Wabash Blogs 2008 Summer Internships

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June 30, 2008

Career Services Interns

Although Crawfordsville may not be the most exciting place in the summer, Jake German and I have been keeping ourselves busy as summer interns for the Schroeder Center for Career Development. The Career Center remains open during the summer, and students are able to seek internship and career advice during weekday hours. Since there are no school assignments, papers, and exams, the summer is a prime time for students to focus energy thinking about future plans after Wabash.

The Career Center may provide some of the same resources as it does during the school year, but Jake and I are primarily concerned with two main projects that we have been working on. Our first project is the popular Community Fair that occurs during the first week of the school year. Jake and I are currently in the process of coordinating the 3rd annual fair. For those who may be unfamiliar with the event, the fair provides an opportunity for the Wabash Community to interact with Crawfordsville-area businesses and organizations. Local businesses and organizations are able to increase their visibility and elicit service and volunteer help, and the Wabash Community is able to learn about their surrounding environment. The Community Fair is a particularly great event for freshmen who are embarking on a new chapter of their life in an unfamiliar environment. Jake and I are looking to increase the fair’s attendance this year. We plan on including more local businesses and organizations than previous years and we are brainstorming fun activities that will draw people to the event.

Jake explains our second project:

Our second project this summer is the Alumni Interviewing DVD.  We have contacted many alumni all over the country to help us make the best DVD of interviewing advice possible.  Our first travels took us to Chicago.  The list of alumni ranges in year of graduation and occupation.  We hope to bring the best advice to our students here at Wabash College.  Our questions include advice on resumes, cover letters, dress code, graduate school, and much, much more.  While in Chicago, Pat and I attended a Cubs game.  They beat the Rockies 10-9 on an six-run eighth inning.  We are going to travel to Denver in the upcoming weeks to visit alumni out there.

All the alumni that we have interviewed have been more than helpful. Students should keep in mind that networking can help with the internship and job search process. The help that Wabash alumni can provide is a valuable resource. With that being said, we would like to graciously thank all participating alumni. Without your support and advice, this DVD would not be possible.  

Photos: Top--Pat Patterson '09 and Jake German '11  Bottom--Pat & Jake interviewing Craig Currie '85 from eToys.    

June 26, 2008

Colorado for the Summer

Nick Woehler '09 - Having spent just over a month now in my internship, I feel I’m at a good place to reflect on my experience a little and blog about it.  For my summer internship, I elected to participate in a retail/wholesale management position offered through the Wabash College Small-Business Internship Fund.

As I have no idea what I will do with my life, there was really one major factor that dictated which internship I chose, and that was location.  I was born and raised in Southern Indiana and, after 21 years of exposure, I decided that I simply had to get out of the state for awhile.  No offense Indiana, but there’s 49 other states out there to experience.  In fact, getting out of the Midwest in general was appealing as well.  So when I found out that this opportunity was in Boulder, Colorado (someplace I have never even come close to in my limited travels growing up), I jumped all over it like a fat man on Cheetos.

And, let me tell you, am I glad I did.  This place is absolutely unbelievable.  Every morning that I get up to jump on the bus (yes, they have really great public transportation here!) to go to my internship, I get an awesome view of the mountains to the west.  And the climate is great too; it’s extremely different than Indiana as many of you may already know.  Unlike Indiana, there is zero humidity, it’s incredibly dry.  And, being over a mile above sea level, the weather changes throughout the day with chilly mornings, hot afternoons, and cool evenings.  The weather is so nice in fact, many homes here don’t even have an air conditioner (on purpose, that is).  Besides having a nice view of the mountains and a good climate, Boulder as a city is very aesthetically pleasing.  Because of the wealth that runs through this city, everything here seems so new (or maybe just well maintained) and very clean.  And, of course, the people are really friendly here; but in all honesty, it’d take a real Scrooge to be unhappy and mean to others in a city like this.

