating your lunch and hopping back into the warm impression in your chair. I took every opportunity I could to call someone on the phone. This meant that I could stand up and stretch while also getting work done.

After the workday ended around 5:30 PM (some days until 7:00 PM), I was able to go to our office gym and get a quick workout in until I need to catch the bus for another 60-90 minute commute home at 7:18 PM. This left just enough time to cook dinner and go to bed—just enough excitement in one day to make me want to wake up for the next.

I’ve learned an unsurmountable amount about the Recruiting & Staffing industry. Careers seem to be more about connections than anything. I also can format and write a mean-looking resume now.

In reflection, I think a large part of the learning and growing process is discovering what you don’t like and don’t want to do. That being said, I think that executive search is not necessarily where I want to start my career. Nevertheless, I would like to thank Stanton Chase for an incredible summer of growth and discovery.

Stefan ’21 Spends Summer In D.C. With Stanton Chase

Lukios Stefan ’21 — Stanton Chase ranks among the top executive search firms in the world and consistently places C-suite level executives at global corporations and firms. The Stanton Chase team in Washington D.C. excels in offering recruiting services across various sectors and promises both expediency and excellence in presenting qualified, interested, and prepared candidates to their clients. Mr. Jeffrey

Brent Strahla ’21 (left), Jeff Perkins ’89 (center), Lukios Stefan ’21 (right)

Perkins, the Wabash alumnus at Stanton Chase, serves as the managing director of the team in D.C. This summer, he graciously selected me as one of two interns to participate in the rigorous gauntlet of corporate recruiting.

As a research associate intern, Jeff and the director, Charles, entrusted me with various responsibilities for their thirteen active accounts. Executive recruiting follows a diligent process of sourcing, screening, and presenting candidates. First, the client outlines the general criteria for the role. The Stanton Chase team follows with a drafted job specification which clearly delineates the responsibilities and expectations of the position. Next, applicants are located through market intelligence resources and screened by the leaders of the account, who then compile slates of candidates for the clients to review. Formal interviews then proceed to evaluate their strength and viability for an offer. At each step, the Stanton Chase team overcomes a diversity of internal obstacles while mediating concerns from both the client and candidates.

In addition to the research associate position, I served briefly as the interim executive assistant for Mr. Perkins. The initial occupation of the role was daunting and constantly challenged my ability to efficiently manage unfamiliar responsibilities. The most important task for the executive assistant was scheduling for Mr. Perkins and the DC office. Clients and candidates consistently requested time and resources from our team and trusted me to handle their business with confidentiality and care. Despite the challenges of the position, tracing and documenting the progress of each search offered a visible reward for my work.

Overall, the experience at Stanton Chase accentuated two essential skills for success. First, the ability to communicate with clarity and brevity eliminates confusion. Details define the perception of your work, and the omission of it damages your reputation and credibility. Second, the desire to learn unlocks opportunities. Passion thrills employers and they will readily entrust curious workers with responsibility. In conclusion, executive recruiting at Stanton Chase taught both a professional trade and the skills for navigating life. I am grateful for both the Small Business Internship and Mr. Jeff Perkins for enriching my personal and professional development beyond the classroom experience.

