Cole Fosbrink likes to think big, like a CEO.
In fact, he is a co-leader of Indiana University East’s award-winning program called Cash Equals Opportunities that shares the same acronym.
Fosbrink’s biggest entrepreneurial dreams, though, couldn’t have foreshadowed the experience he recently received with the television program My Life Indiana: Super Achievers.
The senior from Seymour went one-on-one as an interviewer with the top CEO in the state of Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Now, that’s going big. Think going even bigger; it was Fosbrink’s first interviewing experience. Ever.
“That’s quite an interview for the first one,” said Tim Scales, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and a lecturer of business administration for the School of Business and Economics. “I couldn’t have asked for a better choice. He did a great job.”
Fosbrink and Gov. Holcomb also played a bit of one-and-one on the state mansion’s new basketball court.
The time flew by. “It was 45 minutes, but it felt like five,” Fosbrink recalls about the interview that took place during a morning last summer.
Gov. Holcomb took more time afterward to talk with him about IU East, the CEOs program and his career ambitions.
Fosbrink admits feeling nervous — and it being surreal at first — about being in the Governor’s Mansion.
But, he and the governor both appeared comfortable, Scales said. “Cole got to see him as a human and a big basketball fan. It was amazing how much time he took with him.”
Fosbrink laughs off the possibility of going into broadcasting after volunteering to do Super Achievers interviews (he is likely to film another one in the near future). He said the personal experience actually helped cement his goals in finance after he plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance degree in spring 2022, something he will have accomplished in three years.
Right now, he’s leaning toward getting a job in Indianapolis, but graduate school also is a good option. He said he’d love working for Salesforce, a cloud-based software company. “They are in the business of solving problems. That’s something I want to get into, strategic planning or management. You have to be a good problem-solver.”
The governor’s Super Achievers interview is one of more than 35 that have been done statewide as a project of Bruce Buck and the ACPL Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne.
Fosbrink said he is grateful that Scales helped convince him to attend IU East, mentored him and recommended him to become an interviewer for Indiana Super Achievers. “I can thank Tim for that,” Fosbrink said. “He put a lot of faith in me and passed that on to Bruce.”
During his visit with the governor, Fosbrink observed many special attributes:
— “He’s very down to earth, easy to talk to … It felt like we were friends.”
— “One thing that surprised me (because) a lot of people say it’s all about who you know. He said, ‘It’s what you can bring to the team.’”
— Gov. Holcomb started without any real connections in politics, yet still ended up as governor. “That kind of really stuck with me,” Fosbrink said.
— “He told me that he wants to keep track of me … where I am at in five, 10, even 20 years down the road. That meant a lot to me.”
— The governor loves basketball. “We went out to the court he had built there. We mostly took pictures and walked around. He re-enacted a move from the first ever game he played there.”
Scales said he is thrilled that Fosbrink did the interview and received valuable insight about becoming successful.
“The governor offered some real good advice,” Scales said. “This is about the governor getting to know Cole as well as being interviewed.”
Scales said it’s obvious that Gov. Holcomb cares about young people. “He spent every minute he could with Cole. He has a passion for youth. He wants to lay things out for the future.”
Fosbrink left with a signed basketball as a gift from the governor. He presented Gov. Holcomb with a unique gift from IU East — a container with shredded money from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The money is symbolic of the success of the CEOs program because it first started as an entry into a competition sponsored by the bank. “He put it on his desk,” Fosbrink recalls.
Scales’ success in starting innovative, award-winning projects at IU East — such as Business Opportunities for Self Starters (BOSS) — also made him a strong choice as an Indiana Super Achiever. He was interviewed for one of the other hour-long shows, available to watch online.
He is not new to the broadcasting business. He has done more than 400 interviews as host of the local In Your Business Television show for 17 years.
BOSS was selected the winner in the Talent Category of the 2020 UEDA Awards of Excellence, while the TV show and CEOs program were finalists. IU East was the only school that had three finalists in the national competition.
Johnny Fike of Bradford, Ohio, and Joao Vitor de Lima of Curitiba, Brazil, founded CEOs along with 2019 graduate Paige Gray as part of Money Smart Day, an annual public-education personal-finance program started by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Fike, Fosbrink and Lima worked together in CEOs to teach students around the area about financial literacy and saving money.
Ironically, they all were student-athletes. Fosbrink and Lima are defenders on the men’s soccer team, while Fike ran for the cross country and track teams. Fike, a criminal justice major, was recently hired by the Carmel Police Department and plans to graduate in May 2022. Fosbrink talks more about joining the Red Wolves soccer team, choosing IU East, his major and CEOs in his player feature video available online.
The hour-long Indiana Super Achiever interviews are broadcast over four television stations around Indiana,including Whitewater Community Television (WCTV), which is located on the IU East campus. The project is co-sponsored by IU East. All of the programs are available at https://genealogycenter.info/LifeStories/mylifeindianasuper.
Scales was impressed with how Fosbrink got ready and performed the interview. “He did his research, developed the style and prepared the questions,” Scales said.
Those are huge assets that Fosbrink brings to his busy life. “He’s a planner, an organizer. He’s always ahead of the game,” Scales said. “Cole is always going to be a leader. … He’s going to be very successful.”