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Morse ’18 First-Hand Experience in the Tech Industry

Nolan Morse ’18 Handshake – This summer I had the pleasure of working for Handshake – Stryder Corp. as an intern on their Customer Success Team. I worked closely with both the Account Management and Technical Support teams during my 12 week stay with Handshake. If you haven’t heard of Handshake, they’re a very mission-oriented company with the goal of democratizing internship and job opportunities for college students and graduates. Their platform is a job board and a career services tool built into one. This means that the team really has to build and support three products and customer types; employers, students, and career services users. On the Customer Success team, my largest responsibilities were to manage the data collection, validation, and analysis behind the largest data initiative the company has undergone. We collected informatioan from nearly 150 different schools about student engagement across demographics, class year, majors, etc. This allows the company to not only measure success for the schools that join the platform, but also allows Handshake to make sure that it’s effectively succeeding in its mission; democratizing opportunity for all college students. Some of the other projects I worked on involved creating metrics to measure customer success, and helping to develop strategies and tools for some of the company’s largest support scaling initiatives since their creation.

One of the most interesting parts of working at Handshake was the benefit of the company still being very much a startup in terms of company culture. It was wonderful to be able to talk with leaders of different teams on a daily basis, and the company hierarchy felt very flat. While I had a direct supervisor and coordinators as part of the internship program, I was also able to work closely with the founders on a regular basis, and it never felt like I was an intern, I felt like part of the team. I’d like to take a moment to thank the CEO of Handshake, Garrett Lord, for leading such a wonderful team. I’d like to thank the other founders, management, and the rest of the Handshake team for being such helpful, friendly people to work with. I’d also like to thank Alex Amerling, the Wabash alumnus who helped me throughout the internship by providing supervision, support, and a lot of very wonderful insights into the tech industry out in San Francisco. In addition to those at Handshake, I’d also like to thank the Wabash College career center, CIBE, and Roland Morin for helping me with this opportunity, and the the Small Business Internship Fund for continuing to support Wabash Men in their professional endeavors.

 


Page ’18 Builds Market Research Skills in Boulder, CO

Ben Page ’18 HireEducation – First, I would like to start by thanking the Small Business Internship Fund for the opportunity to intern at HireEducation in Boulder, Colorado. Second, I would like to specifically thank Roland Morin, Spencer Peters, and all of my other coworkers who made this summer not only possible but also an amazing experience. HireEducation is a small recruiting firm that specializes in working with education technology companies all across the continental United States. During my time at HireEducation I learned a lot about the day-to-day operations of the company, but I also learned what it was like to work in an office and form new relationships with coworkers. My previous work experience has been primarily in a classroom environment, which doesn’t give you the opportunity to support someone working in his or her actual career. Being able to do work this summer that yielded actual results fairly quickly was very rewarding. Through many different experiences this summer I was able to further develop my networking, data entry, and time management skills.

My primary responsibility at HireEducation was to provide support for the research team. With the way that HireEducation is structured, there are five recruiters that all share the same research team which happens to be just one person and not actually a team. Once a recruiter launches a search with a client, the research team is responsible for finding potential candidates that fit the job description. After the head of research put together a list of candidates, my job was to input them into the company database for recruiters to call through. I did everything from inputting previous work experience to contact information. A lot of what I did involved data entry, but I also spent time working on market research. Education technology is an industry that has been showing tremendous growth over the last five years. During the eight weeks I was working I tracked different market trends as well as several job board pages. This project allowed me to put the skills I have learned as an economics major to the test. In my opinion, however, the most beneficial experience was going to San Antonio for the 2017 ISTE conference.

After being in Colorado for about a month, the other intern, Scottie Ogle, two recruiters, and myself got to go to San Antonio for the biggest education technology conference of the year. The three days we were there were absolutely amazing. The conference itself showcased everything that was new and trendy in the world of technology in the classroom. I was able to explore the expo hall as companies as big as Google and Microsoft were showcasing their new products. Additionally, our company actually hosted a party one evening, and I was given the opportunity to network and sell our company as well as myself. The whole summer was one I will not soon forget, and I am very thankful to everyone that made it possible.


