Doty ’18 Makes a Large Impact through a Small Business

Jade Doty ’18 enFocus – This past summer was an incredible learning experience that I know will hold many benefits in the years to come. I cannot thank the Wabash Global Health Programs, enFocus, and the St Joseph County Health Department enough for guiding me during my internship in South Bend, Indiana. During my stint as an enFocus intern, I worked closely with the St. Joseph County Health Department in the fight against low food access in South Bend. Additionally, I worked with a team of other enFocus interns on a project that consisted of raising funds for a county wide mass CPR training event that will take place in the fall of 2017 and finding the best ways to locate and catalog all Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the St. Joseph County area.

During my main project with the Health Department, I did a thorough analysis on all the census tracts in South Bend that were labeled as Food Deserts. In short, a food desert consists of an area where there is an abundance of low income residents, limited amount of food resources, and the spacing of residential living and food resources are far apart. I compiled a report of these census tracts which included the number of residents living below the poverty line, the number of SNAP (food stamp) recipients, Health statistics (such as number of residents with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol), and the average cost of providing food for a household in a given census tract. This analysis held many interesting findings that showed that these census tracts were definitely food deserts and how poor health statistics were the results of this problem. The census tracts held a poverty percentage average of 35.6% (the national average is 14%), an average of two SNAP distributors, per census tract, and health statistics that soared above national averages. I hope that these specific findings give the city information that helps identify the problem of low food access in South Bend and helps them see a clearer way to solving this issue.

After this analysis, I conducted focus groups, researched several case studies, and found recommended next steps for the city of South Bend to take on their fight against low food access. One possible next step I found very interesting was providing a special shuttle system that would provide direct transport to several grocery stores for South Bend residents. I compiled all of these findings into a single 40-page report that I delivered to the Robin Vida, the head of the St Joseph County Health Department, and Samuel Milligan at the end of my internship.

My second project garnered some great learning experience because I had to create a business plan with a team of interns. Myself and two other interns were required to find the best practice to catalog AEDs in St. Joseph County. We believed that if we went out into the city and actually did some hard ground work in high dense areas, we would be able to produce results that would identify whether there is a lack, surplus, or moderate amount of AEDs in public spaces. These results were recorded and will be used to show a sample of the number of AEDs in public areas, which will further the county’s plan on whether to pursue cataloging more AEDs or creating a more strict AED policy for other businesses.

I enjoyed my time and learned a lot while working for enFocus and the St Joseph County Health Department. I was fortunate to work for an organization like enFocus, where the company is small enough to see the ins and outs of all their work from the top down, but still make a large impact with various projects in the St Joseph County area. While working with Robin Vida at the St. Joseph County Health Department, I gained the perspective of how health departments work and how much potential they have to benefit the cities and towns where they are located. Robin was a tremendous mentor, as well as everyone at enFocus. I strongly suggest that the Wabash Global Health Program continues to keep ties with South Bend, enFocus and the various Health Systems in the St Joseph County area. I was blessed to have such a great learning experience and would like to thank the SBIF for providing that experience.

Leppert ’19 Offered Part-Time Job after Completion of Internship

Jack Leppert ’19 FairWinds Advisors – FairWinds Advisors is a Fishers-based Economic development and site selection consulting firm. With only two employees, a husband and wife, the employees are the business.  Jay Walters and Jenny Massey are extremely passionate about the company that they’ve built and the clients that they represent.  It was this passion that kept the internship exciting and fulfilling for the entire 8-week period.

My main objective as an intern was to learn everything I could about the world of tax credits, tax incentives, and site selection.  Primarily working with Jenny, I went to countless meetings with clients and state officials.  Participating in meetings with clients was an extremely valuable and rewarding learning experience with lessons that you could never learn in the classroom.  Knowing how to run a meeting efficiently is a skill that Jenny has mastered and that I had the privilege of observing again and again.  In fact, when the client meets with the state to make their case for incentives, she commands the room.  Both the client and the state officials seem to report to Jenny on when to speak.

FairWinds Advisors keeps track of their entire business on one Microsoft Excel document and Microsoft Word document.  Both documents were created at the inception of the business, six years ago.  Ever since, when new clients and projects arrived, the data was added to these existing documents. I saw this as an opportunity for me.  FairWinds had a data problem.  For the first half of the internship I spent my time reformatting existing data collection processes for the business, including internal and external data collection.  Internally, FairWinds needed an updated client tracking system that included necessary information on clients and projects.  Externally, the business needed a new way to collect information from clients, making it easier to stay compliant with state tax programs.  I personally reformatted or created internal and external data collecting processes that were then integrated into the business.

My time spent interning this summer is the beginning of a hopefully, long-lasting relationship between myself and FairWinds Advisors.  At the conclusion of my internship, I was asked to come on as a part-time employee.  I will be working with the company for the remainder of the summer and in the upcoming school year.  I never would have expected this to be a possibility at just the halfway point in my college career. Of course, I would have never had this opportunity if I was searching for it alone.  I’d like to thank Wabash College Career Services, Roland Morin and the Lilly Endowment for providing me with this great internship!

Bennette ’19 “Being Comfortable, Being Uncomfortable.”

SaVonne Bennette ’19 Nantucket Bike Tours – I feel incredibly grateful for being accepted for the Nantucket Bike Tour (NBT) internship.  I have gained small business experience, while developing my character and social skills.  Working on these social skills has put me in the position to be the best person I can possibly be.  Throughout this summer, I learned more than I ever could have expected.  From the first week, Joey Lenkey ’19 and I were able to see how Courtney and Jason Bridges ‘98 are “always on.”  Whether that is smiling to every person you walk by on the street, or introducing yourself to the person who made your sandwich.  They initiate conversations with the purpose of starting new relationships.

Here, I learned that no conversation is insignificant.  Jason and Courtney challenge us to be more open, and “Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”   That is why we practice introducing ourselves to anybody we come across.  As soon as you learn a persons’ name, a relationship has begun.  Before I came to Nantucket I struggled to show my interest in conversations.  However, now I have seen the value of active listening.  It shows the person you are speaking to that you are engaged, and genuinely interested in what they have to say.

We were fortunate to have Cole Crouch ’17 this summer as one of our mentors.  Cole was a previous intern for NBT in the summer of 2015.  He has been a great resource in helping us grow during this internship.  The daily challenges we experience help us develop our emotional intelligence throughout the summer.  Bright and early, we start the day off by vocalizing our goals with Cole.  Speaking your goals not only improves your motivation but it also holds you accountable.

To give the best tour possible, we are challenged to connect with each person on our tour.  For example, reading the groups body language while also giving a speech allows us to modify the experience for the customer. When we aren’t on a tour, we also spend time in the Handlebar Café, introducing ourselves and building relationships.  Every part of the day is used to making the most of opportunities to engage with people.

Over dinner, which Joey and I have to cook once a week, we discuss our challenges and victories of the day.  We analyze each other’s challenges, and are not only asked to take constructive criticism, but to give feedback to help us all grow in the future.  Giving and receiving feedback on a day-to-day basis will allow me to improve and work well with others.

This internship has taken away many boundaries for me.  I am now comfortable enough to go to China after I graduate.  This internship has taught me to not fear what I don’t know, but to be open to new experiences. My career goal is international business, so diving head first into their culture would be the best way to become as familiar as possible with the language and people.

My internship experience is made possible because of Small Business Internship Fund. I am thankful that Wabash College offers opportunities like this because it provides hands-on small business experience.  Moreover, I am thankful for career services for all the help and support that they provide Wabash students.  This has been a life changing experience that would not have happened otherwise.

Lenkey ’19 “The Power of the People”

Joseph Lenkey ’19 Nantucket Bike Tours – Other than your parents, have you ever had people devote their time towards your personal growth? Here at Nantucket Bike Tours, I have three people passionate about my development. Jason ‘98 & Courtney Bridges as well as Cole Crouch ‘17 have been far more than my boss in this small business internship. They are mentors, role models, life coaches, roommates, emotional intelligence gurus, and family. Not only are they investing so much time in us interns, SaVonne Bennette ‘19 and I, but they also own two businesses and spend most of their free time helping their community. For them to give up so much of their time for me is incredible in itself, and for that I am truly grateful to have them in my lives.

