Wannemuehler ’20: Purchasing Platform Internship

Henry Wannemuehler ’20

Henry Wannemuehler ’20 — Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to work with Purchasing Platform. Purchasing Platform is a small e-commerce procurement company in Downtown Chicago, owned by alumnus David Bowen. While I am only working with Dave and Purchasing Platform for eight weeks, I am still extremely grateful to have received this amazing opportunity. I would like to thank Dave and the Center for Innovation, Business, & Entrepreneurship for allowing me to work with such amazing people in this amazing city. Working in a big city like Chicago was a new experience for me, and I will forever be grateful to all those who were generous enough to have given me this opportunity.

I have done many things for Purchasing Platform. I was told that I would get to do a little bit of everything during my eight weeks, and a little bit of everything, I have done. From sales to marketing to customer service to special projects, I have gotten a taste of how Purchasing Platform operates. From this, I have learned the importance of each department that comprises the company. Though I may not work alongside the same people every single day, by not having a specific title (like the sales intern or the marketing intern), I have learned how essential everyone is to the success of the company.

Finally, this internship has helped me grow my interpersonal and communication skills. Dave and his company wasted no time throwing me on the phones to call their clients, which forced me to learn very quickly. One of the best pieces of advice that I received while working here is to never assume anything. It is better to ask questions and get help if you are unsure, rather than assuming the answer and messing things up.

Huber ’21 Finds Passion Working With Legal Aid Society

Clayton Huber ’21

Clayton Huber ’21 — Many undergraduates do not have the privilege to intern with a law firm that has an effect like the Legal Aid Society (LAS) in Louisville, Kentucky. LAS in Louisville serves 15 different counties and represents clients in 4,000+ cases a year. Their clients are low-income, poverty-stricken, and homeless discouraged members of society who are deprived of equal justice in the legal world. LAS attorneys vigorously work to attain their clients’ needs, whether it be a divorce, simple will, life planning documents, bankruptcy or veteran affairs (my new specialty).

During this internship, I worked closely with Equal Justice Fellow, Dr. Roy W. Berwick, my new Mentor and a VA Accredited Attorney for the Legal Aid Society. I was able to work with Dr. Berwick and gain much experience under CFR§ 14.629 (c) (3). This article states that a Legal Intern may work under a VA Accredited Attorney if they are present at all times; this allowed me to see how a VA Attorney practices law.

I gained a vast amount of knowledge while working under him and seeing how Discharge Upgrades and VA Notice of Disagreements are filed with the VA and the Review Boards of Military Corrections.

While working with Dr. Berwick, I was a part of twelve different cases. The tasks I was assigned to do were varied:

  • Drafting Legal Aid Letters
  • Filling out DD Forms (Military Forms)
  • Writing and Proofreading Affidavit Statements
  • Drafting Memorandums of Law
  • Interviewing Veterans and Understanding Their Backgrounds

I was hoping to find a field of law that I might enjoy when I graduate from Wabash College and attend law school later, and Dr. Berwick helped me find that passion at LAS this summer. Dr. Berwick has also guided me to become a VA Accredited Claims Representative. This accreditation will allow me to represent veterans before the VA and file cases by myself, even though I am not associated with a bar yet.

In addition to working in the Veterans Unit, I was also a part of the Development Unit, where I assisted with marketing and grant writing. Specifically, I worked with fundraising programs, designed and drafted new articles and newsletters about LAS. This experience has allowed me to further my knowledge in the fundraising realm, and hopefully, I can apply my knowledge to the next Day of Giving for Wabash.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the CIBE Innovation Internship and LAS offered me this summer. Without this experience, I would not have been able to practice and learn under an EJW Fellow nor understand how fundraising programs and grant writing operate. I have found a passion through LAS and the CIBE Program that I will be practicing in the near future.

