Archive for June, 2013

Congratulations Team Brennan! Winner of the 2013 SBP Team Competition.

June 25th, 2013 by hhoran

It’s hard to believe that the 4 weeks of the 2013 Summer Business Program have already come and gone!  It seems like just yesterday that the group was gathering for their first session, most of them not knowing one another, anxiously awaiting to see what exactly they’d gotten themselves into when they applied for this program…

Last Friday, during the final presentations of the team projects, none of that anxiety was present (or, at least, they did a good job hiding it!) and all of the teams impressed the judges with their presentations!

But, first, to rewind…

The first three days of Week 4 of SBP were focused on more technical skills.  Spearheaded by several GE employees the SBP students spent Monday afternoon learning about personal branding, Tuesday focusing on Excel and Wednesday exploring PowerPoint. It was great to have the opportunity for the students to hear from some recent alum, many of whom are in the GE rotational program, and get a day of intensive training with these various programs. Coming out of the Excel day many of the students were indicating they definitely wanted to take the fall Excel workshop – while they learned a lot in one day, it was clear there was so much more to explore and all the alum from GE emphasized how important it is to be able to use Excel if you’re interested in a career in business!

The students had Thursday to work as teams, putting the finishing touches on their projects, and then Friday was game time. Every team had a slightly different project, based on their team exec’s assignment, but the common denominator was that they were all very impressive standing in front of the room. In spite of having to present in front of all their classmates – something that some of the students weren’t thrilled about – watching the presentations it was clear how much time and effort all the groups had poured into their projects. Team Schiffmann put together a marketing pitch for a new wall siding product that’s ideal for DIY home owners. Team Malley presented a pitch to secure funding for a new drug that the group thinks can cure Crohn’s disease. Team Correia came up with a new brand of Irish-American whiskey and Team Villa created a pitch to secure funding for their bicycle company. Lastly, Team Brennan – which ultimately ended up winning – pitched a business plan for a new app that would help facilitate students’ study abroad experiences and allow for parents to more easily track and communicate with their children.

All five were very impressive! But, at the end of the day, the judges felt that Team Brennan was the best developed and the best presented so they walked away with the prize.

I think I speak for all the alum who participated in SBP when I say that this year’s group of students really took advantage of the Summer Business Program and it will be exciting to see where their interest in business takes them in the future!  Who knows, perhaps in a few years some of them will be back on campus teaching a session rather than sitting in the audience.

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter and look for our WIBSBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN.

Helene

Helene Horan ’06
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Summer Business 2013, Week 3: Credit Card Bills, M&Ms and Cosmo magazine

June 17th, 2013 by hhoran

After learning about some of the technical side of business last week, Week 3 of Summer Business switched gears and worked through business ethics, personal finance, global business, advertising and personal branding.

Bill Liesman ’72, on Monday, and Tom Patton ’86, on Wednesday, anchored the week with discussions of business ethics. The students dove into case studies and found themselves debating amongst themselves the ethics behind business scenarios involving hiring, firing, expense reports, etc.

Prof. Anderton introduced the students to Personal Finance and Mutual Funds. Not only did he give lots of great tips on how the students should manage their money (i.e. avoid credit card debt!) but he also introduced them to websites and resources that could be used for researching mutual funds. The student groups were all assigned a specific fund, too, and then given time to research the fund and present their findings to the entire student group.

Thursday was jam packed and full of exciting sessions. Stu Graham ’67 spent the morning regaling the students with stories about his experience with an international construction company. Particularly interesting was the ethical plan that Stu described as being in place at his company; everyone was impressed to think about how ethical business practices can – and are – implemented even in large global companies.

Then, Thursday afternoon Jim Mullins ’95, Global Initiatives Director at Mars Inc, got everyone’s blood sugar up with the 100lbs of chocolate bars he brought with him. Jim talked to the students about what it’s like to work for a large private family-owned company. The students got to hear about, and sample, a variety of Limited Edition candies and got to work as teams on a case study to come up with a creative solution to a problem from several decades ago.

Rounding out a full week of classes, Friday morning was split between a session entitled “Getting Your First Job”, with Mary Donahue Quinlan ’76 from Cosmopolitan magazine, and a session on Advertising with Julie Halpin ’84. Both sessions were incredibly well received and very interactive.

Mary kicked the day off being brutally honest with the students about what they need on their resumes (think: internships not just ice cream scooping), how to write a cover letter (think: brief and readable not a term paper) and what to wear to that first interview (ironed not wrinkled and, for the girls, definitely not white boots). She also stressed to the students the importance of follow-up. I don’t think any student who was in that session will ever again conclude a cover letter with “…and I look forward to hearing from you.” Follow-up is on you, Mary told the students.

