Archive for June, 2011

Summer Business Program: Week 3 & 4

June 30th, 2011 by kkayer

Here’s the rest of week 3 and the start of week 4 from Quinn!

Quinn Korzeniecki is a senior English major with a Pre-Business concentration. She is editor-in-chief of The Advocate, a progressive online publication at Holy Cross, and works as an assistant in the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Office. As a participant in the Summer Business Program, she hopes to learn more about marketing and advertising aspects of business. Quinn aspires to enter into publishing either in the editorial, marketing, or advertising departments.

A couple of weeks have passed since my last blog, so here’s what you’ve missed:

On Tuesday, June 14, a few General Electric employees (who were all Holy Cross alumni) came to instruct us on how to use excel spreadsheets in data analysis. I honestly thought I knew all there was to know about Excel, but after a day chocked full of learning how to install hyperlinks,  take the sums and averages of cells using functions, and even how to sort and filter a data set. I realized after this lesson that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, and am grateful that I can now use a function to rearrange names into alphabetical order instead of taking hours to manually to do so. What am I going to do with all the time this lesson just saved me?

We learned how to create PowerPoint designs and presentations on Wednesday. Although this was more of a straightforward lesson for me, I did learn many new concepts as well. These three General Electric employees taught me how to paste whole internet sites into a slide, and also how to add an icon to the slide that links to a spreadsheet containing data to support the information provided on that slide. We were then able to experiment with shapes and fonts to familiarize ourselves with all the available formatting options. Later that day, after the conclusions of the PowerPoint lesson, we put on our Summer Business Program t-shirts and assembled outside Smith Labs for our group pictures. They all came out great!

Thursday was a bit of a shocker! We were instructed to come to the morning session in interview attire, but we weren’t aware that we would actually sit in a chair in the front of the class and be interviewed on camera in front of our peers. I will say that this was my first time being recorded, and as intimidating as it was, it was helpful to see myself as I interviewed: I learned that I move my head too much and that I look uptight with my hair pulled back so tightly. So, after analyzing our interview tapes, we dissembled for lunch. The afternoon session consisted of a site visit to Blue Hive, Inc. with Holy Cross alumnus, Jack Hally. This company creates large scale displays for companies such as Covidien and Liberty Mutual. This trip was amazing! The work environment was split into two sectors: very creative and very hands-on. Some staffers have to create the layout for the exhibits and others must physically build these displays in the workshops. Mr. Hally was very excited about the work being done at his company, and this excitement definitely rubbed off on us.

Bill Liesman ’72, a business consultant, came to speak with us on Friday, June 17th about international business. We learned in earlier weeks that emerging markets all over the world are looking promising in the stock world, and today we learned a little about why this is happening. Globalization is occurring on a massive scale and the world is becoming more interdependent: going global allows companies to increase their market base/share, increase profit, and better compete with other companies in their market. We learned about inventory practices and international law against corrupt global practices. In the afternoon we were assigned a natural disaster (my group received the earthquake in Chile) and were asked to create a PowerPoint revealing how the disaster affected the world’s supply chain of a specific product and what precautions the country should have taken to avoid the detrimental effects.

After an eventful weekend, the program reconvened on Monday with a visit from Michael Villa ’91 and Bob Allard ’91 explaining the process of starting a business.  These innovators had us thinking like entrepreneurs and eventually being entrepreneurial! Each team had to design an iphone application and present their app to the group.  We were hesitant at first, but Bob and Mike had tons of energy that was both motivating and encouraging.

We wrap up the program in a couple days with our group presentations, and I look forward to seeing what the other groups have in store for us!

Thanks again, Quinn! If you have any questions about SBP, please email us at prebusiness@holycross.edu. Don’t forget to find us on facebook!

Kaithlyn

Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

Summer Business Program: Week 3

June 14th, 2011 by kkayer

Quinn is back with another SBP post!

Quinn Korzeniecki is a senior English major with a Pre-Business concentration. She is editor-in-chief of The Advocate, a progressive online publication at Holy Cross, and works as an assistant in the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Office. As a participant in the Summer Business Program, she hopes to learn more about marketing and advertising aspects of business. Quinn aspires to enter into publishing either in the editorial, marketing, or advertising departments.


