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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 Trepton ’16 Indianapolis Round Two

 

Internship PhotoMy second summer interning in Indianapolis has been a blast. I was hesitant last summer to live in a new place away from home and did not know of the emerging tech boom in the Indianapolis area. Truth be told I was excited to get back to Indianapolis this summer and work for another tech company in the area. After doing some research and hearing from other interns and people at career services they recommended Archon Apps. Archon apps is an app development company who focuses on eliminating the use of paper. Their products: Cirrus Security, Archon Safe and Cirrus have been very successful in the event security, water, and constructions business in eliminating the use of paper for these companies by creating customs forms for these companies which improves performance and makes it easier to track records.
Since my first day Tony Unfried the CEO and founder of Archon Apps a Wabash graduate from 2003 informed me of the main products Archon Apps offers and informed me of my project for the summer was to create a product called MyMobile, which replicates a company’s web site and transforms it into a custom mobile application anyone, can download for free on their smartphones. In this day and age with the amount of smartphones out there an easy way for companies to reach their customers 24/7 is to put something they see multiple times a day in the palm of their hands an app. So I was given an idea with one client already and told to make this your business and make it grow.
So with have I exactly done with MyMobile? Tony and I created a weekly plan with goals to keep me moving forward and to learn different aspects of developing a product. For the first four weeks, I did research on the product and other competition analyzing what they offer when it came to price and features and compared their model to ours to determine what our key focus should be. Also I looked at the customers and what should our target market be for this product with which we settled on companies who would use the app frequently to make changes whether that was a menu at a restaurant of a drink list at a bar or even golf courses, and there pin placements for the day. After the target market was found I set up meeting times with some great Wabash alumni to discuss the importance of technology in their field and if an app would benefit their company.

The second half of the internship I have been working on developing the website to drive traffic and to draw possible clients interest to the company. With the website up and running I have been following up and reaching out to more companies to gain interest and funnel to the website to check out what we have to offer. Finally, I have been combining my research into a complete business plan showing the work throughout the summer and the benefits of MyMobile.
It has been a privilege to work with Tony at Archon Apps; I would like to thank him for accepting me as his intern for the summer, and providing me with a great learning experience. Also, I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment Fund, without them none of this would be possible. Their partnership with Wabash College has and will continue to help young Wabash men continue to pave their way to a successful future.


Connor Smith ’18 Perfinity Internship

IMG_6816As the 2014-15 academic year came to a conclusion this past May, I found myself filled with equal parts relief at having completed my first year of college and anticipation for what was to come this summer. Similarly to most other college students, I knew that I would have to spend my summer working. Having spent the last two summers working as a busser at a restaurant, the idea of working all summer was nothing new to me; however, this summer was going to be a far different experience for me. Through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, I was presented with the opportunity to spend the first eight weeks of summer as an intern for Perfinity Biosciences under the direction of Kevin Meyer (Wabash Class of ‘06). Perfinity is a small company located in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, IN.

A great dilemma faced by modern-day chemists, biochemists, and other great researchers in the biotech industry is that while the equipment and experimental procedures used have evolved at an increasingly rapid pace, the methodology behind the acquisition and analysis of samples used has remained alarmingly archaic. It is in this unique niche that Perfinity has developed a business. To increase the efficiency of experiments, and ease the lives of other scientists, Perfinity has developed products that have cut sample processing times from over 10 hours to about 20 minutes. Along with fellow Lily intern Jake Norley ( Wabash Class of ’16), we spent the summer as a part of the research and development team at Perfinity and worked alongside the other scientists in testing current products as well as aiding in research that could contribute to future products at the company. Having only one year of chemistry under my belt at Wabash, I was nervous that I was not going to be capable enough to contribute to great work here, however, my boss assured me that the other employees had learned a lot of the science behind the work as they worked through it and not to fret. Sure enough, by the end of the 8 weeks, I had become far more confident in my scientific abilities and had learned volumes of chemistry that will be applicable in not only my future course load at Wabash, but also in attaining my goals of becoming a successful chemist after graduation. One exciting moment during our 8-week tenure at Perfinity was when Jake and I found out that the research we had done would be used to file a patent for what could potentially become a future product. While I cannot disclose what the patent entails, I can tell you that it was an incredibly rewarding experience to know that our work was able to help the company achieve some of its goals.

