August is always a time of change here at Bridge Builder Strategies, as the interns that we have worked with all summer leave us to return to school and continue their academic journey. Bridge Builder Strategies has included interns on our team since the company was founded in 2018. This was an easy choice because we are firm believers in experiential learning, and, given my other role as an adjunct professor, it only stands to reason that interns could be a valuable addition to our team.
Interns are great to work with for a number of reasons. First, they bring knowledge and skills to the table that neither I nor my team possess. Second, they bring energy and ideas that allow us to look at problems in new ways. Third, they want to learn new things and are for the most part open to coaching. Finally, they help me be the best leader I can be. They expect their leaders to be authentic and provide encouragement to lead authentically.
This year we have had a great group of interns and I want to recognize and thank them for their contributions. The group includes students from Wabash and Franklin Colleges.
Jax Wilson is a rising senior who is majoring in Financial Mathematics at Wabash. He has worked as a data analytics intern and has helped us gather and analyze data for several of our most important clients.Haley Pritchett, another rising senior, attends Franklin and is majoring in Journalism and PR. She has played a huge role in helping us improve our website and social media presence. Both Jax and Haley plan to continue to work with us from campus and supply their contributions to the team.
Seth Acero, Jonah Billups, and Zain Raza are all rising sophomores from Wabash and have made equally impressive contributions. Seth has helped develop a new process for identifying and targeting prospective business development organizations. He has also helped work on major projects with Shepherd and CICOA and contributed to significant improvements. Jonah has collaborated with Seth on those major projects, and helped manage a major research project for another client. Finally, Zain has utilized his knowledge of data analytics to create a model that will allow us to better understand and predict financial health measures for individuals in poverty.
As this summer ends, I want to celebrate each of their contributions and thank them for being part of our journey. I am glad they have been part of the Bridge Builder Strategies team and am happy to call them friends. For these interns, this is not a time to say “goodbye,” but rather to quote the late Jack Buck, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, “so long for just a while.”