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BERNING ’19 LEARNS LESSONS ON MARKETING AND SALES FROM FILM FESTIVAL

Russell Berning ’19 Indianapolis Film Festival – I, along with Lucas Bucina, have been working with the Indianapolis Film Festival (IFF) this summer. It has been a great experience to be able to see all of the hard work and dedication that it takes to get a completely volunteer based event running.

Some of the main missions that we have been tasked with are assisting in the arrival and departures of filmmakers coming to the festival, getting together and distributing promotional materials, and making sure that the festival is running smoothly. In order to ensure that the IFF is steaming forward, there has to be someone manning the theater operations, box office, and the selling of merchandise. The person working the theater operations is the one working the soundboard as well and making sure that the movie is screening correctly. Being in charge of the box office means the person is at the front desk assisting people with buying their tickets and ensuring they are going to the right screening. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is that even though there may be some minor setbacks, one must be able to think on their feet and find the best possible outcome. There have been a few kinks in the process of getting the IFF going, yet through deliberation and critical thinking, these problems were handled in a manner that worked best for everyone.

We always have to make sure that the viewers are happy with the entire experience at the film festival. This means having the best experience all the way from walking through the doors of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, purchasing tickets, sitting down in the theater, watching the production to departing from the IFF. Being able to communicate with the consumer and ensuring that they are happy with everything is hard to accomplish at times, yet is what the whole festival is contingent upon.

All of these lessons I’ve learned will be applicable in the fields of either marketing or sales. Both of these occupations are large on one to one interactions. However, without the Lilly Endowment, none of the experiences or lessons that I have learned would have been possible. I am more than grateful that I was one of the students selected to receive the endowment. Being able to work with the Indianapolis Film Festival has opened up my eyes on the process of what it takes to bring together a large scale event.


Podgorny ’20 Has Experience of a Lifetime in LABB Program

Luke Podgorny ’20 LABB Intern – I would first like to thank the Lilly Endowment for funding such a great program that has given me an experience of a life time. Secondly, I would like to thank Mr. Roland Morin and Mr. Nicholas Pollock for running such a well-organized program for all of my co-workers and I. Today, I am fortunate enough to be able to talk about my experience during week 7 as I am sure we all enjoyed week 7 the most. All in all, I knew coming into this internship that I would have at least a few experiences that would make it very worth it, which was saying a lot as I really didn’t have the best idea of what to exactly expect. Now, my assumption has been blown away because this internship was more than I ever could’ve expected it to be. Week 7, to sum it up in a very blunt way, would best be described as: life changing. Mr. Morin provided us the opportunity to visit Chicago on an overnight stay to present our Mobile App business plans to a panel of 5 alumni and friends of the college. We departed mid-day from Wabash College in route to The Windy City. After we arrived, we were treated to a private event that was used as a time to network with alumni located in or around Chicago.

During this experience, I am lucky enough to say that I was able to network with many different men that have very different professions and career paths. I was able to network with alums from Law School and others that are in hiring positions in big corporations, giving me many perspectives and advice for later in life. The next day is when we presented our business plans. I was very nervous entering the room as the panel of judges, or angel investors, were very reputable and respectable gentlemen. One of which being the Vice President of the Federal Reserve in Chicago. After our presentations, the angel investors asked questions and then in return, gave us advice that was very helpful. Some stayed after for a lunch to talk more with us around a nice meal and others had to leave to go back to work. This experience helped me realize that the sky is the limit in business and that would’ve never happened without this program. Networking with various alumni has given me a much greater understanding of business and where I could see myself in it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship this summer and have been able to build on a variety of skills that I will use the rest of my life. Again, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment, Mr. Roland Morin, and Mr. Nicholas Pollock for their generosity and providing me with an experience of a life time.


Banks ’19 Gains Valuable Insight and Priceless Connections in Last Week of Internship

Earnest Banks ’19 LABB Intern – In the beginning of week 7 of the LABB program, we had the pleasure of learning, interacting, and being mentored by Bill Kirst who is an appreciable college friend. He gave us an expansive story of his college experience; even though, Wabash was not the school of his choice. It was great to hear from someone that is not an alumni talk about Wabash education, community, and alumni. He later told us that being a Wabash man is one thing he would change if he could. We were able ask multiple questions about life, careers, advice, and schooling. He gave us informative responses which were valuable to every intern. The mini project that we did with Ford allowed all of the interns to create substantial plans with Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. Since there were multiple groups, we were able to get interesting perspectives from the different participants. Bill Kirst met with each group before the presentation and asked questions that furthered every groups thinking. We really appreciated him for traveling to advise us. The time we spent with him was very interactive, which lead us into the holiday.

