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LEWIS ’20 TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARDS FULFILLING HIS LIFELONG GOAL

Marlon Lewis ’20 Museum of Science and Industry – I have spent my summer working at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, my hometown. I began in early June and will be wrapping up my internship in early August. I have been given the opportunity to work alongside 2 teams within the museum, which very few people have the opportunity to do during their time at the Museum.

For my first three weeks in the Museum, I worked with the Exhibits team. I was able to see and experience firsthand what went on behind the scenes with keeping exhibits running up-to-date and exciting. I helped on projects for 4 of the Museums exhibits – Extreme Ice, You! The Experience, Turn Back The Clock, and Earth Revealed. My favorite of the projects has to be the work I did for You! The Experience. I was tasked with doing the preliminary research into the current conditions of the exhibit and future update and extension ideas. I have learned how to write detailed yet concise reports and the type of language expected when writing reports. For this exhibit alone, I wrote 4 briefs and participated in 5 meetings while holding one myself. When I was not at my desk writing briefs, or brainstorming ideas and prototypes, or in a meeting, I was on the Museum floor observing guest as they interacted with the exhibit. Particularly at a storytelling booth in the exhibit, I would often engage guest and get their feedback and opinions about the booth and their experience. I have spent rest of my time working with the museum’s Fab Lab team, short for Fabrication Laboratory. It is the the same thing as a Makerspace or Hackerspace. For those of you who don’t know what any of those things are, allow me to help. Imagine a room full of 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, embroidery machines, and endless electronics supplies where you can build and create whatever you want, and your only limit is your imagination. I helped the team facilitate workshops and summer camps while also running the 3D printer and 3D filament studies comparing the quality of prints. Working with these two teams in the museum has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Helping people better understand science has always been a goal of mine, and I have taken the first step towards that goal this summer. I am grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for providing me the funds to pursue a summer internship. If it were not for their generosity this amazing experience would not have been possible.


NDOUR ’20 FOSTERS TOGETHERNESS WITH FELLOW IT DEPARTMENT INTERNS

Mohamed Ndour ’20 Wabash College IT Department – I would like to start off by thanking the Mellon Grant for providing me the opportunity to intern for 8 weeks at the Wabash IT Department. I also want to thank Mr. Roland Morin for helping me throughout the application process.

If you happened to be on campus over the summer, you’ve probably seen my team and me passing by the mall or going from building to building. One of the main projects we completed was installing new internet routers in order to improve the school’s Wi-Fi speed. That took us around 3 weeks, but everything went smoothly. I hadn’t done such work in the past, which is why I was glad to work alongside young men like Oscar Chavez, Devin Atkins etc. We developed a sense of trust and togetherness through our journey. In the weekdays, we were all present at Baxter 202 by 8 am – ready to take on the day ahead and be of service in any way we could by solving the problems listed in the tickets. If at any time we weren’t booked, we’d get computer towers, monitors, docking stations, etc. ready for their proper users. We also had to set up new computers for new and some current staff members. I will say that was one the most exciting part of my internship. It was my first time installing computers on my own, which I learned and practiced at Baxter 202 before performing it out at Trippet, Fine Arts Center, and Hays. It was quite an experience.

The work of the IT department is very broad. We were present during the 3 Wabash 101 events to help many members of the incoming class of ‘21 get their Wabash ID made and help those who had trouble accessing their Wabash email account. During the events, I had the chance to meet some of the freshmen whom I will gladly call brothers in the semesters ahead.

Not getting to see my family for 8 weeks after finishing the school year was challenging, but I am delighted that I stayed. The experiences I’ve gained have made it worthwhile. I would recommend any student thinking of pursuing an IT-related career down the road, without hesitation, to take advantage of this opportunity because it is a good way to prepare yourself.


THOMAS ’19 CULTIVATES DRIVE TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL AFTER INTERNING AT SAFEHIRING SOLUTIONS

David Thomas ’19 SafeHiring Solutions – Interning at SafeHiring Solutions was truly a great experience. I couldn’t have thought of a better introduction to working in a professional setting; this experience has proven invaluable to my professional development by providing a greater understanding of the office workspace. Upon completion of this internship, I now have sufficient confidence in my ability to work as an effective employee in a team of coworkers.  An experience such as this would not have been possible without the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. I would like to begin this piece with a message of gratitude to the benefactors of the Lilly Endowment:

Thank you for your support of all the internships that received funding through the endowment. It is an honorable service to provide developmental opportunities for students, which in turn will contribute to greater public advancement. Thank you for making my internship experience with SafeHiring Solutions possible.

