Jack Browne ’22 Reflects on Alumni Network Available through the Ciocca Center

Jack Browne ‘22 is an international studies major with a concentration in Latin American Studies who is also pursuing a Certificate in Business Fundamentals through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.  Jack spent the past year working to complete the requirements over the course of the ongoing pandemic.  The virtual workshops included alumni presenters from across the country to present industry-specific sessions and attend networking events. “One aspect of the business workshops that have been particularly helpful to my development,” starts Jack, “is how alumni are brought in to speak on their fields of expertise and their professional journey.  It was very reassuring for me to connect with recent graduates during the Marketing Communications & Sales workshop who now work at PepsiCo and hear about these individuals having success in the world of business without having gone on to business school.” 

“The concerted integration of Holy Cross alumni into the Business Certificate Program reinforces the reality that graduates of the school care about current Holy Cross students.” – Jack Browne ’22

The Business Certificate Programs provided by the Ciocca Center offer excellent opportunities for students to network with alumni and help kickstart their careers. With the help of hundreds of alumni across the various Business Certificate Programs, students can see that the Holy Cross liberal arts education supports a variety of career interests. Jack goes on to say, “The workshops provide students with a blueprint to learn more about industries, interact with alumni, and develop skills in professionalism that I have used firsthand to navigate interviews and internship applications.” 

Jack has completed nearly all of the Certificate requirements this academic year, many of which were held virtually.  He hopes to apply the knowledge gained through these experiences during an upcoming summer internship. Good luck! 

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Many thanks to Conor Hatton ’22 , marketing assistant for the Ciocca Center, for interviewing and writing this student’s experience.

 

 

Virtual Entrepreneurship Week Awards Over $10,000 in Prize Money

Congratulations to all of the students who competed during the annual Entrepreneurship Week, March 18-25, 2021, through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Holy Cross.  These virtual events attracted more than 65 students with 9 alumni involved as judges and mentors throughout the week.

Kicking off the week, HC Launch held its bi-annual Innovation Challenge in partnership with CodeSaders and the Green Fund. The challenge required Holy Cross students to come up with creative ways to build community and connect students during the COVID-19 pandemic. With 11 teams pitching their ideas to a panel of six judges, two being our very own co-presidents of the Student Government Association, students managed to develop and create detailed plans and events that centered around the theme of community. The winning idea of this competition will be immediately implemented with the help and mentorship of Dean Murray.

Normally, the Innovation Challenge would have been held in person, but due to COVID precautions was held virtually this year. The Ciocca Center’s Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, Ja-Nae Duane, kicked off the event by informing the teams and 70+ audience members of the ground rules, prizes and goals. Tom Cremins ’21 and Mary Anne Wiley ’22, HC Launch’s Managing Directors, led intermission and gave out raffle prizes to audience members while the judges deliberated.

Congratulations to the 2021 Innovation Challenge winners:

  • 1st Prize: $1,000 for Fresh Fest: an outdoor festival to help freshmen to connect by Nick Bettenhauser ‘24 & Sasha Paradise ‘24
    * Watch for this inaugural event scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2021!
  • 2nd Prize: $750 for HC Jumpstart, a social connection to meet others on campus by Britt Axelson ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21 & Connor McNerney ‘22
  • 3rd Prize: $500 and “Most Creative Award” for Sader Sips: a senior-focused beer garden by Katelyn Cody ‘22, Julia Covelle ‘22, Allie Russo ‘22 & Karter Seitz ‘22
  • 4th Place: ‘Special JudgesAward’ received for their outdoor movie night on the freshman field by Fabiola Trejo ‘22 and Victoria Covarrubias ‘22Special thanks to our judges: James Keyes ‘77, Cheryl Martin ’84, Dean Michele Murrary, William Turtone, and co-presidents of the SGA, Noah Sisk ’21 and Victoria Tara ’21.

