Banner

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.


Tyler Regnier ’16 Challenges in Inventory and Product Development

Tyler Internship BlogTest Gauge & Backflow Supply Indianapolis fills quite a unique niche in the Indianapolis market. The company, which was founded in 2011 by James Probst, supplies backflow prevention devices, backflow repair parts, and backflow test gauges. Additionally, the company runs a week-long course several times a year, which educates and certifies plumbers to test properly backflow devices. Prior to the start of the internship, I had very limited knowledge of backflow devices, but I soon learned that a backflow prevention device prevents contaminated waste water from flowing into clean domestic water lines. Working for Test Gauge & Backflow Supply has broadened my business horizons, and given me experience in inventory management, product line development, and the diverse components of a small business.
As Product Development Intern, I have helped create and promote Test Gauge & Backflow Supply’s water quality product line, working closely with the company’s new water quality specialist, Larry Owen. With 30 years of experience in the world of industrial water softeners and reverse osmosis systems, Larry was asked to join the company to head the water quality line. I was given the task of marketing the product. Working with others in the company, I was able to devise a product development plan including market research, pricing, product selection, print and online marketing materials, and a detailed set of goals to guide the development of our new product line.
Being my first in-depth experience working for a company that provides a tangible product, developing the water quality product line has certainly been a learning experience. Some aspects of the product development plan were fairly self-explanatory, such as pricing and product selection. Others, such as creating professional print marketing materials and performing market research, were much more challenging. I conducted online research, read product catalogues, and had numerous discussions with James and Larry, all to gain a better understanding of the industry and properly identify the best potential suppliers and customers. I then compiled a list of potential customers using various online resources such as NAISC codes and websites of plumbing and mechanical engineering associations, which we then used as our starting target market.

In addition to developing the water quality line, I have assisted the company as they improve their inventory management processes. Working for a retailer has opened my eyes to how inventory can so strongly impact cash flow. Turning profits as a retailer is not simply about making sales. Profits are strongly impacted by the amount of inventory kept on the shelves, the amount of time that inventory sits, the method in which the inventory is purchased, and multiple other factors. Currently, I am analyzing how customers receive their product, either by will call, shipment from our warehouse, or shipment directly from our supplier’s warehouse. With this information, we can adjust our inventory to meet the needs of our customer without purchasing excess inventory.
In addition to my newly acquired knowledge of inventory management, my position with Test Gauge & Backflow Supply has allowed me to improve my professional skills. Working closely with Larry and James has greatly improved my teamwork skills. Each of us has had specific roles in creating the new product line and depend on each other’s outcomes to complete our tasks. Additionally, this position has given me the opportunity to set and track specific goals. Towards the beginning of my internship, I worked with the other members of the team to create a list of specific goals and completion dates for establishing, marketing, and selling water softening systems. I have also practiced and improved my Microsoft Excel skills that I learned in ECO-251 with Dr. Howland and Dr. Byun. I use Excel nearly every day to figure pricing, compile market research, track customer contacts, and much more.

Although I did not become a certified backflow tester, I did participate in parts of our backflow training course. Our week long course includes classroom training and hands-on backflow device testing in our custom wet lab. Here, I am testing a reduced pressure principle backflow assembly using a differential pressure gauge (see picture).

I am extremely grateful to both Wabash and the Lilly Endowment, which have allowed me to gain and sharpen my professional skills through this internship. I would also like to thank Kim Johnson who provided me with expert advice and assistance as I designed and created a print product catalogue for the company!


Regnier ’16 Liberal Arts and Finance

Tyler Regnier ‘16 – This summer I am interning for Thane Bushong ’96 at Private Capital Management Group, Inc. in Noblesville, IN.  PCMG Inc. is a personal finance firm offering investment, mortgage, insurance, and financial advising services.  I am also working on efforts within PCMG’s sister company, Timberline Properties, LLC, a property management group in Noblesville.  My responsibilities come in a wide variety, ranging from tax abatements, to kitchen remodels, to investment portfolios.