To those who aren’t familiar with the company, SafeHiring Solutions primarily specializes in background screening. It is a small yet reliable firm that has a client base spanning across America and around certain parts of the world (mostly in Europe). Most of their revenue is generated through background screening; other auxiliary revenues are generated by the sale of other security-related products, such as a visitor management system (SafeVisitor) and an automated reference checking service (Reflynk). Their success has earned them the INC. 500 award for being one of the fastest growing firms in America. Overall, SafeHiring Solutions has the vision to provide the most comprehensive and reliable security solutions on the market. This demonstrated prowess is what attracted me to apply for an internship with them.

My summer tenure with SafeHiring Solutions consisted of creating advertisement materials, aiding business development, and providing sales assistance.  By the numbers, I created 8 informational flyers, 26 seasonal/informational postcards, and a 62-page manual for their visitor management system, SafeVisitor.  Because SafeHiring Solutions is relatively comparable to a startup company, the most exciting part is that all the work I was able to contribute is actually usable (as opposed to monotonous labor for a well-established corporation).  I worked with my fellow interns with their sales projects, supplying sales material for their customer outreach.  Finally, I participated in business meetings, a company volunteering event, and numerous side projects supplied by our director.  Needless to say, it has been a very busy 8 weeks!

The greatest takeaway from this internship is how it centered my focus for particular skills that I need to develop, especially with regard to my further education.  Interning with a background screening company gave me a unique insight into how people are processed in the justice system.  This internship has greatly fueled my drive to go to law school to study intellectual property and privacy law.  Furthermore, the demand for technical skills such as web development, software programming, and digital design was an ever present theme throughout this internship.  I plan to pursue basic training in programming and learn how to use Adobe Creative Suite software in the coming years.  Overall, this internship was an extremely valuable learning curve.


STEWART ’19 FURTHERS HIS ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAM THROUGH WORKING AT A START-UP

Samuel Stewart ’19 On Target Health – This blog post is about the internship I was fortunate enough to have during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. I had no idea what to expect as I was walking into a start-up company, was going to be the only intern, and the industry I would be working in was something I knew nothing about—healthcare. However,  it was an amazing experience and here are some stories and highlights from my experience.

As On Target Health was aiming to go after what was described as a “whale” of a potential client I was tasked with finding a public, state contract between two corporations. The document itself was extremely hard to find and took me 2 full days of research to locate. I was tasked with understanding the various performance guarantees, health code reimbursements, and a variety of other important details that needed to be summarized so that we had the upper hand in the upcoming negotiations. Getting to play such a vital role in such a unique sales negotiation was not just rewarding, but extremely exciting. Being the only intern in the entire company and working with the CEO and Director of Business Relations granted me an unbelievable amount of transparency within a start-up company that I hope to apply when I become an entrepreneur one day!

Through my boss, Tim, I have learned invaluable networking skills and how to communicate with complete strangers to generate interest in our company without seeming like I’m trying to sell something. I was able to secure a meeting with a CEO of a company in Muncie, IN, by meeting the CEO’s step-son by complete accident in Boston, MA. This meeting generated new interest from the CEO’s company in On Target Health’s Program and I was the one on the frontline making it all happen. The confidence I had to make this happen was attained through white-board sessions with my boss, free sales classes that my boss helped me get into, and the fact that I was encouraged (as an intern) to speak/chime-in during any meeting regardless of importance. It was very nerve-wracking to be put on the spot, but extremely rewarding when all set and done.

At the end of my internship, I have learned networking etiquette, the strategic decisions that a start-up company is faced on a daily basis, how to analyze ROI reports to help articulate our value proposition to prospects/clients, how to create various marketing handouts, and much more. All of this was possible because of the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. I truly feel more prepared for the business world now, and it has eliminated any nervousness I have about an internship next summer. Because of this experience, I am excited for the years of business I have ahead of me and will be sure to recommend any experience similar to mine to other, younger students.

*The picture I have attached is of me networking with another alumnus, per my boss’s request, to learn more about a difference benefit offered within the healthcare industry to increase my understanding of the industry as a whole.

 


PAGE ’19 CONTRIBUTES TO SOUTH BEND’S REVITALIZATION

Oliver Page ’19 Global Access Point – Growing up, none of my friends ever considered coming back to work in South Bend, our hometown. We thought our city to be boring and pretty insignificant. In fact, in 2011—my first year of high school—South Bend, Indiana was designated a “Dying City” by Newsweek. So maybe South Bend was significant, just for the wrong reasons.

It will surprise you, then, to read that I really wanted to intern in South Bend this past summer. Let me explain.

Since 2011, the City of South Bend has strung together dozens of “wins” in the business and social arenas. Most notably, we broke ground on old Studebaker buildings—which were once symbols of prosperity for our city—with the intentions of transforming them into office space for thousands of tech workers. This development has led to millions of dollars in grants for, and investments in, the city. We also gained a new minor league baseball team, the South Bend Cubs. What says “winners” better than owning the World Series Champions’ affiliate team? Better yet, the South Bend Cubs have been consistently selling out home games since their arrival, a feat that the former South Bend Silverhawks almost never did. These are just a few of the noteworthy “wins” that demonstrate South Bend’s remarkable evolution.

The most notable “win” for our city, though, is the fact that its citizens are proud to be from South Bend. Notice that I used the word “we” in the last paragraph, even though I hardly contributed to any of those feats. This leads me to why I wanted to intern in South Bend this summer: I wanted to start contributing to my city’s revitalization.

This summer I interned under Dr. Shane Fimbel ’02 at Global Access Point, a company that manages data centers and network infrastructures. Admittedly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As an English Literature major, I have yet to read a novel that touches on the three main functions of a data center. But that’s one of the reasons why this internship was so valuable. I learned not to be intimidated by big words and seemingly indiscernible systems. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still no expert on the technology at Global Access Point. But I made considerable progress by the end of the summer. Dr. Fimbel explained to me that, in business, you don’t need to be an expert on one system. Rather, you need to know each system well enough to connect them all and make something new and better. In many ways, this is exactly what liberal arts graduates are taught to do. Granted, Dr. Fimbel has his Ph.D. in neuroscience. So, needless to say, he has no trouble learning complex systems “well enough.” But the lesson was well taken and gives this English major hope.

One project that I particularly enjoyed was helping build an eSports franchise business model. Dr. Fimbel is all about “facilitating others’ success.” So, while he was gone for a week, he lent my services to Matt Dudevoir ’06, a U.S. veteran, recent Notre Dame MBA graduate, and fellow Sigma Chi. Throughout the week, Logan White ’19 and I helped Mr. Dudevoir build his business plan before he presented it to investors. I learned about market research, making projections, and—most importantly—being open to making a conclusion that’s different than anticipated.

Originally, the idea was to have an eSports franchise in South Bend and make money by winning internationally renowned tournaments. However, after days of research, we decided that this was not the best way to make money. I felt like I made a significant contribution when I designed an Excel graphic that had the “Winning Percentage” on one axis and “Percentage of Earnings” on the other. For example, even if the eSports team got 1st place in 70% of the tournaments (probably not possible) and the owners took 20% of the earnings (also unreasonable), then the franchise would earn an income of $13,789. In the best-case scenario, the company can’t make enough money to offset the costs of traveling to the tournaments. So Mr. Dudevoir used this information to pivot his plan and eventually decide that he could make money through endorsements. More people watched a specific eSports competition on Twitch (an eSports website) last year than the MLB World Series. So he then looked into using his gamers as ad space, as companies will pay his franchise to place their logos on his players.

On the whole, I was pleased to get a taste of South Bend’s revitalization. I am very thankful to the Lilly Endowment for making this experience possible. I am even more thankful to Roland Morin ’91 and Shane Fimbel ’02 for their counsel throughout the internship process. This experience will certainly inform my future career plans and stick with me after I graduate from Wabash.

*Picture: Dr. Fimbel explaining his vision for the Studebaker building


MITCHELL-SODIPE ’18 EXPERIENCES AN OPPORTUNITY HE DIDN’T THINK HE WANTED

Immanuel Mitchell-Sodipe ’18 270 Strategies – I started my internship at 270 Strategies on the first Monday after finals. It had been a rough semester for me with a brief stint in the hospital and other hardships. I had studied abroad in the Fall of 2016 and upon returning in the Spring, one day President Hess stopped me in Center Hall (mind you, I was running late for a class) to talk about my study abroad experience. We then ended the conversation with his query: “Do you need a job?” Of course, I did! I told him I was interested in doing some political work in Chicago. He told me about 270 Strategies, took my number down, and told me he’d try to set up a meeting with Jeremy Bird – CEO of the company and Wabash alum. Jeremy would be at Wabash for the Celebration of Student Research and I was presenting a paper I wrote for Dr. Carlson’s epistemology class. And though Jeremy couldn’t make it to my presentation, President Hess sat us down at dinner together.

This leads me to my first take away from my internship experience: say, “yes.” Say yes, even if it’s an opportunity you didn’t even think you wanted. To be honest, 270 Strategies was not the type of work I was expecting to do – I was expecting to do a lot of door knocking, grass roots type work – but it was fun and informative nonetheless. Through just talking to different folks at the company, from my supervisor to the COO, I learned about different aspects of political organizing that I never knew before. I also learned how my skills as an organizer could be applied to work in the legal profession and in the consulting industry, and vice-versa. So, if I were to give some advice to a young bright-eyed Immanuel, it’d be this: say yes (even if your Aunt offers you a summer job at a finance firm in New York City).