The small business structure of Perfinity allowed me to learn about entrepreneurship and running a small business in addition to all of the science behind what we were doing. I was able to take away lessons in marketing, sales, finance, and much more during my time here. I felt that this was a true extension of a liberal arts education in the sense of making me a much more well-rounded individual. I cannot express my thanks to the Lilly Endowment for making this opportunity possible for me and all the other Wabash interns who were able to benefit from it possible. This internship has provided me with insight into the field where I plan on developing a career, and I consider myself truly blessed to have had such an amazing opportunity and met the great people at Perfinity with whom I am lucky to consider now myself friends with.


Alex Wimber ’17 The Business of Apps

atwimber17

Wimber ’17

Entering the fifth week of the Lilly Lab Program, our focus as interns was heavily placed on our app projects. My group specifically was discussing the issue of who to initially market our app to in the first year. Fortunately, for my group we were able to visit Archon Apps in Indianapolis, IN. Archon Apps is home of SpeakEasy were app developers come together to work on and improve existing ideas for apps. The experience we had there was participating in a discussion with President and CEO of SpeakEasy Tony Unfried. Tony Unfried, Wabash graduate of the class of 2003, gave our group a brief background about himself and his path to becoming the President and CEO of SpeakEasy. Once introductions and the exchange of a few interesting stories were over he opened the floor to us interns to ask whatever questions we had. At this point in our trip to Archon Apps my group told Mr. Unfried about how we were struggling to decide whom to market our app towards. Mr. Unfried told us that in order to have success in a business such as app making it is important to start off very slim. What we gained from his answer was that although we see our app becoming useful to many age groups, it was critical to focus on one particular demographic. This initial demographic allows one to gain a solid foundation in users, which in turn will make it easier to gain users in the future. We also had a surprise guest in Dr. Joe Trebley who works at IU Research & Technology Center. Dr. Joe Trebley a Wabash graduate of 2001 gave us an example to further clarify arch2Mr. Unfried excellent point. His example was how he would go about starting up a “one-use” sunscreen booth at golf courses. In his useful example he described that flooding money into such a project would be counter productive. Instead he described how he would simply go to a few golf courses and offer the service to see if others thought it was a worthwhile expenditure. This made perfect since to my group as later on in the week we took their advice and plan on marketing our app towards a specific demographic. The experience we had at Archon Apps along with Mr. Unfried and Dr. Trebley was one that was very insightful and much appreciated by the Wabash Lilly Interns.  I would like to acknowledge and thank the Lily Endowment for giving me this opportunity to further my knowledge of business.


Deryion Sturdivant ’17 Talking Business

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Sturdivant ’17

First week is down in the books. During our first week we were tasked with crafting a business plan for a variety of different restaurant types. Beginning this business plan has been eye opening as I am just being introduced to the business field. There is so much that goes into a single business plan and I am intrigued to learn the ins and outs of it, as we work on it the next two weeks. One of this week’s highlights was watching Shark Tank. I’d never seen this television show before. Watching entrepreneurs give pitches of a lifetime in front of four “sharks”, venture capitalists, gave me ideas for future endeavors. I was able to make connections to real life business, and our current business plan because of the show. Every company is backed by a strong business plan, as it is the foundation and glue to any