After enjoying Independence Day to ourselves, we spent the day after traveling to Chicago and when we got there we had a networking event with Wabash Alumni. There were alumni from multiple classes. From one member of class of 51’, we received an ample amount of information. He and other alumni gave their Wabash stories. The changes that occurred from then until now is very impressive because there were somethings apart of traditions that were admirable. Additionally, we made connections with people in Chicago, and personally that is great because I am a Chicago native so I am able to connect with Wabash Men when I go home. Meeting with alumni the night before the big presentation was very helpful, it helped create a comfortable atmosphere for the business pitches the following morning.

July 6th was the big day when we had to present the application that we created for our last project. There were multiple alumni that came to support and judge the presentation. The presentation consisted of 18 interns that were split into 4 teams to create an application. The four ideas for the application consisted of traveling abroad tips, cooking tips, charity donation competition, and an app small college. There were five judges that were potential investors much like the popular TV show, shark tank. The five judges were Howard Hellengren, a Princeton alum who was chief investment officer for First National Banks of Chicago, International Private Banking, Chase Manhattan Banks New York, and other important business positions. Brian Farrar is a Wabash alum who is the founder and partner of Maven Wave Partners. Brian Mantel is the Vice President of the Federal Reserve of Chicago. David Bowen is the founder/managing partner of SaBo Investments. Our last judge was Tim McHugh, a Wabash alum who is the partner and senior equity research analyst for William Blair & Company. Having these judges attend our presentations were very beneficial because they asked questions that we had not thought about beforehand. We all appreciated the feedback and presentations of everyone there.

This opportunity would not have been possible without the support of the Lilly Endowment and Wabash College. I also, would like to thank CIBE Director Roland Morin for making this opportunity available to me. It has been a life-changing experience that I will use in my future career.


Canter ’18 Analyzes Competitors’ Marketing Strategies to Better Assess Needs for Clients

Taylor Canter ’18 Blue Marketing – I am a marketing intern that focuses on graphic design for Blue Marketing in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I do a variety of things for them, from creating web graphics and advertisements, to shooting and editing videos. I assist with the management of 6 of our clients Facebook pages by creating graphics for them to post and scheduling when they will be posted. This has not only enabled me to explore my creativity in a professional setting, but also helped me greatly with my time management. In order to increase the presence of our clients in the social media realm, I have done extensive research analyzing the frequency and types of posts made by our competitors. This taught me much about the process of competitor analysis, which will be an important skill to have no matter where I end up after college. I have also dabbled in blog writing for our clients and us, which has allowed me to explore new creative territory aside from the Adobe creative cloud that I am using for the more visual forms of marketing. While this was not something that I had done before, it did not push me out of my comfort zone quite like the video shooting and editing. Composing shots and really delving into the specifics of Adobe Premiere are just two of the skills that I am thankful for acquiring as a result of this! An eye for composing aesthetic shots and general photography is a highly sought out skill in marketing and the video shooting has primed me for success in those regards.

On top of the visual skills I have been improving upon, shooting interviews also required me to think about all aspects of what I was filming including the content of the interviewees. My interpersonal skills have benefited from this as I have had to talk to people of all types throughout this interview process such as some farmers who are not necessarily used to being in front of a camera or being in a very social setting in general. In order to be able to produce a good video I had to talk through the interview process with the interviewees. Whether I needed them to stop fidgeting or speak in a more concise manner, learning to identify what would make for a better final product was definitely a new way of thinking for me that enhanced my ability to think about problems and projects from multiple perspectives. Not only have I been able to capitalize and improve upon my old skills, but I also have new ones to add to my portfolio that will greatly benefit me heading forward. I am looking to go into marketing and branding, so knowing as many aspects of the field as possible will certainly benefit my future. This internship and all of the skills I have gained from it would not have happened if it weren’t for the Lilly Endowment so I am very grateful for that.


Nehrig ’20 Learns Time Management Skills in LABB Program

Schuyler Nehrig ’20 LABB InternFirst and foremost I want to thank a Lilly Endowment for giving me this opportunity to learn about business and entrepreneurship. Also, I would like to think Roland Morin for giving me this opportunity. In week six we did a number of objectives throughout the week ranging from our business plan for our applications, to our consulting project regarding National Act. My app group is “Charity Chase” and we developed an app with a unique opportunity to blend goal-setting with philanthropy. We are currently discussing how we could use this idea not only for people to stay in shape, but to also donate to a charitable cause.