Holland ’19 Gains First-Hand Experience in Customer Service

Nick Holland ’19 The Headshot Truck – First off, I would like to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing me to take part in an internship this summer. I was fortunate enough to be able to intern at The Headshot Truck in Los Angeles, California. My official title was Operations Intern, but as my time with the company progressed, my roles and responsibilities increased beyond that.

My time with The Headshot Truck can really be broken down into two work experiences: learning the sales process, and working LA Pride.

Though I was slated as an Operation Intern, after about a week of work I was able to garner enough trust that they allowed me to learn the sales process and make sales calls. Learning this process was one of the most challenging parts of my internship as I had never been exposed to any kind of process like it in school or otherwise. But my boss was very helpful and took the time to make sure that I understand not only how the process worked, but the methodology behind why they did things the way they did.

His explanation proved to be invaluable as I continued to ponder the sales process and worked side by side with him to further refine and evolve the sales process as to improve numbers. The hardest thing about working for a start-up is that money is usually scarce, which means that we had to be creative in our approach to marketing and sales as to solicit our product most efficiently while also being cost effective. I initially saw the idea of marketing with no funds as a daunting challenge, but as I learned more about the world of working in a small business I began to embrace the risks that come with being financially strapped and it helped me grow into a mindset that there can be no reward without a little bit of risk.

Working at LA Pride was an eye-opening experience in its own right, but the amount of first-hand event management and customer service experience I gained from it was so important also. I worked in tandem with a photographer from our company to create an experience for patrons that saw them get their photos taken and then they could choose which ones they wanted to be sent to them. It sounds like a fairly simple process until you understand that we set up a booth in the middle of thousands of people, meaning the whole process had to run smoothly otherwise we would have a long line of impatient people trying to enjoy their festival experience. It taught me a lot about customer service and event management, but it also gave me a chance to see our product first hand and see the positive impact that it had on people. You wouldn’t believe how many people thanked me just for taking time out of my day to be there and contribute to making their festival experience the best. That was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time in LA.

Once again, I want to thank the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me such a great opportunity to not only travel across the country and live life in a whole new place, but for allowing me to work with such a great company and be a part of a group of driven people who are passionate about building a small business from the ground up.


Roberts ’18 Learns How a Small Business Operates in the Craft Spirits Industry

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.


Ogle ’18 Learns New Marketing Strategies in Technology Education

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.


Von Deylen ’19 Develops Financial Curriculum During Internship

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!


Bennette ’19 “Being Comfortable, Being Uncomfortable.”

SaVonne Bennette ’19 Nantucket Bike Tours – I feel incredibly grateful for being accepted for the Nantucket Bike Tour (NBT) internship.  I have gained small business experience, while developing my character and social skills.  Working on these social skills has put me in the position to be the best person I can possibly be.  Throughout this summer, I learned more than I ever could have expected.  From the first week, Joey Lenkey ’19 and I were able to see how Courtney and Jason Bridges ‘98 are “always on.”  Whether that is smiling to every person you walk by on the street, or introducing yourself to the person who made your sandwich.  They initiate conversations with the purpose of starting new relationships.

Here, I learned that no conversation is insignificant.  Jason and Courtney challenge us to be more open, and “Become comfortable with being uncomfortable.”   That is why we practice introducing ourselves to anybody we come across.  As soon as you learn a persons’ name, a relationship has begun.  Before I came to Nantucket I struggled to show my interest in conversations.  However, now I have seen the value of active listening.  It shows the person you are speaking to that you are engaged, and genuinely interested in what they have to say.

We were fortunate to have Cole Crouch ’17 this summer as one of our mentors.  Cole was a previous intern for NBT in the summer of 2015.  He has been a great resource in helping us grow during this internship.  The daily challenges we experience help us develop our emotional intelligence throughout the summer.  Bright and early, we start the day off by vocalizing our goals with Cole.  Speaking your goals not only improves your motivation but it also holds you accountable.

