Banner

Barker ’20 Shoots For Goal With the Indy Fuel

Christopher Barker ‘20 Indy Fuel– Before I begin, I find it fitting to first give thanks to all those who have supported me and advised me throughout the application process this past academic year. If it weren’t for the guidance and encouragement from Cassie, Julia, Roland, and Alejandro at Career Services and the Wabash CIBE, the financial support from Wabash College, Rob Shook’s friendship, my Uncle Rick and Aunt Karen for taking me into their home, and for my parents and family for their unconditional love and support, I would not be the same person with this opportunity to work for Indy Fuel Hockey Club. I’m grateful to God and then the College for crossing our lives, and I cherish the friendships we share.

For those of you who may not know, the Indy Fuel is a professional ice hockey team in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are members of the ECHL, a AA hockey league. They are affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL and the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL. The Fuel just finished its 4thseason as a franchise this past spring, and they play at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum located in the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

When I was seeking out summer working opportunities in the winter and spring, one of my go-to questions for potential employers was “How does this company get involved in the community?”. The Indy Fuel has a pretty simple answer to this that I get to focus in. My main responsibility with the Indy Fuel is to represent the franchise at various events in the community. These can range from First Friday Food Truck Festivals, company outings, or even private birthday parties. I load up the Nitro Van with the tent, inflatable Hockey Slapshot Goal, giveaways, and raffle tickets, and I talk with anyone from season-ticket holders to young kids who want to learn how to shoot the puck! This could feel like grunt work at times, but it is very important to the franchise. The team has only been playing for four years, and exposing the name to new people at every event is the first step to bringing people into the Coliseum for action-packed, family-friendly hockey games.

When not at community events, I also work regularly in the front office. The office is small, which allows for everyone to add their own touch to their position. I get to shadow the people there and learn about the amount of work and dedication needed in the ticketing, sponsorship, game operations, social media and records, and upper management positions. I have even been allowed to come to interviews for open positions and meetings with sponsors.

The main thing I’ve learned at Indy Fuel is the importance of making business personal. Everyone in the office gets along well and understands each other’s senses of humor. The Fuel’s VP of Sponsorship gets to know the sponsors she works with, and even knows and brings their favorite candy to meetings. This a skill I hope to further sharpen throughout the summer because I know that it is an indispensable tool I can use in any industry I may work in.


Carper ’21 Sees The Best In Crawfordsville Working with The Chamber of Commerce

Patrick Carper ’21 Montgomery Chamber of Commerce – Over the past few weeks on the job at the Crawfordsville/Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, I have immersed myself in the culture of the community. I’ve learned about local businesses, services, history, festivals, recreation, issues, and governmental policies all in an effort to discover the things young people find most attractive about the community and broadcast them to people that are considering relocating to Crawfordsville or Montgomery County. I’d like to thank everyone who made this internship possible for me.

Crawfordsville faces the same challenges that many other small and mid-sized communities face. Many of the smartest in our schools, the ones who go off to good colleges and become doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women, or other professionals, move out of the community after college because they have options. Many of the young people that remain simply have fewer options. Maybe they don’t aspire to a six-figure career, and that’s okay. They are still valued members of the community. However, this dilemma contributes to a smaller than ideal proportion of working professionals to other working people. One doesn’t need to look past Montgomery County’s median household income to see that our community is in need of more well-paying jobs. As an intern at the Chamber of Commerce, I am producing a series of pamphlets to convince young aspiring professionals to stay in Crawfordsville and others to move in. This involves pouring through local historical accounts, researching the local housing market, sitting in on meetings, and uncovering the features of this place that already convince members of the community to stay. After the initial research for any given topic, I wrap the community’s biggest selling points into a pamphlet that I produce with Adobe Creative Cloud software.

Some of the community’s brightest that move away eventually do return. But what is lost is a decade of their young adult life where they could’ve solicited Montgomery County businesses, ate food grown or raised on Montgomery County farms, and sent their children to Montgomery County schools. Instead, during that time they solicited businesses in Indianapolis, ate out of Zionsville restaurants, or sent their children to Brownsburg schools. If Crawfordsville wants to flourish, it should actively seek out young professionals whose growing families will fuel new growth in town, not older individuals living on a fixed income. By designing marketing targeting specifically for them, I aim to attract a younger generation to this community.


