Jon Anleitner ‘14 – A group of guys came together this week with very little experience in entrepreneurship and business. It was obvious because most us, at least from my perspective, did not have profound knowledge of how to jumpstart an idea and ways to incorporate it into the market. After the first week of the Business Immersion Program (BIP), I feel that we are beginning to understand how to develop an idea and what it takes to make that unique thought successful.
On our first day of the BIP, several ideas were discussed of how we could make the ESH program work more effectively. A key problem that has been brought up is that many ESH workers on campus do not earn their money. The guys who work in the Allen center serve as a good illustration of this problem. They are constantly on Facebook or working on their homework while “on the job”. Other ESH workers, such as those who work for Campus Services, actually do constructive things that are related to their jobs. As a way to solve this issue, we recommended a tier system. For example, student workers who work more will earn higher wages than those who are simply asked to “guard” the MXI or Forest Hall.
Outside of the classroom, we went to visit Bluefish, which is an organization that works with wireless devices. We were introduced to Charlie Kelly ‘11, a Wabash graduate who used to work for the organization. He shared some of his experiences as an entrepreneur and mentioned that he worked 70 to 80 hours a week while wrestling with ideas that could potentially develop into a business. “I did not drink any alcohol” were his exact words as he was describing this period in his life that lasted for 6 months.
Charlie gave us a tour of the company. While there, the people of Bluefish were disabling the cameras on the cell phones. They did this to prevent individuals from taking pictures of the technology that could be found at the organizations they work for. We were also introduced to the developers who work in what they call the “fish tank”. They simply work on their computers all day to develop programs or software for their customers.
After the trip, I realized that it would be important for me to have some basic knowledge of computers. Many industries are becoming centered around technology, and there are many jobs that require proficiency in software development. I plan to take at least one class in computer science before I graduate and recommend others to do the same.
The first week of the BIP was a great start. I have had the opportunity to get to know some of the guys in the program, and I believe that we will work well together. In the upcoming weeks, I look forward to learning more about business development and how that process works.