My name is Ryan Probst, and I am a mathematics major from Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating this spring as a member of the class of 2020. Over the past two semesters, I was fortunate enough to take part in Wittenberg’s Communication and Business Leadership Experience (CABLE), a year-long program comprised of the top leaders on campus and some of the most successful and talented people in my graduating class.
In my two-and-a-half years of college leading up to the start of the CABLE program, I progressively came to the realization that the opportunities Wittenberg provides and the culture that it radiates are undoubtedly what have made my experience so great. A few positions I have held include being president of my fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, being an Orientation Assistant over the past two years, and being a captain on the baseball team this season, among others. Each of these roles presented their own unique challenges, but working through them has molded me into the man I am today. I enjoy seeing the impact I have made on others, and I equally enjoy seeing my peers take on similar roles and impact lives of others as well. The shared success among everyone on campus is so cool to witness, and it’s what makes the hard work and dedication so worth it.
I heard about CABLE my sophomore year when a few older friends of mine were in the program, and they expressed nothing but great things. This, coinciding with beginning to think about life after graduation, made my decision to apply for CABLE seem relatively obvious. When I was selected—admittedly—I was nervous. Not having a complete grasp of what I wanted to do post-grad yet made me feel like I was going to be behind everyone else, but I quickly realized that the 10 other classmates I was with were more or less in the same boat, and that was okay. We learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and the world around us, and I think we are all grateful for that.
I would like to recognize and thank Ross Angelo, Korynne Berner, Elena Dumm, Tyler Humble, Maggie Keverline, Megan Selby, Kenzi Sinclair, Vic Verdier, Jack Wolfe, and Madi Wolters, my 10 CABLE classmates and now close friends, for making this experience so valuable and memorable. Some of us came in as good friends while others were complete strangers to one another, but we certainly became close over the past year, and the New York trip put that on full display.
While I could go on and on about our entire year in CABLE, the end-of-the-year trip is what ties the whole experience together and makes it come full-circle. Our year culminated in a trip to New York City in mid-November, where my classmates and I were split into two groups to present case studies to JP Morgan Chase and Google. The entire trip was memorable, but the work we put in prior to our departure was just as meaningful. I was assigned to the Google project with five others, and it was a long six weeks of preparation. Thinking big picture, it’s hard to fathom how we arrived at our final presentation based on how we started—our ideas were everywhere and we butted heads frequently. But consistent effort, commitment to the team, and working as a cohesive unit with the end in mind allowed us to arrive at a final product that we were all overly satisfied with. While the work was challenging, working with five of my classmates brought many laughs and good times together along with insightful suggestions and productive work. Although preparing for the project took a lot of extra time and effort, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
When we arrived on Wednesday, it was tough to enjoy the fact that we were actually in NYC, for we were all nervous for the presentation that was looming on Friday. However, visiting Hearst Magazines and Vaudeville Ventures, and meeting with a New York Yankees executive allowed us to relax, talk about ourselves, enjoy candid conversation, and learn about different career opportunities outside of what we have become accustomed to in Ohio. By the time Friday hit, feelings of excitement and relief were swirling too, knowing that our hard work was finally going to be put on display. We delivered our presentations, and they went extremely well. Both JP Morgan Chase and Google applauded our work, while simultaneously providing us with valuable feedback to continue our thinking on the subject. The main piece of advice they gave us was to always think big picture—it never hurts to devise a plan that is larger than what you’re told, assuming you have already covered the given requirements of the project.
I can’t thank Wittenberg enough for providing me with this experience over the past year; the growth I’ve seen in myself and my classmates is pretty remarkable. Co-facilitators Heath Queen and Kevin Steidel were knowledgeable and kept us well prepared on a weekly basis, and the Wittenberg and CABLE alums that hosted us at each site were great too—just another reason that shows how special this place is. Alumni truly do care about Wittenberg students and openly expressed that they would do anything to help us out. It’s a great feeling knowing that there are people out there who care for you, and I think all Wittenberg students should know that the Wittenberg family is something that should be cherished forever. Being able to see these alums thrive in their respective careers while also having that soft spot for where they came from was a great way for the CABLE experience to finish up, and it speaks to the portrayal of Wittenberg’s motto in everyday life long after we will graduate: “Having Light We Pass It On To Others.”
Ryan Probst ’20
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio