Anthony Mendez ’20 Infinite Global – Before applying, I had never heard of Infinite Global, a marketing firm located in downtown Indianapolis. I’ve always had an interest in how businesses operate from within such as advertising, promoting products, and satisfying a customer’s needs. From a young age, verbal communication and public speaking have been common struggles. However, my experience working at Infinite Global has helped me grow not only professionally but spiritually as a person. I was very nervous for the first two interviews but I prepared the night before by researching common questions, assessing my strengths and weaknesses, and having a confident mindset. Shortly after completing the interview, I learned that Infinite Global does direct sales for Xfinity (Comcast) in local retail stores such as Walmart. The CEO gave me the opportunity of an internship and I soon began working the following week. There were so many questions racing through my head about what to expect but I was more excited and anxious.
When arriving on my first day, the main room called “the atmosphere” was filled with several young, energetic, people. Everyone dressed in suits were on teams either listening on an IMPACT which is a formal presentation on a whiteboard or doing scenarios on how to pitch, present, and close on a sale with a customer. After being introduced to several corporate trainers and account executives, I began writing down notes on how to properly pitch an individual when I’m in the field. For example, this applies to the 10-6-3 step rule which is when the person says “Hey, how’s it going today?” at 10 feet, then “Quick question for you” at 6 feet, and finally asking the important question “Who do you have for internet and cable?” Once the customer tells who and how much they pay for their cable provider, the salesman quickly “Turns and Burns” on he or she which leads them to walk to the Xfinity table. The morning session lasted a couple of hours as the corporate trainers dispersed with their teams to local Walmarts around the city. Myself, along with a handful of people around my age, were sent to Comcast Training to learn all about Xfinity and what they have to offer. I learned all about their internet, cable, home phone, and security system. I wrote down several pages of notes in order to fully educate myself so I would be prepared to sell on the field. When the day ended, I knew exactly what Infinite Global did and I was excited to be working for them.
After working for nearly three months in the field marketing for Xfinity, I couldn’t have asked for a better working environment with such competitive businesses partners. I learned so much on how to be a great salesman with the help of my corporate trainer. Having a student mentality helped a lot when studying specific scenarios when dealing with rejections, indecisive customers, and challenges. My sales every week dramatically increased which motivated me to work harder than ever before. My internship felt like an actual job which gave me a realistic work ethic and expectations for my future career. In addition, it was very interesting and I do not regret it because I genuinely liked what I was doing. I don’t picture myself specifically doing sales as my career, but I enjoy working with clients in an energetic working environment. I want to personally thank the Mellon Grant for making this opportunity even possible. With their support along with Wabash College, I’ve made a lot of progress over the summer and will transfer this businesses knowledge not only to the classroom but professionally.
Hayden Baehl ’18 Connecta Corporation – First and foremost, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making this opportunity possible. The Lilly Endowment funded my internship and the development of my professional experience. I cannot thank the endowment enough for supporting and funding this experience this summer and all the other previous experiences; they have all been worthwhile.
Working for Connecta Corporation has been an enjoyable and educating experience. I worked on many various projects/jobs. My main focus was updating and analyzing the Key Process Indexes (KPIs). Do to the audit in late July, updating the KPIs were my number one priority this summer. I wrote instructions for mostly all the KPIs and converted a few into percentages to better measure the key processes. Jared (the other intern) and I worked together because the KPIs were measuring the processes of which he was writing procedures. Jared worked on the front end, and I worked from the back-end of things, and we met in the middle. I, too, spent a fair amount of time working in the inspection department. I did everything including 1st piece checks, tollgates, thread checks, F110 forms, and setting gauges. I knew nothing about quality control until I came to Connecta Corporation. I got my feet wet when I was working with Jared on the AS9100 manual, but working in inspection, I performed the procedures and filled the forms that we created/updated for the manual. Additionally, my performance was evaluated in the KPIs. By the end of the summer, I was involved in creating (in the form of a diagram), performing, and evaluating an entire process. To me, that is a pretty unique and educational experience. There are not many places where one will get the opportunity to operate in every facet of an operation.
Accounting was another area I was involved in during my time at Connecta Corporation. I quoted several jobs as well as determined the profitability of past jobs. Updating the cost accounting system was another project on the to do list, but due to time restrictions, I was not able to complete this task. I was supposed to improve the usage of Connecta’s E2 software system so that the time required to complete a particular task was better known; therefore resulting in a more accurately projected cost per job. I was also tasked with a number of other jobs, but the work was less pertinent to my major and minor. I throughly enjoyed working at Connecta Corporation and would like to thank Alan and Derek for taking me on as an intern.
Bryan Roberts ’18 Still630 – First and foremost I would like to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing me to have such an amazing opportunity this summer! At Still630 I was able to see firsthand what it takes to run a small and growing business. Located in the heart of St. Louis I was able to experience the whole city and what it had to offer including great food, Cardinals baseball games, City Museum, and countless other local wonders. At the head of this business is David Weglarz; the owner, operator, and head distiller who an infectious person to be around. His enthusiasm and determination to succeed will inspire you to be better in all aspects of your life and tackle each day with an indomitable spirit. As far as the business goes it could not be in a more interesting industry, Craft Spirits! As the intern I was able to learn all aspects of the craft spirits industry including production, aging, bottling, labeling, equipment maintenance, financial planning, sales, marketing, logistics, and of course tasting! It was interesting to see the business from all angles, as it really let me see the ins and outs of a small business. From the first day I felt like part of the family at Still630 and Dave never hesitated to help or teach me as the summer went along. Working with him was a wonderful experience in itself. Each day was a different from the last filled with new challenges and experiences to learn. Working hard is required each day but the rewards and sense of accomplishment make each day worth it. From this summer I learned what kind of indomitable spirit it takes to make it as a small business and how to foster meaningful relationships which will help me grow professionally and personally for the rest of my life.
Scott Ogle ’18 HireEducation – My internship with HireEducation was a rewarding success filled with excitement, challenges, and dogs. When Ben and I sheepishly walked into the office on the first day, we were greeted by six dogs and an office full of smiling faces. The friendly atmosphere was palpable and enduring. On the first day, Ben and I were given a lesson over the database HireEdu uses to compile and organize both their clients and potential job candidates. For the next few weeks we were given projects to complete which involved making entries into the database, compiling lists of potential job candidates for specific searches, and gathering contact information for clients and candidates alike. This kind of work required relatively little effort, but was rather time consuming. Consequently, I learned a lot by listening to the conversations that were constantly floating around the office. Because of the relatively young age of the modern education technology industry, there is constant change in the sphere. Listening to the recruiters chat about what new product was just released, or which two companies merged and why, was a font of information.
At roughly the mid-way point the COO, Katie Morrison, began working with me on various aspects of the company’s marketing strategy. This is where the excitement meets the challenges. As mentioned earlier, there was a lot of information to learn about the education technology industry. Furthermore, I found that many of the marketing strategies used in the Ed Tech space were new to me. Thankfully, the excitement of learning something new overpowered the difficulty of shifting my perception of marketing. Previously, many of my preconceptions regarding marketing were product based. However, with the help of Katie and the Internet, I was able to become knowledgeable about concepts such as B2B (Business to Business) marketing and using drip campaigns to foster lead generation.
Towards the end of June, two recruiters, Ben, and I took a flight to San Antonio to participate in the 2017 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference. It was stunning to see a conference hall packed with so many innovators and educators. The passion for education among the attendees was contagious, with one of the most memorable moments coming from Flocabulary’s booth. Flocabulary teaches kids about various topics through song and music videos. When Ben and I walked by their booth, a giant smile appeared on my face as about 30 adults were singing along to a music video detailing the story of Ruby Bridges. Considering my summer was spent with stellar people in a stellar environment, I have nothing but good things to say about my SBIF experience, and I am grateful for it enabling myself and many others to have such opportunities.
Max Von Deylen ’19 Adorant Group – For almost the entirety of the summer, I have been fortunate enough to work as the business development intern for Adorant Group, a financial services technology startup, founded and run by Brian Mantel, Wabash College class of 1993. I was presented this opportunity as a result of the generosity of the Wabash College Small Business Internship Fund. Currently, Adorant is in the process of developing a software platform for financial advisors and their clients, in an effort to enhance the financial planning capabilities for both parties. While still in development, Adorant’s platform is among the most advanced available and there are exciting times ahead!
