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LEWIS ’20 TAKES FIRST STEP TOWARDS FULFILLING HIS LIFELONG GOAL

Marlon Lewis ’20 Museum of Science and Industry – I have spent my summer working at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, my hometown. I began in early June and will be wrapping up my internship in early August. I have been given the opportunity to work alongside 2 teams within the museum, which very few people have the opportunity to do during their time at the Museum.

For my first three weeks in the Museum, I worked with the Exhibits team. I was able to see and experience firsthand what went on behind the scenes with keeping exhibits running up-to-date and exciting. I helped on projects for 4 of the Museums exhibits – Extreme Ice, You! The Experience, Turn Back The Clock, and Earth Revealed. My favorite of the projects has to be the work I did for You! The Experience. I was tasked with doing the preliminary research into the current conditions of the exhibit and future update and extension ideas. I have learned how to write detailed yet concise reports and the type of language expected when writing reports. For this exhibit alone, I wrote 4 briefs and participated in 5 meetings while holding one myself. When I was not at my desk writing briefs, or brainstorming ideas and prototypes, or in a meeting, I was on the Museum floor observing guest as they interacted with the exhibit. Particularly at a storytelling booth in the exhibit, I would often engage guest and get their feedback and opinions about the booth and their experience. I have spent rest of my time working with the museum’s Fab Lab team, short for Fabrication Laboratory. It is the the same thing as a Makerspace or Hackerspace. For those of you who don’t know what any of those things are, allow me to help. Imagine a room full of 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, embroidery machines, and endless electronics supplies where you can build and create whatever you want, and your only limit is your imagination. I helped the team facilitate workshops and summer camps while also running the 3D printer and 3D filament studies comparing the quality of prints. Working with these two teams in the museum has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Helping people better understand science has always been a goal of mine, and I have taken the first step towards that goal this summer. I am grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for providing me the funds to pursue a summer internship. If it were not for their generosity this amazing experience would not have been possible.


NDOUR ’20 FOSTERS TOGETHERNESS WITH FELLOW IT DEPARTMENT INTERNS

Mohamed Ndour ’20 Wabash College IT Department – I would like to start off by thanking the Mellon Grant for providing me the opportunity to intern for 8 weeks at the Wabash IT Department. I also want to thank Mr. Roland Morin for helping me throughout the application process.

If you happened to be on campus over the summer, you’ve probably seen my team and me passing by the mall or going from building to building. One of the main projects we completed was installing new internet routers in order to improve the school’s Wi-Fi speed. That took us around 3 weeks, but everything went smoothly. I hadn’t done such work in the past, which is why I was glad to work alongside young men like Oscar Chavez, Devin Atkins etc. We developed a sense of trust and togetherness through our journey. In the weekdays, we were all present at Baxter 202 by 8 am – ready to take on the day ahead and be of service in any way we could by solving the problems listed in the tickets. If at any time we weren’t booked, we’d get computer towers, monitors, docking stations, etc. ready for their proper users. We also had to set up new computers for new and some current staff members. I will say that was one the most exciting part of my internship. It was my first time installing computers on my own, which I learned and practiced at Baxter 202 before performing it out at Trippet, Fine Arts Center, and Hays. It was quite an experience.

The work of the IT department is very broad. We were present during the 3 Wabash 101 events to help many members of the incoming class of ‘21 get their Wabash ID made and help those who had trouble accessing their Wabash email account. During the events, I had the chance to meet some of the freshmen whom I will gladly call brothers in the semesters ahead.

Not getting to see my family for 8 weeks after finishing the school year was challenging, but I am delighted that I stayed. The experiences I’ve gained have made it worthwhile. I would recommend any student thinking of pursuing an IT-related career down the road, without hesitation, to take advantage of this opportunity because it is a good way to prepare yourself.


THOMAS ’19 CULTIVATES DRIVE TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL AFTER INTERNING AT SAFEHIRING SOLUTIONS

David Thomas ’19 SafeHiring Solutions – Interning at SafeHiring Solutions was truly a great experience. I couldn’t have thought of a better introduction to working in a professional setting; this experience has proven invaluable to my professional development by providing a greater understanding of the office workspace. Upon completion of this internship, I now have sufficient confidence in my ability to work as an effective employee in a team of coworkers.  An experience such as this would not have been possible without the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. I would like to begin this piece with a message of gratitude to the benefactors of the Lilly Endowment:

Thank you for your support of all the internships that received funding through the endowment. It is an honorable service to provide developmental opportunities for students, which in turn will contribute to greater public advancement. Thank you for making my internship experience with SafeHiring Solutions possible.