On Monday, we met at the Arnold house as group to talk about what was going on in the world, and to discuss the agenda for the day. After we broke off into our app groups my group researched and tried to get all the correct information for our presentation. Like I stated before Charity Chase is a philanthropic, workout, and motivation app.

On Tuesday, we worked on our consulting projects to get prepared for our presentation on Thursday. Our plan was to get rid of National Act as one big weekend and instead allocate the funds over a period of 12 weeks. It has been interesting to watch this develop as the original idea has changed time and time again. Later in the week, we presented our consulting projects to the Student Body President and Vice Presidents, as well as the Deans at the college. After the presentation, we were given feedback on how we could accomplish this idea next fall. 

Week 6 was a busy week. Not only did we finish and present our consulting projects, but we also had to prepare are business plan pitches for Chicago. We presented our plan to Roland Morin just a week before we would present it in Chicago to judges that had been successful in their own business ventures. Mr. Morin gave us some final feedback so we could be as best prepared for these presentations as possible. I think one of the most valuable lessons I learned from this is time management and how to use constructive criticism to further develop ideas. It is easy to get caught up in your idea and sometimes causes one to miss small details that are problems for the audience. In contrast, this internship has been a wonderful learning experience where I have been able to work on my speaking, leadership, and time management skills. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making this opportunity available to me. I have had the chance to grow in ways that I never had thought was possible. 


Kashin ’18 Learns Customer Service Skills at Triton Brewing

Adam Kashin ’18 Triton Brewing – As an intern at Triton Brewing Company, I have had the pleasure of learning about how all components of the brewery operate from day to day. This internship is an exploration of how the brewing industry is arranged and maintained, and more broadly about how a small business operates successfully and efficiently. Triton is a small business of about 15 people and each employee performs numerous tasks in each segment of the business. One employee may be expected to maintain customer account data, upcoming systems management projects, quality control on products, and a significant portion of the business’ social media presence. Beyond the size of Triton, producing beer places the company in the limelight with state and municipal authorities with respect to alcohol control laws and food and beverage codes. These legal constraints allow the state unusually broad access to the brewery establishment and information on sales. Moreover, I have necessarily become much more familiar with the laws regarding serving and selling alcoholic beverages as I have moved through this internship.

I have had the opportunity to be the face of the company on a few occasions. As a part of the sales team, I scheduled samplings at a few retail establishments around Indianapolis and talked to potential customers about various aspects of each sampled beer. I learned quickly how to talk to different people, given each individual’s particular interests. Customer relation skills translated well when I began working in Triton’s tasting room as a server. I used my experience selling individual beers to do exactly that in a much more immediate form. Having worked for larger, national corporations in the past, I had to develop different customer service skills considering how important each customer interaction can be. Word of mouth carries weight for a small, local business. I have come to appreciate the value of relationships in the world of small business as each interaction, whether it’s with a distributor, store manager, bar owner, or a family in the tasting room, adds value in some way to the brand. I think the most important factor for success in the brewing industry is understanding what people are looking for at any given time of the year and in any part of the state (or given distribution area).

I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for affording me the opportunity to work at Triton this summer. It has truly been a unique experience and I am excited to see what my experiences can push me toward in the future.


HOLSTINE ’18 DISCOVERS PASSION FOR DIGITAL MARKETING

Lucas Holstine ’18 Hanapin Marketing – My experience interning at Hanapin Marketing this summer has been an absolutely terrific opportunity to learn about what the “real” world is like after graduation. I applied for the position with a keen interest in trying to find out what kind of job I would be interested in after my education at Wabash, and Hanapin has provided this for me. I have garnered a lot of interest in the field of digital marketing while working here, but have also realized professions I don’t see myself having, such as sales.

My position at Hanapin is on the Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) team. While the rest of the company operates on Paid Per Click (PPC) marketing that works to drive traffic to our clients website’s, the CRO team gets traffic through the website by making pages that are easy to navigate and ensuring that the goals on the site are clear and easy to reach by the traffic. Some of the projects that I’ve worked on have had me looking through analytics data to try and understand the experience that the user traffic has and to prepare presentations for clients to communicate these ideas clearly. I’ve also partaken in projects to organize data from previous tests that the CRO team has ran on client’s websites in order to make it easily accessible for future use to help make the team more efficient and effective. Most of the tasks that I do are time consuming tasks. The CRO team have also familiarized me with some of the big projects that Hanapin are conducting currently.