Wow, how quickly time passes when you’re learning about the different aspects of business!

As I said at the end of my last post, on Wednesday we learned about what it means to work in the financial sect of the business world as a venture capitalist and how to choose the best way to fund a new business. We learned about Warren Buffett’s amazing work as one of the most successful venture capitalists in his company, Berkshire Hathaway. As a member of a venture firm, one must value companies based on their profitability, growth, and risk. I learned a term I never heard of before: EBITDA, which means “earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization.” Tom Flynn instructed us to throw that term into a financial interview to clinch the position. In the end of the session we were sent off into our groups and assigned the task of picking which company we would buy stock in, either Facebook or Google. Although I am obsessed with social networking, my group ultimately picked Google because a new social networking site will probably enter the spotlight within the next year or so and make Facebook obsolete.

Two former football playing Holy Cross alumni came in on Thursday to speak about marketing and sales. Peter George, the CEO of Fidelis Security Systems, spoke about the qualities of a successful salesperson. He filled us in on SPIN, or the science of selling, which is a four step way to assure that you are maximizing your potential as a salesperson. Since I am competitive, smart, hard-working, and a team player, I could definitely see myself going into this field of business! Terry Waters, the CEO of the Yankee Group, taught us about B2B (Business to Business) marketing, through which companies sell products and services to other businesses that in turn sell them to the consumer. The best marketing departments have board commitment, knowledge of the target market, and have a clear, quantified, focused, realistic, and resourced marketing plan. All companies want to have a combination of vision and ability to execute, and those that fall short either run out of money and need to ask for more debt or equity or fail. It’s survival of the fittest in America these days!

On Friday, Ian Dowe, another football alumnus came to Smith Labs 155 to speak with us about advertising. This workshop was completely different from the previous ones: we were asked to bring in magazines and links to advertisements on Youtube and used these ads to learn what runs through the minds of those working in an advertising firm when they are creating one of these promotions. After analyzing a nail polish ad in which a woman’s fingernails matched the eyes of a tiger and wore a large diamond ring, I realized that advertisements do indeed play into our wants and desires: we all want to be more desirable, and advertisers play into this to get you to buy their product. We broke into our groups with the task of advertising a product: my group created a new product, the “Shrup,” or shrinkable and portable cup. It was interesting to learn about the thought that goes into advertisements and it was even more beneficial to advertise for a product ourselves.

After a weekend of relaxation, shopping in Providence, and more relaxation, we got back to the grind. Monday morning we received a brief introduction to microeconomics with Professor Cahill. We learned about making decisions based on weighing opportunity costs. In our teams, we competed against each other making deals that served as examples of imperfect competition: a lot of friendships were broken by cheating team members, but they made amends in the next round when we made bids on bonds. Some ended up winning by a large margin to keep the peace (but I don’t think that’s how it would work in the real world). In the afternoon we learned about business organizations ranging from sole proprietorships to corporations. All in all, the past four days were a great success, and I look forward to learning how to use Microsoft Excel in the business world.

Thanks, Quinn! If you have any questions about SBP, please email us at prebusiness@holycross.edu. Don’t forget to find us on facebook!

Kaithlyn

Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

Summer Business Program: Week 2 part 1

June 8th, 2011 by kkayer

Our guest blogger, Quinn, is back with more from SBP.  I’ve asked her to share a brief bio this week as well.  ENJOY!

Quinn Korzeniecki is a senior English major with a Pre-Business concentration. She is editor-in-chief of The Advocate, a progressive online publication at Holy Cross, and works as an assistant in the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Office. As a participant in the Summer Business Program, she hopes to learn more about marketing and advertising aspects of business. Quinn aspires to enter into publishing either in the editorial, marketing, or advertising departments.

On Friday, we learned about something for which my dad would be very proud of me if I could only accomplish it: personal finance, investments, and mutual funds. Professor Anderton taught us all about the similarities and differences between stocks and bonds. He stressed the importance of setting up a financial plan to control spending after graduation. Also, we discussed how profitable long-term investments can be especially if we start at our young age. Because of this workshop, I plan on saving the first significant amount of spare cash that I earn, investing it in stocks, and praying that in 50 years it will amount to 5 million dollars like it did for Susan Smith in the example. Hey, a girl can dream.