My second take away is: ask questions. I don’t come from a family of collegiate people – I’m a first-generation college student. I never knew how the whole internship thing was supposed to work out. I thought that interns were there for free labor – kind of like trying out for a spot on a sports team. But my supervisor at 270 Strategies told me something different. The purpose of an internship is to learn how to do a job. I came in with grassroots organizing experience but wish that I asked more and learned more about digital organizing.

I don’t come from a lot of money and frankly, could not have afforded to do this internship if it wasn’t for the Small Business Internship Fund. Because of the funding, I was able to cut my teeth in labor organizing, political organizing, and a marketing campaign.  I hope whoever reads this takes heed of these take aways: say yes, ask questions.


GEIER ’18 WORKS ON MONTGOMERY COUNTY’S S.W.A.T. TEAM

Ben Geier ’18 Montgomery County Health Department – Over the summer I completed an internship with the Montgomery County Health Department.  During my experience, I was introduced to all of the different roles that a public health department plays in the community.  This included food inspection, vector control, meth home cleanup, and more.  Our boss ensured us that every day we would be working, and was consistent in making sure that we always had something to work on.  One major project that the interns worked on was Montgomery County’s very own S.W.A.T. team.

Now I know what you may be thinking and it is not that, this S.W.A.T. team stands for Surveillance of Water and Air-borne Transmitters.  Our role as interns was to go throughout Montgomery County and set mosquito traps.  We would then collect the mosquitos, identify what type of mosquito it is and then send them to the state so that they may be tested for any diseases.  We would perform this multiple times a week, keep detailed records of numbers collected, GPS coordinates, weather conditions, and more.  All data were then compiled to determine optimal areas and conditions for trapping in the future.

Not only were we the S.W.A.T. team, but we were all able to choose individual projects to work on throughout the summer.  Being a pre-med student, I chose to make a very detailed manual for future public health nurses.  The manual would serve as a guide to help in transitioning into a nursing job for the first time. It contained the main policies and procedures that the Montgomery County Head Nurse is in charge of.  It included how to perform communicable disease investigations, professional contacts, immunizations, and more. 

Being bilingual in Spanish and English, I was tasked with translating the community awareness and attitudes survey for Montgomery County.  The survey asked questions about the controversial topic of addiction to both alcohol and drugs.  By translating this survey, we were able to pull data from the large Hispanic population present here in Montgomery County.  This served as a new and efficient manner to incorporate an often overlooked group who actually have a large presence.  This should hopefully assist in the overall well-being of the county.

I can confidently say that this internship benefited me in a plethora of different ways.  It gave me memorable experiences that will be useful as I transition out of college and into the working world.  Thank you, Wabash College and the Small Business Internship Fund for making this internship experience possible.


BUCINA ’19 RELISHES THE HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE AT INDY FILM FESTIVAL

Lucas Bucina ’19 Indianapolis Film Festival – This summer I was fortunate enough to be one of the two interns at the Indy Film Festival from June 5 until July 28. Despite the film festival only lasting from July 13-23, Russell Berning and I had many tasks assigned for us to fulfill our time, week by week until the festival began.

The first task we had been assigned was to research and gather information about the film festival. This was in preparation for its 15th anniversary the following year, in 2018. Specifically, this entailed organizing a few large boxes containing several different types of newspapers over the last 14 years, including any information and ads regarding the film festival throughout its existence. Dan Moore had instructed us that this had been left previously by the former head director of the festival. Unfortunately, all of the newspaper articles were mostly disorganized and rarely marked with what pages mentioned the film festival in them. So Russell and I took it upon ourselves to split well over 100 different newspapers between each other. We read through the articles, identified which articles had ads, interviews with from board members or directors who had previously participated in the festival, or lists of movies playing in the festival for that year.

Some of the other projects we were assigned were to watch a list of the popular movies Dan had selected, which were going to be played at the festival this year. Russell and I were going to spend a lot of our time working at the ticket booth for the festival, to answer questions for customers and directors attending the festival. Watching the movies would also help us be able to suggest movies for people to watch when they were purchasing their movie tickets to any of the showings throughout the week. There was also a printable grade sheet we could use to grade the films we watched too. Our next task was to review and correct any mistakes in the 2017 film festival program before the final draft was to be released by NUVO, at the end of June. Some of the other tasks that had been assigned before the festival were some busy work for organizing and counting leftover supplies from the previous year, and shuttling directors to and from the airport to their hotels or the IMA, the location of the film festival.