Albrecht ’21 Mayor Todd Barton’s Right-Hand Man

Jackson Albrecht ’21

Jackson Albrecht ’21 — I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities that Wabash has provided me through this internship. Working for Mayor Todd Barton and for the Crawfordsville Fire Department’s Community Paramedicine Program has allowed me to explore and participate in a variety of different fields. In the Mayor’s Office, most of our time is exhausted in meetings. If you were to follow the mayor around on a typical workday, you could expect to take part in 5-10 meetings, which he considers to be a “light day.” They often concern economic development, project planning, and resolving various issues regarding local government. He meets with other officials and multiple committees throughout the day while filling in each spare window of time with individuals discussing their personal concerns.

When I’m not in meetings, I have spent time writing proclamations, press releases, and taking photos for the city’s website and social media platforms. When working with the Community Paramedicine Program, most of my time has gone toward creating marketing materials. I have made inserts, fliers, and brochures for the various initiatives of the program, including fall prevention, behavioral health, Project Swaddle (for at-risk, pregnant mothers), substance use disorder, etc. Some of these initiatives have been designed to take to health conferences to spread the word about our unique system of care, some to help with referral processes, and even some for those who have overdosed on opioids, given to them to help understand their situation. I have also created new business cards for the fire department and its chiefs.

On the non-marketing side, I have written a grant proposal; successful award nominations for paramedics and medical directors; and communications between the CPM, its partners, and to the Universities of Michigan and Harvard concerning a collaborative effort in studying substance abuse. I have also continued work on a project that I began through CIBE during the school year, cross-referencing data to better understand the correlation between subsidized housing and the frequency of calls to the fire department.

Each day in the city building provides me with an opportunity to learn something new about several different subjects. Whether it’s about local government, economics, healthcare, or simply just day-to-day wisdom passed down by those I am surrounded by in the office, I am fortunate to be presented with new learning opportunities each day. That being said, I would like to thank the CIBE Innovation Internship for the opportunity.

Witczak ’21 Making “Freshmen 15” Cool Again

John Witczak ’21 — Before I begin, I would like to thank the college for funding my summer internship and providing me with the opportunity to gain such a valuable experience. When I stepped into Arnold House to begin my first day of work as a Career Services Special Projects Intern, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I’d be collaborating with three of my peers on both long and short-term projects, and I knew I’d be trained in the art of résumé crafting, but I didn’t know any specifics or what my day-to-day work life would look like. Luckily for me, this internship has already proven to be a fantastic learning experience during which I have been able to practice presenting ideas and projects to my superiors while working closely with my peers to complete proposals and meet deadlines. Additionally, I have been trained not only in résumé crafting but in LEAN and A3 Problem-Solving techniques that have already improved my ability to work through the complexities and speed bumps encountered in the workday.

John Witczak ’21

The major project my co-workers and I are working on right now is the “Freshman Fifteen,” an annual program designed to integrate incoming freshman with Career Services within their first fifteen days on campus. Currently, we are drawing up the program’s theme, event schedule, social media campaign, and its t-shirt and flyer design, while working with and gaining the approval of our supervisors, Cassie Hagan and Roland Morin. Knowing that our work will have a direct impact on the incoming freshman and their future in the professional world is somewhat daunting, as is living up to the success of past Freshman Fifteen programs, but running projects like these, with real-world implications, is exactly what drew me to this internship and what I expect will prove to be highly valuable experience when I leave Wabash and enter the professional world.

The second project I am working on pertains to smoothing the transition of Wabash Works from a Simplicity powered site to a Handshake powered site. As you may or may not know, Wabash Works is the online home of the college’s Career Services, where employers and qualified students can find each other. Wabash students have been obtaining careers and internships through Wabash Works for years. Helping the current and future students of Wabash transition to a newer, better version of the revered service is something that I derive great satisfaction from.

While the internship has only just begun, and I still have a long and work-filled summer to look forward to, I feel that I have already had a full and worthwhile experience. I am excited to see how our plans for the Freshman Fifteen program work out, and I eagerly anticipate helping the class of ’23 bolster and polish their résumés.

Again, I’d like to thank the college for providing me with this fantastic opportunity, and I would also like to give a quick shout out to my three co-interns, Isiah, Jake, and Kessler.


