William Yank ’19 LABB 2016- Over the course of the Liberal Arts Bridge to Business internship we focused on a consulting project with Wabash College that has supplemented me with the ability to test all of the skills we have learned thus far. An exciting learning opportunity arose as the project progressed. We as LABB interns learned the importance of a confidentiality agreement and what goes into such an agreement. The most valuable experience out of the consulting project, I found, was the teamwork aspect. After seven weeks of working on numerous business plans, negotiation teams, and business pitches together we all grew to know each other very well. Once, we were able to identify our strengths and weaknesses it made delegating the respective tasks to the consulting project that much easier. On top of that, it allowed us to work in areas we enjoyed and interacted with teammates who thought similarly to ourselves. I found that our consulting project provided an in-depth, real life example that forced the utilization of the various skills we have picked up since starting LABB. Another aspect of the project that I found beneficial was the collaboration with an actual institution. Communication between Wabash College and LABB interns proved to be crucial. Budgeting information, the project’s goals, the focus of the project, were all debriefed to us and facilitated a more conducive environment to come to a solution. Overall, the consulting project is not only a real-life application of the skills I discussed but a story I will be able to utilize in the future. Being a part of an assignment that directly impacts my school made the situation all the more real. Lastly, I want to thank the Lilly Endowment for supplementing me with this opportunity because the knowledge and experiences I have gained through this internship will be immensely beneficial as I pursue future internships and career paths.
Stojan Krsteski ’18 LABB 2016-First, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment, the CIBE, and Wabash College for making this opportunity possible. The LABB Program has been extremely helpful so far. I have enhanced my knowledge immensely through the readings and the activities we have done each day. I have also learned about what goes into starting up and operating a business, and what it takes to keep it going.
Week 3 has been a great learning experience. The main focus was learning about marketing. By looking at a business from a financial standpoint, marketing is one of the most important things that a business should focus on. It was impressing to learn that businesses allocate most of their money on marketing. Without marketing, would the consumer know about the product that is being sold by the business? As the days passed by during week 3, this became a rhetorical question.
We have also learned that marketing isn’t all about commercials and radio ads. There is a lot more that goes into it. Before a business would sell their product, they need to identify what goes into the marketing mix: the product or service, the place where this product would be set, promotions such as offers and discounts, and price of the product. Identifying the 4 P’s would maximize the business’ profits because they would be targeting specific markets. Therefore, a business needs to be very careful with how they promote their product to the public.
In addition to that, Dr. Sara Drury gave us a talk on how not to be “that guy”. She stressed how important it is to be always cautious of how we present ourselves to others, and also how important it is to always market our best selves in the workplace. Especially now with social media, it is really easy for employers to form ideas on how a potential employee might be just by looking up their name on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Satchel Burton ’18 LABB 2016-Writing the business plan was a very interesting yet slightly challenging experience. Before this program, I didn’t even know this kind of document existed, let alone written one before. My business partners and I basically had to create a description of our business venture and all of its unique facets. For example, there was a Financials aspect to it as well as a marketing, risk management, and industrial analysis. As you can imagine, there was quite a large amount of work for us to do. The first step we took as a team was to divide up the work so that we could each focus on specific parts and create quality pieces. I was in charge of the Industry Analysis, Competition Analysis, and the Executive Summary.
For the industrial analysis I just took a look at the market in which our company would be competing in, which was the coffee creamer market, and I described its current and future state. Next, I looked at all of our competition and mainly focused on how we could gain an advantage over these other firms. Finally, the executive summary was just a quick summary about what our business venture was and what it entailed. When we all finished our own respected parts we then put them together as a team. This required some editing and conversing so that we were all on the same page. For the finishing touches, we added graphs, important images, and a nice laminated covering so that it presented nice to the investors.
After we completed the business plan, I realized how important it is when really starting a business. There are a few main jobs that the plan does. One, it gives your business organization. It really covers all the areas that need to be addressed and the plan itself forces you to consider every different component and how it all comes together. Second, the business plan is one of the first things investors see when they look at your business. So it is important to have it clear, concise, and filled with useful content that would convince the investor why he or she should put their money into your business. Third, the business plan keeps you accountable. There are tons to work on when starting a business. The plan forces you to make sure you have all your components down and that you are knowledge about every corner of your venture.
All in all, writing the business plan was a great experience and it helped me and my group really understand what our business did, how it would do it, and when it do it. It made our ideas into concrete plans in which we could execute. Thank you very much to the Lilly Endowment for giving me such a great opportunity, I am truly grateful for this program.
Kyle McAtee ’19 LABB 2016-Week five in the LABB program was a success, full of business pitches and field trips. The mini business pitches took place on Monday and Thursday, while the most fulfilling events occurred on Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday my colleagues and I went to The Engledow Group in Carmel, IN and Friday took us to Triton Brewery in the Lawrence area of Indianapolis. I really felt the Wabash connection with those business owners, but I also learned some things as well. The thing I mostly got out of this week was the realization that the Wabash Liberal Arts degree prepares you for anything, and with that, I’ve really gained confidence in the ability that Wabash has to help me reach my business potential.