As we approached the festival’s opening night, we had attended several training sessions for the volunteers participating in the festival, and delivering supplies from the Bohemian Opera Center, office location for the Indy Film Festival, to the IMA. Once the festival began, a typical 6-10-hour day the festival went from each day, would involve managing the ticket booth, working the projector for the films, coordinating pickups for directors from the airport, organizing merchandise, and setting up for the other several events that took place in the festival too. Overall, this experience was very rewarding to be a part of. This non-profit film festival offers a great contribution to bring hundreds of filmmakers and film lovers together to appreciate independent films that may not have the connections or money to make it on the big screen, such as Star Wars and Marvel Comic films.

This internship offered me a much different hands on experience, outside of the typical office job this summer. It had taught me how to improve my communication skills with customers and clients face to face, and how to gather and organize all of my research too. Words cannot describe how thankful I am that I was not only able to be a part of the largely growing Indy Film Festival this year but thanks to the Lily Endowment, I was also able to be a paid intern for a nonprofit organization this summer too.


BERNING ’19 LEARNS LESSONS ON MARKETING AND SALES FROM FILM FESTIVAL

Russell Berning ’19 Indianapolis Film Festival – I, along with Lucas Bucina, have been working with the Indianapolis Film Festival (IFF) this summer. It has been a great experience to be able to see all of the hard work and dedication that it takes to get a completely volunteer based event running.

Some of the main missions that we have been tasked with are assisting in the arrival and departures of filmmakers coming to the festival, getting together and distributing promotional materials, and making sure that the festival is running smoothly. In order to ensure that the IFF is steaming forward, there has to be someone manning the theater operations, box office, and the selling of merchandise. The person working the theater operations is the one working the soundboard as well and making sure that the movie is screening correctly. Being in charge of the box office means the person is at the front desk assisting people with buying their tickets and ensuring they are going to the right screening. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is that even though there may be some minor setbacks, one must be able to think on their feet and find the best possible outcome. There have been a few kinks in the process of getting the IFF going, yet through deliberation and critical thinking, these problems were handled in a manner that worked best for everyone.

We always have to make sure that the viewers are happy with the entire experience at the film festival. This means having the best experience all the way from walking through the doors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, purchasing tickets, sitting down in the theater, watching the production to departing from the IFF. Being able to communicate with the consumer and ensuring that they are happy with everything is hard to accomplish at times, yet is what the whole festival is contingent upon.

All of these lessons I’ve learned will be applicable in the fields of either marketing or sales. Both of these occupations are large on one to one interactions. However, without the Lilly Endowment, none of the experiences or lessons that I have learned would have been possible. I am more than grateful that I was one of the students selected to receive the endowment. Being able to work with the Indianapolis Film Festival has opened up my eyes on the process of what it takes to bring together a large scale event.


HOLSTINE ’18 DISCOVERS PASSION FOR DIGITAL MARKETING

Lucas Holstine ’18 Hanapin Marketing – My experience interning at Hanapin Marketing this summer has been an absolutely terrific opportunity to learn about what the “real” world is like after graduation. I applied for the position with a keen interest in trying to find out what kind of job I would be interested in after my education at Wabash, and Hanapin has provided this for me. I have garnered a lot of interest in the field of digital marketing while working here, but have also realized professions I don’t see myself having, such as sales.

My position at Hanapin is on the Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) team. While the rest of the company operates on Paid Per Click (PPC) marketing that works to drive traffic to our clients website’s, the CRO team gets traffic through the website by making pages that are easy to navigate and ensuring that the goals on the site are clear and easy to reach by the traffic. Some of the projects that I’ve worked on have had me looking through analytics data to try and understand the experience that the user traffic has and to prepare presentations for clients to communicate these ideas clearly. I’ve also partaken in projects to organize data from previous tests that the CRO team has ran on client’s websites in order to make it easily accessible for future use to help make the team more efficient and effective. Most of the tasks that I do are time consuming tasks. The CRO team have also familiarized me with some of the big projects that Hanapin are conducting currently.

I have been very fortunate to have been sponsored by the Lilly Endowment while working at Hanapin. By being offered a full-time and paid position, it allows me to be fully immersed in the company culture and to build more relationships that part-time internships fail to provide. Hanapin has been terrific at making me feel like a member of the team with company wide picnics and team-building training sessions that have allowed me to connect with many other coworkers that I don’t normally have contact with. This experience has been something that I’ll never forget, and has definitely helped me build a solid foundation for my future endeavors.



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