I have been very fortunate to have been sponsored by the Lilly Endowment while working at Hanapin. By being offered a full-time and paid position, it allows me to be fully immersed in the company culture and to build more relationships that part-time internships fail to provide. Hanapin has been terrific at making me feel like a member of the team with company wide picnics and team-building training sessions that have allowed me to connect with many other coworkers that I don’t normally have contact with. This experience has been something that I’ll never forget, and has definitely helped me build a solid foundation for my future endeavors.


GRABER ’18 PUTS HIS WABASH EDUCATION INTO PRACTICE AT WABASH BREWING

Collin Graber ’18 Wabash Brewing – This summer has been extremely enlightening and productive working with Wabash Brewing.  One of the best parts of this internship is how hands on and involved it can be.  Working in a brewery isn’t exactly the typical internship and it can be hard to describe a “normal” day at work just because there are so many different things that have to occur on a daily basis for things to run smoothly at a small business, and especially a microbrewery.

Since I started late May, I have helped with everything from large-scale production and small batch experimental beers to marketing and selling to various restaurants, pubs, and bars.  This has helped me gain a new understanding of what it takes to produce a quality product and what it takes to effectively advertise.  Effective time management and adaptability – two things I’ve learned at Wabash College that I’ve successfully applied at Wabash Brewing.  On days that we brew there are usually several different things occurring all at once and they all require attention simultaneously.  For example, on brew days we will have a water profile already prepared and the recipe ready to go, but we will measure out salts, hops, and mill the grain the morning of so everything is as fresh and the highest quality possible.  During this time we will also work on cleaning and ensuring various pieces of equipment have been sanitized before any material comes in contact with it.  A typical brew day is usually busy for a short amount of time, and then there is a break where you just have to let things happen, and then it will get busy all at once again.  The down time, if effectively used and nothing goes wrong, allows for you to get the cleaning and sanitizing done with ease, but it’s a rare occasion that everything works out absolutely perfect from start to finish.  Again, this is where the adaptability and ability to stay calm amid a chaotic situation really help.  Going through these last couple of weeks has really tested my ability to prioritize and adapt to changing situations and make a decision based on the information I have and what I know needs to happen.  In addition to these, when working at this scale, attention to fine details is extremely important because all it takes to ruin a full batch of beer is as simple as not having the right O-ring between two parts.

Knowing and having learned these lessons is going to be extremely beneficial in the next couple of years as I decide exactly what I want to do and whether I decide to open my own business or continue with some form of graduate school.  Regardless, this summer has been an incredible opportunity and I would not have been able to do it without help from Career Services at Wabash College and also the help and funding through the Lilly Endowment.


KLEIMAN ’18 ASSIMILATES IMPACT OF SMALL CHANGES FROM THE MAYOR

Logan Kleiman ’18 Crawfordsville Mayor’s Office – Working at the Mayor’s office has been one of the best experiences of my professional life. I grew up in a bigger city and had always been interested in government. My grandma often told me when I was little that I’d be President. We’ll see if this comes to fruition, but if not this has been as close as I’ve come to this idea in my life.

Mayor Barton and all of the fantastic people at town hall have showed me how there are even simple things you can do that can really impact the community, and they have taken me in as one of their own. In my experience, I have been granted the opportunity to go to every meeting with the Mayor and see exactly what his job entails. I’ve learned how each local agency is efficiently operated and some of the day to day efforts of each department. I’ve been able to interact with local businesses and see what exactly they do in Crawfordsville, how they work in the community, and have even been able to share my millennial perspective with these groups.

Another key piece that I have been privileged to watch develop is all the Stellar projects happening in the community. For those of you who do not know what Stellar is, it’s a large grant that allows for smaller communities to undergo various developmental projects to help improve the community. The city is really capitalizing on these as the Fusion 54 building, Ben Hur Building, restoration of the Whitlock neighborhood, and various parks and trails are undergoing renovations and will soon be completed. These projects will only propel Crawfordsville further and the city will become a go to destination in Indiana.

Between the meetings, I have still managed to stay busy in the office. The city granted me the ability to run their social media accounts on all platforms. This included starting a YouTube channel and Instagram account to really showcase what is going on in Crawfordsville. This city needed to be highlighted as not only is development happening at an exponential rate, but there are gems in Crawfordsville that I did not even know about like the fantastic golf course and airport. Gathering content for these outlets and the other accounts has never been a struggle due to the city’s efforts.