The LABB students after introductions on the first day of their internship

The LABB students after introductions on the first day of their internship

successful company. Weston Gregg, who led the LABB program the first week, occasionally paused the show, to ask questions that kept us engaged. Often he would ask if we would invest in the entrepreneurs company, I’d like to think that investing in other people’s dreams is just as important as investing in your own. Next Monday we are planning on giving pitches of our own and I hope to use some of the concepts of presenting that that we were able to observe on Shark Tank. Many times on Shark Tank poor ideas are overshadowed by the strength of the presentation. It is my goal to be such a strong presenter that no matter the content, I am captivating and convincing. For example, the group of interns gave pitches about ourselves in order ascertain our strengths and weaknesses so that we could be divided into groups for our first business plans.  I take pride in my ideas and values, which is what I believe made my pitch strong. I was assigned to a group that I believe is going to be extremely successful. To be apart of the business field, we must be self-confidence, and put our best foot forward in every endeavor. Finally I would like to thank the generosity of the Lilly Endowment for providing me with the opportunity to take part in the LABB program.


Albertson ’15 StilL 630 Delivers for SBIF Intern

Kyle Albertson '15

Kyle Albertson ’15

Kyle Albertson 15 – From the moment I walked into the distillery on May 19th I knew that I was in for a summer of hard work.  I was thrust straight into the process of distilling rye whiskey and since then I have not looked back.  My internship consisted of two parts; a production aspect and also a sales/marketing aspect.  The production aspect of distilling whiskey is very time consuming; from mashing the grain to fermentation to then actually distilling the mash it takes a solid week of work.  However, there is a lot of down time in between those processes and therefore, many of my days consisted of hand filtering, bottling and labeling the whiskey to be sold into bars, restaurants and stores around the St. Louis area.  Along with that I would go on sales calls in the afternoons during the week.  Sales calls were a 4 to 5 hour process everyday. I would go to check on existing accounts as well as look into getting into many new establishments as well.  While there was tons of hard and tedious work involved there also came a lot of fun too.  Most weekends were times to get out to local places and do tastings to try and further market our product while enjoying ourselves at the same time.  Fun and hard work made these few weeks some of the best and most valuable weeks I have ever experienced.

Kyle Albertson SBIF Blog 2014 StilL 630After having gone through all but a week of this internship I really feel that I am ready to start thinking about starting something like this on my own – once I am graduated, of course.  This internship was able to give me a full prospective of the ins and outs of owning my own small business.  Luckily, because I was the second employee I was able to fully participate in every aspect and it was truly a great experience.

I would sincerely like to thank David Weglarz ’03 (Owner and Master Distiller of StilL 630), Scott Crawford, Wabash Career Services, and the Small Business Internship Fund for allowing this internship to become a reality for me.  I really encourage anyone looking to hone their skills in any aspect of a small business to apply! There definitely isn’t another internship out there like this one.


Hoffman ’16 Business Plan Impresses

Corey Hoffman ’16

Corey Hoffman ’16 – One of the major aspects of the LABB program was the business plans. For each of the two business plans we had to develop, we were divided into teams and had to develop a fully functional business plan (or at least what we were able to produce within the time restriction). For the first business plan, the group was divided into teams of three, and each group was given the task of developing a business plan for a restaurant. The catch was, one group had to do a food truck, one a sit down restaurant, one a franchise, one a bar, one a deli, and the last a café. This wide range of options led to some amazing creativity, a trait that appeared rather absent in many students’ initial surveys. After two weeks of many dedicated hours of work, the day to present had arrived. We were to present in front of a panel of judges, who each had tens of thousands of dollars in “play money” in which they could invest however they pleased. My group, consisting of myself and Weston Gregg ’16, created a business plan for a food truck called Golden Boy Burgers, located in Lafayette, IN. We were able to obtain the most investment money due to our low startup costs.

Using our experience from this first business plan project, we divided into new groups of four or five to create a business plan for any business of our choosing. The four groups did a recording studio, a 3D printing company, a CrossFit gym, and a social media marketing company. All groups had greatly improved from the first set of business plans, despite having one week less to do it. Other than the fact that the group sizes were roughly double those of the restaurant business plans, we were all much more experienced and understood much better what needed to be done and how to do it.

Through these business plan projects, we were able to virtually immerse ourselves in real world business, by developing financial plans, marketing strategies, brand development, and product. While there is obviously much more detailed matter that we were unable to cover due to the time restrictions, we were all able to take away a lot from these experiences, and can eventually implement them into our careers.

I would like to give a huge thanks to the Lilly Foundation and Roland Morin ’91 for making this program possible and also to the judges of each business plan for providing helpful feedback.


Cisneros ’15 Freight Broker in Phoenix

Alex Cisneros SBIF 2014 1Alex Cisneros ‘15 – While in search for a summer internship I spoke with one of my fraternity brothers on what I would hope my summer would entail. I wanted to work for a startup company because I hope to own a business after Wabash.  He told me he knew of an alumnus who was moving to a new company, Mr. Erik V. Ness ’94; he was moving to Commodity Transportation Services (CTS), which he and his partners would open up. I got in touch with Mr. Ness and he offered me the job. Through the Small Business Internship Fund I would be interning in Phoenix, AZ working as a freight broker along with a few other Wabash men.

Thus far, working for CTS has been a great learning experience. Everyday I learn something new. In the trucking industry you need to be very aware of what is happening on a daily basis; from weather news to gas prices and everything in between related to freight logistics. I was given three simple rules for this business that I believe apply to everyday life situations: 1) Always be honest 2) Know as much as possible about the load before making a call and 3) cross your t’s and dot your I’s.  Paying attention to detail is very important since you are dealing with cargo that is worth more than fifty thousand dollars.

My duty as a broker is to negotiate with trucking companies on a rate for them to haul fresh produce from one state to another.  Although this may sound easy, I’ve come to learn that in this business anything can go wrong. From the moment you agree with a trucking company on a rate to the moment they deliver you are responsible for that load.  This means you need to be aware of location and time for pick-up and delivery, make delivery appointments with different companies, and make sure the truck is doing well on transit. You need to be in control of all this while still trying to book more trucks for different loads.

Alex Cisneros SBIF 2014 2I am able to stay under control on all these situations, because I have become very close to my co-workers who have helped me incorporate my skilss into the job very easily. My co-workers are brothers and they are by far some of the most remarkable men I have met. Anytime I have a problem they are always there to help. Currently, with the help of my co-worker, I am dealing with a sixty thousand dollar cargo claim on one of the trucks I hired. He has been of great help and is teaching me how to deal with complicated situations as they arise. Therefore, I am more than happy to work alongside these great individuals.

Working for CTS has definitely been one of the best summer experiences of my life so far. I would like to thank Mr. Erik V. Ness, Mr. Scott Crawford, Career Services, and of course the Small Business Internship Fund, without their help this great experience would not be possible.


Whittington ’15 Business Crash Course

Joel Whittington ’15

Joel Whittington ’15 – The Liberal Arts Bridge to Business (LABB) program has been one of the most educational experiences I have had at Wabash, and it is almost over. It’s hard to believe that there is only one week left of the LABB program. It has been a challenging summer so far; by this point we’ve covered everything there is to cover about business startups and starting businesses of our own.

With our business plans done, IBM was the focus of this last week. The tech giant is a far cry from the small startup companies we had read about. Like the other firms we have looked at, we read a study covering a major decision that affected the direction of the company in a major way. This study dealt with IBM’s creation of BlueGene, the world’s fastest computer, in the early 2000’s.

We did more than just read about the company. On Wednesday we got the chance to talk, via Google Hangout, to Bill Kerst, a self-proclaimed ‘Wabash Groupie’, and Rob Shook ’83. Both are employed by IBM and have traveled the world on projects for the company. We spoke for a little over an hour about the pros and cons of working for Corporate America as opposed to smaller firms. Surprisingly, Rob told a story about how IBM had taken care of his family on one of his business trips to Australia in a way that didn’t fit with the ‘Evil Empire’ persona that big corporations all seem to have. At the end of the talk, these two very successful men gave some advice on getting our feet in the door in a large corporation like IBM. Bill’s advice was to “shadow people wherever possible” while Rob ’83 strongly advocated interning, which is how he got his start at IBM. Both men were cool to talk to and it was a pretty laid-back conversation. Like everything else in this program, I got a lot out of this conversation. This program really is a crash-course MBA. I never would have thought I could learn as much about business as I have in the last six weeks. I’ll be a little sad when it’s over after next week, but I know it’s been worth every minute and I’m glad I was chosen to take part.


Taylor ’15 Applies Passion for Start-ups

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am start-up crazy. I love learning about start-up companies, working for start-up companies, and generally try to incorporate them into conversation as much as possible. So when looking for my summer internship it was a clear choice to interview through the Small Business Internship Fund (SBIF), which offered a chance to work with start-ups/small businesses across the country with a stipend. Yeah, I’m getting paid to learn. I met some really great alumni during the interview process who were all working on some really cool ventures. In the end, a start-up consulting firm called W-Advisors & Co. seemed liked the right fit.

Taylor '15 attends Detroit Economic Club Luncheon

Taylor ’15 attends the Detroit Economic Club Luncheon session titled “De-Globalization: Retooling Global Operations for Strategic Advantage.” Pictured (from left to right) Jim Moffat, Chairman & CEO Deloitte Consulting LLP; Dr. David Cole, Chairman Emeritus, Center for Automotive Research, Chairman, Auto Harvest; David Szczupak Executive Vice President of Global Product Organization, Whirlpool Corporation.

W-Advisors & Co. is a consulting firm based out of Detroit, MI and is run by David Woessner ’01. David had spent the last 7 years consulting for large firms like Deloitte and P3, but now he was ready to put the skills he had acquired to the test in his own venture. His interview process required the examination of a series of work packages and the creation of a proposal on the packages I would like to work on. The interview process was unlike any other I had in the series and it was the first sign that this internship would be learning intensive. It did not let me down.

My internship could be broken down into three sections: business development, corporate consulting, and personal growth. I have spent two weeks so far in the city of Detroit helping to establish W-Advisors as a company and a brand. I’ve gotten the chance to attend networking events like the Detroit Economic Club luncheon, where I met some of the biggest movers and shakers in Detroit; participated in a meeting with C-level executives; and built out many of the company structures that will exist once my internship is complete.

The other four weeks of my internship have been spent in Greenville, SC working at the ZF Transmissions factory. I have been playing a supporting role here, along with a team from P3 North America, as we work to help our client overcome some systemic obstacles they are facing. The days run from 6am-6pm for 6 days a week, with some more outside assignments sprinkled throughout the gaps. I thought my 8am Research and Methods class was tough. I’ve had to become a PowerPoint/Excel pro, because I’ve learned that communicating through visual representation is key in consulting. My biggest achievement so far is turning 2 months of truck check-ins/check-outs (over 2,500!) stored in boxes, into a meaningful data set, and eventually into meaningful slides, in order to show the impact our team has had on shipping and receiving. I’m now managing a multi-million dollar project plan, and with that learning more than I could have imagined about the way a nearly $1B factory is run.

Woessner '01 and Taylor '15

Woessner ’01 and Taylor ’15 at the Wabash Admissions Networking Event held at a Detroit Tigers game

If you know me, you know that on top of being fascinated with start-ups I am also very interested in understanding the way people work. This experience, so far, has challenged my conception of myself and of the professional world. I’ve seen that sometimes executive meetings can look just like fraternity chapter meetings and that even pay checks are not enough of a motivation for a work force. I’ve seen that some people, no matter the age, are still not able to put themselves after the greater good. I’ve seen that just because you want something doesn’t mean that you are willing to make the tough choices to get it. I’ve also seen that there are people out in the world who truly want to make the most positive impact that they can. I’ve met people who have opened up to a curious young man and shared themselves in the hopes that their experiences would help him grow. I’ve seen people driven by such passion, that even though they are unsure of what is to come, they are certain that what they are doing is right. I’ve learned that if you want to see it in the world then you must be willing to create it. I’ve found mission, courage, and strength inside myself that I thought was a distant possibility. It’s only week 5. Let’s see what the rest of this internship has in store.