Erika Hall

My name is Erika Hall. Interning with the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center under the Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor Protege Program was an amazing and rewarding experience. As the program focuses on providing its interns with the skill-sets needed to be career ready, it also provides in-depth knowledge of the dynamic operations of the Department of Defense and Federal Intelligence community. Through multiple projects, I honed my ability to be team-oriented while conducting market research, designing effective and audience-friendly PowerPoint presentations and company branding tactics. Serving under the supervision of two prominent retired IBM executives, I received executive level feedback on the work I completed, which has improved my performance. I also gained expert knowledge on making strategic organizational decisions.

As Summer 2014 marked the beginning of the MINT (Mentor- Protege Intern) Program, myself and the five other pilot interns aided in the process of pitching the program to mentor and protege companies. Thus, along with my assigned protege projects, I was afforded the experience of presenting in front of chief executives. Through this experience, I not only perfected my presentation skills but I had the opportunity to network with top executives at successful companies and learned to interact and engage with individuals on all levels. As a MINT alumna, I am qualified to be more than an entry-level worker and have acquired the skills to provide incremental value to organizations.

Christopher Jones

My name is Christopher Jones, and I am a junior economics major here at Morehouse College. This past summer of 2014 I had the privilege of interning with the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center. I was placed with V-Tech Solutions, a small, veteran owned, information technology firm located in Silver Spring, MD for ten weeks.

V-Tech’s core customers are in the federal government, which made me a perfect fit for the company. Previous internship positions at the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Smithsonian Institution Office of Equal Employment and Minority Affairs familiarized me with the federal government procurement processes, and the challenges small businesses face when competing for these contracts. These experiences allowed me to immediately add value to V-Tech’s corporate team. I was responsible for two projects. The first was developing an in depth documentation of the company’s past performance in order to submit stronger proposals for government contracts. The second was initiating a marketing refresh of the company’s online presence in order to raise brand awareness, generate business leads, and strengthen current customer relationships. These two tasks were high on the CEO’s list of priorities.

I am thankful for this internship, as it was beneficial to myself, Morehouse College and V-Tech Solutions. As an aspiring entrepreneur I had the opportunity to get heads on experience in the day-to-day operations of managing a small business. As I prepare for interviews with top ranking management-consulting firms during the academic year, I am sure they will be impressed with the quality of my internship experience.

If you have interest in any aspect of business I highly recommend that you seek out opportunities with the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center.

Evan J. Watt

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.

Christopher Siaplay

My name is Christopher Siaplay, and I graduated cum laude from Morehouse College in 2009 majoring in Business Administration with a Marketing concentration. During my matriculation, I was given the opportunity to work side by side with Ms. Moore and Dr. Bussey during the beginning stages of the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center (MCEC). My responsibilities included building small business relationships, completing administrative duties, and assisting with day-to-day operations within the Center.

My experience as an intern/work study student allowed me to observe the benefits and challenges of small business as well as the operating activities of the entrepreneurs who created these businesses. I was granted the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurs running small businesses within government contracting/consulting, technology, energy and many other industries. The Center exposed students to leadership opportunities to pursue entrepreneurship through volunteering with its Youth Entrepreneurship Summer (YES) Program, Entrepreneurship Conference, and even having an elective entrepreneurship class which focused on business plans, and ways of starting your own small business.

In retrospect, being a part of the MCEC operated by Dr. Bussey and Ms. Moore, allowed me to not only value the importance of entrepreneurship and small businesses, but gave me aspirations to one day start my own firm building on the entrepreneurial skills I learned as an intern.

Today, I am glad to know the MCEC is thriving and I recommend interns, students, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to get involved in any way they can. Currently, I am a Business Development Manager for a small minority firm with aspirations of starting my own company in an industry specific services field.