Einterz ’22 Learns Why Majors Don’t Matter

Matthias Einterz ’22

Matthias Einterz ’22 — I’m currently in the sixth week of the Business Innovation Program this summer, and it has been an amazing experience. I joined the CIBE to learn about the ins and outs of the business world and prepare myself for life after Wabash, and I can confidently say that this program through the CIBE has surpassed my expectations and I have gotten even more out of these last five weeks than I was looking for. This last week, week five, was undoubtedly my favorite thus far, for both the quantity and quality of experiences and speakers we had. On Mondaywe had Jacob Stone ’17 come to talk with us about a Havard Business School case study. Mr. Stone also shared some insights from his time so far working at Eli Lilly. On Tuesday, we traveled to Platform24 in Carmel to meet with Tony Unfried ’03. He spent some time talking about his company Archon Tech Strategies but spent the majority of our visit talking more broadly about his experience as an entrepreneur. This was perfect for me and most guys in the program who have at least a vague ambition of starting a business in the future. His main message was the importance of listening to costumers. This message was echoed in the afternoon site visit when we traveled a few minutes down the road to meet with Jim Engledow ’78 President and CEO of Engledow Group. He gave a phenomenal presentation on the history and development of the landscaping company, outlining how they expanded the business from residential to commercial landscaping and eventually into interior, events, holiday, and floral just by listening to their customer’s needs. He also had a great saying that really stuck with me: spend 20 years learning, 20 years earning, and 20 years returning. On Thursday, we were in South Bend, but it almost felt like we were at a Big Bash reunion. We had the opportunity to meet and network with 12 Wabash men throughout the day. We started the day at Trek10 with Shane Fimbel ’02 and Jim Abercrombie ’02, who sold us on the importance of some basic training in AWS and cloud computing, which reinforced the notion that the Wabash liberal arts education means your career doesn’t need to match your major. Afterwards, we went to enFocus and met with Pat Jones ’15, who explained the amazing work they are doing in South Bend with their fellowship program, which seems to be set up similarly to the CIBE. After lunch at enFocus with several Wabash guys in the area, we finished up our day at Cup Print with Todd Hoogland ’15 who talked about how he brought the Irish company Cup Print into the US market after working on the project for his thesis in the ESTEEM program at Notre Dame. This internship with the BIP has been such an informative and formational experience, and I want to sincerely thank Wabash College, the CIBE, and all donors and sponsors of the program. 

Thambipillay ’22 Gets Feet Wet In Business

Nieshaal Thambipillay ’22

Nieshaal Thambipillay ’22 — Firstly, I would like to thank the alumni who have made the CIBE Business Innovation Program possible through their donations to the college, as well as the Lilly Endowment for funding this fantastic experience.

The Innovation Interns started the week on Monday with our first Mini Pitch for our mobile app, MatchFit. We traveled to Carmel on Tuesday morning to meet with Tony Unfried ’03 at Archon Tech Strategies. During our visit, Tony critiqued our app ideas and highlighted the importance of market research. Tony spoke about his mistake of neglecting to ask his target market if they would pay for the IV Bus, which failed.

After lunch, we visited Jim Engledow ’78, the President and CEO of the Engledow Group. Jim is incredibly humble and gave a presentation about the Engledow Group’s history. We were given a tour, learned about the Engledow Group’s operations size, and the size of the landscaping industry.

On Wednesday, we presented our Consulting Projects before leaving for South Bend. The Innovation Interns are using the Lean A3 Thinking method to solve our respective consulting group’s pains. From here, we learned the importance of presenting tangible data to draw attention to the issue.

On Thursday, we began our site visits in South Bend. We started the day by visiting Shane Fimbel ’02, Jim Abercrombie ’02, and Mitch Krum ’18 at Trek10. Shane, Jim, and Mitch spoke about their work at Trek10 and their paths after Wabash. Shane and Jim also talked about Cloud Platforms, specifically Amazon Web Services (AWS). My interest in AWS peaked when Shane and Jim told us about the potential growth of the Cloud Platform industry. We were also taught that our 20’s are for learning while our 30’s are for earning.

After Trek10 was enFocus where we visited Pat Jones ’15 and Jacob Burnett ‘15, as well as the interns, Joey Karczewski ’20, Darian Phillips ’20, and Tyler Ramsey ’21. Pat spoke about enFocus’s work structure, and I could not help but draw similarities between enFocus and the CIBE. However, enFocus workers differentiate themselves by spending 70% of their working time on a primary project and 30% on a personal project. To conclude our trip, we visited Todd Hoogland ’15 at Cup Print, where we learned about its operations as well as the size of the cup making industry in the United States and Ireland. We also learned about the ESTEEM Program at Notre Dame.