Frank ’19 Has Brewed Up Some Great Experiences With Triton Brewing

Evan Frank ’19 Triton Brewing Company – In my first four weeks I have spent with Triton, I have worked in two departments, production and the tasting room.  My first two weeks were spent in production. Before starting this internship I had very little experience with product development and I was excited to learn about it.  I also had no experience with brewing, but the brewers gave me projects each day such as cleaning kegs, preparing packages, etc. so that I could contribute in a meaningful way.  They would also let me add and weigh hops to the beer every now and again so that I could be a part of the brewing process.  The work that I did was not glamorous, but it was important and it highlighted how crucial every little detail of production is and how meticulous it is to make a good product.  After all, there is not brewing company without a good beer.

My next two weeks were spent in the tasting room of the brewery.  In my time in the tasting room I was a bartender and a waiter.  Being in the tasting room means there is constant interaction with he general public.  It isn’t necessarily hard to be a waiter, but it is an experience that allows one to really understand how to communicate and interact with people well.  I also felt that my organizational skills really improved as I was often serving multiple people at once.  The best part about working in the tasting room, however, was the staff.  Everyone was extremely helpful which allowed me to figure things out quickly.  They highlighted the importance of making everyone on a team feel comfortable so that they perform well on the job.

In the coming weeks, I will join the sales department as well as management.  I have really enjoyed my internship so far and I look forward to continuing to learn about business how I can apply my liberal arts education to it.

 


Dang ’19 Gets An Exclusive Look In Technology With Archon Tech

Ngoc Dang ’19 Archon Tech Strategies – This summer I’m working as a Developer Intern at Archon, an Indianapolis based start-up and founded by Tony Unfried ’03. I have had the chance to experience technologies that I would not have encountered anywhere else and have had fun learning as well as utilizing them.

I was first impressed by the working space. Archon’s office is hosted by Platform 24, a coworking space that is first of its kinds here in Carmel and very first one that I have ever seen or worked in. It was surprising to learn that many other companies work under the same roof, on the same floor and on a first come first serve basis. This not only allows us to enjoy the perks of a large, multipurpose work space that may not be available to small companies, but also gives a very bright and lively impression of what other companies do. I’m even more impressed that Tony cofounded this coworking space and embraced this model.

As a Developer Intern, I’ve got a taste of what working in the IT field is like. Working in a startup requires that you be even more very responsive to changes and willing to be adaptive to succeed. We have been experimenting with new technologies despite still being in the development stage, which provides us with lots of potential. One of them is integrating Amazon Alexa to a mobile app Archon already developed. Imagine you can interact with an app via voice besides the traditional method of touch. Another is using mobile technology to raise a gate arm or community gate without having to physically use a card or keypad.

I have been able to enjoy perks as well. On the second day of work I had the chance to go the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and attend an IAWM networking event. Yesterday from the time of writing this blog, we went to a professional conference to learn about the Internet of Things.

This internship has provided me experiences that will help me for years to come. I thank Tony Unfried ’03, and the Career Services Staff for providing me this opportunity.


Stults ’20 Gains Valuable Experience in Health Care

Drew Stults ’20 Apex Benefits – If you haven’t heard of Apex Benefits, it is a benefits insurance broker that helps other companies figure out what health insurance/benefits programs would be best suited for their individual needs. Walking into the internship, I was a bit skeptical since I had quite literally no prior experience with anything related to the health insurance industry. However, the team here at Apex has helped me get into the groove of things with incredible ease and patience. Apex was just voted as one of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” for the 8thconsecutive year, and since I’ve been here, they’ve done nothing but back-up that accomplishment.

One of the best parts of my experiences here thus far is the general flexibility of my position. Although I’m technically apart of the marketing department, Apex has highly encouraged me to join in on all aspects of the company ranging from HR, to finance, to sales (which is led by fellow Wabash grad, Scott Long ’00). This way, not only am I able to better understand the sheer complexity it takes to run a huge company, but I’m also able to hone in on new skills and talents for future opportunities.

I’ve been working on a number of different projects while being here, one of which is working with Lessonly in downtown Indy. Lessonly is a customer training software that enables employers to create “Lessons” for new employees to take and learn from instead of taking up valuable time in the form of in-person training sessions. Another project is Apex’s 2018 Benchmarking Survey. Apex is the first and only broker in the state to create such an elaborate survey as this. It consists of 140 questions that companies fill out and answer. Then, once all the data is collected, the marketing department is in charge of creating a user-friendly 50-page booklet full of graphs and charts that then enables clients to compare their benefits coverage to the rest of Indiana. I’ve also been able to figure out how to navigate through mass storage software’s that many companies use for saving files and other business related material. Additionally, with the guidance of my boss, Chris Wiggins, I’ve been able to get my hands on different creative software programs like Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Brainshark.