This internship is not your typical one working 9-5 Monday-Friday; instead, we lead bike tours 7 days a week (rain or shine) for about 5 hours a day. Living on a beautiful island, I thought I would have all this extra time to relax on the beach, fish, and boat. Reality quickly set in here when I realized this is not a vacation internship, but a 10-week emotional intelligence boot-camp in which I devote a whole summer for personal growth. From the moment we get up in the morning (5:30am) to the moment we go to bed at night (9:30), our focus and goals are for self-improvement and how it will help us succeed in and out of the work place. A normal day looks like this: discussing a chapter in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, analyzing what our body language says on the days’ bike tour, refining our speaking skills in Toastmasters, learning how to actively listen and ask questions in conversations with strangers at a coffee shop, and debriefing the days victories and challenges at dinner. Every day I continue to develop emotional intelligence ‘superpowers.’ Powers that expand my social awareness and open my eyes to how I see myself interact with others.

One of the most rewarding things I have learned from this experience, is the power of people. We truly live in a “people economy” as Jason says and there is so much to learn and grow when you are interested in others. All the people I have met on Nantucket have incredible stories to share and experiences I can always learn from and apply to my life. An island 30 miles out to sea might seem lonely or isolated, but with this internship I have never before been closer to people. Similarly to Wabash, Nantucket is a very close knit community where you see similar faces every day. Instead of exchanging nods or a quick ‘hello’, this internship has shown me how rewarding it is to introduce myself, learn their name, and build a relationship with that person. I became more connected to this community and will use this lesson to only enhance my last two years at Wabash with fellow students and faculty.

I would like to thank Wabash College and especially the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me this opportunity to explore a different community and gain real work experience with small business. Also, I would like to thank Jason & Courtney Bridges for taking me into their home, work, and lives for my personal growth.


Budler ’19 Collaborates with High Caliber Non-Profit and Educational Firms

Nicholas Budler ’19 Huntbridge – I spent the summer as an Associate of Media and Public Relations at Huntbridge, Inc., an executive search firm in Indianapolis, with an office in Washington D.C. The focus of my work was on writing for executives and press releases, communicating with clients, supporting the leadership team, social media, and developing new business.

Thanks to the Lilly Endowment, I was able to spend part of my first summer in Washington DC and apply myself in a new area of work. As a Philosophy major I wasn’t expecting to work—ever—in Human Resources and I barely knew anything about executive search. Now, I’ve grown as a professional and as well-rounded human being. I’ve met fantastic people, worked with successful executives, and made friends from around the country.

In particular, I worked in collaboration with several high caliber non-profit and educational firms in DC as well as a bio-science firm in Indiana. None of these sectors were related to anything I had done previously but I was able to learn on my feet and adapt to the situation. I worked closely with our leadership team to close these deals, assist the executives during the on-boarding process, and support the firms throughout the searches as well as having increasing business opportunities throughout the duration of my internship.

Similarly, I spent time networking, scheduling, and meeting with both executives and candidates for open searches. This brought me into contact with unique individuals that I am now able to call friends. Thanks to my time at Wabash I was able to professionally and critically integrate myself into this environment. The communication with candidates was crucial to the success of our executive searches: screening, scheduling, and interviewing.

Finally, I had the opportunity to interview, hire, and train a new Huntbridge employee. Sitting on the other side of the table was a new experience but proved insightful to me – especially as I go off into more interviews (and, eventually, the job market) myself.

Read more here:

Martinez ’20 Develops Organizational Skills in Leadership Role

Ivan Martinez ’20 WLAIP Mentor – This past July, I spent the month interning as a Mentor in a summer institute for the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. During this intensive program, 30 incoming Wabash freshmen stayed on campus and took an English course as well as a few other class modules, and participated in team-building activities and various trips to Indianapolis. Along with 7 other mentors and 3 writing tutors, we were to serve as a “big brother” to these incoming students by providing guidance, advice, and assistance when needed.

From a daily basis, I interacted with the students each day to ask if they were alright and ease their transition from high school to college. Ensuring that the students were fine was my priority, and this included helping students cope with “homesickness”, the stress of a college schedule, and sometimes issues regarding other students. One occasional problem was getting some students to planned sessions on time or to participate in some of the team activities. This is where a significant role of my mentor position applied. While trying to find the balance between being too much of the students’ friend and being too authoritative towards them, I gave the students explanation and motivation to follow through with the rest of the group.

