Our Wildwood, Winter 2017, Volume 40

a l u m n i p r o f i l e


Jessie Baren ‘14: Internships Key to Success

professional environment before they go to college. Jessie says the internship program is “one of the best things Wildwood has to offer.” As a junior, he worked as a media intern at a sports management firm and as a senior, he interned at a talent agency. Experiences like these give students like Jessie a leg up once they make the transition to college, where most of their peers have little to no internship experience. The relationship-building and interpersonal communication skills he developed during his internships were the keys to his Fresh Prints success. It was his ability to make connections with individuals from a variety of campus groups that he credits for his record- breaking order volume. The Habits of Mind and Heart, particularly the Habits of Connection and Collaboration, guided Jessie’s path. Because he works with a diverse range of clients, he is regularly making connections and identifying patterns to work more efficiently and deliver results. When he saw that emails to students using Fresh Prints’ email template got a low response rate, he switched to texting—a much more effective way to reach his audience. “The first year was a lot of trial and error,” Jessie says. “So making those first connections was vital.” The Habit of Collaboration also plays an essential role in Jessie’s life, because his job is social and the workload so large. His success is dependent on his ability to work well with others. Looking to the future, Jessie plans to put his communications degree, his experience with Fresh Prints, and his Wildwood education to use as a business manager


Jessie Baren ‘14 isn’t your typical college student. In addition to being a full-time student studying for a degree in communications at the University of Michigan, Jessie is also a campus manager for the custom clothing company Fresh

The Habits of Mind and Heart, particularly the Habits of Connection and Collaboration, guided Jessie’s path.

Prints. Each month, he sells more than $100,000 worth of apparel. The skills that Jessie cultivated during his time at Wildwood have evolved to make him the successful student and entrepreneur he is today. A hallmark of a Wildwood education is the Senior Institute internship program. It’s designed to give juniors and seniors the opportunity to develop useful skills in a

in the music industry. But as he envisions what is ahead, he’s also reflecting on his time at Wildwood and wants to offer advice to this year’s graduating seniors. “It’s OK to not know what you want to do,” Jessie says. “Every experience informs your decisions. Don’t rush into what you’re doing. Find a college that you love and figure out what you want to do.”

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