I really want to thank the Lilly Endowment for this opportunity and for allowing me to be engaged in my community in a way that I really have not considered the past three years in my time at Wabash. This experience has really allowed me to see my future political science degree in practice and understand business better as a whole. The city of Crawfordsville was awarded a Stellar Grant for a reason and even within five years the people will see just how much the city has changed and will continue to evolve as time passes.


HANSEN ’18 LOOKS INTO CORPORATE AMERICA THROUGH THE LENS OF A SMALL COMPANY

Jordan Hansen ’18 Huntbridge, Inc. –  This summer, thanks to the Lilly Endowment, I have had the luxury of working alongside Wabash alumnus Jeff Perkins ’89, as a Research Associate for his executive search firm Huntbridge, Inc. allowing me the first-hand insight into the ins-and-outs and challenges a small company faces within the rigor of corporate America.

While talking about my experience with people, I often have to answer what a Research Associate is. It’s more than strictly research—unlike its title may suggest. This summer, as part of being an associate, we have been tasked with engaging, strategizing, and extending relationships with both current and potential clients of our firm. Clients ranged from Amazon to GlaxoSmithKline to ViaSat to the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute—from Technology through the Life Sciences. The mission was to spark a conversation or rekindling a connection that can lead us to form a partnership. What I mean by a “partnership,” is, for them, filling or outsourcing services that would allow us, Huntbridge, to hire the next executive team for their company. Hiring positions range from CEO or CFO to Vice President and beyond. As you can probably infer, it is not a quick or easy process. Due to the fact that the diverse candidates we place, are in integral part to the longevity of many of these large companies. Secondly, partnership can entail additional services that allow us to better place candidates and strategy based on their specific workplace needs, current culture, and vision for the future.

This brings me to my first important “in” or lesson when working for a small company in this environment. My boss, Jeff Perkins, day in and day out, in meetings or in just passing, reiterates the importance of sustaining an exceptional reputation – reputation in the sense that how you interact, conduct work, and follow-up is a direct representation of your brand, both personal and as a company. Therefore, every day that you come to work, it is important to be cognizant of how you are representing and furthering the name of our business. Moreover, it means consistently going above and beyond for the client you’re directly in contact with—the more trust, authenticity, and important you make them feel, the more you can cast a positive light on who you are. In action, this means following-up, handcrafting particular communication or work, and being genuine with previous and current clients to ensure a high-level of customer service and experience.

 

My main project this summer has consisted of sourcing, researching, and consulting with the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute on the future of their company. I have been a part of a task force that is currently in the process of hiring their next Senior Vice President, Development & Partnerships as well as Director of Research Operations. Additionally, consulting and providing workplace strategy to ensure the company’s mission and team align with the greater vision of the Institute.

This leads to my second takeaway from the summer thus far, adaptability. Being adaptable—calm, cool, and collected—is something that weighs heavily both in the eyes of the employer and in a small company. When working in an arena that is foreign to you (i.e., for me Tech of Life Science), it is important to be adaptable to many types of situations that may arise. For example, one day may include strategy, planning, and collaborating to setup a plan for the client to use at an upcoming board meeting. While another day may consist of contacting potential investors, who are in the market for providing investing for grass roots or pre-clinical research; as a part of the next round of endowment. Here, in two days we have similar, but different tasks. However, being adaptable and possessing the bandwidth to participate and contribute allows you to be a fully engaged and valuable member of your team. In a small business, this pays dividends because it leverages you as a reliable and capable to keep the company moving forward. To me, this example is similar to the epitome of the Wabash liberal arts education. One minute you may be having an in-depth discussion in Ancient Philosophy about Aristotle’s role in happiness to the next day discussing and researching the role of CRISPR for the future of gene editing—adaptable and able to excel in both cases.

As a political science major and history minor, working within the space(s) of biotech, bioscience, and pharmaceuticals has been a bit of a learning curve. However, after research into current trends, guidance by industry leaders, and the Lilly Foundation I have fostered and enhanced my capacity to contribute to these ever-growing and important scientific fields. Pairing this with my Wabash liberal arts education, while working with the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute, has allowed me to ask questions and provide a new and unique perspective, outside the confined borders of the science(s). Additionally, it has lead me to become more and more intrigued with the current life science space and how it relates to the future of America—as medicine, vaccines, and healthcare continue to be a toxic topic in everyday conversation, not just limited to politics.

With just a glimpse into the interaction and daily operations of a small company and corporate America, I am ready to be immersed fully in it post-graduation; to make an impact on the greater good and those around me. From soft skills like reputation and adaptability, I am fully confident that Wabash College and the Lilly Endowment have furthered my interest to springboard me for future endeavors.

 



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