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Doster ’20 Makes Empathy His Example

Owen Doster ’20 – Like many of the employees of the Health Department in Montgomery County, I do multiple things. For the most part, my classmates Matt Hodges ’19 and Hunter Jones ’20 are here for very specific opportunities, but I am getting more of the all-encompassing experience. Primarily, I work as a member of the Surveillance of Water and Airborne Transmitters, or SWAT team, for the health department. We are the vector control experts. That means we trap, determine the species, and send the mosquitos off to the state health department to check for carriers of West Nile virus.

Sam Marksberry and Owen Doster

Sam Marksberry ’21, left, and Owen Doster ’20

I have also experienced almost every other facet of the department: home inspections, restaurant inspections, septic inspections, county meetings, nursing procedures, and vital records. It is incredible to see how people whose families have been ravaged by drug abuse, prison time, health issues, or just overall family troubles can bounce back and continue to try and live. These powerful moments really make me stop and think about not only the people but the circumstances revolving around how they got to this point of intervention. This summer has been humbling and a true test of how I think about people and the hardships they face.

To me, the ability to be serious, professional, yet empathetic is essential to being a great physician, a medical professional, or just human. This summer has been a constant test to my empathy. I came from an upper-middle class family where I’ve never had to worry where my next meal was coming from, if I was able to shower or brush my teeth safely, or any other circumstance revolving around safe living. I don’t know what that feels like and don’t profess to. However, this is where my empathy comes in. I have challenged myself to try and understand and think more deeply about those situations involving the people we are helping and working with. I may never see that person ever again, but how will they remember our interaction? And if we do ever cross paths again, how will they remember how I treated them last time? I have two choices. I can be selfish and lack the ability to take the time out of my day to care and understand where they are coming from. Or, my second choice is to act like the human we are created as and show care, empathy, and love. Without that approach we will continue down a path of selfishness without ever making a positive difference in the community or potential the world around us.


Jones ’20 Learned the Importance of Versatility in Healthcare

Hunter Jones ’20 – I was hired by the Montgomery County Health Department through a grant specifically to create materials aimed at helping those who had recently experienced an overdose due to opioids. In this capacity, I began by creating an updated list of substance abuse treatment centers and resources in the area. However, in doing this, I was shocked to find how disorganized and incomplete current local and national resources were. This led me down the path of creating a new website for Montgomery County to create a centralized and inclusive resource for substance abuse treatment, prevention, and information in our community. I am currently working with the health department to submit a grant to fund this website and thrilled when thinking about how much potential this resource has.

Owen Doster, Hunter Jones, Sam Marksberry, and Matt Hodges

Owen Doster, Hunter Jones, Sam Marksberry, and Matt Hodges at the local health department.

I attribute a lot of my success in my role at the health department to my time spent in a liberal arts environment because it has taught me to not only identify a problem but also take the steps needed to establish a solution. Wabash has equipped me with the tools to view a problem through a critical lens and walk my way around a problem in order to create a well-rounded response. My liberal arts education has also been critical when observing discussions from different community members and other organizational efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. As with all issues of this magnitude, there will always be differing opinions on what the best answer is. The most important tool Wabash has given me regarding these discussions and plans is the ability to take a step back and see a problem through a bigger lens than my own experiences to help establish a versatile solution.


Marksberry ’21 is Focused on Understanding Others

Samuel Marksberry ’21 – As an intern at the Montgomery County Health Department, my main role has been with the vector program. That includes doing mosquito surveillance around the county by collecting, typing, and sending mosquitoes to the state health department in order to be tested for West Nile virus. I’ve also worked with the education side of public health by writing articles about food safety and nutrition for the local newspaper and designing activities for kids at the local health fair. The other piece of my role at the health department is learning the structure and responsibility of how the department influences positive health in the community. I have also participated in food, pool, house, and septic inspections.

Sam Marksberry and Owen Doster

Sam Marksberry ’21, left, and Owen Doster ’20

My most powerful experiences have been when I tagged along on some of the house inspections. I have observed poor air quality, human and animal feces, stuff piled to the ceiling, or dirt everywhere in a home. These conditions are factors that play into deeming a house unfit for human habitation because they all have a negative impact on health. Through my liberal arts education, I am able to piece together the many components that play into an individual’s health. Rather than just assume some people are, for lack of a better word, dirty, health is more than what can be seen on a house inspection. In my Global Health class with Dr. Eric Wetzel, we discussed that many factors such as education, socioeconomic status, family, and experiences are what make up someone’s health. I have learned that to truly help someone, it is important to practice empathy and understand where an individual is coming from. Helping someone can be tricky at times because it can be difficult to figure out what would be most beneficial to them, but listening and caring make improving someone’s situation less difficult. My experience at the health department combined with my education at Wabash has given me another lens to view the world, a lens that is focused on understanding others.


