Jacob Maldonado ’24 — I would like to give my utmost gratitude to Associate Dean Roland Morin, Anthony Mendez ’20, and the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) at Wabash College for giving their time and effort orchestrating such a great experience with the BIP this summer. Additionally, I would like to give a big thank you to all who were involved in funding this opportunity that allowed me to gain the experience that most freshmen in the country don’t get. It is all of your support that makes this community so great and is truly why all of us students are so well prepared for our futures. Furthermore, I would like to thank Rob Eyler, Brian Confer, and the rest of the amazing team at Capturely, Inc. for creating such a positive work environment for me to flourish and grow this summer.

My summer has been highly educational and filled with on-the-job experience, diligent critical thinking, and thorough “question-asking”. The Freshman BIP Program, that the CIBE so graciously put on, was the first part of the experience that I want to touch on. It consisted of an 8-week period in which about 25 rising sophomores engaged in alumni networking, case study reviews, and technical skill bootcamps (this made up of about 10 hours of our weekly
allocation). We were lucky enough to have upwards of 20 wildly successful alumni give presentations about their own career experiences and journeys. This opportunity allowed us to freely ask questions about entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, project management, etc. I thank all of you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to do so. Secondly, we undertook 15+ Harvard Business School case studies that we dissected and ran various problem-solving
processes on. I believe that having this type of opportunity so early on in our college careers will inevitably prepare us for the job market. And finally, we engaged in multiple sessions that covered EQ skills and technical skills such as an “excel financial boot camp”.

For the other 30 hours of my week, I virtually worked for a professional imagery company called Capturely, Inc. The company is based out of Indianapolis and Los Angeles. They believe the professional image experience should not just be a transaction, but an opportunity to empower, embolden and advocate for their guests. Their positive company culture, focus on customer satisfaction, as well as many other factors, have allowed them to grow and scale at a rapid rate. I worked on the marketing side of their business and worked closely with an external marketing agency to help drive audience engagement to their social media accounts and website. My day-to-day duties included attending virtual marketing meetings every week to discuss updates on Google SEO campaigns and advertisement to sale conversions, writing weekly blogs for the company’s website, and creating content/copy for 20 social media posts each week.

There is an innumerable amount of hard and soft skills that I gained from this summer experience. I engaged in my first formal job interview where I was tasked with answering difficult questions about my abilities and goals. I learned how to effectively communicate with team members both verbally and in messages. I absorbed much of what it looks like to run a small business at scale. Due to the fact of the time-zone difference between various team members (Los Angeles and Indianapolis), I learned to be flexible with my availability and open to quick changes. I gained priceless organizational and planning skills, as much of the content I created was established a week in advance. To be completely honest, I could go on for a very long time about everything that I earned this summer, and I will be forever grateful to all those that were involved in making this happen for me and my peers.