To give the best tour possible, we are challenged to connect with each person on our tour.  For example, reading the groups body language while also giving a speech allows us to modify the experience for the customer. When we aren’t on a tour, we also spend time in the Handlebar Café, introducing ourselves and building relationships.  Every part of the day is used to making the most of opportunities to engage with people.

Over dinner, which Joey and I have to cook once a week, we discuss our challenges and victories of the day.  We analyze each other’s challenges, and are not only asked to take constructive criticism, but to give feedback to help us all grow in the future.  Giving and receiving feedback on a day-to-day basis will allow me to improve and work well with others.

This internship has taken away many boundaries for me.  I am now comfortable enough to go to China after I graduate.  This internship has taught me to not fear what I don’t know, but to be open to new experiences. My career goal is international business, so diving head first into their culture would be the best way to become as familiar as possible with the language and people.

My internship experience is made possible because of Small Business Internship Fund. I am thankful that Wabash College offers opportunities like this because it provides hands-on small business experience.  Moreover, I am thankful for career services for all the help and support that they provide Wabash students.  This has been a life changing experience that would not have happened otherwise.


Lenkey ’19 “The Power of the People”

Joseph Lenkey ’19 Nantucket Bike Tours – Other than your parents, have you ever had people devote their time towards your personal growth? Here at Nantucket Bike Tours, I have three people passionate about my development. Jason ‘98 & Courtney Bridges as well as Cole Crouch ‘17 have been far more than my boss in this small business internship. They are mentors, role models, life coaches, roommates, emotional intelligence gurus, and family. Not only are they investing so much time in us interns, SaVonne Bennette ‘19 and I, but they also own two businesses and spend most of their free time helping their community. For them to give up so much of their time for me is incredible in itself, and for that I am truly grateful to have them in my lives.

This internship is not your typical one working 9-5 Monday-Friday; instead, we lead bike tours 7 days a week (rain or shine) for about 5 hours a day. Living on a beautiful island, I thought I would have all this extra time to relax on the beach, fish, and boat. Reality quickly set in here when I realized this is not a vacation internship, but a 10-week emotional intelligence boot-camp in which I devote a whole summer for personal growth. From the moment we get up in the morning (5:30am) to the moment we go to bed at night (9:30), our focus and goals are for self-improvement and how it will help us succeed in and out of the work place. A normal day looks like this: discussing a chapter in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, analyzing what our body language says on the days’ bike tour, refining our speaking skills in Toastmasters, learning how to actively listen and ask questions in conversations with strangers at a coffee shop, and debriefing the days victories and challenges at dinner. Every day I continue to develop emotional intelligence ‘superpowers.’ Powers that expand my social awareness and open my eyes to how I see myself interact with others.

One of the most rewarding things I have learned from this experience, is the power of people. We truly live in a “people economy” as Jason says and there is so much to learn and grow when you are interested in others. All the people I have met on Nantucket have incredible stories to share and experiences I can always learn from and apply to my life. An island 30 miles out to sea might seem lonely or isolated, but with this internship I have never before been closer to people. Similarly to Wabash, Nantucket is a very close knit community where you see similar faces every day. Instead of exchanging nods or a quick ‘hello’, this internship has shown me how rewarding it is to introduce myself, learn their name, and build a relationship with that person. I became more connected to this community and will use this lesson to only enhance my last two years at Wabash with fellow students and faculty.

I would like to thank Wabash College and especially the Small Business Internship Fund for giving me this opportunity to explore a different community and gain real work experience with small business. Also, I would like to thank Jason & Courtney Bridges for taking me into their home, work, and lives for my personal growth.