Then Julie had the challenge of being the final session on Friday afternoon at the end of a long week of classes. However, it s clear that her information on advertising got a lot of the students very excited. After giving the students an overview of the industry the students started diving into actual current advertising campaigns. Julie’s experience having started and run her own firm elicited a lot of questions from the students and it certainly seemed like her session quite likely sparked newfound interest with some of the students.

Julie will be back with the students on Monday morning for another half day session and she sent them off to the weekend with some homework: first, create a new product in an assigned category and put together a brief campaign and, second, find a favorite tv commercial and bring it in for “show-and-tell”. Check back in the next post for the results!

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter and look for our WIBSBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN.

Helene

Helene Horan ’06
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Week 2 SBP 2013: Finance, Sales and the New England Patriots!

June 10th, 2013 by hhoran

This year’s Summer Business students are now halfway through the program and are continuing to impress all of the alumni teachers who are coming through. With Week 2 all wrapped up, the students have now received an overview of several more technical areas of business this week: accounting, finance, sales and marketing.

Prof. Chu kicked off the week with Megan Williams ’07 to teach the session on accounting and “Understanding Financial Statements.” The students had the chance to examine the financial statements for Pandora and get a sense of what you can learn by looking at these documents.

The rest of the week built on this session as the students dug into the nuts and bolts of finance, sales techniques and marketing. While some of the material was challenging, the response from the alumni teachers was unanimous: the students were impressive, engaging and did a great job digging in. Particularly fun? When the students were put on the spot and had to try to role play using the SPIN sales technique that they had just learned.

Then, Friday was the fun day – a field trip to Gillette Stadium to learn about the business of sports! While we didn’t get to see Tom Brady (much to some of the students’ chagrin!) the students receive a comprehensive tour of the stadium, a chance to walk around on the field and spotted the New England Revolution practicing. Then Jim Wilson ’93, VP of Finance, spent a couple of hours talking with the group about the business side of sports. Sitting in a conference room full of Patriots pictures, it was hard not to be inspired and excited about this side of business. Check out the Prebiz Facebook page (link below) for pictures from the trip.

On tap for next week? Ethics, Personal Finance, Adverstising and Creating Your Personal Brand….2 weeks down, 2 to go!

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter and look for our WIBSBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN.

Helene

Helene Horan ’06
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Summer Business 2013 is underway…

June 5th, 2013 by hhoran

The 2013 edition of Holy Cross’ Summer Business Program is off and running…1.5 weeks into the 4 week program!  Today the students have time to spend working in teams on their 4-week long group project, so it seemed like a good time for an update on how the program is going thus far:

We kicked off SBP on Tuesday of last week. 29 eager and committed students moved back to campus to spend a month of their summer vacation in pursuit of business knowledge and so far they’ve really impressed all of the teachers.  Last week started with Clint Greenleaf ’97 running a session on “What is a Business? And how do I start one?”  Not only was Clint able to talk to the students about technical information but he also gave some good etiquette tips from his book The Unwritten Rules of the Workplace.

Day 2 was a big day – the students spent the entire day working with Moira Garvey ’78 and Mary Ann Rettig-Zucchi, from Jupiter Consulting Group, to explore their leadership styles and how to enhance their performance and engagement when working in groups.  In advance of this session the students had several pre-work assignments, including an online assessment and soliciting letters of character reference from people who knew them well.  This information, coupled with interactive activities like the Group Tower Building exercise made for an enlightening and interactive day.  The students were then able to take what they learned about themselves as leaders into that evening’s dinner when they were introduced to the Team Executives and received the details of the team project that they’ll be working on over the course of the next several weeks.  (Stay tuned for details regarding who wins the cash prize!)

Days 3 & 4 we were back in the classroom focusing on “Faith, Values and Ethics” with William Messenger, “Corporate Frameworks & Tax Implications” with Jack Malley ’77 and “Career Planning & Interview Skills” with Pam Ahearn, Director of Holy Cross’ Summer Internship Program and Megan Chester, Assistant Director of Career Counseling.  I think it’s fair to say that the students were tired by the end of Week 1 but everyone seemed to agree that they were wasting no time absorbing all the information that they possibly could.

Hopefully all the students groups are currently huddled somewhere on campus, actively engaged in their team projects, and taking advantage of the time they have to work together! The Team Execs are back on campus tomorrow night for dinner so I’m sure they’ll be looking to see what progress has been made…and I know everyone here in the Prebusiness Office is excited to see what innovated ideas this year’s group of SBP students comes up with.

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK, follow us on Twitter and look for our WIBSBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN.

Helene

Helene Horan ’06
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies