The Great Balancing Act

September 1st, 2018 by cgevry
Cara Gontarz Hume ’03
Senior HR Leader, General Electric Finance
Major: Political Science

It seems as though achieving a healthy work-life balance in today’s society is unattainable. Finding harmony between a demanding work schedule and a role as a mother, or juggling classwork, a social life and sleep as a student is exhausting. As highly motivated women with many goals, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Meet Cara Gontarz Hume, one of our fellow female Crusaders, who has created a balance between her career and family that works for her. Hume is the Senior Human Resources Leader for General Electric Finance and has three children all under the age of five-years-old. With an executive career and three young kids, she asks herself a question that many struggle with, “Can I still work and be a great mom?” For Hume, the answer is yes. She has managed to be present as a mother while simultaneously progressing her career. She remembers going on maternity leave for the first time and how worrisome it was balancing her career with the vision of what it means to be a mom. However, when she sat down with her manager and explained her situation, he gave her the life changing advice of, “just leave early.” In that moment, Hume discovered that the keys to balancing her home life with her work life were setting priorities and not keeping her two lives separate from each other.

Hume recalls the once defined line between work and personal life: “I was taught, you keep work at work and home at home.” However, throughout her career, she has seen a change in this attitude to which she attributes much of her success. She explains that she brings her full self to work not hiding that she is a working mother with three young kids. She explains, “I will be there and deliver but I do carve out time for kids. I do not use them as an excuse or a limiting factor, just part of who I am.”

As a student at Holy Cross, she was able to develop her time management skills. Like many students on the Hill, she managed a schedule of rigorous courses, a competitive athletic schedule and a variety of other campus activities. The ingrained concept of Cura Personalis, or “care of the whole person,” is a mentality promoted at Holy Cross that has contributed to much of her success. Hume says she draws upon these ideas of caring for the mind, body, and soul as a foundation of her whole-self resulting in a better self.

Multiple priorities are hard to balance and this difficulty will never go away. Hume emphasizes the importance of setting parameters around prioritizing personal time. She says, “If you don’t set a framework for personal time you will burn out. And no one will set it for you.” Everyone has their own tips and tricks on how to balance commitments, but what has worked for Hume is making a habit of taking personal time. She advises, “Make an actual plan. Mark it on your calendar and block it off.” Mark off family dinner or gym time. Put drinks with friends in your calendar and stick with the designated schedule. Having personal time marked into the calendar will make it part of your routine, making it harder to let your personal time go by the way side. Additionally, she warns, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew and avoid the extremes.” Hume also recommends constantly turning inward for personal assessments. Nobody’s fulfillment plan will be the same so it is important to check in with yourself to make sure you are happy with the way life is going.

With the school year starting up soon and new projects beginning at work, try using Hume’s trick and mark your calendar with consistent “me time” to care for yourself. Happy balancing!

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Want to learn more about Cura Personalis? Join us at the fall Women in Business Conference (Sat., Nov. 3, 2018) to hear from other alumnae discussing this topic even further. Thanks to Kate Beckerman ’20 for writing this piece and Cara Gontarz ’03 for sharing her wisdom.

>> NEW WITH WIB: Stay in touch with the Women in Business network year round with the new Purple Pulse quarterly newsletter!  Join the WIB Community!

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Entrepreneurship & Innovation @ Holy Cross

August 16th, 2018 by cgevry

Have an idea for a business? Interested in working with cool ideas?
Get involved with entrepreneurship and innovation this fall!

 

“The extracurricular entrepreneurial opportunities offered outside of the classroom such as the Ignite Incubator, the Fullbridge Program, the Shark Tank Competition, visits to start-ups, and networking events have all furthered my desire to pursue a career in business.”

