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!