Zaman ’20 Talks About His Unique Online Internship

Ifrat Zaman ’20 The Coaching Toolbox LLC – This summer, I virtually interned with The Coaching Toolbox LLC. The Coaching Toolbox LLC is a company that provides the highest quality resources for high school and college coaches to improve their programs. This troubled me at first because I was not a sports-person, but upon starting my internship, I quickly learned that my work was solely based on digital marketing, something that I was familiar with as I was a participant of the Marketing Immersion Program. From the very first day, I was working alongside the founder and president of the company, who is a Wabash graduate. I learned various technical skills necessary to operate websites. These were online tools that analyzed the traffic of the website, tools to create web pages, and SEO tools to optimize the website’s incoming traffic. The best part of my internship was that I was given ample opportunities to apply my newfound knowledge of these tools by applying them to existing websites. By the end of the first week, I was working on increasing the traffic to the website, which increased by over 300% by the end of my internship. I also worked on optimizing the website using SEO tools and created user-friendly sales pages for the company’s e-commerce site. Besides working on improving the company, I also participated in the daily operations, like scheduling emails, social media posts, push notifications, etc. Besides the technical skills, I also learned to manage my time efficiently because I had to meet deadlines for the daily operations, while also working on longer projects like creating a sales page. This taught me how to prioritize when working on several tasks at the same time. I also had to learn to multitask, and I usually found myself working on two tasks side by side. I believe these were my greatest takeaway from the internship as I would be using these abilities in various stages of my life. The internship was a great experience. Working alongside the President and DirectorofSalesof the company allowed me to get a glimpse of the several aspects that mold together to operate an “online” business. The work was divided among the three of us and we even bounced off ideas to improve the company. I definitely felt that my ideas were heard and executed. Overall, it was an amazing exposure to the vast world of digital marketing. Thank you very much to Mr. Brian Williams (president), Mr. Kevin Roy (Director of Sales), Mr. Roland Morin, Ms. Julia Perry, and Ms. Cassie Haganfor providing me with this opportunity. Check out The Coaching Toolbox website here:https://coachingtoolbox.net


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.


Stachowski ’19 Given the Opportunity to Build Business Skills

Ben Stachowski ’19 LABB Intern – When I first heard about the LABB Program I felt that it was not for me. I am studying History and Biology and felt that business did not apply to me. After talking to a handful of people about the program, they told me that I should give it a shot. I was told that even though I was not studying business, this internship would give me a look into different aspects of business and would be helpful in my future career. My peers could not have been more right. After only the third week of the LABB program, I already believe that my finance, marketing, and presentation skills have improved immensely.

Week 3 was mainly focused on marketing. On Monday, Mike Simmons from Eli Lilly and Co. came in and shared knowledge he had with us about marketing. He taught us about SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) and how this analysis helps companies and how they use it to brand themselves and find their competitive advantage. We also learned about the 4 P’s of marketing or marketing mix, which are product, place, price, and promotion. All of these are essential to creating an intellectual marketing strategy. We also did an exercise with Mr. Simmons that discussed the different markets and customers that Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, and Speedway target. We closed the day by speaking about the different ways we can distinguish ourselves from others. He told us that if you are looking for a job in marketing that problem solving, data analysis and curiosity are the keys to being successful.

The rest of the week, Mr. Morin talked with us about the “down and dirty” of marketing. One of the biggest points of the week was that there are two types of marketing: strategical and tactical. Many people know about tactical marketing, which is applying the marketing mix with advertisements, sponsorships, social media, etc. Strategic marketing is just as important. It helps with long-term decisions and involves determining prices and forecasts to plan research. We also looked at a handful of business cases throughout the week. One that stood out was the case about Walt Disney. We talked about their marketing and how the Mickey Mouse logo is universal and will never get old. This is one of the reasons the Disney brand is so recognizable and popular.

Overall, week 3 has been a great learning experience. I would like to thank Mike Simmons for coming in and discussing his marketing experiences and knowledge with us. I would also like to thank the Lilly Endowment and Roland Morin for giving me this great opportunity. I am excited for the next 4 weeks of learning and very confident that this program will help me in my future endeavors.


Brenden King ’16 IURTC

The eight weeks spent as an intern at the Indiana University, and Research and Technology Corporation has been essential to my education as a student and my general knowledge of business development. Over the course of the internship, I was able to work as a part of the team that makes up a section of the IURTC known as Spin Up. Working directly with the head of Spin Up, Joe Trebly, we worked to build startup companies around inventions developed at Indiana University. Over the course of the experience, I learned about the commercialization process, venture capital, marketing, and intellectual property.