– Paul Wiley ’20, chemistry major
2017 Shark Tank Competition Winner



>> Join the new Holy Cross student run Ignite Incubator!
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is excited to launch the College’s new student run incubator. The Ignite Incubator enables students from all class years to learn what it takes to bring a business to market through hands on experience. Students can either:

  • have their idea or business incubated in the program
  • work on other students business ideas

The incubator is now accepting applications for both business ideas and for associate positions on the management team.
Apply NOW! Deadline: September 10, 2018


>> Fall Course: Entrepreneurship 101
Tue. & Thu. from 12:30-1:45pm
Prof. Ja-Naé Duane

Entrepreneurship begins with a vision.  This course focuses on the foundations of entrepreneurship and is appropriate for students from any major.  It is designed to introduce students to the entrepreneurial process so that they may begin to shape their own entrepreneurial vision. Course objectives include an introduction to the challenges of entrepreneurship, an understanding of the ethical environment in which entrepreneurs operate, the skills to think critically and work toward the ability to evaluate opportunities in the business. This is a course that includes project-based entrepreneurial activities where students work to test and validate ideas.

Who should take this course?

  • Students who have a business idea
  • Students who want to work on existing business idea
  • Students who want to explore the field of entrepreneurship and innovation

Space is limited. Seats available for second, third and fourth year students.


>> Have questions? Reach out to Ja-Naé Duane, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, for more program details!

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Join the WIB Network!

August 7th, 2018 by cgevry

The annual fall Women in Business Conference comes but once a year, but the student committee would argue differently. With conference planning that takes a full year, and various student events each semester, the student committee has a new goal: Create a network of women in business.

Kate Beckerman ’20 decided after the 2017 conference to create the Women in Business newsletter, Purple Pulse, with the first edition sent out mid-April 2018. She explains “I saw how special of a community we had at the conference and I wanted to have a way to keep us connected and inspired throughout the year.” She went on to say the name “Purple Pulse” was inspired by the phrase “Bleed Purple” which speaks to how passionate  students and alumnae are about HC. “Pulse” refers to our strong network and the burst of empowerment we receive at each conference. Beckerman hopes this newsletter will help to strengthen this amazing community year round.

>> Join the Community! Register for the next installment of the Purple Pulse newsletter to see student and alumnae highlights, conference announcements, upcoming events, career tips and year-round inspiration!

 


2018 Women in Business Student Committee


Meet your 2018 Women in Business Student Committee! 

Top Left to Bottom Right: Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21, Kate Beckerman ’20, Casey Carty ’18, Rosangel Cruz Cabrera ’18, Grace Ingram ’21, Clare O’Leary ’19, Sarah Anderson ’20, Margaret Anderson ’21

Not Pictured: & Mary McGregor ’19 and Delaney Wells ’20

 

Internships Opening New Doors

July 17th, 2018 by cgevry

For Bryan Dextradeur ’17, a biology major, two internships shifted his idea for what to do after leaving Mount St. James. “I planned on pursuing medical school after graduation, as it seemed to be the mainstream route for students majoring in the sciences.”

But when Dextradeur was in search of medical-focused internships, a business position at Fallon Health caught his eye instead, and he completed an internship there the summer before his junior year. The summer before his senior year, he took a role as a research and business intern for NYU Langone Medical Center.

“Before my internships, I was under the false impression that a career in medicine was the only meaningful way to make an impact in the health care sector. My internships showed me first-hand that a great deal of the innovative work in healthcare is on the business side.”

Read more below.

Down Any Possible Road: Internships Open the Door Wide for Post-Grad Success

CEO Symposium Highlights

July 8th, 2018 by cgevry

87% of Holy Cross alumni work in business roles, yet none of them majored in business.  Hear about  “The Value and Relevancy of a Jesuit Education in the 21st Century” as discussed by:

Douglas M. Baker Jr. ’81, CEO & chairman of the board, Ecolab Inc.
AnnMaura Connolly ’86, CSO & EVP, City Year and president, Voices for National Service
Brian P. Kelley ’83, vice chairman, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
Mary Agnes “Maggie” Wilderotter ’77, former CEO & executive chairman, Frontier Communications

The 2018 Academic Conference & Beyond for Seniors

June 11th, 2018 by cgevry

Looking back just a month ago when campus was alive with students, the College held the annual Academic Conference where students from all class years and majors put on a show of research, performances, presentations and so on.  This year over 470 students participated in the four-day celebration!