 


Lange ’19 Humbled by Legal Aid Society Experience

Erich Lange ’19 Louisville Legal Aid Society – The mission of Wabash College is to “educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely.” While the first three parts can be learned in the classroom, I would argue that one must learn the fourth component outside of tranquil campus life. If nothing else, my summer internship at the Louisville Legal Aid Society taught me what it means to live humanely.

Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm, offering free civil legal assistance to the indigent population of Louisville, KY and the surrounding 14 counties. To qualify for Legal Aid services, a client must be at least 125 percent below the federal poverty line. Sadly, there is a great demand for Legal Aid services; for every one client Legal Aid serves, they must turn one away due to insufficient funding. Whether I was writing grants to secure funding, composing press releases and publications, drafting company policies, assisting attorneys at free legal clinics, or attending court, my serving Legal Aid’s clients, either directly or indirectly, has been the most humbling experience of my life. I discovered that living humanely not only means performing random acts of kindness and being a good person, but going the extra mile to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate “living humanely” is to share a real example from my experience. “Jennie” came to Legal Aid seeking a divorce. Her husband had walked out on her and moved out of state. Because he had abused her, she wanted was to be completely free of him and get on with her life. At this particular divorce clinic, I filled out the Divorce Decree forms for the Judge to sign if he or she granted the divorce. “Jennie” is now in the later stages of her divorce, and should soon be able to move on with her life. It did not seem like much to me at the time, but by that small act of filling out a form “Jennie” needed for her divorce, I helped her begin a new chapter in her life.

Although I may not be an attorney or even a college graduate for that manner, this experience with “Jennie” and the countless others like it have taught me what it means to live humanely. Thanks to the generous support of the SBIF and Legal Aid Society, I was afforded the opportunity to learn a lesson more important than any test I will ever take in my four years at Wabash; I learned and became a better man, and for that I am forever grateful.


Esparza ’19 Confident in New Set of Skills for Future Aspirations

Lucas Esparza ’19 Commodity Transportation Services –First and foremost, I would like to thank Wabash College and the SBIF for giving me the opportunity to work and grow as a professional this summer at Commodity Transportation Services (CTS). I would also like to thank my boss, Erik Ness ‘94, for giving me the opportunity to prove myself as a Wabash man and show him I can handle this line of work. It has been a great pleasure to work as a freight broker intern for CTS. I was able to extern with the company over winter break assisting them with marketing. After my externship, I was somewhat familiar with the business, but during my time this summer I have become far more knowledgeable about the company and logistics as a whole.

At CTS, a freight broker’s day starts early in the morning due to different time zones; the job can sometimes run late into the night depending on the situation. The whole objective is to find a truck that can move a product from point A to point B, in theory, it sounds very simple, but it can get a lot more complicated than it seems. In logistics timing is everything, so you have to keep direct communication with drivers to coordinate their pick up and drop off areas, along with any other problems that may occur on the road. This responsibility has helped improve my communication skills tremendously, along with my ability to problem solve. This business has a lot of variables, requiring a lot of critical thinking at a fast pace. The rigor of Wabash has prepared me to think quickly and efficiently so I may solve problems accordingly. Interning at CTS has taught me a lot about communication, negotiation, and problem solving, most importantly how to work effectively under stressful circumstances. This experience has not only helped me grow professionally, but it has also helped me grow personally. Freight brokering has enhanced my confidence to handle different situations that will arise throughout life. I feel all of these skills will help me in the future whether it is in logistics or any other career path.

One of the most rewarding parts of the internship is the ability to learn logistics and overall business from outstanding Wabash Alumni. Working along and learning from great men like Erik Ness ‘94, Adalid Cruz ‘14, Alex Cisneros ‘14, and Tyler McCullen ‘15 has made this experience that much better. These men have played a huge part in having a successful internship at CTS, and I cannot thank them enough. It is internships like this that not only help students gain experience, which will assist them in their professional endeavors, but also builds that strong connection to Wabash which adds to our great alumni network. I look forward to giving back in the same manner as these Wabash men, as well as the generous alumni who have helped make it all possible through the SBIF.



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