Michael Zubeck ’21 – Sales and Marketing Intern, The Headshot Truck

My first weeks on the west coast were a completely new experience, to say the least.  When agreeing to my internship in Los Angeles this summer my boss, Brian, told me that this was my internship and I would only get out of it what was put in.  To make sure that I would get the most out of the internship, I tried to do any and every task that was available, even if was not mine.

On my third day there was a photoshoot in the office and instead of doing normal work I was the photographer’s assistant, which gave me a new perspective of how the other side of the business was ran.  This helped me better understand the logistics of a shoot later when I would talk to prospective clients about how the shoot functions.  Besides the photoshoot, my work was normally consistent, with my first task being to gather and then contact property managers throughout Southern California.  To do this I began by researching the different firms and before long there was a list of close to 500 potential clients.  Having the experience of cold calling before had helped me, but this was still not one of my strengths.  Noticing this Brian decided to have me switch my focus from targeting new clients to client retention.  To do this I began by researching the different ways that this is done.  After talking with him we decided that my new task would be to build a software that he could use to more effectively manage his clients.  This software is known as customer relationship management (CRM), would allow The Headshot Truck to communicate with customers, record information, send and receive quotes and contracts, and accept invoices all on one platform.

The benefits of having a CRM are organization and convenience, and this translates to hours that are saved from the workday.  Unfortunately working with the software from the very beginning was similar to looking at puzzle pieces without the final picture.  Drawing from different tasks that I had previously done, I was able to start assembling this puzzle.  Before long, it was up and functioning and it was even running.  This experience had made the largest impact on me.  This process allowed me to see and understand the learning curve and how learning one thing, such as a photography assistant, can help with another later, like building a CRM.  This experience reinforces the importance of being involved and doing as many tasks as possible.  I am very thankful to the Small Business Internship Fund for providing me with this opportunity.

White ’21 Sees Another Potential Career Path Unfold Through Internship

Sedgrick White ’21 Wabash College IT Intern – Since I have arrived at Wabash, It has been difficult to decide what profession I would like to go into in the future. Throughout this summer, I would like to think my time with the Wabash IT Department as an intern has helped ease my mind on this very important decision. 
My internship at the Wabash IT Department lead me to meeting many faculty in different departments that I more than likely would not have met if I was not a part of this internship. My internship consisted of installing computer systems for faculty. Furthermore, I would set up their systems, move their files, and set up personalized requests that were specific to their systems. In addition, I also answered tickets request for faculty that may not have computer installations, but they were in need of assistance with their computer systems. A part of my internship was very helpful to me as a person who may not have as much knowledge of technology that goes beyond the basics. For example, an external drive for Wabash students is available on MyBash called BOX and I never used it and I didn’t know about it. However, through my experience with it this summer, I am certain that I will use it for my classwork from now on. I learned that Wabash equips us with so many systems on their computers that makes it possible to get the most out of your education.  
As an intern for the IT department, my computer installations for faculty came with many different requests. During one installation, I had to install a laptop and dock with a monitor. Additionally, there was a request for the person to keep their old monitor and have to monitors at their desk. A request like that is actually quite frequent. The difference between this installation and others is that I had to install the monitor vertically. This is the type of technological information I gained through my internship.  
Overall, my internship with the Wabash IT department was very positive. I’m still uncertain of what I will major in or the career I would like to be in for the rest of my life, but I do believe this experience has opened my eyes to a career that I didn’t particularly think about before. I think I will keep IT as a career choice that might be the right fit. 

