Last week I had a very exciting Tuesday! I explored two externships which I was able to schedule on the same day due to their close proximity. In the morning I had the pleasure of job shadowing Wabash alumnus Jim Kerr ‘92, who works for a business firm called Mercer. In the afternoon I job shadowed Wabash alumni Tim Rickard ‘08, who works for a smaller company known as CareGuide. Both experiences were worth the trip, and I learned valuable information as well as gained great insight on what it takes to succeed in the business realm.
I came to college this year, as a junior, without any idea of what I want to do after graduation. With this in mind I knew I had to act if I wanted to find out what I like and pursue that. I talked with Betsy Knott, Assistant Director of Career Services, and we decided that a good starting point would be to job shadow alumni in the healthcare industry. One of the things I learned, and surprised me, during my search was how willing Wabash alumni are to help out a fellow Wally. Almost immediately after Betsy sent out an initial contact to alumni asking them to participate, she received several positive responses, expressing a willingness to help. Once I set up an appointment with Mr. Kerr, he made me aware of Tim Rickard, with whom I later set up an appointment on the same day, because both work in the same area.
Meeting with Mr. Kerr was an exciting experience! Once I arrived to the 43rd floor of the Chase Tower, I immediately was presented with an awesome view of downtown Indianapolis as I was directed to Mr. Kerr’s office. He gave me some great insight on what it is like to be in the sales department of a business, showed me first hand of what he does on a day to day basis, and gave me advice to take away from the experience. One piece of advice he told me was that nobody will care more about my career than me, and that I can’t just wait for my ship to come in, rather I need to jump out and find it myself. He also introduced me to several other people working at Mercer. Mr. Kerr gave me a feel for what it is like working at a bigger company, and where I could be if I work hard to improve my career.
The meeting with Mr. Rickard was equally a learning rich experience. We met for lunch at “The Bearcat Pub”, which, just FYI the Rubens there are quite tasty! We talked about our Wabash experiences and Tim gave me a brief introduction on his company. We visited his office at CareGuide, where he showed me around and introduced me to many different people who work there. I also sat in with him as he made a few business calls, including one to my old friend and teammate John Kasey ‘08, who now works in Seattle. Shadowing Tim was great! It helped me get the feel for working in a smaller company as well as getting a feel for what kind of job I could acquire directly out of college. Also, the experience helped me meet and network with new people.
It was a fun and enlightening experience. Not only did I get to see what an alumnus does after being out for 15 years, but I also learned what Wabash graduates can do immediately following graduation. I was also able to learn about the differences between a large company like Mercer and a smaller more entrepreneurial business like CareGuide. Being able to see this dichotomy, as well as going to some neat places and meeting new people all at one time, made this day one to remember, and one to learn from.
Craig Vetor '10