To those who aren’t familiar with the company, SafeHiring Solutions primarily specializes in background screening. It is a small yet reliable firm that has a client base spanning across America and around certain parts of the world (mostly in Europe). Most of their revenue is generated through background screening; other auxiliary revenues are generated by the sale of other security-related products, such as a visitor management system (SafeVisitor) and an automated reference checking service (Reflynk). Their success has earned them the INC. 500 award for being one of the fastest growing firms in America. Overall, SafeHiring Solutions has the vision to provide the most comprehensive and reliable security solutions on the market. This demonstrated prowess is what attracted me to apply for an internship with them.

My summer tenure with SafeHiring Solutions consisted of creating advertisement materials, aiding business development, and providing sales assistance.  By the numbers, I created 8 informational flyers, 26 seasonal/informational postcards, and a 62-page manual for their visitor management system, SafeVisitor.  Because SafeHiring Solutions is relatively comparable to a startup company, the most exciting part is that all the work I was able to contribute is actually usable (as opposed to monotonous labor for a well-established corporation).  I worked with my fellow interns with their sales projects, supplying sales material for their customer outreach.  Finally, I participated in business meetings, a company volunteering event, and numerous side projects supplied by our director.  Needless to say, it has been a very busy 8 weeks!

The greatest takeaway from this internship is how it centered my focus for particular skills that I need to develop, especially with regard to my further education.  Interning with a background screening company gave me a unique insight into how people are processed in the justice system.  This internship has greatly fueled my drive to go to law school to study intellectual property and privacy law.  Furthermore, the demand for technical skills such as web development, software programming, and digital design was an ever present theme throughout this internship.  I plan to pursue basic training in programming and learn how to use Adobe Creative Suite software in the coming years.  Overall, this internship was an extremely valuable learning curve.


STEWART ’19 FURTHERS HIS ENTREPRENEURIAL DREAM THROUGH WORKING AT A START-UP

Samuel Stewart ’19 On Target Health – This blog post is about the internship I was fortunate enough to have during the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. I had no idea what to expect as I was walking into a start-up company, was going to be the only intern, and the industry I would be working in was something I knew nothing about—healthcare. However,  it was an amazing experience and here are some stories and highlights from my experience.

As On Target Health was aiming to go after what was described as a “whale” of a potential client I was tasked with finding a public, state contract between two corporations. The document itself was extremely hard to find and took me 2 full days of research to locate. I was tasked with understanding the various performance guarantees, health code reimbursements, and a variety of other important details that needed to be summarized so that we had the upper hand in the upcoming negotiations. Getting to play such a vital role in such a unique sales negotiation was not just rewarding, but extremely exciting. Being the only intern in the entire company and working with the CEO and Director of Business Relations granted me an unbelievable amount of transparency within a start-up company that I hope to apply when I become an entrepreneur one day!

Through my boss, Tim, I have learned invaluable networking skills and how to communicate with complete strangers to generate interest in our company without seeming like I’m trying to sell something. I was able to secure a meeting with a CEO of a company in Muncie, IN, by meeting the CEO’s step-son by complete accident in Boston, MA. This meeting generated new interest from the CEO’s company in On Target Health’s Program and I was the one on the frontline making it all happen. The confidence I had to make this happen was attained through white-board sessions with my boss, free sales classes that my boss helped me get into, and the fact that I was encouraged (as an intern) to speak/chime-in during any meeting regardless of importance. It was very nerve-wracking to be put on the spot, but extremely rewarding when all set and done.

At the end of my internship, I have learned networking etiquette, the strategic decisions that a start-up company is faced on a daily basis, how to analyze ROI reports to help articulate our value proposition to prospects/clients, how to create various marketing handouts, and much more. All of this was possible because of the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. I truly feel more prepared for the business world now, and it has eliminated any nervousness I have about an internship next summer. Because of this experience, I am excited for the years of business I have ahead of me and will be sure to recommend any experience similar to mine to other, younger students.

*The picture I have attached is of me networking with another alumnus, per my boss’s request, to learn more about a difference benefit offered within the healthcare industry to increase my understanding of the industry as a whole.

 


PAGE ’19 CONTRIBUTES TO SOUTH BEND’S REVITALIZATION

Oliver Page ’19 Global Access Point – Growing up, none of my friends ever considered coming back to work in South Bend, our hometown. We thought our city to be boring and pretty insignificant. In fact, in 2011—my first year of high school—South Bend, Indiana was designated a “Dying City” by Newsweek. So maybe South Bend was significant, just for the wrong reasons.

It will surprise you, then, to read that I really wanted to intern in South Bend this past summer. Let me explain.

Since 2011, the City of South Bend has strung together dozens of “wins” in the business and social arenas. Most notably, we broke ground on old Studebaker buildings—which were once symbols of prosperity for our city—with the intentions of transforming them into office space for thousands of tech workers. This development has led to millions of dollars in grants for, and investments in, the city. We also gained a new minor league baseball team, the South Bend Cubs. What says “winners” better than owning the World Series Champions’ affiliate team? Better yet, the South Bend Cubs have been consistently selling out home games since their arrival, a feat that the former South Bend Silverhawks almost never did. These are just a few of the noteworthy “wins” that demonstrate South Bend’s remarkable evolution.

The most notable “win” for our city, though, is the fact that its citizens are proud to be from South Bend. Notice that I used the word “we” in the last paragraph, even though I hardly contributed to any of those feats. This leads me to why I wanted to intern in South Bend this summer: I wanted to start contributing to my city’s revitalization.

This summer I interned under Dr. Shane Fimbel ’02 at Global Access Point, a company that manages data centers and network infrastructures. Admittedly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As an English Literature major, I have yet to read a novel that touches on the three main functions of a data center. But that’s one of the reasons why this internship was so valuable. I learned not to be intimidated by big words and seemingly indiscernible systems. Don’t get me wrong: I’m still no expert on the technology at Global Access Point. But I made considerable progress by the end of the summer. Dr. Fimbel explained to me that, in business, you don’t need to be an expert on one system. Rather, you need to know each system well enough to connect them all and make something new and better. In many ways, this is exactly what liberal arts graduates are taught to do. Granted, Dr. Fimbel has his Ph.D. in neuroscience. So, needless to say, he has no trouble learning complex systems “well enough.” But the lesson was well taken and gives this English major hope.

One project that I particularly enjoyed was helping build an eSports franchise business model. Dr. Fimbel is all about “facilitating others’ success.” So, while he was gone for a week, he lent my services to Matt Dudevoir ’06, a U.S. veteran, recent Notre Dame MBA graduate, and fellow Sigma Chi. Throughout the week, Logan White ’19 and I helped Mr. Dudevoir build his business plan before he presented it to investors. I learned about market research, making projections, and—most importantly—being open to making a conclusion that’s different than anticipated.

Originally, the idea was to have an eSports franchise in South Bend and make money by winning internationally renowned tournaments. However, after days of research, we decided that this was not the best way to make money. I felt like I made a significant contribution when I designed an Excel graphic that had the “Winning Percentage” on one axis and “Percentage of Earnings” on the other. For example, even if the eSports team got 1st place in 70% of the tournaments (probably not possible) and the owners took 20% of the earnings (also unreasonable), then the franchise would earn an income of $13,789. In the best-case scenario, the company can’t make enough money to offset the costs of traveling to the tournaments. So Mr. Dudevoir used this information to pivot his plan and eventually decide that he could make money through endorsements. More people watched a specific eSports competition on Twitch (an eSports website) last year than the MLB World Series. So he then looked into using his gamers as ad space, as companies will pay his franchise to place their logos on his players.

On the whole, I was pleased to get a taste of South Bend’s revitalization. I am very thankful to the Lilly Endowment for making this experience possible. I am even more thankful to Roland Morin ’91 and Shane Fimbel ’02 for their counsel throughout the internship process. This experience will certainly inform my future career plans and stick with me after I graduate from Wabash.

*Picture: Dr. Fimbel explaining his vision for the Studebaker building


MITCHELL-SODIPE ’18 EXPERIENCES AN OPPORTUNITY HE DIDN’T THINK HE WANTED

Immanuel Mitchell-Sodipe ’18 270 Strategies – I started my internship at 270 Strategies on the first Monday after finals. It had been a rough semester for me with a brief stint in the hospital and other hardships. I had studied abroad in the Fall of 2016 and upon returning in the Spring, one day President Hess stopped me in Center Hall (mind you, I was running late for a class) to talk about my study abroad experience. We then ended the conversation with his query: “Do you need a job?” Of course, I did! I told him I was interested in doing some political work in Chicago. He told me about 270 Strategies, took my number down, and told me he’d try to set up a meeting with Jeremy Bird – CEO of the company and Wabash alum. Jeremy would be at Wabash for the Celebration of Student Research and I was presenting a paper I wrote for Dr. Carlson’s epistemology class. And though Jeremy couldn’t make it to my presentation, President Hess sat us down at dinner together.