Also as part of my job as a Mentor, I oversaw access to the College’s Allen Center sports facility after operating hours for the students. Along with this, I planned sessions throughout the week to let our guys use the facility, while making sure that the Allen Center was properly closed down after our use of it. Arrangements with Campus Security were also made to help organize these sessions.

This internship provided me with an experience of a leadership role while also allowing me to give back to the College by mentoring the incoming students. From this experience, I will be able to take away organizational and planning skills to better help me in my future as a student as well as a future employee. I also believe I have become a more sociable person from reaching out to students and their families.

Overall, this internship had a very positive impact on me as I had plenty of fun and now have experiences to take away. I would like to thank Dr. Horton and Dr. Koppelmann for providing me with this opportunity to lead. I would also like to thank the Mellon Grant for supporting and making my internship possible.

Fullenkamp ’18 Learns the Impact of Company Culture

Klay Fullenkamp ’18 Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership Business Development Intern -This summer I had the opportunity of working as the Business Development intern at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Throughout the duration of my internship I worked with the business development (BD) team completing front-end research for large events they would travel to, such as SelectUSA and Major Markets, and housekeeping details that sorted information scattered throughout their shared company drive into single documents for easier access. My research would assist the BD team with an excel sheet of the attendees of these events and would highlight the companies that fit the seven target industries that the partnership developed as the most prominent industries of northeast Indiana. The things I enjoyed most about my time at Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership were the people I worked with and the work I conducted while I was there for just a brief eight weeks. From day one to my last day I was treated in a first-class manner and that is a testament to the culture in which the employees have created and bought into themselves. I felt like another employee that came to work every day rather than just an intern. The work the partnership does has a large impact on northeast Indiana. I had an idea going in of the work they did, but I came out with a whole new appreciation for what they do, as it can go unnoticed by the public at times. I felt I was able to contribute not only to the partnership during my internship, but to the Greater Fort Wayne area and the eleven counties the partnership encompasses.

Another valuable asset to the partnership is strengths coaching. Prior to my internship, I completed the Gallups Strengths Assessment. Once I began I then received strengths coaching every Friday from my coach Sonya Snellenberger-Holm. I found out more about myself through diagnosing my top five strengths than I ever would have imagined going into it. I now find it much easier to describe myself and understand even more how to sell myself on the assets and skills I possess to future employers. I would especially like to thank CEO and President John Sampson, my manager Sarah Rodriguez, my mentor Ashley Spranger, and strengths coach Sonya Snellenberger-Holm for the time they invested in me and the opportunity presented to learn more about business and economic development. Finally, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment. Without the generosity of the Lilly Endowment this internship would not have been possible and I am grateful for this opportunity.

Vedo ’19 Gets Hands-On Experience in South Bend

Nicholas Vedo ’19 enFocus – It is difficult for me to put into words all that I have received from my summer internship with enFocus and Saint Joseph health system in South Bend. My summer consulting project was focused on researching the economic and health effects of countywide smoking bans to help St. Joseph county better strategize for implementing their own ordinance in the future. On the side, I did clinical work in the main hospital campus in Mishawaka. Being Pre-Med, this hands-on volunteer time rooming patients and recording vital signs gave me real world experience that I truly enjoyed.

In addition to all of the great experiences I had working, the group of interns I was with made sure that I had a very memorable summer in South Bend. I made great friends from a variety of other schools. We got together numerous times after work hours to explore the booming restaurant and bar scene of the city. I was also very pleasantly surprised to discover the many outdoor parks and recreational areas in the South Bend city area. I am a runner, so having the opportunity to get outside and tear up some pristine forest trails was wonderful. St. Patrick’s park on the north side of South Bend was my favorite and made for an interesting run since it was directly on the border with Michigan running along the edge of the St. Joseph river. A twenty-minute run took me into Michigan and back again to Indiana.