My time at Apex so far has been both highly beneficial and enjoyable. I’ve been here for just over a month and have already learned more than I had expected to learn for the entirety of the summer – and I’ve still got two months left. I can’t thank the CIBE enough for putting me in touch with this opportunity as well as the great people here at Apex Benefits for making my time as beneficial as it has been. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer as in store.


Schuch ’21 Discusses the Importance Of Being an Effective Communicator

Donald Schuch ’21 LABB Intern – The first week of the LABB program was interesting to say the least. While I was expecting to be sort of lost in ways due to my inexperience with business, Roland has done a fantastic job running through key business concepts to give all of us a better understanding. The readings have been engaging and applicable to our group projects. While I have already adapted to the demands of this program, the part of this program that I have already found the most helpful is the amount of communication skills developed. To begin the program, each one of us had to give a four-minute presentation on something we are passionate about. We consistently have group discussions on varying topics each and every day along with frequent uses of elevator pitches sprinkled throughout. These are very effective and has forced me to become more comfortable with speaking in front of others as well as how I am marketing myself to others, especially in interviews. Lastly, the amount of communication required to formulate a good business pitch exceeded my expectations. Over the course of last week, my group and I have met multiple times for hours in order to formulate our business pitch. It was great to see how much really goes behind trying to start a business and getting investors to fund you. However, this does take a great deal of communication as different members of the team all have to know what’s going on, but it may be in the best interest of the group to divide up the work. For example, myself and one of my partners took control of the marketing aspect of our startup while our other group members focused on the financing. In order to effectively do this, we had to constantly communicate and run ideas past each other in order to determine what will work. All of these stories have contributed to the advancement of my soft skills and knowledge of the business world.


Looze ’21 – Marketing As A Tool of Influence

Bryce Looze ’21 LABB Intern – Last week, fellow members of the LABB program and I had the privilege of having Mike Simmons speak about marketing in a brief but effective crash course. He leads the presentation by talking about the role marketers play in our daily lives and how “marketers think people obsess about their product.” He used this to show the disconnect that exists between the consumer and the industry in some cases. Throughout his talk, Mr. Simmons provided many excellent insights into the world of marketing. My favorite explores the connection between customer needs, the act of advertising the product, and how to meet the needs; “Marketing is… anticipation and identification of customer needs and requirements to be able to meet them, make a profit or achieve other key organizational objectives”. Another critical insight into the world of marketing is the differentiation between strategic and tactical marketing, strategic being the big picture of marketing while tactical deals with the creation of advertisements and campaigns. People want choices, whether that is in their professional career or going about their daily life. However, one place where this view is commonly shared is in the products we consumers purchase on a consistent basis. Mr. Simmons summarized by explaining that “people want more choices, but (they) don’t want to give up free time to consider (their options).” Using this quote, he challenged us to think about how marketers use this tool to influence people to buy their products. As we furiously thought about all the companies we see advertised, he used the example of the shoe industry to paint the battle that brands face. The major brands are continually fighting to occupy the largest amount of space in your brain as possible, all while maintaining a positive brand image. Over the course of his presentation, Mr. Simmons used relevant, real-world examples of industries that used marketing techniques and the thought process behind each one.


Gunderman ’21 – His Lessons in Marketing

Joel Gunderman ’21 LABB Intern – On June 7th, alumnus Mike Simmons from the class of ‘88 lectured the LABB group about the fundamentals of marketing. He began his lecture by asking everyone what marketing meant to them. The responses ranged from advertisements to manipulation. Our answers were not rooted in reality but in a cartoonish misrepresentation of marketing. While some of the answers such as advertisements were indeed a part of marketing, they did not encompass marketing as a whole. We finally arrived at “anticipating and identifying customer needs” as the definition. This definition clearly states the first main lesson Mike taught us: always focus on the people. Marketing is not about convincing someone to buy something useless. Instead, marketing is about improving another’s life. However, one needs to find information through research.