The internship is going really well.  I’m about four weeks into it now and I have been moved around to just about every department on the floor of the store in that time period.  Since I began, I’ve cashiered, worked the customer service booth, helped with security, worked in three different departments, and spent entire days just taking inventory.  And I’m going to keep being moved around as it continues, so that in the coming weeks I’ll work in receiving, marketing, buying, and more.  Basically, by the end of the internship, I’ll have worked in every department in the store and should have a good handle on how to manage a business.  This setup actually works incredibly well for me as I am pretty much clueless as to what I want to do after I graduate next year (as I indicated above); getting short, comprehensive immersions in each position really helps me determine the things that I might actually like to do for a career (and of course the things I would not like to do… and, of course, there have been a few of those too).  I also feel like I’ve gotten a few really great stories out of the experience too, like the girl that came in while I was working in security; she came up to me, gave me a hug, and then leaned in to kiss me on the cheek... in front of her boyfriend.  I’m still regarded very highly by my coworkers over that one.  Speaking of my coworkers, I should mention that they are pretty awesome; I can’t think of any that I have not enjoyed working with so far.

I’ve also gotten to meet the alumnus who made this internship possible, Bob Charles.  He’s a bit of a bigwig over here as he’s been a successful businessman over the course of his life.  He’s the nicest guy and a true testament to the quality of Wabash College alumni.

Oh, I should also mention that Scott and Betsy along with their interns came to visit us.  They came to hobnob and network for Wabash men who might one day want to work in Colorado.  We had lunch together and got to go down to Coors Field in downtown Denver to watch a Rockies game.  Let me tell you, we got these amazing seats.  In fact, they were so great, not mentioning them in the blog would be a downright shame.  They were in the fifth row, just behind the home team dugout.  I’m not much of a baseball fan, but I could not help but really get into it with such amazing seats.  And how did we get such great seats?  One word: connections.

Photos: Top-Jose Barriga (also interning at Liquor Mart), Nick Woehler, and Jack Stoakes the General Manager of the business.
Center-Nick, Jose and Bob Charles '59, owner of the business
Bottom-picture taken from great seats at Rockies game

June 23, 2008

Interning in Poland

Filip Lempa '11

For a little bit less than month now I've been an intern at the British Consulate in Katowice, Poland. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Stephen M. Coons and Mr. Philip M. Coons I am able to determine if diplomacy might be something I want to do after I graduate from Wabash as a political science major.  My typical day at the consulate is quite busy. I have to translate documents and articles, I deal with people who call and come in person to our diplomatic facility in order to resolve various problems, I write articles, and even represent my consulate at diplomatic meetings. I find all this quite demanding, but the satisfaction is great and I'm learning a lot. I am definitely glad that I tried to get an internship related to my course of study as early as my freshman year.

Pictured above is Filip with Mr. Allan Stretton, the British Consul in Katowice, Poland

June 18, 2008

Two Students Interning at Indianapolis Museum of Art

Clifford Hull/Colin Fleck - We have been working for the past four weeks at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Wabash Art History Professor Elizabeth Morton is writing a book on the subject of patronage in the art world. 

Professor Morton has been working in conjunction with the Indianapolis Museum of Art to study Harrison Eiteljorg’s collection of African art, which comprises a large majority of the IMA’s African collection. Our part of the project has seen us organizing a large amount of data in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s database. As the technology has progressed over the years, the IMA has gone through multiple data entry systems that have left much of the database disjointed and unorganized. 

We have been organizing the data from the African collection into a congruent form so that the information can be more easily accessible on the Internet, a project which the IMA has actually begun on the other collections as well. So far we have spent a lot of time working in the gallery itself, comparing the information on the labels with the information in the database.

While some of that work can be somewhat tedious, working in an art museum has offered many amazing opportunities. During our orientation, we took part in an objects handling workshop in which we able to go into the archives at the IMA and handle actual works of art. A few weeks later we received a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We accompanied Ted Celenko, the Head Curator of African and South Pacific Art at the IMA, to purchase an African object for the IMA’s collection from a private art dealer. We were able to see the inner workings of an art acquisition at a major art museum. While Mr. Celenko did not end up purchasing an object for the IMA, we were still able to see and handle a few dozen wonderful pieces of art that certainly belong in a museum.

In photo: Colin Fleck, Ted Celenko, Cliff Hull

Blue '10 Gains Insight to Local Theatre

Jamie Blue '10 - Before launching into a breakdown of what one could discover while working at a community theater, it is imperative that the history of the particular theater is incorporated. Only then will the individual grasp the significance of the true essence of the art, and what it means to its inhabitants.

