Business Information Technology Major
The young entrepreneur spent the summer working at Transurban, a company that develops and maintains toll road networks in American and Australian cities. Baylor worked in the procurement department of the Tysons, Virginia office.
“My supervisors were incredibly personable, experienced and enthusiastic,” he said. “Everyone I met at the company was unique and made themselves readily available to answer all the questions I brought with me.”
Baylor’s tasks included conducting data analysis to identify opportunities for organizational improvements, and developing request for proposals and bids for new projects.
“The biggest challenge was developing systems capable of providing the analytics I required for my projects,” he explained. “I did a lot of self-teaching, and built some cool tools.”
These tools not only simplified and automated menial tasks for stakeholders in the business, but allowed Baylor to apply his skills and become an asset to the team.
“It felt good to build tools that could have an impact on the business operations at Transurban,” he said.
Baylor said business information systems coursework at Virginia Tech with Dr. Michelle Seref provided a strong foundation of techniques with Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic for Applications, which Baylor applied effectively in the field.
He also participated in supplier negotiations, including facilitating presentations. He felt comfortable and prepared to communicate with Transurban’s partners because of his college experiences, including his efforts to learn from others and opportunities provided by the Innovate Living Learning Community.
“The interactions I have held with entrepreneurs, educators, and other students on campus have developed my communication skills and self-awareness.” These skills made it possible for me to understand and interact efficiently with Transurban stakeholders, both internal and external.”
The summer following his freshman year, Baylor interned at Mindsense, a Blacksburg, Virginia startup, which operates various web and mobile email programs; one of which allows users to maximize productivity by controlling what reaches his or her inbox.
Baylor landed the Mindsense internship after meeting its founder and CEO through Innovate. He wound up at Transurban through the iScholars program, but he had previously met Susan Harris, who became his internship supervisor, on an Innovate trek to visit entrepreneurs in Northern Virginia.
“Joshua was an essential part of many projects this summer,” said Harris, procurement solutions and sourcing lead for Transburan. “He is not only ambitious, but he has a friendly personality and engaged well with our stakeholders.”
Baylor’s interest in entrepreneurship sparked in high school when he started a laptop salvage and a clothing line.
Although he is not returning to Innovate for a third year, Baylor plans to focus his energy on continuing to develop and grow his entreprenurial ventures while continuing his education. He runs an LLC, called Bellicose, which Baylor said is “an organization with unwavering interests in disrupting the world through business and creativity.”
“I am also working on some designs for a new clothing brand, and I expect to increase my involvement with the entrepreneurial community across campus,” he added.
Written by Courtney Cutright