This leads me to my first take away from my internship experience: say, “yes.” Say yes, even if it’s an opportunity you didn’t even think you wanted. To be honest, 270 Strategies was not the type of work I was expecting to do – I was expecting to do a lot of door knocking, grass roots type work – but it was fun and informative nonetheless. Through just talking to different folks at the company, from my supervisor to the COO, I learned about different aspects of political organizing that I never knew before. I also learned how my skills as an organizer could be applied to work in the legal profession and in the consulting industry, and vice-versa. So, if I were to give some advice to a young bright-eyed Immanuel, it’d be this: say yes (even if your Aunt offers you a summer job at a finance firm in New York City).

My second take away is: ask questions. I don’t come from a family of collegiate people – I’m a first-generation college student. I never knew how the whole internship thing was supposed to work out. I thought that interns were there for free labor – kind of like trying out for a spot on a sports team. But my supervisor at 270 Strategies told me something different. The purpose of an internship is to learn how to do a job. I came in with grassroots organizing experience but wish that I asked more and learned more about digital organizing.

I don’t come from a lot of money and frankly, could not have afforded to do this internship if it wasn’t for the Small Business Internship Fund. Because of the funding, I was able to cut my teeth in labor organizing, political organizing, and a marketing campaign.  I hope whoever reads this takes heed of these take aways: say yes, ask questions.


GEIER ’18 WORKS ON MONTGOMERY COUNTY’S S.W.A.T. TEAM

Ben Geier ’18 Montgomery County Health Department – Over the summer I completed an internship with the Montgomery County Health Department.  During my experience, I was introduced to all of the different roles that a public health department plays in the community.  This included food inspection, vector control, meth home cleanup, and more.  Our boss ensured us that every day we would be working, and was consistent in making sure that we always had something to work on.  One major project that the interns worked on was Montgomery County’s very own S.W.A.T. team.

Now I know what you may be thinking and it is not that, this S.W.A.T. team stands for Surveillance of Water and Air-borne Transmitters.  Our role as interns was to go throughout Montgomery County and set mosquito traps.  We would then collect the mosquitos, identify what type of mosquito it is and then send them to the state so that they may be tested for any diseases.  We would perform this multiple times a week, keep detailed records of numbers collected, GPS coordinates, weather conditions, and more.  All data were then compiled to determine optimal areas and conditions for trapping in the future.

Not only were we the S.W.A.T. team, but we were all able to choose individual projects to work on throughout the summer.  Being a pre-med student, I chose to make a very detailed manual for future public health nurses.  The manual would serve as a guide to help in transitioning into a nursing job for the first time. It contained the main policies and procedures that the Montgomery County Head Nurse is in charge of.  It included how to perform communicable disease investigations, professional contacts, immunizations, and more. 

Being bilingual in Spanish and English, I was tasked with translating the community awareness and attitudes survey for Montgomery County.  The survey asked questions about the controversial topic of addiction to both alcohol and drugs.  By translating this survey, we were able to pull data from the large Hispanic population present here in Montgomery County.  This served as a new and efficient manner to incorporate an often overlooked group who actually have a large presence.  This should hopefully assist in the overall well-being of the county.

I can confidently say that this internship benefited me in a plethora of different ways.  It gave me memorable experiences that will be useful as I transition out of college and into the working world.  Thank you, Wabash College and the Small Business Internship Fund for making this internship experience possible.


Doty ’18 Makes a Large Impact through a Small Business

Jade Doty ’18 enFocus – This past summer was an incredible learning experience that I know will hold many benefits in the years to come. I cannot thank the Wabash Global Health Programs, enFocus, and the St Joseph County Health Department enough for guiding me during my internship in South Bend, Indiana. During my stint as an enFocus intern, I worked closely with the St. Joseph County Health Department in the fight against low food access in South Bend. Additionally, I worked with a team of other enFocus interns on a project that consisted of raising funds for a county wide mass CPR training event that will take place in the fall of 2017 and finding the best ways to locate and catalog all Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) in the St. Joseph County area.