Wagner ’20 Sees What Wabash Has To Offer Once You Leave Campus

Jack Wagner ’20 Logistics Intern- CTS – This summer, I spent ten weeks of my summer immersed in the field of logistics, working for a freight brokering agency in Phoenix, AZ. The company I worked for, Commodity Transportation Services, functions primarily as a third-party logistics company that helps growers and shippers working in the agricultural industry find trucks to transport their various commodities. We function under the budget allowed to us by each customer for each individual load. Our agency is projected to broker $24 million in freight this year, so it was quite an experience to intern for the company during the climax of the business year. My ten-week internship began with copious amounts of various forms of data entry to help me learn the basics of the company. After becoming comfortable and familiar with our systems and functions, I began to build a few client lists in anticipation for the upcoming seasons’ hotspots. This helped me gain experience making professional phone calls about our business before actually making sales calls. After the first half of my internship drew to an end, I had come to a point where I was allowed to start negotiating my own business with customers. In the second half of the summer, I negotiated well beyond $100,000 of business and was ultimately able to secure and manage over $25,000 of my own freight. This means I was responsible for negotiating a budget with our customers, negotiating with trucks to cover the given loads within this budget, while also operating at or above a 10% profit margin, as well as communicating with drivers daily in order to protect and manage our business. I was able to secure roughly $3,000 in profit for CTS throughout the five weeks I spent brokering my own freight.

This summer, I learned much more than the ins and outs of produce brokering. I learned about a thriving industry that I hadn’t previously given much thought to, formed relationships with some incredible people from very different backgrounds than myself, I witnessed and participated in a living, breathing example of the Wabash Alumni Base and gained an incredible amount of business experience that will transfer to any number of industries I could potentially choose to pursue. It was a formidable, yet very rewarding experience to travel to and live in a part of the country I had never experienced when I was largely on my own. While this summer had a few lonely points, I wouldn’t trade the experiences I had and the relationships I formed for anything. I gained a much deeper appreciation for what Wabash has to offer once you leave campus, and this has truly reinforced my confidence in my decision to pursue the distinction of a Wabash Man.

Roy ’19 Grows Personally And Professionally With Handshake

Duncan Roy ’19 Handshake – This summer I have had the opportunity to intern at Handshake here in San Francisco. Handshake is a tech startup that connects students of all backgrounds with great career opportunities. Going from Crawfordsville to San Francisco has been a huge change, but I’ve loved exploring a city so different than anywhere I’ve been before. At Handshake, I am working with the University Success Team, which is in charge of implementing new schools on the platform and ensuring that career centers and students have all the tools necessary to use Handshake to the fullest.

My main project this summer has been working on a back to school toolkit to empower career centers will all of the tools needed to make sure their students get the most out of the platform and launch meaningful careers after graduation. One of my favorite parts about my project and working at Handshake, in general, is the collaborative nature of the office and projects. I have been working with almost every team on my project from design to product. I have also been presenting my ideas in meetings with the COO, and leaders from multiple teams across the company. One of the most influential things that I have taken from my internship so far is the power of feedback and collaboration. I have had many times where I have come up with a few ideas, then met with people from across the company to talk through my idea and get feedback, while bouncing ideas off of each other.

Being at a tech company, I have learned something new every day just hearing conversations or talking with one of the other interns that are software engineers. It has been great to work in such a fast paced environment and be around be people that are driven to keep pushing the company forward and are truly passionate about what they are doing. Deciding to pack up a suitcase and move out here to a city I had never been to before was a little scary, but luckily the group of 7 other interns have been a lot of fun to get to know and hear their stories. Especially considering we are all from different parts of the country and have different backgrounds it has been cool to get their perspectives on things. It has also been cool getting to know fellow Wabash men Christian Rhodes ‘17 and Alex Amerling ‘14 here at Handshake. In all, this summer has given me a great opportunity to grow as a person and professionally and is helping me decide what route I want to take after graduation. I will forever be thankful for the great opportunity that I have had this summer!

Kurkowski ’20 “There is much more to marketing than what you see”

Maxwell Kurkowski ’20 Bridge Builder Strategies – This summer, I have been working for a start-up company called Bridge Builder Strategies.  BBS is a consulting firm that’ mission is to develop strategies, processes and tactics that help organizations build bridges with their communities and create unique experiences that result in lasting relationships and impact.  Along with the consulting firm, I am also assisting in developing a non-profit organization called The Crossroads Center for Social Impact.  This organization aims to achieve maximum community impact and bring a better quality of life for our city and the people who live here.  This will be done through collaborative partnerships with interested members of the community, funders, businesses, government, non-profits, educational institutions and the faith-based community.  I have been working for Wabash Alum, Mike Simmons along with a current Wabash student, Micah Walker.  My role this summer has mainly been the marketing aspect of Bridge Builder Strategies.  However, this company being a start-up, I have had the opportunity to learn much more than just the marketing component.