John “Jack” Leppert ’19 LABB 2016-Throughout the duration of the LABB program, students have been exposed to aspects of the college that we may not be taking advantage of. During week six, all 21 interns visited Dr. Porter, professor of chemistry, in the 3D printing lab. You might be thinking, what does chemistry have to do with 3D printing? The answer: absolutely everything. Not only was Dr. Porter able to explain the applications of 3D printing, he was also an expert in the science behind it.
Dr. Porter encouraged us to think of 3D printers as very precise hot glue guns. These extremely advanced “hot glue guns” could print plastic, metals, and even glass. Using 3D imaging, the printer builds the figure one layer at a time, allowing it to be printed with an extreme amount of precision. However, where the user gains precision, he or she sacrifices time. One of the few drawbacks of 3D printing is the long period of time it requires to complete each project. Dr. Porter explained that one small plastic figure could take an entire day to complete.
Applications of 3D printing are growing rapidly. In our very own 3D printing lab, Wabash students have printed Wabash memorabilia, key chains, toys, and even a prosthetic hand. The college prints the prosthetic hands for $25 dollars and donates them. This saves patients thousands of dollars that they would have otherwise had to spend on their own. At only $3,400, most of the students found the cost of each individual printer surprisingly cheap. After all, it does feel rather futuristic.
Finally, Dr. Porter encouraged us to think of the possible applications of 3D printing in our personal lives. 3D printing is an evolving technology and so are its applications. One day we may be able to buy a 3D file of a device and have it printed in our own home instead of buying the device itself. This could revolutionize the way that consumers buy their favorite things. As future innovators, learning about this technology was certainly interesting and could possibly benefit us in our future business endeavors.
Preston Hadley ’18 LABB 2016-The LABB Program is my first internship that I am doing through Wabash. I am extremely excited to start this program and learn all that I can about businesses. This internship gives me an opportunity to learn how to be successful in the business world without having to take any business classes in school. Instead I can take a seven-week internship funded by the Lilly Endowment where I learn how to properly run a business, present a business idea to investors, and how to consult with a business on ways for them to improve their business. Along with that I can also network with many successful businessmen from the Wabash Community and learn what they did that helped them become so successful. The last part of this program that I am thrilled about is that I will get to improve my skills in public speaking. One fear that I have always had is public speaking. Through this program I will be doing several presentations in which I must get up in front of an audience and present my case. This will help me overcome my fear and also teach me how to properly speak in a business setting. This will assist me tremendously in the future as I enter the business world and work to become a successful analyst. The skills I will learn from this program are perfect to help me become an analyst because I will be able to see every aspect of the business and learn how to properly consult a business so that I can see how a business is doing and help them figure out what exactly they need to do to ensure that their business is profitable. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for giving my classmates and I the opportunity to do this internship and become more proficient in business.
Ja’Von Langley ’19 LABB 2016-In the first three weeks of the LABB Program, I have learned an extensive amount of information that will help my future in the business world. I have met with alumni, who have done some tremendous things in their lives and tell some tremendous stories. One in particular was Jeremy Cage, class of 1986, he talked to people in a colloquium over Big Bash Weekend about “Releasing their Full Potential” and his experience sailing across the world. He and many other alumni have taught me to work hard, dream big, and be humble – that will you get a long way.
I’d say Week Three was a big week for the LABB program because all twenty-one of us were working so hard on our restaurant business plans to present to possible investors on Tuesday. My group, which consisted of four people including myself, were trying to create a deli. Our goal was to be one of the top delis in Indiana by providing unique foods and a speedy food pick-up service, but to do that we needed some investors on board to help us get our project going. Our hard work paid off, as our group got first place with the most amount of money from investors. It was a huge achievement for the group and we’re so proud of our hard work.
Along with the pitches, we started learning about marketing; strategic marketing vs. tactical marketing and the importance of it. We have had many hands-on activities where we could practice our marketing strategies and entrepreneur skills. Through these activities, I have built strong relationships with co-workers that will last forever. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding the program. I would also like to thank Wabash College and the CIBE program for giving me this opportunity. This internship truly means a lot to me, and I have learned so much. It has truly opened my eyes to the real-world work that goes into a business and has only motivated me to be the best in whatever career path I choose in life.
Nolan Morse ’18 LABB 2016-During the second week of the LABB Internship we worked on refining a mock business pitch for a restaurant. I’d like to take a bit of time explaining some of the intricacies and work that goes into creating a professional and polished business pitch.