As for my work throughout the summer, I spent a good portion of my time editing and improving the platform’s existing content. However, I also wrote a large portion of content, myself. The majority of my time from May to August was dedicated to writing and developing a freestanding financial curriculum, as well as individual financial education materials. Ultimately, I completed developing a curriculum that covers established financial literacy standards and even some more advanced or nuanced financial planning topics. The curriculum is organized and presented in one of two ways: based of generational demographics or by complexity of topic. For example, Generation X (one of five total generations) has its own dedicated curriculum. The individual financial education materials that I created were articles aggregating the best content from the best sources for a given financial planning topic.
While Adorant itself is based in Chicago, I spent the majority of my time at home in Indianapolis, working remotely. I was fortunate enough to be given access to a co-working space in downtown Indianapolis where I spent the majority of my time. I would work independently during the day and then correspond with my boss and the other members of the Adorant team during the evening. I also had the opportunity to travel up to Chicago on several occasions to meet in person with the Adorant team.
Overall, my summer internship experience was incredible. I did work that was interesting to me and completing work felt worthwhile. I would attribute much of this enjoyment to the fact that I was working with a small startup, instead of a large corporation. Therefore, I could really see the impact of my work, and I never felt like a cog in the machine. I cannot thank the Small Business Internship Fund enough for this opportunity. Without it, none of this would have been possible!
Logan Kleiman ’18 Crawfordsville Fire Department – My time spent with the Crawfordsville Fire Department has been fantastic and I look forward to continuing to work with them. In my time as an intern, for Division Chief Paul Miller, I have been able to better understand direct local departments in our municipality. It has been especially interesting coming from the Mayor’s office, as I have been fortunate enough to understand city government more on a macro level, then transitioning to direct department functions.
This job began to peak my interest as my father’s lifelong best friend was a firefighter in Evansville and the mayor who I worked my first internship for was also a paramedic and fire chief in Crawfordsville. I wanted to really grasp what these men do as public servants who risk their lives to help keep people safe. Chief Miller, Chief Fullwater, and Chief Buscenbark have all exemplified this in how they run this fantastic department. They took me in with open arms and showed me how things were done and I could not be more thankful.
In my time as an intern for Paul I have been able to start planning an EMS State Summit for the entire state of Indiana and various healthcare providers, I have helped coauthor multiple abstracts for various nationwide agencies, and developed a better understanding of how our local departments impact the community. I have seen this come into effect through Crawfordsville’s Community Paramedicine Program, where the fire department works with citizens on a medical level to help monitor them as opposed to it being solely the hospital’s job. This approach is revolutionizing rural healthcare and is the driving communities throughout the country to make similar adjustments to their existing programs.
This internship has allowed me to develop skills in Photoshop, website design, event planning, and marketing to help propel my future career in project management. I now feel more confident in my ability to execute large projects for various agencies to help really impact communities.
I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for granting me this opportunity. It has really allowed me to see further how government works and has given me better understanding of what exactly various departments do in our community. It has far surpassed my study in political science and I realize now that when I run for public office later in life, how I can manage these kinds of departments to help maximize efficiency. I am incredibly grateful for this experience.
Logan White ’19 Global Access Point – During the 2017 Summer, I was given the opportunity to work as a Marketing Intern for Global Access Point. I would first like to thank Shane Fimbel who gave me the opportunity with GAP. Secondly, I would like to thank Roland Morin and the C.I.B.E for their endless support of me and my Wabash brothers. Last, but certainly not least I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment. Their support for Wabash is endless and I am grateful for their generosity in everything that they do.
Global Access Point is an LLC that designs, builds, and manages data centers and network infrastructure for large enterprise and global telecommunications and cloud providers. GAP also is creating co-work space within Studebaker’s old manufacturing buildings. I was able to tour the construction site and do some market research on cowering space and different parts of building such a great addition to the South Bend community. During the summer, I worked on various projects that enabled other companies, along with GAP, in their success. One of my favorite projects was researching the E-sports industry. I spent two weeks digging into this industry, an industry that is untapped. The E-sports industry is currently on its way to being a multi-billion dollar industry. I worked alongside, Oliver Page, the other intern, and another Wabash alumnus, Matthew Dudevior. During those two weeks we aimed to figure out what makes the E-sports industry so successful and how GAP could be a part of it. The goal of it all is to bring E-sports to South Bend and let it flourish here.