“The best piece of advice we got was to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Sierra Hannough ’18 recounts her experience working with choreographers her senior year and working out what comes next after the hill.

Read on to see some of the amazing work Holy Cross students are doing here.

 

 

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2018 Sales Club Competition – Event Review

May 2nd, 2018 by cgevry

The 2018 annual Sales Club competition (photos here) was held in Smith Labs on April 12th where contestants pitched a new item to the Holy Cross bookstore. Eight groups from all four class years entered the competition and were given five minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

The judges, Anthony Ruoti ‘12, Clayton Krueger ‘17 and Linda Paquette, Merchandise Specialist at the HC Bookstore, rated each group based on three factors:

  1. the viability of their idea,
  2. how well they pitched it
  3. what their sales/marketing strategy looked like

After listening to the pitches, the judges stepped outside to deliberate while the contestants awaited the final decision. After 15 long minutes they returned with their decisions…

3rd Place: $100Clare Connolly ’18 and Kim Hickey ’18 took home the third place prize for their ultimate gift basket. This prepackaged gift basket is a low cost way to incentivise consumers to purchase more than they normally would.

2nd Place: $150Gabe Castagna ’18 was awarded second place for pitching the Tile, a bluetooth device tracker that makes it easy to find anything from your keys and wallet to a teddy bear. Gabe demonstrated the strong need for this item on campus and pitched an effective sales and marketing strategy.

1st Place: $250Matthew Whalen ’18 and Johnny Rourke ’18 took home the first place prize with their energetic pitch for Holy Cross hawaiian shirts. From top to bottom, Matt and Johnny’s pitch captivated the judges and had them saying, “I need one of those Hawaiians!”

Thank you to our judges, and the other student teams who presented:

  • Kevin Finnegan ’20 & Matthew Wilcox ’20
  • Donny Ganim ’20
  • Mackenzie Breen ’21 & Hope Goodman ’21
  • Graham Struthers ’21
  • Andrew Williamson ’21  & Owen O’Connell ’21

Want photos? Check out the Facebook album. Recap written by Ben Lodge’18, co-chair of the sales club.

It’s Finally HERE!

April 26th, 2018 by cgevry

Your WOMEN IN BUSINESS NEWSLETTER is finally here!

We are so excited to announce the first edition of The Purple Pulse! In addition to the annual Women in Business conference, the goal is to support this amazing community year-round with a quarterly newsletter – to uplift, strengthen and inspire! 

What can you expect? The student committee will focus on what’s new, upcoming events, spotlights and more!

Check your inbox for the *first* edition of the Women in Business NEWSLETTER! #hcwib #purplepulse

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NEW WORKSHOP ALERT: Business, Hospitality and Entrepreneurship

March 21st, 2018 by cgevry

What do the Hilton, Carnival Cruise Line and Wolfgang Puck all have in common? They are all successful hospitality empires!

Join this alumni-led workshop on April 14th to learn how you can make it big in the land of giants. Learn what it is, how to get in and the various career options from entrepreneurship to marketing and finance.

Saturday, April 14
10am-1pm in Stein 216
>> REGISTER HERE

Meet the hospitality expert, Mary  D’Argenis-Fernandez ’93 and read a bit about her story here.

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Fullbridge Professional Edge at Holy Cross!

March 14th, 2018 by cgevry

“I really enjoyed the overall experience of Fullbridge. It definitely proved beneficial to my understanding of the business world. I really was unsure about continuing in the certificate program, however after this program I definitely will continue.”

– English Major, Class of 2019


Registration now open for the May and August 2018 sessions! Find more info at fulbridge.com/holycross