The most striking thing is that a business pitch is going to be a lot more fleshed out and detailed than you might think. It’s not just a quick idea that you take to investors and offer up without any sort of guidance or direction for how you want to move forward. The idea is that you want to create an experience to share with investors, one that shows them exactly how your business will be run and in the case of a restaurant, how it will feel for a customer who goes there to eat.
For our restaurant business pitch my team of coworkers and I were assigned to create the business pitch for a Pub. We decided to go with an Irish style Pub, where customers come and sit down for hours at a time, making small talk, drinking, eating, and having a good time. We also decided to give the style a twist by replacing the typical European styled foods with Asian cuisines. The idea we had meant that we would be the only Pub in the area with our specific theme. People could come to our pub with friends or family and experience high quality asian foods in a warm, interesting, environment. They could drink Sake, craft brews, and wines, or even bring their families to hang out for the afternoon, since the dining section is open to people of all age groups.
But a business pitch isn’t just themes and generalized strategies. It’s also about projecting your own potential for profitability. No investor is going to invest in a venture with no possible chance for profit. This is where financial skills become a necessity. We were able to combine industry standards for start-up costs, with local income, dining habits, and a few other factors, to create an in-depth narrative of how our business is likely to perform, including a projected balance sheet and cashflow statement.
All in all, even though the Lilly LABB program is far from over, I’m already seeing a lot of personal growth in my skills relating to the business world. This mock business pitch has helped me understand what really goes into opening your own business, as well as how expensive it is to open one. The program has really emphasized the importance of investments for small businesses. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for their continued support for this program, which allows Wabash students to enhance their skills and knowledge of business.
Mitchell Krum ’19 LABB 2016-Choosing just one event to talk about in my blog is very difficult given the vast amount of things that we learned throughout the first week of the LABB Program. In the first week we learned about what qualities a good leader possesses and the various strategies leaders use to motivate their employees. We learned the good and bad aspects about each of these strategies, and when each should be used in a workplace setting. The following day, we all took the strengths quest test to determine our top five strongest qualities. Ms. Hagan came in and taught us how to interpret our test results and teach us how to properly talk about ourselves in a polite and concise manner. We practiced this by all giving an elevator pitch about ourselves, a concise summary of who we are and what we do that can be stated in the time it takes to ride an elevator. I’m confident that the exercises we did will prove extremely useful in future networking and interview situations. While all of these exercises and experiences are equally important and will most likely prove very beneficial in the future, I am going to talk about the financial boot camp that we did in the second half of the week.
Starting on Wednesday, Ms. Valerie Griffin began taking us through her financial boot camp, which would go through the end of the week. Throughout the boot camp we read multiple case studies and were exposed to the language of business. Being someone who has very little background in this, learning some of the commonly used business terms helped me understand the case studies much easier. We were also exposed to income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Ms. Griffin taught us everything we needed to know about each so that we could make an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement on our own in Excel. We did multiple presentations pitching a particular business of our choice to investors. My group pitched the company Dollar Tree. The exercise generally improved my public speaking skills, but also taught me what to look for when investing in a company and how to effectively present myself in a business setting and to investors. The entire financial boot camp was an extremely useful experience. It taught me more about finances in three days than what I had learned in the rest of my previous education.
I would like to thank Ms. Griffin for taking time out of her busy schedule to come to Wabash for those three days to teach us about finances. I would also like to thank Mr. Morin for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of such an important and useful program. Furthermore, I would like to thank Wabash College for providing the opportunity, and most importantly would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding such a great program. Without the endowment, none of this would be possible.
Logan White ’19 LABB 2016-As a freshman at Wabash it did not take me long to realize that this institution was going to provide me with opportunities beyond imagination. This is possible because of many different people and organizations associated with the college. To start I would like to thank the Lilly endowment for making this internship possible. They are very gracious and I do not want them to think even for a second that we at Wabash do not appreciate them. They are giving us opportunities that we never thought would be possible. In return we plan to continue to make Indiana thrive as a state. Second, I would like to thank Roland Morin. Roland is both the instructor of the LABB (Liberal Arts Bridges to Business) Internship and the director of the CIBE (Center for Innovations, Business, and Entrepreneurship).
The first week we hit it hard. We gave three presentations in one week. While three presentations is not too rigorous, you have to think about other factors. Along with the presentations we had a financial bootcamp. Income statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statement, and eight Harvard Business School Case studies. All in week one.
The financial boot camp was headed by Valerie Griffin. She was an extremely competent instructor receiving her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. She provided us with knowledge and tools for understanding and utilizing different financial records. These skills will be used throughout the rest of all of our lives. I am very grateful for these teaching because I now further understand what it takes to successfully analyze financial records for future business ventures, investments, and other financial decisions. This boot camp was just another stepping stone towards my goal of being a successful entrepreneur.
With one week in the books, I am excited for what is to come. With all of the knowledge I have already acquired, I know that this internship will continue to propel me toward my future goal of being a successful entrepreneur.