Mason McCorkle ’24 — I would first like to extend a thank you to the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship (CIBE) at Wabash College for funding my internship over the summer. Their generosity provided me with an opportunity to grow personally and professionally surrounded by individuals focused on excellence. The professional training I received through the CIBE was top tier, as usual, and I can confidently say that I am much more prepared for the World After Wabash because of it. Additionally, I would like to specifically extend a little extra gratitude to Associate Dean Roland Morin and Anthony Mendez ’20, who worked through all the challenges to make this experience possible virtually.

For the last eight weeks, I have had quite the unique experience working with the Adorant Group, which is an alumni-owned and operated financial services firm in Chicago. I had always thought that I wanted to be a financial advisor, but now I realize that selling to them is a much more rewarding opportunity. For the first few weeks, my team worked on auditing the company’s website, learning the ins and outs of Adorant’s sales methodology, and completed hours upon hours of extensive sales training. During this time, we also had the opportunity to sit on the CEO’s weekly meetings, which gave us the ability to see the behind-the-scenes of a smaller, successful company. Although we completed a lot of training through those first few weeks, the most valuable skill I developed was time management. On our first meeting with the internship director (Nick Winter) and the CEO (Brian Mantel), we were taught how to schedule our calendars to maximize our efficiency throughout the week. It was difficult scheduling everything out at first, but after I had gotten the ball rolling, I was working almost twice as efficiently, and the work seemed much easier. I am excited to apply this skill to my schooling when we return in the fall, and I am hoping that I will be able to do the same with any future internships.

For the last few weeks of the internship, our team has been working vigorously on cold call strategies, practices, and scripts, in hopes that we will be able to book an advisor for a meeting with the company. One of the most surprising aspects of this process is that it numbs your instinctual fear of rejection. Hearing the word “no” has become encouraging to me now because it helps me see which skills I need to improve in my sales arsenal, which I never would have expected. I will admit, the first few calls I made, I was sweating before the advisor even picked up the phone. But now, I wouldn’t think anything about it if someone screamed curse words at me while I attempted to politely tell them about a few insights in their profession. Luckily, I was able to book a meeting, which felt extremely encouraging and rewarding. It felt like all the work our team had put in paid off – but it made me hungry for more. In other words, I feel as if my sales and personal soft skills have increased ten-fold over the last few weeks, and I feel much more prepared to enter the professional world because of these skills.

This entire experience has been extremely rewarding for me, and I know kids at other schools aren’t getting to have these types of experiences their freshman year. With that being said, I would like to, again, extend a thank you to all those involved with the CIBE and Wabash College to make this possible.