Thomas Joven ’24 — First, I would like to thank Wabash and all the generous donors who make the Center for Innovation Business and Entrepreneurship (CIBE) at Wabash College possible. The CIBE gave me a wonderful opportunity to be a sales development intern for Trek10 this summer. That experience coupled with the Business Innovation Program (BIP) led by Associate Dean Roland Morin and Anthony Mendez ’20, contributed greatly to my professional growth.

Trek10 is an Amazon Web Service (AWS) business. Basically, AWS is the software Amazon developed to sell their products, and now they are sharing AWS with the world. Trek10 is one of the organizations that help other businesses install and maintain AWS. The first half of my time with Trek10 was spent doing research and giving presentations on different aspects of the business process. I researched demand generation, sales cadences, pain points, discovery calls, and more. Eventually, I was able to put this knowledge to use. I was thrown into the deep end and forced to figure out by myself. I learned to make a list and used my own lists to make some cold calls. Cold calls are not as bad as they sound. They definitely yield some thick skin but talking to others is always a learning opportunity. My supervisors at Trek10 remind me of Wabash professors. Not only did they want me to get work done, but they also wanted me to understand why I was doing it.

Speaking of Wabash, the BIP program was like a Wabash business class. The case studies and emotional intelligence (EQ) training provided a balanced learning program. Various Wabash alumni conducted about 15 case studies with us. Each case and each mentor were insightful in a different way, so I collected an abundance of advice and business strategy. My biggest takeaway from the case studies is that the one commonality between all the founders is belief. They all believed in their company and worked hard to get where they are now. I liked the EQ training with Alejandro Reyna ’17 because it connected to both business and our personal lives. We learned to always show our gratitude and treat people well. Additionally, there was a focus on being happy ourselves. At first, I was skeptical of the smiling exercise, but it has proved to help. I would like to echo my thanks to all the men and women who helped make my internship possible this year, and I am looking forward to coming back to lead a BIP session down the line.