Entrepreneurship Students from Miami University here to Tackle Bigco Challenges

June 26th, 2018

Summer interns. Gotta love them. We certainly do.

But our summer interns from Miami University’s Altman Internship Program do more than fetch Chipotle. Lizzie and Turner come to us with a unique perspective on entrepreneurial leadership and ready to dive into whatever we throw at them. An internship here requires jumping in from day one and getting down and dirty in all the opportunities offered.

Meet our 2018 summer strategy interns!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Lizzie: I am from Cincinnati, Ohio but my family has recently moved to Columbus, Ohio. I lived in Geneva, Switzerland for two years as a child which sparked my love for travelling the world. I am currently a student at Miami University co-majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship with a minor in French. At school, I am on the Equestrian Team and have been horseback riding since I was seven-years old. I lead Igoodea Creatives, a creativity organization on campus, which has taught me many problem solving and creative thinking skills that I now apply to my internship at TGG.

Turner: I too moved around a bit when I was a kid; I was born in Houston, Texas then moved to Los Angeles and finally to Oxford, Ohio. I spent a year in Luxembourg during middle school which was an amazing way to experience Europe. I currently go to school at Miami University where I’m co-majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. At school I like to stay involved with personal projects, Igoodea Creatives, and my Fraternity (Delta Sigma Phi).

So, you jumped into The Garage Group. What made you decide to join us?

Lizzie: Deciding to join TGG was a no brainer for me. There’s such a great culture and I felt that this was the perfect place for me to jump right in and learn. TGG is so inclusive and everyone is always pushing each other to learn more. While TGG is a startup, they work with so many great companies. I have the best of both worlds; I can work at and learn from a startup company while also learning from interactions with Bigcos. I think that this will provide me with a great experience and teachings I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

Turner: For starters, I couldn’t have gotten a higher recommendation from my peers and staff at Miami University. All the past interns were ecstatic about their experience here and were so helpful and encouraging during the process. Beyond TGG’s reputation, I love the mission of the work. I have personally changed substantially since I’ve started using entrepreneurial mindsets and creative tools, and I want to share that with other people.

How do you apply startup thinking to your personal life? Tell us a story!

Turner: My roommate and I were up late one night when one of us saw the news about Elon Musk selling flamethrowers. We obviously thought that was awesome, and wanted one, but knew we couldn’t afford it. This spiraled into our idea of a philanthropy event where you pay a small fee and shoot a flamethrower! We could buy the flamethrower and raise money for charity! I got very excited by this and went about talking to a lawyer, a fireman, and several university employees to see if we could make this happen. The short answer was “Maybe”, the long answer was “Maybe, but please don’t,” so the idea is tabled for now. But I was just happy to see how far I could push this crazy idea, and at the end I had a half-finished business model for a flamethrower philanthropy.

What trends do you see in marketing, branding, or innovation at large companies that lend well to a more entrepreneurial approach?

Lizzie: Trends I’ve noticed right now are large companies incorporating design thinking, co-creating with consumers, targeted marketing, and emphasis on diversity of thought. Bigcos are using the design thinking approach because it breaks down the ambiguity in a problem, they prototype it, and those ideas are tested. This helps develop ideas in a smaller time  frame and it allows for more changes along the way. Additionally, businesses are co-creating with their consumers. This means that there is more emphasis on finding consumer insights and figuring out what they truly want and need. There is increased use in empathy interviews. Target marketing is very popular in the industry. Due to our technology and readily available data, companies are able to target very specific consumer segments. Finally, companies are incorporating diversity of thought in many team settings because they’ve realized the value of getting input from many perspectives.

What was your favorite book that you read last year? Why?

Lizzie: My favorite book last year was The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry. He talked about the importance of pacing yourself in order to maximize your creative thinking. Brilliant, healthy, and prolific were the three words reiterated throughout the book that really illustrated the core message. I was also fortunate enough to have a lunch with Toddy Henry where we discussed this book more in depth, along with some of his other work.

What’s your favorite innovation that’s come out in the past year?

Turner: The skip intro button on Netflix. When it first came out people went insane for the new feature! It’s such a simple thing but is super quick and useful. It’s easy to forget about, but when you think about it, that’s what makes it such a great innovation. I use it constantly and it has had a small yet profound impact on my free time.

What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Lizzie: I believe that dessert tastes better before every meal.

Turner: Burgundy is just navy red.

Tell me two truths and a lie about yourself.

Turner: I eat frozen waffles without cooking them, I’ve gone hitchhiking, and as a child I would exclusively wear red cowboy boots.

Lizzie: I have three sisters, I have cracked my head open, and I speak Chinese.

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