Negotiations, Finances, and a Not So Perfect Pitch

Ethan Groff ’15 – This week sure was busy! It was week 4 for the BIP and everyone agreed, this week was the toughest so far. Monday was a pretty normal day.  We watched some Shark Tank and discussed our projects. Tuesday however, was a completely different story. In the morning we had the 2nd round of negotiations between Baxter and Union 190 (Baxter is the case name for a real meat packing company). In round 1 the Union, which is the side I am on, came away with quite a victory and it showed in round 2, as the management group would not give any ground. The negotiations eventually led to the union workers going on strike. On Tuesday I found out that I do not want to do labor negotiations…ever! In the afternoon, Kristen Clary, the Director of Economic Development for Montgomery County, came in to give us a presentation over finance. While very informative and interesting, I realized that accounting, finance, and any related fields are also not for me.

On Wednesday we had our first round of presentations. This was very exciting, but also very stressful. After practicing for at least 4 hours Tuesday night, my group of Jeremy, Tyler, and Rudy (make sure to read his blog too!) was ready to go. When we got into the room a panel of familiar faces greeted us ready to hear our pitch. Unfortunately, I was not as ready as the judges because I stumbled over much of my presentation after losing focus early in my part. I was not pleased with myself to say the least. Luckily for me, my teammates picked up the slack (big shout out to Jeremy, Tyler, and Rudy-way to go guys!) and we walked away with an extra $50,000 invested in our business.

On Thursday and Friday we focused on the consulting project. For this project we will be discussing how to best rework the ESH program. At the conclusion of this we will make recommendations to some of Wabash’s higher ups. They will hopefully keep our recommendations in mind when making the final decisions.  This project has been interesting to say the least. When we started the consulting project it seemed simple enough, but as the summer has progressed the problem has only grown bigger and bigger. Let’s just say the solution will not be simple and there will be plenty of critical thinking. Fortunately, we are Wabash men and thinking critically is something we have done every day since stepping on campus for Freshman Saturday.

While I was able to sum up the week a few short paragraphs, this week was a long one. It rivaled the toughest weeks I have faced as a Wabash student (yes including finals week), but I have come away a better man because of it. And, while it may seem that I am only finding career fields that do not interest me, this summer has actually been quite the opposite. For the first time since arriving at Wabash College I have some sense of direction for my future, and the BIP is largely responsible for that. The opportunity to work with a great group of guys on a broad range of business related problems, has allowed me to augment many skills that will be helpful in my last 2 years at Wabash (and will be absolutely necessary once I leave Wabash).

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