    The next two events were casual pitch nights for students with early stage projects or ideas. These events are designed to helps students identify next steps, stress test an idea and find team members to help build it out. The first event was an opportunity for students to pitch to their peers and the second gave students pitch practice pitching their idea to an alum, Catherine Wilcox ’80.

To finish off Entrepreneurship Week, HC Launch held its eighth annual Shark Tank Competition. The  event allows Holy Cross students to pitch their business ideas to a group of judges for five mins each, followed by three minutes of Q&A. Ten teams (five teams in the seed stage category and five teams in the early-stages category) competed for a combined total of $10,000 in prize money.

Congratulations to the Seed Stage Shark Tank Winners: a category focused on the market opportunity and concept validation of the business idea.

  • $500 to Greenlist: a browser extension for identifying environmental product info Nathan Lewis ‘22
  • $500 to That’s Yo Body: A motivation/fitness brand
    Josh Azor ‘24
  • $500 to Chering: A web-app that helps thrift stores resell their clothing.
    Jacob Azzi ‘23, Dana Dinardo ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21, Genevieve Wagner ‘21 of Ohio State & Molly Zachlin ‘21of Notre Dame

Congratulations to the Early Stage Shart Tank Winners: a category for students with more developed business models.

  • $3,000 to SaderSleeps: a mattress rental service for college students by Louie Fiacco ‘22 & Will Spangenberg ‘22
  • $2,000 to PakChat: a mobile app that allows different friend groups to meet other friend groups within their own community by Peter Blunt ‘21 & Chad Arle ‘21
  • $1,000 to FUD: an app using algorithms to identify common restaurant preferences by Chris Herndon ‘22 & Jean Baptiste “Jb” Goriou ‘22

Congratulations to the Ignite Fund Winner: a category for students to work with funding and guidance through the JD Power Center.

  • $2,000 to SynchRUNous: an app for coaches to live track their runners by Meg Gerety

Special thanks to our Shark Tank Competition judges:

  • Matt Drinkwater ‘95: Former General Manager, Buzzfeed
  • Alex Hanlon ‘06: Executive, Reddit
  • Beau Lescott ‘95: President, Adaptive Portfolio Technologies
  • Michelle Stark Barrett: Director, Community Based Learning, Holy Cross
  • Jim Tselikis ‘08: Owner, Cousins Maine Lobster

Congratulations to everyone involved during the 2021 virtual Entrepreneurship Week and we hope to see you next year!

 

 

Holy Cross Offers Students a Well-Rounded Education

Female Headshot

Caroline Krumsiek ‘22, is an economics major at the College who is also pursuing a Certificate in Business Fundamentals through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.  “One of the best things about Holy Cross is that the school gives you unique opportunities to obtain a well-rounded education,” starts Caroline “and the Ciocca Center introduces you into the world of finance, business, and entrepreneurship.”

As a part of the Business Certificate Programs, all students must first explore an introductory overview of business through the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program at Holy Cross.  “My favorite part of Fullbridge was being in a professional environment because it helped me to learn how to communicate effectively and professionally.  I think my experience with Fullbridge and the other industry-specific workshops will help me to be prepared for my upcoming summer internship. I gained experience in a professional environment, and learned important skills such as Excel, data analysis, and communication.”

As a rising senior, Caroline has successfully completed all of the required workshops, her favorite being Interview Prep because it “was the most impactful  and I learned what to expect in professional interviews, and gave me advice on how to best present myself as a compelling candidate.” 

Caroline is working hard to check off the certificate requirements, including the required internship,  and is excited to apply what she has learned so far during her upcoming summer internship as an Incoming Credit and Wholesale Banking Summer Analyst at Bank of America.   Congratulations and good luck! 

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Many thanks to Conor Hatton ’22 , marketing assistant for the Ciocca Center, for interviewing and writing this student’s experience.