The work environment that enFocus fostered was one of constant innovation and support. I never felt uncomfortable when speaking up for an idea or looked down upon because I was an intern. The executives of the company treated all of us as equals and made sure we knew that our work was a key part of the company’s function and success. The many employee events we participated in were all enjoyable and beneficial for my professional development. One event I enjoyed in particular was the Meet the Fellows event, where enFocus basically held a banquet with all of the clients and donors they have worked with in the past. The company also invited other high ranking members of the county area to come and network with us. I met many new people that day and learned much from the stories they told me.

All in all, my summer internship was a tremendous opportunity that taught me so much. I am extremely grateful for the work of the Wabash College Global Health Initiative and the funding of the SBIF for making this opportunity available to me.

Lange ’19 Humbled by Legal Aid Society Experience

Erich Lange ’19 Louisville Legal Aid Society – The mission of Wabash College is to “educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.” While the first three parts can be learned in the classroom, I would argue that one must learn the fourth component outside of tranquil campus life. If nothing else, my summer internship at the Louisville Legal Aid Society taught me what it means to live humanely.

Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm, offering free civil legal assistance to the indigent population of Louisville, KY and the surrounding 14 counties. To qualify for Legal Aid services, a client must be at least 125 percent below the federal poverty line. Sadly, there is a great demand for Legal Aid services; for every one client Legal Aid serves, they must turn one away due to insufficient funding. Whether I was writing grants to secure funding, composing press releases and publications, drafting company policies, assisting attorneys at free legal clinics, or attending court, my serving Legal Aid’s clients, either directly or indirectly, has been the most humbling experience of my life. I discovered that living humanely not only means performing random acts of kindness and being a good person, but going the extra mile to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate “living humanely” is to share a real example from my experience. “Jennie” came to Legal Aid seeking a divorce. Her husband had walked out on her and moved out of state. Because he had abused her, she wanted was to be completely free of him and get on with her life. At this particular divorce clinic, I filled out the Divorce Decree forms for the Judge to sign if he or she granted the divorce. “Jennie” is now in the later stages of her divorce, and should soon be able to move on with her life. It did not seem like much to me at the time, but by that small act of filling out a form “Jennie” needed for her divorce, I helped her begin a new chapter in her life.

Although I may not be an attorney or even a college graduate for that manner, this experience with “Jennie” and the countless others like it have taught me what it means to live humanely. Thanks to the generous support of the SBIF and Legal Aid Society, I was afforded the opportunity to learn a lesson more important than any test I will ever take in my four years at Wabash; I learned and became a better man, and for that I am forever grateful.

Kirts ’20 Makes an Impact on Incoming Freshman

John Kirts ’20 WLAIP Mentor – This summer I was selected to work for the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program during the its third summer institute. I am very grateful that I was able to work in this program, as I felt that I did meaningful and enjoyable work.

My position as a mentor and writing tutor, with additional roles as parent liaison and blogger, provided me with a broad spectrum of responsibility and experience. Most impactful to my time working this summer was the change and development I witnessed in the 30 students with whom we writing tutors worked closely on English 101 papers and assignments. The challenge presented to the students to complete college-level work after variable levels of preparation from high school pushed them to grow. To watch and engaged with the incoming freshmen who at the start of July were reluctant to ask for help and who did not ever practice drafting papers before, and to see them at the end of the month eager to have another set of eyes on their work so they could change anything necessary, was not only satisfying for my role, but further important for their college readiness. My job as a writing tutor also gave me invaluable experience working with the professors for the program and the students to both teach and catch the students up on subtle, good student behaviors, and to assist in every part of the writing process from a semi-authoritative voice; I acted as eyes and ears for the professors, but in a less intimidating manner gave instruction. My role as a parent liaison and blogger enabled me to gain other memorable and valuable experiences.

In order to acquire accurate and clear information on the students’ happiness and work in the program, I needed to engage with the students and go to the same events and activities so I could answer any parent’s questions, and write frequent blogs. This aspect of my job for the WLAIP was enjoyable as I became friends with the future Wabash men, and educational for me due to the empathy necessary for understanding and remembering the transition to college-level work and general student life.

Overall, the program and my roles in it gave me professional experience working with students in academic and social settings, as well as practice being in dialogue with the parents of the students during the summer institute. I am exceedingly grateful to the Mellon Grant for making my experiences possible and purveying my stipend for the month of work.