I started this position with mostly soft skills, such as strong interpersonal skills and a detail oriented mindset.  My main technical skills included proficiency in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, which I gained from my statistics course with Dr. Byun.  Through this internship I have been able to strengthen both my analytical and technical skills, as I review investment portfolios and prepare presentations for various clients.  I have always been able to balance seeing and addressing the fine details of a situation while also keeping the larger picture or final goal in mind.  I have sharpened this skill by working on various projects in investments, and more so in real estate and property management projects with Timberline, LLC.

Tyler Regnier '16 (far right) with coworkers

Tyler Regnier ’16 (far right) with coworkers

Due to my diverse interests, I have now narrowed my career path.  At this time I am working towards a career in personal finance, law, or education.  From a young age I have held an interest in finance and investments.  Working at PCMG Inc., has enabled me to develop and strengthen that interest.  I am enjoying this position in personal finance, and I find stock research and portfolio analysis to be a invigorating activity.  In addition, the personal interaction with clients is a vital part of what draws me to personal finance.  I can certainly see myself in a full-time position similar to this internship.

At PCMG Inc., I have been handed a number of tasks that I know little to nothing about.  For instance, I am currently working on a tax abatement proposal for a historic building in downtown Noblesville that Timberline Properties, LLC will soon be renovating to create professional office suites.  This task is teaching me to handle situations with a steep learning curve, a skill which will be valuable in future positions.  Coming into this job, I knew nothing about local tax laws and incentives.  Through talking to local officials and business owners, I have been able to compile information on tax incentives to complete this tax abatement proposal.

My Wabash liberal arts education has enabled me to perform the wide range of tasks that this position requires of me.  Due to the wide array of subjects covered by a liberal arts education, my Wabash experience has enabled me to take on very diverse responsibilities as well as tasks which I initially know very little about. This internship has helped me further develop my skills and refine my career path.  I am very grateful that through Wabash and the Lilly Endowment, I am able to have this internship experience.

 

 

 

 

 


West ’16 Confirms Interest in Chemistry Career

Korbin West ’16 – Since I started my internship, I’m quickly learning how little I really know about chemistry. And that is a fantastic feeling. While my internship is flying by, I’m trying to pick up as much as I can because there is no better learning environment than an immersive one, like that provided by the Indiana Internship Program. For the past month I’ve been working at Perfinity Biosciences, a small bioscience company in West Lafayette. Perfinity mainly focuses on proteomics, the study of proteins. Every person is made of tons and tons of proteins, just like the hemoglobin in our blood or the insulin in our pancreas. However, there is still so much the world doesn’t know about proteins, which is where Perfinity steps in.

Without getting too technical, we find ways to break down and analyze these proteins so others can discover more information about them. Imagine you find a newspaper that has been crumpled up into a ball, this will be our example protein. To be able to read the paper (a.k.a. extract information from the protein), we have to find a way to un-crumple it without ruining it. In a way, this is what Perfinity does for other researchers/drug companies, so that they can find new ways to battle disease and discover more secrets of the body.

West '16 transfers a protein solution to test tubes, allowing him to simultaneously monitor a dozen reactions over the course of a day.

West ’16 transfers a protein solution to test tubes, allowing him to simultaneously monitor a dozen reactions over the course of a day.

As an intern, I spend a lot of my time helping out wherever I can. The majority of my time is spent in the lab, where I have various responsibilities. My daily activities range from making stock solutions for our spectroscopy equipment, to validating old protocols and researching new ones. My time here has greatly helped me develop my chemistry skill set, as well as strengthening my abilities in many other aspects. Although some of my work is quite challenging, I’m continually learning from my co-workers how to approach these issues and I’m picking up plenty of new techniques and methods. However, just like any liberal arts experience, I’m learning much more than just the chemistry behind it. Whether it’s discussing the economics behind our product, presenting results at company meetings, or anything in-between, I’m constantly rounding out my experience.

The past couple weeks have been an absolutely incredible time for me. I continuously wonder if I’m going into the right field, as I’m sure is also the case for many of my fellow classmates. I would ask myself “What if I can’t stand working in the lab all day?” or “What if I don’t have what it takes to make it?” Now, I’m happy to say, that I don’t find myself asking these questions anymore. I’ve enjoyed every second of my time here at Perfinity and although I’m not nearly done with working to improve my skills and proficiency in chemistry, I feel confident in my decision to pursue chemistry.