 

Market research illustrates how others’ needs are not being satisfied. This information can then be used by a business to find their niche and improve their customers’ quality of life. Mike wanted us to focus on the macrolevel of economics first before moving down into analyzing one business. He taught us three different analyses that are meant to illustrate where a business’ risks are. The first one he showed us was a PESTL analysis. PESTL is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, and Legal factors. These factors demonstrate what challenges a business faces within its ecosystem. The next analysis Mike taught us was Porter’s five forces, which includes buyer power, seller power, competition, compliments, and substitutes. Porter’s five forces like a PESTL analysis help us understand the ecosystem of a specific company. Mike’s last form of analysis to assess risk was SWOT analysis. SWOT focuses on factors inside and outside the company. In a SWOT analysis, one looks at the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s product as well as the opportunities and threats the company has as a whole. These three analyses demonstrate how a large portion of marketing is simply about gaining an understanding of the world.

Mike’s lecture helped me gain a better understanding of the real business world. Marketing does not consist of business executives trying to manipulate the masses. It focuses on people’s problems and how to solve them. Marketing relies on both quantitative data and qualitative observation and feedback. I am thankful that a Wabash alumnus dedicated the time necessary to help me understand a crucial part of every business.


Esterline ’21-The Importance of A3 Thinking in Business

Charles Esterline ’21 LABB Intern – During the second week of the LABB Program at Wabash College we began the process of becoming Lean certified. The Human Resource Department from Indiana University Health came to show those who are participating in the LABB program how to use Lean processthinking. This all starts with the A3 model of thinking. This is a nine-step plan to go about solving a problem within a business. The benefit to lean is that it shifts the blame from being on a specific worker and over to the process that is broken. You ask questions like, “Is the amount of work equal for all employees along the distribution chain?” We had an opportunity to do an example in class by folding paper airplanes and the goal was to hit a target. Then we had to go back and use the A3 thinking model to improve the process to make it more efficient and my group saw a sixty percent increase in efficiency. After seeing the results of the example, it was clear to everyone in the room that being Lean certified is necessary to make yourself more marketable after college. Another thing that the LABB partners had the opportunity to participate in was the Big Bash of 2018. This is the class reunions of Wabash Alumni that gradated in a ‘3 or ‘8 ending year. I know many of our LABB partners had the opportunity to speak with recently graduated alumni that are currently working in Chamber of Commerce for the United States and others had the opportunity to network with quite a few alumni that were retired from our Armed Forces. The Wabash College LABB partners had the opportunity this past week to network, gain valuable business literacy skills, and test what they are learning in the classroom.


Gunderman ’21 On His Lessons in Marketing

Joel Gunderman ’21 LABB Intern – On June 7th, alumnus Mike Simmons from the class of ‘88 lectured the LABB group about the fundamentals of marketing. He began his lecture by asking everyone what marketing meant to them. The responses ranged from advertisements to manipulation. Our answers were not rooted in reality but in a cartoonish misrepresentation of marketing. While some of the answers such as advertisements were indeed a part of marketing, they did not encompass marketing as a whole. We finally arrived at “anticipating and identifying customer needs” as the definition. This definition clearly states the first main lesson Mike taught us: always focus on the people. Marketing is not about convincing someone to buy something useless. Instead, marketing is about improving another’s life. However, one needs to find information through research.

 

Market research illustrates how others’ needs are not being satisfied. This information can then be used by a business to find their niche and improve their customers’ quality of life. Mike wanted us to focus on the macrolevel of economics first before moving down into analyzing one business. He taught us three different analyses that are meant to illustrate where a business’ risks are. The first one he showed us was a PESTL analysis. PESTL is an acronym that stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, and Legal factors. These factors demonstrate what challenges a business faces within its ecosystem. The next analysis Mike taught us was Porter’s five forces, which includes buyer power, seller power, competition, compliments, and substitutes. Porter’s five forces like a PESTL analysis help us understand the ecosystem of a specific company. Mike’s last form of analysis to assess risk was SWOT analysis. SWOT focuses on factors inside and outside the company. In a SWOT analysis, one looks at the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s product as well as the opportunities and threats the company has as a whole. These three analyses demonstrate how a large portion of marketing is simply about gaining an understanding of the world.

Mike’s lecture helped me gain a better understanding of the real business world. Marketing does not consist of business executives trying to manipulate the masses. It focuses on people’s problems and how to solve them. Marketing relies on both quantitative data and qualitative observation and feedback. I am thankful that a Wabash alumnus dedicated the time necessary to help me understand a crucial part of every business.



1 6 7 8