My name is Evan J. Watt, a senior business administration major with a concentration in Accounting from Dayton, Ohio and this past summer changed my life. I went from jobless to having a job and then obtaining two internships. In a way this is how I projected my summer to go. This was the most important summer of my life and I understood this could make or break the start of my career.
My summer began with my position as Lead Counselor for the Youth Entrepreneurship Summer (YES) Camp hosted by the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center. This two week day camp is designed to provide 25 carefully selected high school students ranging from rising sophomores to seniors an opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills. I had mixed emotions about working the camp. I wanted to get work experience in the business world but I moved forward in the opportunity.
Over those fourteen days I saw growth in students and as well as myself. I learned how to work with the students, be their advisor, yet maintain my respect as an adult. They received a crash course in how to become entrepreneurs in two weeks. The second week the Navy came in and walked the kids through all the steps of creating a water robot. They constructed the robots including soldering the pipes together to making the batteries for the robot to maneuver through the water. The kids were divided into teams where they established themselves as companies, formulating mission statements, and various marketing tools as well as designing their presentations. The students were very creative in their definition of the purpose of their product. As an integral part of this process I guided them and provided technical advise to assist them with the final product.
It was amazing to see these kids transform from not speaking to each other to teaming together to present at with confidence for their parents, relatives and group of judges. I was very blessed with the opportunity and I am very grateful that Dr. Bussey and Ms. Moore trusted me enough to be an integral part of this transformational program.
Once camp was closed, things began to fall in place rather quickly. I was informed of a Leadership conference at one of the top accounting firms in Atlanta, Habif, Arogeti and Wynne. I was accepted into the conference and it was an amazing experience seeing the different ways accounting is used. During the summer camp, one of the judges was an executive at Salim & Solomon. After dialogue and sending over my resume I was granted an internship with the company. All of a sudden, my very dreams were being realized due to my association with the Entrepreneurship Center. Finally, as I was preparing for the Leadership conference, I received a call from the managing partner of RLJ Equity Partners and was interviewed on the spot and offered an internship in Bethesda, Maryland for July and August. I was so thankful for the opportunity to intern in Private Equity. During my time in Bethesda I was exposed to every aspect of the company. During my time there, I reviewed Confidential Information Memorandums (CIMs) on potential investment opportunities, drafted initial due diligence question lists with a focus on potential risk associated with the investment, conducted industry research to assist the team in making investment decisions (Automobile, Movie and Government Services) and presented industry findings to the managing partners, constructed deal screens using Microsoft Excel and pitch books for potential acquisition candidates, performed and assessed the overall breadth and depth of the Emerging Manager market of potential LP investors. Working at RLJ Equity Partners shaped what I want to do with my future and I thank Rufus Rivers for the opportunity to come and work for him.
I owe the Entrepreneurship Center a lot. Dr. Bussey & Ms. Moore believed in me, which in return reassured myself that I could do anything I set my mind to. The summer between your junior and senior year is the most important and impactful on your future. And if I do say so myself mine was very enlightening and life changing. Mission Accomplished.