On Friday, Kasimir “Kaz” Koehring ‘18 visited us at Fusion 54 to discuss Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Before work on Friday, we read about “professional sons,” which I related to a more in-depth mentorship system. Kaz spoke to the interns about his experiences at Wabash and at IBM. Following the discussion, I spent some time talking to Kaz about his experiences living in Chicago and studying abroad in China, while I spoke about my experiences growing up in Malaysia and my transition to Wabash.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks of the Business Innovation Program!

Despain ’22 SoleSearch

James Despain ’22 — Coming into the fourth week of the Business Innovation Program internship, I had a good understanding of the use of Excel with the help from alumni Zackery Carl ‘18. He came and gave us our Financial Bootcamp. From the general use of Excel to developing a financial statement, I’m well prepared to use Excel in the future but still plan to expand my knowledge with the tool. Whether it is creating a business statement or other financial tools, this bootcamp prepared me for future endeavors. During a site visit, we were able to meet and talk with alumni David Waldman ‘93, the owner of Triton Brewery in Lawrence, IN. Growing up in Lawrence, I had seen the brewery, but never knew the history behind the building and the historic Fort Ben. David shared with us his background and how he was able to distinguish his business from other breweries within the state. David is a prime example that you can do anything with a Wabash degree.

James Despain ’22

For the internship, we are in the process of developing an app that would be beneficial to consumers. My group and I came up with an idea called SoleSearch. SoleSearch is the latest technology for comparing sneaker prices across the marketplace. The app provides the tools and information to save you money and make sneaker shopping as straightforward as possible. Real-time data allows you to view the entire sneaker marketplace from the palm of your hand without switching from multiple apps.

We also broke into groups and were assigned different consulting projects to help benefit the College. For my group, we are improving the College’s registration process. Our group is incorporating Lean thinking into this process to help make informed decisions. The goal is to make the process of professors getting class information to the registrar smoother and more efficient. By doing this, it makes the job of the awesome folks in the registrar’s office easier and gets information to students quicker and with more detail about classes.

Without the funding from alumni, this experience wouldn’t be possible. Their generosity and passion for making the experience of Wabash students are incredible, and I appreciate being able to enjoy the time and knowledge this internship has been able to offer me. I would also like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for this amazing opportunity.

Seig ’22 Four Food Trucks & A Brewery

Gerard Seig ’22

Gerard Seig ’22 — Participating in the Business Immersion Program has been such a fantastic opportunity. We have already learned so much, and we’re just halfway through. Just this past week, we started the week learning Lean A3 thinking, which is a technique used to organize the problem-solving process. A3 thinking is a unique, collaborative tool that allows for my peers and me to thoroughly think through an issue so that we can create the best solution to that problem, but, most importantly, track our results. Later that day, we had a visit from an alumnus, the great Rob Shook. As per usual, he was a great speaker for the program. He told us many stories from his time at IBM and many stories from his time at Wabash. My favorite part of his speech was his plug for emotional intelligence, which is a skill that I’ve been improving since I participated in Unlocking Leadership with Emotional Intelligence. I am so grateful to Rob Shook for taking time off his work schedule to share his knowledge and wisdom with us. The week continued with our final food truck pitches the very next day. To add a little context, we the BIP interns split into four different groups and created a food truck idea. My group decided on a grilled cheese truck. We then drew up a plan and were tasked to sell the idea to investors. We had already done our mini-pitches as a practice round, but that day we were in the big leagues. Hugh Vandivier, Susan Dyer, and Julia Perry joined us as our new investors, along with Roland Morin and Alejandro Reyna. Surprisingly, the experience wasn’t as terrifying as it seemed. Pitching to investors might seem like an enormous task, but it came down to preparation. If you are well prepared, then you can go in with confidence and do your best. After the pitch, the investors would give you feedback that is invaluable for your next pitch or business experience. The next couple of days, we spent learning the basics of marketing so that we could use those skills in our app idea. We dedicated the afternoon of Wednesday to analyzing and reflecting on our StrengthsQuest. This internship is the third time I’ve participated in the StregthsQuest presentation, and each time, I am surprised by how centered I have become. Our week ended with a site visit to an alumnus owned brewery name Triton Brewery. We had a great discussion about entrepreneurship and what goes into maintaining a small business. Overall, week three was our busiest week so far, and it looks like it’s only going to be more active from here. It was a lot of learning as well as practice that will prepare us for the business world. I am grateful to Roland Morin, Alejandro Reyna, and the rest of the CIBE for this opportunity. I would like to thank the alumni and donators for making the Business Innovation Program possible.