My primary project was to write a business plan for Grace Corporation, one of Spin Up’s startup companies. Grace Co. is a geriatric health care provider that aims to reduce hospital readmissions through their Grace Co. team model. Since their conception, Grace Co. has enjoyed great success and is being to be implement not only at IU Health but multiple hospitals in both Indiana and nationwide. One of the barriers that I had to overcome while writing the business plan for Grace, and in general the entire summer, was adapting to the different industries that Spin Up works with and being comfortable not having a significant background in that field. It was in this barrier when I began to appreciate truly my Liberal Arts education at Wabash.

Another project that I worked on was getting everything for the Innovation Showcase. A showcase is an entrepreneurial event in Indianapolis where roughly 75 companies pitch to prospective investors. Spin Up sent five companies to the event. One of which, Anagin, a company that is working towards growing inner ear cells placed in the top 5 companies. My job was to update all of their propaganda, specifically their executive summaries. The project gave some experience in both marketing and project management.

Aside from the two project I spent a great deal of time meeting with venture capital groups and CEOs of Spin Up companies. Watching Joe and the founders of the companies working with big VCs like SV Life Sciences provided me with hands-on experience that I would not have gained in the classroom. We are truly fortunate for the opportunities that both Wabash and the Lilly Endowment provide to Indiana.


Brent Tomb ’16 Learning the Ropes at FairWinds

IMG_1598_1Summer was especially busy at FairWinds Advisors, and as the first intern from Wabash, I felt the need to make a big impact.

FairWinds is a company that can provide companies with site selection services, incentive negotiation, and the required compliance. They take a very personalized approach with each client, which sets them apart. When I started my internship, Economic Development was a relatively new concept to me. I understood what I thought it meant and what I thought I might be doing, but I quickly received a crash course on exactly what FairWinds can provide a client from Jenny Massey, the co-owner, COO and President.

One of the first things I learned was that the life of a consultant can be difficult at times. When acting as the middleman, you are the one who is held accountable for problems that arise, regardless if they are your fault or not. This means that being ahead of the ball is extremely important so that everyone is happy. Because FairWinds has had such a busy year, I was able to help put a fresh spin on some documents that were used to keep the steps in the process in order.

Jenny took me with her to all of her meetings so that I could see how a project works at every stage. This meant that I was included in meetings with potential clients and meetings with current clients that were near the end of their project. It was eye opening to see not only the different types of meetings but the huge range of companies that FairWinds can assist. Some companies is start-ups with no employees while others are huge companies that are expanding with a new location or in a new state. Each company comes with completely different needs and problems. For those reasons, it was very important to be well prepared with knowledge about all possible incentives. I was able to learn a lot from listening to these meetings, often learning along with the clients.

I was also involved in helping with a few projects that Jenny and her partner, Jay, are undertaking to better the company. One of those is a new website. I had the opportunity to sit in on a creative session and have been able to help with some creative ideas for the new site that is being built. It has been a fun challenge to help create a product that is engaging and informative without being overwhelming, especially considering I had no experience with web design.

Overall, my experience at FairWinds has been extremely educational and valuable. I was able to learn about real world business by working with the large variety of clients. Being a part of the FairWinds’ team provided an in-depth understanding of some of the advantages and challenges that small businesses face. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making this internship possible, FairWinds Advisors for the opportunity and Wabash College for organizing the experience.


Tyler Munjas ’16 Engaging South Bend

IMG_0077Throughout the course of this summer I’ve had the opportunity to intern with Trek10, a startup whose main facet involves consulting with companies who use Amazon Web Services (AWS); a cloud computing service that allows for massive data storage, real-time data analytics, app and website building, and a multitude of other features. When I first accepted this position, I was hesitant about two things. The first being that I had no experience with AWS, let alone any other cloud computing software. The pre-job training was intense, and a lot of new terminology and concepts were thrown my way. However, I was lucky enough to be working with some of the best and brightest in the field, as well as two of my good friends and fraternity brothers, Sam and Ashton, who were eager to make sure I knew what I was doing.