Along the same lines of personal finance, Professor Chu lead Monday’s workshop on accounting. We learned more about the individual shareholder’s piece of profit from stocks in the company. In the afternoon we learned about the terminology needed to understand the business world in general: one of the most interesting things I learned was that companies are obliged to report risk factors to the Security Exchange Commission. Therefore, when we had to list the cons of investing in the insulin pump company Insulet we realized that a natural disaster like the tornadoes that recently tore through Massachusetts could demolish the company’s only storage warehouse. Yet, sometimes the future benefits outweigh the present risks, and my group ultimately decided that we would invest in Insulet.

Monday night we enjoyed a banquet-style dinner and discussion with Peter Mondani, VP of Human Resources for General Electric, who taught us about business models, personal branding, and careers. We learned that it is best to “influence without authority” by changing the opinions and viewpoints of others although you’re not in an authority position. Exude confidence but admit to making mistakes and learn from them. Also, apparently we women get red necks during interviews when we get nervous. I guess I’m “investing” in a scarf for my quickly approaching job interviews!

Tuesday afternoon focused on the job/internship search and networking. I found this particularly helpful since I’m entering my senior year and feel helpless in planning for the real world. I learned the best way to reach out to alumni and maintain informal and beneficial relationships. All in all, I’ve learned how to balance my personal finances, invest in stocks and bonds, and plan for attaining my first full-time job.

Wednesday we learn about what it means to work in finance: don’t let the English major fool you, I also enjoy math!

Keep an eye out for Quinn’s posts throughout the month!

Kaithlyn

Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

Summer Business Program: Week 1

June 3rd, 2011 by kkayer

Quinn Korzeniecki ’12, is our SBP guest blogger.  She’ll be giving you an insider’s view of what SBP is all about!

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”-Pope John XXIII

Hi, I’m Quinn Korzeniecki and I am a participant as well as a program assistant for the 2011 Summer Business Program. For the next four weeks, I will be blogging about the fun and interesting goings-on of the program that occur in workshops and among participants during free time.

I didn’t know what to expect upon arrival to Holy Cross, and was shocked to see that the campus was deserted (of course, this was the day after all the seniors graduated, packed, and moved out). I was nervous and excited for the program to start: what would I learn? could I build connections with the speakers? would anyone be able to help me down my career path? will I do well with the tasks assigned to me?

I was more than relieved when we kicked off the program Tuesday night with a brief overview of the next month by Professor Chu, followed by a delicious meal in Hogan. Here we had our first encounter with the two speakers for Wednesday’s kick-off workshop on leadership, Moira Garvey ’78 and Mary Ann Rettig-Zucchi ’76 of the Jupiter Consulting Group. We “broke the ice” by playing games of bingo and making conversation with the help of question cards.

On Wednesday, I learned more about myself and my leadership traits than I ever knew possible. Moira and Mary Ann defined the word leader and explained the best characteristics of a leader, then used our 5 Dynamics personality test to identify the leadership strengths in each of us: I learned that I am effortless in communicating and forming groups as well as executing and carrying out plans. They placed us in groups according to our strengths (I was with the communicating “Excite” group) and gave us a stack of index cards and paper clips, then introduced the competition to see which group could build the tallest free-standing structure. It was really helpful to learn about myself through my interaction with others since a leader must have a keen self-awareness as well as an ability to communicate ideas with other people. It also helped that my group tied with another and won Peanut M&M’s!

We jumped back into action early Thursday morning with a workshop on Faith, Values, and Ethics taught by William Messenger, Executive Editor of the Theology of Work Project, Inc.. Here we learned about our own personal values and how they fit in within the world of business. We acted out some scenarios in which people were trapped in moral dilemmas in the workplace and we brainstormed the best ways to avoid making unethical decisions simply to please others or keep your job (and most times being ethical leads to increases in trustworthiness).

Tomorrow is another day, and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks!

Keep an eye out for Quinn’s posts throughout the month!

Kaithlyn

Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor