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Student Spotlights

Nathan: Business Strategy

Nathan Bennett was knee-deep in the business world where his comfort zone was pulled wider at Clarke Capital Partners. Read more about his work here!

What was your internship experience?

At Clarke Capital, I learned to be comfortable outside of my comfort zone in the business world. I spent significant time putting together pitch decks, performing market analysis, studying business models, and analyzing potential deals. As soon as I felt comfortable doing one of the tasks, I would be assigned to a new project. Through this, I obviously developed a lot of hard skills that I am grateful for because they will help me land jobs in the future. However, the soft skills are even more valuable to me.

What was something that you learned from this experience?

My supervisors at Clarke Capital placed a lot of emphasis on responsibility. That meant that if you volunteered to take the lead on a project, you would get it done, you would do it right, and if the project flopped, you were the one who had to take the blame for it. Working in that environment was very rewarding, because each project that we finished was something we could be proud of.

The most useful thing I learned on my internship came from our managing partner asking me a simple question. After staying 6 hours(!) after my shift, I had finally finished my project. I printed it off and walked in to his office to give it to him. Without looking at it, he asked me "Is this your best work?". I paused. He didn't ask me if it was good work, he asked if it was the best that I could do. Without saying a word, I picked up by 15 pages and returned to my desk to make sure what I gave him really represented my best efforts.

I've applied that lesson to all other aspects of my life since that day. I've asked myself if that was the best I could prepare for church, or if my study habits really represent my best efforts. That one simple question helped form the way I see the world.

How did your courses prepare you for this experience?

They helped me to know what points to analyze in a business model, how to improve a business model, how to make professional presentations, and how to use basic office applications like Microsoft. Modeling, powerpoint presentations, live presentation skills, and how to be self-sufficient in the work place.

Nathan Bennett smiling in front of an office.