Casey Shipley ’14: Biking and Building Skills with Alumni in Nantucket

Casey Shipley ’14:  This summer, I was fortunate enough to land an internship working for Nantucket Bike Tours in Nantucket, MA.  Thus far, it has been an unbelievable summer working for entrepreneur Jason Bridges ‘98, who started this company three years ago, and Carl Rivera ’13.  Courtney Nemeth, who is the co-owner of NBT, and Tadhg Hannon ’15, who is also interning for the summer, make up the rest of our team.  At Nantucket Bike Tours, we give tours to people all around the island helping them experience Nantucket by showing them amazing beaches, endless historical sites, and breathtaking landscape.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect before I came out to Nantucket, but everything Ihave learned here has by far surpassed my expectations. Being a bike tour company, giving tours is obviously a major part of my internship this summer, but it is far from theonly thing that I have done and learned here over the last couple of months.  Not only do I give tours, but I have also had the chance to participate in all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make a small business thrive, which all entrepreneurs aim to do. There is so much that goes on in a small business, and as most entrepreneurs know, it is hard at times to stay on top of everything on the agenda with limited employees.  Not only was I continuously trying to learn the history and layout of the island in my first few weeks, but I had to juggle all of that while helping with all of the business side of the company.  I was involved in the company’s accounting, marketing, business planning, and public relations.  This wide-ranging mixture of business experience I have been gainingwill be extremely beneficial to my future career.

Aside from the vast variety of hands-on business experience I have been gaining through this internship, I have also learned the “little things” that will help me be successful in whatever I do down the road.  Jason and Carl have helped me grow so much as a person by helping me develop the necessary character traits and teaching me intangibles that would help make anyone more successful.  They are both always stressing to me about things like leadership, details, and awareness.  These traits seem so obvious, but it actually takes a lot of work to develop them.  Jason has been giving me literature to read on leadership and how to influence people.  This is very important at Nantucket Bike Tours because every single group of customers is different, so it is imperative that I have the social and communication skills to be able to effectively meet and gain the trust of people from all different backgrounds.  While this is obviously very important while giving tours, these skills I have learned will without a doubt make me more successful down the road by helping me interact with a wide variety of people effectively.  I have had numerous chances to work on these skills this summer outside of the tours through the various volunteer jobs we do within the Nantucket community.  We have volunteered for the ACK clean team, the Nantucket Film Festival, and the Nantucket Comedy Festival. These have all provided excellent opportunities to work on these communication and leadership skills.

We are extremely blessed at Wabash to have a very strong and dedicated group of alumni. To not take advantage of the opportunities they can present, and the knowledge and wisdom they can offer, is a mistake as a student.  Internships through Career Services and the Small Business Internship Fund are the perfect opportunity to connect with alumni and really build your business skills, as well as leadership and character traits that will expand your communication and social skills.  All of these skills will help make you successful in any career path that you choose. 

I would like to thank those who make the Small Business Internship Fund possible.  The beauty of having an internship for a small business is that I have been exposed to every aspect of the business.  It has really helped me diversify and enhance myself by developing a wide range of skills that I will use in whatever career I go into after I graduate next spring.  From accounting and marketing, to social and communication skills, Jason and Carl have taught me more in a short amount of time than I ever expected to learn while I was out here. I look forward to my remaining weeks here on the island, and I will definitely continue to take advantage of this opportunity to work with great alumni and gain as much knowledge as I can from them to continue to grow as a person.

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