Some of the important roles I have assisted in include, strategy development and business planning, business development opportunities, social media strategy and website development.  I have also attended business meetings associated with current and potential clients of Bridge Builder Strategies.  During my internship, there are a few things that stick out to me that I have learned.  As a whole, seeing how much time and work it takes to start a company has been eye opening to me.  There are many things that go on behind the scene in a company that need to be done in order for a company to be successful.  Seeing this happen first hand has been an experience that you cannot get in a classroom or online.  I have also learned many basic marketing tools that are used by companies to help enhance their brand.  There is much more to marketing than what you see.  It has to do with empathizing with clients, building relationships, and understanding the needs and wants of customers.   Business vocabulary is another skill that I have made strides in.  During my internship, I have had to do tons of research.  As I began reading countless articles and familiarizing myself with the field of work I am in, I realized that there are many words that I just had never seen before.  This gave me lots of trouble understanding many important components of my role this summer.  So, every time I read something I did not understand, I wrote it down, researched it and did my best to understand it.  This was one of my biggest takeaways this summer.  Understanding how to research properly and teach myself things online has been extremely helpful in my success this summer.  The second half of my internship has been developing the official website for Bridge Builder Strategies.  Before my internship, I had no knowledge of building a website.  I was a bit nervous to take on this role, however, after much research, YouTube videos and playing around on the website editor, I can now say that I can build a website on my own.  I am near the end of my internship and I am finishing up the Bridge Builder Strategies Website.

I am extremely grateful I had the chance to work with Mike Simmons this summer.  He has been an amazing mentor to me as well as an educator.  I have learned more than I could’ve imagined this summer and I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it to school, future career opportunities, and my everyday life.

Raters ’19 Gets Exactly What He Wants In Internship

Justin Raters ’19 Obvious Shirts – During the spring semester, I was presented with the great opportunity to work for a small business by the name of Obvious Shirts. Obvious Shirts is a t-shirt company that began as a hobby for founder and owner Joe Johnson, Wabash class of 2011, but has blossomed into a very popular and interesting brand. As a huge Chicago Cubs fan, Joe began to make shirts that had funny, sarcastic, and obvious sayings about Cubs players on them. Since then, the shirts have become licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association, and are now dipping into other fanbases such as New York and Washington D.C. As a huge Cubs fan myself, I was ecstatic to work for such a fun company while getting to enjoy being in Chicago for the summer.

            This position was very exciting for me because it was my first opportunity to work for a small business. It was great to see how much effort and work goes into running a small business, but also the many advantages there are as well. On a day to day basis, I would come into work and begin to collect the orders from the previous evening. I would then fill envelopes with t-shirts for each order and have them shipped to the customer. I was then given an email address that customers could reach out to with any problems or concerns they had about orders or navigating the website. I found that having this link between customer and staff was one of the most important pieces to making a small business run smoothly and be successful.

Being in the office and on the computer was not the only thing I did this summer, though. Early on in my internship, I was able to be a part of selling shirts at a weekend long sports memorabilia convention in Chicago. It was clear that not only selling online but selling shirts in person was a very important piece in spreading the brand name and engaging with customers. It was great to hear customers’ stories about the comments they get on their shirts, and their ideas for new shirt designs. Working the convention, though a bit more stressful, was one of my favorite parts of my internship.

Although my internship for the summer has ended, I will be continuing my work for Obvious Shirts by being a brand ambassador for the company. It is mine and Joe’s goal that Obvious Shirts will soon have a Wabash collection on the website, as well as the possibility of other colleges in Indiana. I am very grateful for this opportunity that was given to me by Joe Johnson ’11 and Roland Morin. This internship gave me the experience that I was looking for in a small business setting and provided me with a number of connections that I am sure to use in the future. I am very excited to have had of such a fun summer opportunity, and to continue my work with Obvious Shirts in the future!