Rady Summer Interns: What are you doing this summer?

We asked Rady School students to give us an update on what they are doing at their summer internships.

Rady Student: William Seith

Company: IdeaMensch

Job Title: Tour Manager

What I'm doing: I work with an organization called IdeaMensch. It's a startup project spawned from an online community that interviews entrepreneurs from all walks of life. This summer, I am part of a team of four “Road Warriors” and a crew of supporting characters that are attempting to put together a speaker series in all of the lower 48 states across America, in four months. Our goal with our events is to gather local entrepreneurs in each state and inspire as many people as possible to get started working on their business ideas. Ultimately, we hope to create a documentary about our experience as well.

My job as tour manager has me wearing many hats. I reach out to sponsors, research and coordinate with potential venues to put on events and negotiate terms of use, deal with audio and visual logistics for presenting and recording talks to later be uploaded to our website, coach speakers on their presentations, recruit and manage volunteers, create landing pages for our events, keep track of road financials and do a fair amount of driving. After a month on the road and 4000 miles of driving we've all logged a lot of hours behind the wheel.

As I write this we are staying on a farm in Iowa that is raising a special breed of pig that was recently featured on The Travel Chanel's show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Our team likes to be good guests, so my job has also recently involved watering hogs and helping the farms owner setup wiring and irrigation to his brand new array of hydroponic feed systems. It's amazing the things you get involved with when you travel.

Ready through Rady: We try to put on three events a week, each in a different state, so the time management and organization skills I've gained from my time at Rady have been day-to-day means of survival. We are a small team that is constantly in close quarters, so the importance of understanding leadership styles and team dynamics, which we covered in our fall quarter Leadership class, has come in handy in more ways than I can count. However, the most important piece of knowledge I gained from Rady and have put to the test over and over again is the importance of disparate networks; something we learned about in our winter quarter Strategy class. This whole project is bootstrapped, so we live and die by outreach. Without the over 1,700 contacts that IdeaMensch's founder had curated prior to starting this tour and the hundreds of friends and acquaintances who have volunteered to help us along the way there is a good chance our little experiment never would have made it past Bakersfield. Instead, we've been through 14 states, have been featured in numerous blog posts and newspapers like The Omaha World Herald. Now, CNNMoney has shown interest in flying out to our event in Cleveland to run a story on us (we're keeping our fingers crossed on that one.) As cliché as it sounds, it really is all about who you know.