Startup Internship Program: Reflection From Omar Ortiz

Thanks to a gift from the John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center sponsored 6 undergraduate student internships during the 2015 summer at premier Chicago startup businesses.

Below, Omar Ortiz, a sophomore double-majoring in Marketing and Finance, reflects on his internship experience at Levi Baer Consulting, LLC, a consulting company offering engaging workshops and games that allow individuals, teams, and entire organizations be more effective.

This summer, I had the privilege of working alongside Levi Baer and his consulting company Levi Baer Consulting, LLC. Although I had originally decided to work with Bold Bee Consulting, a similar consulting company, I later discovered that this company was no longer running. Instead, Levi, one of the two founders of Bold Bee Consulting, decided to form a consulting company of his own with many similar ideas and values that made Bold Bee Consulting my number one choice.

I was immediately given the title of Project Coordinator. Levi and I got along very well from the start. We met weekly to assign projects and set deadlines for those projects. I had many projects this summer ranging from reaching out to potential clients, to making business decisions, and even editing a video. In the end, I believe I got a wonderful taste of what it takes to run a startup business. Levi was starting his business from scratch, and it was great to work alongside him and help in any way that I could. 

The most unexpected element of this internship was how able I was to carry on many tasks outside of my comfort zone. I reluctantly chose to take on the task of reaching out to prospective clients via telephone and email. Doing this via email was pretty easy and something that I’m used to, but doing it via telephone is completely different. Nonetheless, I was able to accept the challenge and go through with it in a professional manner. More than anything, it made me more confident to do similar tasks in the future. 

As an entrepreneur, this internship showed me all of the hard work that is needed to start a business. The first month and a half of my internship was spent doing all of the little tasks that are needed before even beginning to accept clients. I was in charge of creating company documents that would be presented to clients, I helped revise the company website, and I generated content for the company blog. All of these tasks were necessary before we actually began “working” and generating any income. I’ll definitely remember the co-working spaces that I visited. Before this internship, I wasn’t aware that spaces existed where entrepreneurial and creative-minded individuals gathered and worked, while contributing to a community of like-minded people. These co-working spaces are a great haven to go and be productive throughout your day. If it weren’t for the price tag attached to the privilege of being a member at one of the spaces, I would definitely find myself there almost every day.

As far as advice, I would highly encourage any entrepreneurial-minded students to apply to this internship. It provides a great learning experience and really shows you what it takes to run a business. On top of that, you meet very driven and motivated people. All in all, it’s a wonderful experience that is worth taking advantage of.  

– Omar Ortiz

Levi Baer and Omar Ortiz

Levi Baer and Omar Ortiz

As a finale to the 2015 Startup Internship Program, please watch a short video, with comments from all 6 student interns.