Summer Business Immersion to Look at Local Tourism

by Howard W. Hewitt

May 22, 2007

One of Wabash College’s most successful business experiences continues to grow and impress employers and alumni alike. The Summer Business Immersion Experience got underway this week with 12 students participating.

The eight-week course is held on campus with students hearing from alumni, experts, and working within the business community to solve real problems.

"We have a number of employers who recruit through our office who comment quite positively on the value of the Business Immersion Program, as well as the Marketing Immersion and Idea Accelerator," said Scott Crawford, Director of the Schroeder Center for Career Development.

"They indicate that such programs add tremendously to the student’s liberal arts experience and make them much more marketable to potential employers."

The programs have had more than a feel-good result. Many business leaders hiring Wabash graduates have lauded the program.

"The College’s seminars on entrepreneurship, marketing, etc., and the Econ Department’s work on technical and modeling skills, and other work going on at the campus has really added a lot to the students’ experience," said Brian Mantel ’93. Mantel has his own business, and is also a vice president with Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He hired two Wabash students as summer interns who have participated in the business programs.

"I can’t say enough about the guys being coached into taking some of the more practical and technical classes a bit earlier in their four years," Mantel said. "In my day, we too often waited until the senior years to take those classes which hurt you in being prepared for internships which then made the job search a bit tougher. Having the balance in coursework and experience over the whole four years, I think, really pays off."

Besides the classroom work and lectures, the students will take on a community project. This summer the students will work with Sharon Kenny of the Montgomery County Visitors and Convention Bureau. The class will try to determine the impact of tourism in Montgomery County and help the bureau publicize tourist attractions and events.

They will meet with Kenny through the summer and then make a full presentation to the Bureau, local museum and tourist staffs, the local Chamber of Commerce, and the Wabash Campus. That presentation is scheduled for July 6 in the College’s Trippet Hall.

"I think the program has gotten more complete over time," Lu Hamilton said. Hamilton is Alumni Career Officer and helps coordinate the program. "The first couple of years we kept finding items we simply did not cover but I feel we hit almost all the bases now.

"The students get a real dose of reality and how difficult the outside can be."

The 2007 summer participants are: Divash Basnet ’09, Blaine Cooper-Surma ’09, Jason Cox ’10, Andy Deig ’09, Chris Haskel ’08, John Holmes ’09, George Mavrelis ’09, Michael Opieczonek ’09, Patrick Patterson ’09, Adrian Pynenberg ’08, Sandeep Sharma ’09, Chandler Troy ’08.


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