Posts Tagged ‘liberal arts’

Meet Riley Benner ’20: Founder of Phoenix Haberdashey

June 21st, 2017 by cgevry

Riley Benner’ 20
Summer Assistant, Prebusiness Office
Founder, Phoenix Haberdashery

“I wanted to take subjects that I truly enjoy like philosophy and political science, but still gain the technical skills to be successful following graduation. That is exactly what Holy Cross has offered me: the ability to pair a liberal arts education with a professional business understanding.”

1) Why did you choose Holy Cross?
At the time I was applying to schools I was looking for a small college with a Jesuit identity. There was no better fit than HC. I wanted to learn more about the business world, but I didn’t want my whole schedule taken up by accounting, economics, and management classes. I wanted to take subjects that I truly enjoy, like philosophy and political science, but still gain the technical skills to be successful following graduation. That is exactly what Holy Cross has offered me: the ability to pair a liberal arts education with a professional business understanding.

2) What has been your favorite aspect of Holy Cross?
Hands down… the people. You hear that the Holy Cross network is incredible. They aren’t lying. The Prebusiness Office has been especially supportive with my startup. Every member of the HC community – professors, staff, alumni, and even students – truly want to see their fellow crusaders succeed.

3) Tell me more about your startup.
Junior year of high school I started a company called Phoenix Haberdashery, a high-end mens’ accessory brand known for its line of reversible, double-sided neckties.  All of our employees are refugees who came to America to escape violence and tyranny. For most of them working with us was their first job, which is why we use the Phoenix to represent the brand- it symbolizes rebirth and new opportunities. Each tie purchased will tell the story of the sewer who made it, a powerful way to show our customers that not only was their tie handmade and carefully constructed, but it was done by someone with an incredible story.  Keep up with these stories on Instagram.

4) How have you been involved with the Entrepreneurial Studies & Prebusiness Office?
When I decided halfway through the second semester of my freshmen year to resume my company, I knew that the first place to go would be the Office of Entrepreneurial Studies. I met with Professor Chu and two other faculty to learn about (and later receive) the Ignite Fund, a grant that allows students to gain capital and jumpstart their ideas. Professor Chu also invited me to an alumni networking event in Boston for entrepreneurs. I went, pitched my idea, and met several alumni who have been incredibly helpful in Phoenix Haberdashery’s early development. I decided to stay in Worcester over the summer and was hired to work in the Prebusiness Office. While here, I’ve been learning about business administration and getting tips on how to successfully scale my startup.

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If you want to learn more about the Entrepreneurial Studies & Prebusiness Office, check out our website and follow us on Instagram. Thank you Riley, for sharing your story – we look forward to seeing your business grow!

 

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Ninth Annual Women in Business Conference

November 21st, 2014 by cgevry

WIB_2014On November 1, 2014, just under 200 alumnae and students attended the 9th annual Women in Business Conference. This year, Keynote Speaker Anne Fink ’85, COO of PepsiCo North America, talked about “Longevity in the Workplace: The Pursuit of Self Discovery.” This year’s Student Organizers were Patricia Feraud ’15, Brooke Levine ’15, Alexandra Schiffman ’15, Lauren Campson ’16, MaryAnn LaShota ’16, Sydney Pugliares ’16, Lauren Biolsi ’17, and Caroline Keane ’17.

Check out what the Student Organizers for this year’s Women in Business conference have to say about the 2014 WIB event on the HOLY CROSS blog – and browse the photo gallery!

J.R Butler ’08 Translates an HC Degree to a Successful Sales Career

November 14th, 2014 by cgevry

HC Sales Logo

On Monday, October 27th the Holy Cross Sales Group hosted J.R Butler ’08 in a workshop on translating a Holy Cross degree into a successful career in sales. During his time on the hill, Butler found success both in the classroom as a Sociology major, Art history minor and as a Varsity athlete playing for the Men’s Hockey team. More recently, he has been busy in his professional career, recently being named as Regional Sales Director at VM Turbo, one of the fastest growing tech companies in the Boston area.

To Butler, the three most important things that Holy Cross can offer a student interested in sales are: an inquisitive mind, critical thinking skills, and the ability to interact with a variety of people. As liberal arts students, we are taught to understand a wide variety of topics at a deeper level that allows us to apply these skills in the real world. Furthermore, we learn to make reasonable arguments that would appeal to a wide variety of people. Someone with a successful career in sales utilizes these skills to find why a client may need a service or product and is able to help the client understand why it is necessary to the well being of his/her company.