During my main project with the Health Department, I did a thorough analysis on all the census tracts in South Bend that were labeled as Food Deserts. In short, a food desert consists of an area where there is an abundance of low income residents, limited amount of food resources, and the spacing of residential living and food resources are far apart. I compiled a report of these census tracts which included the number of residents living below the poverty line, the number of SNAP (food stamp) recipients, Health statistics (such as number of residents with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol), and the average cost of providing food for a household in a given census tract. This analysis held many interesting findings that showed that these census tracts were definitely food deserts and how poor health statistics were the results of this problem. The census tracts held a poverty percentage average of 35.6% (the national average is 14%), an average of two SNAP distributors, per census tract, and health statistics that soared above national averages. I hope that these specific findings give the city information that helps identify the problem of low food access in South Bend and helps them see a clearer way to solving this issue.

After this analysis, I conducted focus groups, researched several case studies, and found recommended next steps for the city of South Bend to take on their fight against low food access. One possible next step I found very interesting was providing a special shuttle system that would provide direct transport to several grocery stores for South Bend residents. I compiled all of these findings into a single 40-page report that I delivered to the Robin Vida, the head of the St Joseph County Health Department, and Samuel Milligan at the end of my internship.

My second project garnered some great learning experience because I had to create a business plan with a team of interns. Myself and two other interns were required to find the best practice to catalog AEDs in St. Joseph County. We believed that if we went out into the city and actually did some hard ground work in high dense areas, we would be able to produce results that would identify whether there is a lack, surplus, or moderate amount of AEDs in public spaces. These results were recorded and will be used to show a sample of the number of AEDs in public areas, which will further the county’s plan on whether to pursue cataloging more AEDs or creating a more strict AED policy for other businesses.

I enjoyed my time and learned a lot while working for enFocus and the St Joseph County Health Department. I was fortunate to work for an organization like enFocus, where the company is small enough to see the ins and outs of all their work from the top down, but still make a large impact with various projects in the St Joseph County area. While working with Robin Vida at the St. Joseph County Health Department, I gained the perspective of how health departments work and how much potential they have to benefit the cities and towns where they are located. Robin was a tremendous mentor, as well as everyone at enFocus. I strongly suggest that the Wabash Global Health Program continues to keep ties with South Bend, enFocus and the various Health Systems in the St Joseph County area. I was blessed to have such a great learning experience and would like to thank the SBIF for providing that experience.


Leppert ’19 Offered Part-Time Job after Completion of Internship

Jack Leppert ’19 FairWinds Advisors – FairWinds Advisors is a Fishers-based Economic development and site selection consulting firm. With only two employees, a husband and wife, the employees are the business.  Jay Walters and Jenny Massey are extremely passionate about the company that they’ve built and the clients that they represent.  It was this passion that kept the internship exciting and fulfilling for the entire 8-week period.

My main objective as an intern was to learn everything I could about the world of tax credits, tax incentives, and site selection.  Primarily working with Jenny, I went to countless meetings with clients and state officials.  Participating in meetings with clients was an extremely valuable and rewarding learning experience with lessons that you could never learn in the classroom.  Knowing how to run a meeting efficiently is a skill that Jenny has mastered and that I had the privilege of observing again and again.  In fact, when the client meets with the state to make their case for incentives, she commands the room.  Both the client and the state officials seem to report to Jenny on when to speak.

FairWinds Advisors keeps track of their entire business on one Microsoft Excel document and Microsoft Word document.  Both documents were created at the inception of the business, six years ago.  Ever since, when new clients and projects arrived, the data was added to these existing documents. I saw this as an opportunity for me.  FairWinds had a data problem.  For the first half of the internship I spent my time reformatting existing data collection processes for the business, including internal and external data collection.  Internally, FairWinds needed an updated client tracking system that included necessary information on clients and projects.  Externally, the business needed a new way to collect information from clients, making it easier to stay compliant with state tax programs.  I personally reformatted or created internal and external data collecting processes that were then integrated into the business.

My time spent interning this summer is the beginning of a hopefully, long-lasting relationship between myself and FairWinds Advisors.  At the conclusion of my internship, I was asked to come on as a part-time employee.  I will be working with the company for the remainder of the summer and in the upcoming school year.  I never would have expected this to be a possibility at just the halfway point in my college career. Of course, I would have never had this opportunity if I was searching for it alone.  I’d like to thank Wabash College Career Services, Roland Morin and the Lilly Endowment for providing me with this great internship!


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.