IBE Alumni Spotlight – Andrew Topinka

Meet Andrew Topinka – A graduate from the Class of Spring 2017.

Major: Finance // Minors: Engineering and Philosophy

Hometown: Powell, OH

Job: Business Technology Analyst for Deloitte Consulting

Previous Internships/Co-Ops:

  1. Operations Intern, Peletonia (Summer 2014)
  2. Risk Analyst Intern, Willis Towers Watson in Hong Kong (Summer 2015)
    -Most valuable for his personal growth—first time out in the “real world” away from Columbus and his parents
  1. Analyst, AMEND Consulting (Summer 2016)
    -Most valuable for his professional growth—autonomy over projects, and more responsibility than he thought he was ready for at the time

OSU Involvements:

  • Brutus Buckeye
    -He has started the famous Stadium O-H-I-O during a game!
    -While the sporting events were great, Andrew’s favorite memories as Brutus were visiting children in hospitals and leaving a positive, lasting impact on OSU
  • Fellow in the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program
  • BuckeyeThon
  • Peer advisor for Fisher
  • Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity
  • University Ambassador

Reason for Ohio State:

Andrew chose Ohio State because of the sense of student collaboration that he felt during his visit which vastly differed from atmospheres at other schools. While he initially did not want to go to OSU because of the proximity to home, he quickly fell in love with campus, and the rest is history!

Why IBE?

Andrew received so many emails about IBE during his first semester freshman year that he thought they were just spam. One of his good friends freshman year joined the program and told him about it after his first class during the second semester. After hearing about the program, he called his advisor and joined IBE! He had strongly already considered engineering as his major, and the entrepreneurial aspect of the freshman design project completely sold him on the idea of IBE.

IBE Capstone Project?

Andrew’s team worked on a project for P&G that was centered around capturing the millennial market for their Tide products. He and his team ultimately recommended that P&G pursued a future in laundry service. This happened to be the same conclusion that P&G’s internal investigation had developed. P&G bought a startup in Dallas that was doing just that during his senior year. As a result, Andrew and his team were able to travel to travel to Dallas and visit this startup with the intentions of optimizing their standard procedures and improving their processes.

How did IBE help you with your internships?

When asked about applying knowledge that he gained while in college, Andrew believes that his most valuable courses during college were the freshman year design project and his senior year capstone. These IBE projects were his most beneficial academic experiences, and he believes that they are applicable to real life problem solving which he carried with him to internships and his current job.

What is an example of a project from your current job at Deloitte?

Andrew was able to work on a project for a large car manufacturer. This company had new mobility services that they wanted to start offering (Remote start for cars, mobile keys, etc.), but they needed help making money on the services from a tech perspective. integrating the technology. Andrew and his team worked to understand the customers’ needs so that they could best monetize these new services. They ended up recommending what their customer’s experience should be when getting these services and how they could achieve it from a technology perspective.

What is the most valuable skill for consultants?

Andrew stressed that the major of a potential employee is not as important as some people make it out to be. The primary characteristic that employers are looking for is people who can think. Technical skills are important for some jobs, but, generally speaking, the skills you need and the jargon of the profession can be learned on the job. Employers desire people who showcase that they can quickly solve problems.

Fun fact?

Andrew’s most difficult course while at Ohio State was a Philosophy logic course!


Andrew is happy to talk about anything related to IBE, professional experiences, or Ohio State in general. He can be contacted at andrewtopinka@gmail.com.

IBE Alumni Spotlight – Bryan Barrett

Meet Bryan Barrett – A recent graduate from the Class of Spring 2018.

Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering // Minor: Business

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Previous Internships/Co-Ops:

  1. Studied Chinese language and culture abroad in Shanghai (Summer 2014)
  2. Project Specialist, Tesla (Summer 2015)
  3. Internal Operations Consultant, United Airlines (Spring 2016)
  4. Business Portfolio and Project Management Intern, LBrands (Summer 2016)
  5. Engineering, Innovation, and Research Intern, Battelle (Summer 2017)

OSU Involvements:

  • Student-Alumni Council
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Buckeye Leadership Fellow
  • Phi Gamma Delta – Executive board
  • Homecoming Court

In his free time, Bryan enjoys skiing, cycling, backpacking, and traveling.

Reason for Ohio State:

Bryan chose Ohio State because he enjoyed all the diverse opportunities available at such a large school. Unsure of whether to pursue an engineering or business major, he appreciated how well developed the various colleges and departments were. As a result, he felt no worry about either decision because he had excellent opportunities in both areas.

Why IBE?

Bryan was in the very first cohort of IBE. Because of his interest in engineering and business, IBE was the perfect next step for him to continue his engineering education while expanding his business knowledge.

Favorite IBE memory?

Bryan was able to go to Switzerland during the summer of 2016 with 18 other IBE students to work at CERN. He valued the incredible international experience, and the ability to apply the various innovation techniques he had learned in his IBE coursework – in one of the largest research institutions anywhere in the world. Bryan felt that through his 3 years of education in IBE, he was easily able to make a meaningful impact through his work on the trip.

How did IBE help you with your internships?

When Bryan worked at Battelle on the Lean Startup team, he was able to apply specific techniques he had learned from his IBE capstone and other IBE coursework. He was excited that himself, Kai, and Kartik were able to implement specific techniques from the IBE curriculum, and act as experts of lean startup within a national organization. Through driving value creation, innovation, and introducing new methodologies, Bryan believed he was really able to make an impact on Battelle through his time working for them.

Where will you be this fall? How did IBE help you earn this position?

Bryan will be working as a Business Analyst Consultant at CapTech. He believes that the kinds of experiences that IBE exposed him to really helped him solidify his role for the fall. Through the interdisciplinary learning in IBE, Bryan fit right into CapTech’s goals of merging technology and business in the consulting world. He especially attributes his success to his IBE capstone, which prepared him for the tech and management consulting environment he looks forward to experiencing at CapTech.

What would you like to say to everyone in IBE?

“Never lose faith in the program, because you will always be able to form the program to the experiences you want to have with it, as I know a lot of younger people in this program are doing. Just never lose sight of the fact that this program is for you, and if you aren’t getting out of IBE what you think you should be, then you should change it – and you have all the power in the world to make that happen at The Ohio State.”


Bryan is happy to talk about anything related to IBE, professional experiences, or Ohio State in general. He can be contacted at bryanbarrett2013@gmail.com