The Sugar Creek Players was formed in the summer of 1971 by an assembly of community members who wanted to revitalize live, local theater. Ironically, Wabash College housed all of the original productions of the Sugar Creek Players. After leaving Wabash, the Players spent many years performing on stages throughout Montgomery County. In the December of 1983, the Players founded a permanent home when the Vanity Motion Picture Theatre was deeded to them.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Drama flourishes at the historic Vanity Theater. True to form, the Sugar Creek Players greeted me with a histrionic interpretation of the rudiments of community theater; I have learned that running a community theater is extremely arduous. Somehow, the Players have managed to incorporate business aspects with dramatical performance to create an internship that has been fun and informative. So far, I have learned certain aspects of community theatre management. This includes managing props and costumes, marketing, and acting.

Managing costumes and props was the hardest part of the internship. Imagine a room that is filled with fake guns, dusty flowers, and vast numbers of cloths from different eras of stage performance that have been in existence for 20-plus years. I had to organize rooms similar to the one that you just imagined. After two long weeks of doing this, I embarked upon a marketing campaign for Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the Player’s summer youth musical. Marketing included meeting the business owners of Crawfordsville, giving away advertisements, and conducting radio interviews. Not only did the marketing help raise money for Cinderella, but it introduced me to the friendly business people of Crawfordsville; there aren’t too many people who can say that they can eat at Elaine’s Teashop and Catering for free!

Blue's internship is funded by the Know Indiana Program, funded by Lilly Endowment.

June 17, 2008

Financial Internship in Indianapolis

My name is Krzysztof Wojciechowski and I just finished up my junior year at Wabash.  I am interning this summer at Centerfield Capital Partners, a private equity fund that specializes in buyouts of lower middle-market companies. While I have been on the job for less than 2 weeks, I feel that I have learned a great deal in a short period of time and that this learning experience will complement my experience last summer with WP Global Partners, a Chicago-based private equity fund-of-funds. So what exactly is private equity? I would describe it as a spectrum of alternative investments available to qualified investors: the spectrum runs from early stage investments in new ideas (known as venture, or seed capital) to leveraged buyouts of established companies. Real estate funds, mezzanine funds, and distressed/turnaround funds dot the rest of the landscape. Centerfield operates in the lower middle-market, targeting companies with annual revenues between $10 and $50 million, and utilizing a buyout structure that often includes a combination of mezzanine debt and equity. The former has become increasingly attractive of late due to the turmoil in the credit markets, with senior lenders reluctant to make new loans, and mezzanine debt coming in to fill the void. The point of all of this is pretty straightforward: buy a growing company or one with growth potential, grow that company organically or through acquisitions, and make an exit, either through a recapitalization, strategic sale, or an initial public offering (IPO). Where does Centerfield get the money to buy these companies? As a General Partner, they turn to their Limited Partners, institutions, banks, high net-worth investors, and other accredited investors such as WP Global, which provide further equity capital and debt-based financing. WP Global serves as a gatekeeper to the world of private equity-funds like Centerfield-for large institutional investors such as state employee pension plans, wealthy families, and sovereign wealth funds.

My primary responsibility this summer will be to revamp our contact database, which has over 7000 contacts from investment banks, financial intermediaries, business brokers, and many, many more. The database has become unwieldy, and it is my task to go through and figure out what should stay and what should go, hopefully creating a more efficient database in the process. My other responsibilities include attending partnership meetings, reviewing potential deals, assisting with due diligence, and anything else they throw at me. I love a challenge, and the more pressure there is the better I feel that I perform.

One of the highlights of my internship thus far has been attending the Techpoint Mira Awards Ceremony in the Roof Ballroom. This annual black-tie event honors Indiana’s most innovative companies that contribute to bringing our state into the 21st century. The dinner was a great time with good food, drinks, conversation, and amusing entertainment. I felt like I was at the Oscars of Indiana business. Another highlight was attending the partnership’s advisory board meeting and lunch, which took place in the Skyline Club atop the OneAmerica building. This meeting really gave me a good grasp of what we do around here.

In conclusion, I am grateful that Centerfield has accepted me as an intern, and I look forward to a productive and educational summer. I am also extremely grateful that Wabash has made opportunities such as this one available to students. My girlfriend, who attends DePauw, is amazed by the fact that our college is willing to fund an internship that otherwise would be unpaid. She says that such opportunities simply do not exist at her school. Thank you, Wabash.