The second point of hesitation was that in 2011 South Bend was cited by Newsweek as one of the top 10 dying cities in the U.S. Why would I want to spend my summer somewhere like that? Well, this source of uncertainty is actually what enthralled me in my decision to take the position. I spoke with Roland Morin ’91 as he explained the revitalization efforts that companies like Trek10, Union Station, and Enfocus, just to name a few, were attempting to help South Bend.
During my first week, I noticed many things that might indicate a “dying” city; poor roads, abandoned buildings (one of which being the old Studebaker factory, whose economic aftermath after closing some 40 years ago is still felt to this day), and a homeless population. However, I also experienced first-hand these immense revitalization efforts which simply hearing about does no justice. Union Station, a former train station turned data hub and professional office building where Trek10 is located, has plans in the immediate future to renovate 800,000 square feet of the abandoned Studebaker factory in order to move its business there. Included in the new Union Station are classrooms, a workout facility, an auditorium, and a ton of new space for more tech-heavy companies, like Trek10, to call home. The hope behind moving to a larger facility is to attract ultimately, businesses with well-educated employees and higher paying jobs to kick-start the economy.
Also, South Bend initiated something that I had not experienced during past internships in different cities/counties; an intern “connect” program. With upwards of 80 interns in the South Bend/St. Joseph County area (of which about 10 were Wabash men), the County hosted and helped organize numerous events for us. We went to a Cubs game, a country concert, white water rafting, helped at a local food bank, and participated in networking events as part of the Young Professionals Network. Additionally, the program brought in a weekly speaker which included Trek10’s CEO and founder, Andy Warzon, as well as the well-received Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg. This may have been one of my favorite events the program put on, as we heard talks and engaged in discussions about personal branding, methods for assessing businesses, how to go about bootstrapping your own business, and the countless initiatives, efforts, and programs that the city is tackling in order to bring life back to South Bend. Having such a well-rounded program that kept me engaged outside of work hours helped me truly see South Bend for what it is. I no longer see it as a dying city, as that implies South Bend is headed in a direction worse than its current state. Rather, I view South Bend as a growing city, easily observed through its efforts and successes in bringing and retaining talent from schools such as Notre Dame, Yale, and of course, Wabash. Additionally, there’s an atmosphere of optimism as its citizens all rally around and support their Mayor, placing their trust in a local government who’s already proven its capability in helping South Bend. I’ve never experienced such a high overall level of confidence from a community. Just about every person I talked to felt hopeful for the future of South Bend, given its recently bleak past. And to me, having the entire community believe in the future of the city is the most crucial aspect of growth.
In closing, I’d like to thank the Eli Lilly Endowment for funding opportunities as beneficial as the one I experienced this summer. Not only did I gain knowledge of cloud computing software and an insight into the hi-tech world unavailable in the classroom, but I was also able to be part of something bigger than myself. It felt incredible to know that by taking part in these intern connect events I was making a difference in South Bend. Though I’m not from the area, I plan on returning and continuously checking up on its progress as I feel like the part of the community after my eight weeks there. If the goal of the Endowment is to invest in Indiana, it’s doing a fantastic job by sending interns to places like South Bend and other Indiana communities where Wabash men can make a difference.


Chris Stazinski ’16 Co-Working & Entrepreneurship in South Bend

 

StazinskiBefore we get started, I want to thank the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for providing funding my internship experience this summer and for many other Wabash men. Without that funding, such an opportunity would be lost for many of us. Talking to students from other colleges I have realized how lucky we are to have an organization like that on our side.
My experience at Union Station Technology Center (USTC) in South Bend this summer was nothing short of unique. USTC is the largest data center in Indiana and a top 40 carrier hotel in the nation, and the primary model of Infrastructure as a Service allows the company to provide storage and high-speed connectivity for businesses ranging in size from small and local to large and national. The goal this summer for myself and my coworker, Kevin Yan ’15, and was to design a co-working studio – the Depot – within the Union Station building, and then market and recruit people to work inside of it. The Depot is to be a hub of collaboration and mutual development among freelancers, independent consultants, and entrepreneurs.
In doing research on other successful co-working studios, we were lucky enough to be welcomed into MatchBOX in Lafayette and Launch Fishers in Fishers. It was a great opportunity to network with others with a similar goal and ask questions about how they became successful. In developing the Depot, we had to utilize our liberal arts education because the tasks varied greatly. Among other things, a few of our tasks were designing the layout of the space, creating the logo for the Depot, and building and managing the website. We also created various documents such as the membership agreement and the terms of use. We were also constantly reaching out to others in the community and planning events for the Depot to gather members.
I learned a few lessons from this internship. The first and foremost lesson is the importance of having a plan and set goals. A couple times we started on a task and then lost our way. When that happened, we had to restart and tweak our approach, but it was something that could have been avoided by having several smaller benchmark goals. Another lesson that was emphasized this summer is to manage your network and utilize the connections you have. It has also stressed to me the importance of being a reliable contact myself, because how can you expect others to help you if you are not willing to help them. In all, it was a very educational internship that taught me much about entrepreneurship and will help guide my endeavors after college. Once again, thank you to Wabash and the Lilly Endowment for making this possible.



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