The Holy Cross Sales Group thanks everyone who was able to attend the event and we encourage those who are interested in sales to attend any future meetings. Our next meeting is Monday, November 24, 2014 at 7:00pm in Stein 120. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks to Kyle Larkin ’15 and the Holy Cross Sales Club for inviting J.R. Butler ’08 back to campus for a lively talk on the sales industry.  As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness Watch for our next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Arts Transcending Borders: Cultural Entrepreneurship

October 8th, 2014 by cgevry
Pato_DinnerOn Thursday September 25th, Cristina Pato – a Galician bagpiper, pianist, composer and Artist in Residence here at the College of the Holy Cross – held a special dinner lecture titled: “Cultural Entrepreneurship: At the Intersection of Business & the Arts.” Pato has an active professional career devoted to Galician popular and classical music and jazz, and her dual careers have led her to perform on major stages throughout Europe, USA, India, Africa, and China.
The night started with Cristina telling the dinner guests about her story. She was the first female Gaita (Galician bagpipe) player to release a solo album in 1999, and she became a huge pop star in Spain. Since then, she has also collaborated on world stages with Yo-Yo Ma, Arturo O’Farril, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Osvaldo Golijov, to name a few. However, she had no idea that she could become this product: Cristina Pato. She was fortunate enough to have a edge in the music industry as the first female, soloist playing a Galician bagpipe. Yet other artists today do not always have this competitive advantage. Thus, she developed the Galician Connection, an annual festival dedicated to promote intercultural dialogue through music and encouraging cultural entrepreneurs to rise.As the night went on, Cristina got all the dinner participants to interact at their tables and gave each table a scenario to discuss. Scenarios included: Being an artist with no initial funding, being an artist with public funding, etc. The fundamental idea was to come up with a way for the artist to market their product and make a sustainable income. After each table presented their plan of action, Cristina posed the question: “What is holding the artist back? What’s stopping all of us from sculpting, from being a famous singer, from being a renowned pianist?” It seemed like the unanimous answer was that in our modern world, most art has funding through public donations or private investments, and that we believed being an artist would not be able to rake in a steady income.That is exactly why Cristina created the Galician Connection. She is passionate about education, and feels that people need to be educated on how important art is, and they need to have a support system while creating art. Participants in the Galician Connection are able to attend classes and workshops that help them grow as artists, and they have a forum where they can connect and grow together.

So what exactly is cultural entrepreneurship? Everyone had a different definition. But if you ask me, cultural entrepreneurship is being able to acknowledge that the arts are an important part of society, and finding a way to creatively present an art form to other people so that you can make a living off of it, and so that others can appreciate and connect with it as well.

Thanks to Sophia Jin ’15, for attending and writing this blog post. Great speaker, great dinner and great conversation! As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director
Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies

Pitch It!

November 22nd, 2013 by cgevry

Inspired by alum who wish they had more experience in public speaking while on the hill, Pre-Business decided to host a workshop.  Professor Pat Bizzell of the English Department, who specializes in rhetoric, was happy to work with the Pre-Business students.   In the interest of time, we asked students to rsvp with either a product or personal pitch already prepared.  After a short intro regarding style, arrangement and delivery, Prof. Bizzell gave the students time to apply these techniques to the pitches they brought to the workshop.

We set up the video camera and one by one the students stood in front of the room to deliver their pitch.  Rather than show the footage in front of the group, it was emailed to each student to watch themselves on their own time.  This would bring Prof. Bizzell’s constructive criticism to the next level!

Do you have a personal or product pitch?  Keep an eye out for our next public speaking workshop!

Public Speaking 111213

Cassie
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

The Atlantic on the Importance of Liberal Arts Colleges

September 25th, 2012 by cgevry
In case you weren’t convinced, here’s a link to the Atlantic story that talks about the importance of colleges having an entrepreneur program:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/how-liberal-arts-colleges-are-failing-america/262711/
Thank you for supporting the Entrepreneurial Studies program here at Holy Cross!
Not involved yet? REGISTER TODAY!

Cassie Gevry
Program Coordinator of Entrepreneurial Studies