Sam Schabel ’15 – Arriving on my first day at Foresight Financial Management, Bryon Foley ‘96 presented the agenda he planned for my eight-week internship. Bryon, on his 17th year as a financial advisor, told me, “If nothing else, you will learn how to network with others efficiently and effectively.”
Bryon also told me that I would learn how to use different software that helps him with his line of work while learning the basics about financial planning. As I continued to learn more and more throughout the time of my internship, Bryon was the perfect person to be learning from because of his experience in the industry, his talent of within social situations, and his generosity towards others.
Well, Bryon was right about learning to network. Bryon is a member of the local Indianapolis networking group, Rainmakers. Rainmakers provide Bryon not only with numerous events to attend but also different education events such as an event called the WOMMM. Luckily, I was able to attend this event which stands for Word Of Mouth Marketing Machine. This event alone taught me several hugely valuable lessons such as setting up goals and finding your target market. If you are an entrepreneur in the Indianapolis area, I highly suggest joining Rainmakers and seeing if it right for you.
When arriving my first day, I did not expect to actually meet so many people and learn how to network correctly. Bryon plans an event each month through Rainmakers called Boomers and Beyond. This event calls on people who have the need to meet Baby Boomers and retirees for the betterment of their business. This event probably has an average attendance of 65 to 80 people each month. The most important lesson Bryon taught me was to not be the person, going from person to person, giving out a business card and attempting to make a sale to that person. Nobody wants to buy that, especially when they go to the event hoping to sell and not buy from someone else. The most effective way to network is to get to know people. The point of the networking meetings is to make relationships with the people there. People do business with people they like, know and trust. If you establish a relationship with someone, they will think of you when giving a friend, or a client a referral.
I cannot thank the Wabash staff and the Wabash alumni for the experience I had this summer enough. I applied for this internship to essentially see if I would enjoy being an entrepreneur. I have had an awesome experience and am seriously considering working in financial services when I graduate or any entrepreneur profession. I especially want to thank Bryon Foley for teaching me throughout the eight weeks of my internship. He has used so many hours out of his day to teach me the basics of financial planning as well as connecting with others. He has always been eager to answer my questions and answered them in a way that I would easily understand. He has given back to his community through service projects and by also telling a potential client, “…it would be best for you NOT to work with me.” He is a selfless human being whom I hope to be my mentor someday if I decide to work within financial services.