June 12, 2008

Externship visit in Chicago

Mark Schultz, '10

While doing a Wabash sponsored Small Business Internship in Chicago this summer, I decided to also take advantage of new externship opportunities offered by alumni.  My externship experience consisted of a day visit to a global corporation that focuses on consulting, technology and outsourcing.  My day started out with a one on one discussion with the alum about his personal work history and current job responsibilities.  He gave me a lot of background information on what work is like on an everyday basis and how their work environment at that location is changing.  After getting to know each other for about an hour, I sat in on a department meeting of rather significant importance.  Several restructuring decisions were being made about changes in their office and how it would impact the company in an international sense. 

After the meeting, we had lunch and a leadership meeting in a conference room down the street.  Here I met a variety of different employees from across the nation at different stages of their career and in different departments.  I participated in their workshop and took away several lessons that I can easily implement into my own work as an intern this summer.

Upon returning to the main office, I talked with my host alum about intern opportunities in the company and in his department.  He informed me that he had already talked to the intern coordinator and given him my resume!  On top of that, I had met him earlier in the day and would have a chance to interact with him at dinner.  Dinner (charged to the company) gave me a chance to have more casual interaction with other employees and my host.  We discussed classic Wabash topics like fraternity life, how he met his wife and the Keg Game.  I learned that he actually participated in the first of the rugby games against DePauw and that he actually met his wife on campus!

This externship experience proved to be everything that Wabash advertises as far as strong alumni connections.  My host took time out of his obviously busy schedule to lead me around and answer my questions.  He also positioned me to be able to have personal contact with the intern coordinator in his office for next year.  A chance to learn from alumni, free pizza and a strong internship connection for last year made this day visit worth the time. 

June 11, 2008

Actuarial Internship with OneAmerica

Seth Flater '10

I have been working at my internship in Indianapolis for 4 weeks now and things could not be any better. Well, they would be a little better if gas prices were to go down just a little so I was not spending all my hard earned money filling up the car, but that does not look like it is going to change anytime soon.

This is my first ever internship and I have been unbelievably impressed by how Wabash has prepared me to succeed in the workplace. There are 22 other interns and at no time have I felt like I am behind any sort of learning curve. I work at the Career Center here at Wabash during the school year as a Peer Career Advisor. Working there, going to the different presentations on Internships, and reading the material we give out actually put me ahead of the game when it came to what to expect and how to go about the internship.

One of the best parts about the internship so far is that we get to listen to presentations given by the VP’s of the various departments. These presentations have really helped to teach me more about the industry and just sort of give me a glance into all the different aspects and areas that make up a company. Throughout these presentations so far I have tried to take in as much information as possible and ask questions whenever they come up. During one such presentation the other day I was unable to come up with a question during the presentation, but right when I got back to my desk I came up with two or three that I should have asked. This led me to emailing the particular VP that gave the presentation, hoping that he could answer my question with a quick email or something. To my surprise he responded back and asked if we could set up a meeting to discuss the questions. Needless to say I was a little intimidated by the prospect of sitting down with a VP, not to mention the VP that is in charge of the particular area I am working in, but the meeting went great. It really helped me to get a better understanding of the area I am working in and taught me a little more about the company as a whole. The best part of the meeting was just seeing the amount of enthusiasm that this particular VP had for his job. It was easy to see why he has been successful.

Hopefully the next 6 weeks continue to be a great experience and help me get a better understanding of what I want to do when I graduate. I am also excited by the fact that this experience will allow me to better help students at the Career Center during the upcoming school year, because I will now have first hand experience as to what an internship is like and what students need to do to be successful.

June 05, 2008

Researching Art on Wabash Campus

Mitch Brown '10 - Everyday I go to work I discover something else interesting about this campus. I am the Historic Arts Intern for the Ramsay Archives. My task for the summer is to photograph and locate all historical furnishings on campus and to add new items to the inventory. (Editor's note: Brown's internship is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.'s Quality of Life Grant under the Know Indiana Program.) See a Journal Review story about the three Know Indiana interns here.

Wabash is packed full of historical treasures. What the students and faculty see while school is in session is only a portion of the pieces of art that Wabash owns. Many works of art and artifacts remain in storage because either they are too damaged to be displayed, or there is just not enough room on campus to showcase every piece of art owned. I have documented these along with the works hanging in our buildings. 

With the guidance of Beth Swift, I have dug through different storage rooms, discovering another beautiful work of art with every painting I overturn. Some rooms have so much, that I needed the help of Arturo Medina to move the paintings in order to gain access to them all.

Wabash’s collection features many different styles and many different time periods. There are, of course, many great portraits of Wabash giants from the past, and landscapes that show the beautiful Indiana frontier. Many works were done by famous Indiana painters such as T.C. Steele, Marie Goth, and Dale Bessire. Others were created by friends of the college such as Peg Shearer, the wife of former professor Warren Shearer, and Klaus Wolff, a Wabash man who did many sketches depicting the campus. But some of the most surprising items I’ve come across aren’t works of art. 

Wabash has in its possession a boomerang said to be from Australia, letters signed by George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, air mail carried by Charles Lindbergh, and many other historical items.

Perhaps the most fruitful part of this experience is the ways in which I have come to know Wabash College. Spread throughout this campus there are paintings, woodcuts, and photographs that portray Wabash College in every time period since its establishment. 

There are depictions of buildings that no longer stand such as a painting of South Hall by Neva J. Chapman, or portrayals of still-standing structures as they looked in times past, such as a woodcut of Center Hall in 1856 by Harold Macdonald. 

Through the course of this internship, I have seen Wabash College from the perspective of several different people from several different time periods. I am slowly beginning to grasp how this campus came to be the way it is now. I can truly attest that Wabash’s rich history can be seen through the material items that are still in its possession today.

June 03, 2008

Business Immersion Group Meets Entrepreneurs

Derrin Slack '10 - This week in the Business Immersion Program was a great week not only because it was a four-day week, but also because we stay engaged in an active, learning environment. 

We continued to work on our consulting projects for the Christian Nursing Service, and we also worked in our smaller groups trying to formulate ideas for our business plan project. Along with working on our projects and keeping up with our steady reading schedule, we had two phenomenal entrepreneurs come in to share their advice and stories as to how they came to where they are today. 

We were first visited by Frank Hagaman ’72, whose company readapts or reuses old, run-down buildings and turns them into low-income housing for those who can’t afford the market rates. Hagaman’s entrepreneurial venture has become a valuable asset to neighborhoods in Indianapolis as he and his company strives to end homelessness. During his talk, Hagaman, as described by Evan Isaacs ’10, “does what he likes” which seems to be a common reason why entrepreneurs and those in the workforce succeed in the world today. 

Dave Ranard, Founder and President of Creative Outdoor Products, added more support to this assumption. Based here in Crawfordsville, Ranard turned his life-long love of hunting into a lucrative business which specializes in hunting toys for boys and girls alike. Hagaman’s and Ranard’s talk inspired me to look inside myself and figure out what I have a passion for; and once I find that passion, and then go for it. I can create my own success, and I hope that next week will give more insight to that.

Business Immersion Has Fast Start

May 23, 2008 - My name is Derrin Slack, and I am a rising junior  at Wabash College. I play football, run track, and I am a proud member of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies. I will be bringing you updated information every week about my experience this summer staying on campus and learning about the ins-and-outs of business in the Business Immersion program.

While most Wallies returned home to their respective places, or went off to work this summer, some Wallies stayed grounded here at Wabash working for various internships and programs. 

One unique experience this summer, in which I and eleven other Wabash students are participating, is the Business Immersion Program headed by Lu Hamilton and instructed by John Walter of Vanderbilt University and also a recent graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. 

Our week was jump started the first day with a brief introduction into the program and then we were prompted to go straight out into the Crawfordsville community to start a small 24-hour entrepreneurial challenge with a five dollar bill given to us to invest into our entrepreneurial idea. We accomplished that by getting into small groups and each group came up with an entrepreneurial venture that they thought would make the most money in 24 hours. 

My group decided to do a car wash for the community which turned out to backfire on us due to a rapid change in the weather. We ended up making about 90 dollars with a $25 investment. Other groups either went door-to-door raising money or conducted a raffle in which participants received gift certificates from various businesses in the Crawfordsville area. 

As a whole, we amassed about $400 which all monies were donated to M.U.F.F.Y., a non-profit coalition of businesses and organizations in Crawfordsville.

Other than that, we were visited by speakers who constantly talked about having a passion to do what you love, and this notion is prompting the group and I to expand on our business ideas and refine them into something great over the next few weeks. I think this summer will be a great one!