Adam Ingraham has no plans to be a small business owner, but he is able to apply entrepreneurial skills that he gleaned from his time as a graduate assistant at GVSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) to his current role as a product marketing specialist at Steelcase.
“The entrepreneurial idea– fast prototyping, failing fast, iterations, getting a messy plan down, test it, see if it works, if not, scrap it and move on to the next thing–all of those principals really come in handy,” Ingraham said.
Igraham graduated from GVSU with an MBA in 2012. He started working at CEI in 2011 while pursuing his degree. His primary responsibilities included marketing student-focused programs, mentoring students on startup and business development and generating content for three of the office’s websites. He also worked on a team that developed a portable bike storage system and pitched the product at a competition in 2011. The team didn’t win the competition and the business was ultimately unsuccessful, but Ingraham was grateful for the experience. Although he doesn’t list the experience on his resume, he says it almost always comes up in job interviews and has worked to his advantage.
“They want people who are able to think with an entrepreneurial mindset,” Ingraham said. “There is big push in the corporate world for internal innovation.”
After graduating, Ingraham went on to work in marketing at Haworth, inc., and in digital marketing and eCommerce retention at Wolverine World Wide before landing his current position at Steelcase.
From his time at CEI and brief stint as an entrepreneur, Ingraham says he has come to realize what his ideal role is.
“I am really good at supporting an idea and bringing it to life,” he said. “I would love to be in a high supporting role that would help to make things happen.”