Gallman ’22 Finds His Niche In Business

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

Seth Gallman ’22 — The Business Innovation Program has been an extremely beneficial step in my young professional career. Through the three main projects of writing two business plans for two different mock startups and working on a consulting project for Wabash College, I have gained many new skills and abilities. Thank you to the CIBE Business Innovation Program for funding this wonderful opportunity for me. A few experiences I found extremely beneficial were the financial boot camp, the site visits to South Bend, and the trials and tribulations of writing a food truck business pitch. The financial boot camp led by Zackary Carl ’18 allowed me to become familiar with writing out full financial statements as well as how to actually understand and comprehend all aspects of financial statements. During the South Bend trip, we were able to visit alumni at companies such as Trek 10, Cup Print, and EnFocus. These three companies all do extremely different things. Shane Fimbel and Jim Abercrombie at Trek 10 taught us the importance of the cloud and how it has completely shaped the way they look at the business world. After this visit, I became more motivated to familiarize myself with the cloud and how it works. Cup print was a business sparked from Todd Hooglin’s project at Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program. This business does exactly what it sounds like, print designs for cups. Through this trip, I learned the importance of a process and business plan that sounds simple, yet still had so many aspects to make it work. The trip to EnFocus showed me how the non-profit is working to reshape the city of South Bend. It was extremely beneficial to see a business that works essentially like the CIBE at Wabash College but on a much larger scale. Finally, the food truck business plan provided many lessons and experiences that changed the way I think about startups. The humbling experience of pitching our idea to investors taught me how important market research and consumer feedback is when crafting a startup. While my group was able to raise the most investment money with our innovative Waffle Kebab idea, we learned that there was still so much untapped potential and work that needed to be done on our business model. Overall, this summer internship experience has changed my mindset on the business realm and has given me future insight into what career path I want to take in the future. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity, and I believe it has set me up well to succeed as a young business professional in the future.  

Cloran ’22 Shines In The Business Innovation Program

Isaac Cloran ’22

Isaac Cloran ’22 — Week 2 of the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship’s Business Innovation Program started off with a focus on public speaking and presentation skills. Every innovation consultant presented on a topic he is passionate about. These presentations did not need to be focused on business, yet many were. For example, Andrew Gonczarow presented on the negative effects of Rap music/culture on today’s youth, highlighting the frequent references to drugs, alcohol, or violence that is represented as “cool” or “exciting.”  Another consultant, Nieshaal Thambipillay discussed his relationship with Malaysian Street Food, as he grew up in Malaysia. As for myself, I presented on the growing industry of esports, explaining the reasons for growth and the potential that the industry has in the future. Later on, each consultant gave a 1-minute “pitch” as to why he should be chosen as a business partner. Many consultants highlighted their leadership skills, or financial analytical abilities, as reasons they would be effective as business partners. This directly led to our first major project of the Innovation Program: the food truck. Four groups (of six people each) were required to define a business idea for a food truck, formulate a business plan, and present to Roland Morin and Alejandro Reyna as a preliminary round of funding for feedback. Each food truck idea was creative and exciting. My personal favorite, Waffles on Wheels, makes chicken and waffle kebabs, highlighting the portable nature and uniqueness as their main selling points. Other food truck ideas include the Dog House, Easy Cheesy, and Dough House. After the preliminary round of investments, Waffles on Wheels secured $20k in convertible debt, Dough House and Easy Cheesy secured $5k, and the Dog House secured $4k. Each team will present their final pitches on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, to a different group of investors made up of faculty and other alumni. Formulating this idea, describing a business plan, and presenting was very exciting, interesting, and informative. This activity exposed me and the rest of the innovation consultants to the real-world process of entrepreneurship, and while the steps we are following may be very simplified, it has been a good introduction to the world of business.