While in South Bend, the most important lesson I learned was to not do stuff for yourself. Global Access Point has built an extremely successful company, but never sacrificed their morals. This company was built on helping others. The COO, Shane Fimbel always says “If you’re a giver, then you’ll love GAP.” That was the statement that made me commit to a Summer in south Bend working with GAP. As a young, business-minded, student, one of the most important things to me is helping others. In South Bend, I spent a summer working to help small to large companies continue their success. While doing so, I was working with a company that cares about others and the community. Values that I think everyone should strive to hold dear to them and make known to those around them.
Once again, thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible. It was a summer full of hard work, learning, and a lot of fun!
Isaac Avant ’20 All or Nothing – The summer of 2017 was great to say the least. When was enrolled into Wabash College I got accepted into a program called the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program. In addition to learning great writing skills, making new connections, and getting a sneak peek at the year that was to come, this program came with an opportunity to build work experience the following summer. This experience came in the form of a paid internship.
When the time came, I was blessed with the opportunity to intern with All or Nothing, LLC. which has now moved to Florida, but was based in Indianapolis while I was there. While I was there I got the opportunity to learn from Dontae Fennell, the company’s owner. During my short time with the company I learned how to make my own designs on the software program, CorelDraw. I plan to own my own fashion company one day and this was a huge step towards that goal. After the design was made I learned how translate the design from the computer to a t shirt or any other article of clothing with the use of heat transfer vinyl. Within the first two weeks I was able to produce some of my own designs on shirts while helping Dontae with some of the orders he had.
Each day I became more familiar with the programming and my progress began to show. Towards the end of the internship I came up with a design that had my hometown’s nickname, Naptown, on it. Just to show my friends what I’d been doing all summer I posted the picture of the shirt on Twitter and it got over 400 retweets and over 1,000 likes. After that, I asked Dontae how much all the equipment costs to make the shirts and he provided the information to me. From that day forward I started to mass produce the shirts and sell them to people that were interested. Following that, I decided to get ahead and start on my fashion line now.
This summer I learned how to conduct business, how to network with like-minded people, and how to make my ideas come to life. I would like to thank the Mellon Grant for making this possible and helping me kickstart my career at such an early age. I also would like to thank Wabash College for the opportunity to join the immersion program last summer.
Collin Brennen ’19 Foresight Financial Management – I have had the privilege to work as a Financial Intern for Foresight Financial Management located in northern Indianapolis. There I worked directly with the Wealth Advisory Team. Comprised of three advisors, they work together to create, analyze, and maintain over 200 personal wealth plans. Working closely with one of the advisors, I spent a majority of my time prospecting. I would send an initial email to either someone on LinkedIn, or a Wabash Alumnus. When a person responded I would log it into OneNote, an application like Excel that allowed multiple people on the Wealth Advisory Team to see what was being recorded. I then followed-up with the person either thanking them for the response, or trying to set an appointment with them. If the individual agreed to an appointment, I would add their contact information to Smart Office and put them down on the calendar for their respected meeting time. Finally, I would add the meeting to Zoho calendar which allowed the whole office to see where someone is having a meeting. Throughout this process I sent roughly 2,000 initial emails to various people and finished my 8th week with a little over 80 appointments set. This process really taught me how to deal with certain responses, some being negative and others being positive. Prospecting has been a great experience for me because it’s really developed my communication skills. It’s shown me what type of rhetoric to use in certain types of situations. Prospecting has also been a great opportunity to get my name out there. I’ve meet new people who were really impressed with what I had been doing!
Working at Foresight Financial Management has allowed me to see how a real business operates. Yeah, I’ve had jobs the past couple of summers, but not an “actual” job. This opportunity gave me a chance to see how everyone communicates in an office and what it’s like to work 9 to 5 daily. It’s shown me the type of grit it takes to work in this industry. Another takeaway from this internship was figuring out whether financial advising is a path for me. Being a college student is scary because most of us have no idea what we want to do after school. With an opportunity like this, it’s helped me see that financial advising could be a career path for me! I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving me this awesome opportunity to further my professional skills.