New Student Diversity Liaison Shares Outreach Strategy

Hello! My name is Holly Tente and I’m from Rumford, Rhode Island. I study History and Film at the College of the Holy Cross. In addition to my academics I am highly involved in different organizations across campus. I am a tour guide for the Admissions Office, a participant in ACT, and a co-editor for the History department’s newsletter History on the Hill. My most exciting endeavor recently has been working towards completing the Certificate in Business Fundamentals offered through Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society. This work has brought me to my current position as a Student Diversity Liaison for the Center.

This role is incredibly important to me because I truly believe in the importance of graduating with exposure to the world of business. Networking, Emotional IQ, and communication skills are all necessary when entering the workforce. Every industry has become evermore competitive due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Ciocca Center has been able to form a curriculum so that every student at Holy Cross can benefit and be prepared to enter the real world. I am definitely not a traditional business student. In fact, I plan on entering the film industry in order to work on documentaries. As this work is not always stable, I recognized that I should expand my knowledge of the world of business. The Certificate in Business Fundamentals has helped me to polish my resume, LinkedIn, interview prep skills, and so much more.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to explore the world of business. As a Holy Cross student who is taking an unconventional approach to their academics, I want to help students become aware of the offerings within the Ciocca Center.”

As a Student Diversity Liaison, I plan on sharing my story so that students across departments, sports teams, RSOs, MSOs, and class years can recognize that it is possible to learn about business while on the Hill. My position will give me the opportunity to serve as an advisor to students that are considering opportunities to gain technical business skills through the Ciocca Center.  During my time in this role, I hope to use my creativity to engage students in all aspects of the Holy Cross community through advertisements and interactive opportunities. I am looking forward to helping students and proving why everyone should consider adding business to their academics!

Student Spotlight: Nick Bettenhauser ’24

Nick Bettenhauser ’24 participated in several of the J-Term business workshops offered by the Ciocca Center towards completion of the Certificate in Business Fundamentals. 

In a recent article published by The Spire, he commented that “my favorite one was Fullbridge. It started out learning the ins and outs of business including learning some calculations and definitions. My favorite part was when we were assigned a company and a group. We were to research the company, find a problem, and propose a solution. My group was assigned to Diadora, an Italian sportswear company. Being a small company our group had a hard time obtaining the financial information needed to assess Diadora but our hard work turned into some great results as we had a very successful presentation to the judges. It felt like a virtual Shark Tank.”

Read more on The Spire: A First Year’s Look at Ciocca Center’s J-Term Programs.

Student Spotlight: Emma Grayeb ’24

Name: Emma Grayeb
Class: 2024
Major: Economics & Anthropology
Certificate: Finance & Banking Certificate
Hometown: Darien, CT

  • Which Business Certificate Program are you planning to pursue? 

I am planning on pursuing the Finance and Banking Certificate.

  • Which Business Certificate Program workshop experience was the most impactful and why? 

Personally, I think that the most impactful workshop experience for me was the Corporate Finance and Banking workshop. One of the activities that we did was read and analyze a case study, which allowed me a glimpse of what private equity investors have to do as a part of their job.  I have not done the Fullbridge program yet. I plan to accomplish this my sophomore year.

  • Do you believe your experience with Fullbridge and the workshops will help you be prepared for the business world?

I think that the workshops have helped prepare me. I would say that the alumni who come speak to us about their experiences in the business world provide incredibly valuable insight.

  • If a prospective student was visiting Holy Cross and asked you about the Ciocca Center’s certificate programs, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to absolutely get involved in one of the certificate programs. Not only does it increase knowledge of business concepts and jobs, but it also is a great opportunity to connect with Holy Cross alumni.


In addition to the Certificate in Finance & Banking workshops, Emma also attended the 15th annual Women in Business conference held in November 2020.  Following this conference, she applied and was accepted to join the WIB planning committee as a freshman.  The Ciocca Center is thrilled with Emma’s level of engagement, enthusiasm, and drive.  We look forward to working with you over the next few years!

How Entrepreneurial Thinking is Preparing Holy Cross Students to Wrestle With Problems of the Future

When Ja-Naé Duane introduces entrepreneurship to students at the College of the Holy Cross, she doesn’t start by talking about business ideas, product development or marketing strategy. Rather, she tells students: “Pick a problem.”

As head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program within the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society at Holy Cross, Duane encourages students to work on solutions only after they’ve wrestled with complex, global problems. For example: “Why don’t we have fresh water in all parts of the world? And what are the potential causes for the water wars that have started to exist?”

Duane, an entrepreneur herself, explains: “A true ethical leader needs to look at all sides and as many perspectives as possible in order to build something that is not only sustainable, but is also sustainably good for humanity.”

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program is one of many initiatives within the Ciocca Center, which combines the power of a liberal arts education with experiential learning to shape the next generation of ethical leaders and critical thinkers — and has offerings open to students from all class years and majors.

One way students are getting that hands-on entrepreneurial experience is by running their own incubator, HC Launch. Using a holistic approach, the incubator focuses on bringing students’ business ideas to life.

>> Read more in the Holy Cross Newsroom

Ciocca Center Reaches International Audience Over J-Term

With COVID19 came a revised academic schedule which changed the opportunity for the Ciocca Center to offer workshops during the semester.  The new January term over winter break became the opportune time for programming and the Ciocca Center did not disappoint.

Nine workshops during the month of January attracted 125 alumni from around the world and  200+ students from all four class years.  Many of the students participated in more than one opportunity as they worked towards Business Certificate Program completion.  The virtual program list included everything from Corporate Finance & Banking to Global Supply Chain Management, a Women in Business alumna speaker, and a month-long Excel Tutorial.

From Oregon to South Carolina, Europe, China, and India, alumni and students were able to connect with fellow Crusaders online.  This expansion of alumni who might not normally have been able to participate in person increased the wealth of knowledge and expertise within the already robust Holy Cross network. “One perk of the virtual world we are living in” as Connor Fitzgerald ’16 shares after presenting during the Marketing Communications & Sales workshop, “is getting to present to some awesome Holy Cross students all the way from Nashville, TN!”  Gathering the Holy Cross network often creates a sense of community, something we are all looking for during times of social distancing.

Of the many workshops,  the Ciocca Center in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, offered a new three-week opportunity, the Pothos Project, for students interested in consulting. Fourteen students divided among three teams using a B-Corp assessment provided suggestions for how the Lobby Shop at Holy Cross could be more sustainable.   The pilot program included alumni mentors as well as campus partners, an opportunity that integrated Conference Services into the co-curricular programs and provided students with a real-world consulting experience.  “What a cool opportunity! I absolutely loved working on this project”  shares Katelyn Cody ’22, who goes on to describe the work as having  “real-world impact.”

 

Caroline Quinn ’22 Shares Virtual Fullbridge Program Experience

Student

My name is Caroline Quinn ‘22. I am a junior at Holy Cross, majoring in International Studies and working towards a Certificate in Business Fundamentals through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.

In August 2020 I participated in the Fulbridge Professional Edge Program. This four-day-long intensive virtual program is designed to help prepare Holy Cross students for the business world by connecting the liberal arts to the working world. Speaking from my experience, Fullbridge did that and so much more. I was among the first group of students to participate in this program remotely. I logged onto the platform on the first day of the program, and I was surprised by how hands-on and engaging the Fullbridge team was. I could tell right off the bat that the coaches were so excited to be there, and that energy was contagious! Continue reading “Caroline Quinn ’22 Shares Virtual Fullbridge Program Experience”

15th Annual Women in Business Conference Celebrates Around the World

The conference provided opportunities for hundreds to network with and learn from successful women entrepreneurs and executives.

“We were thrilled with the number of registrants from around the world,” said Cassie Gevry, associate director of the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, & Society. “The strong interest from alumnae is a testament to the strength of the Holy Cross network and something we will continue to foster through the Women in Business network, even when we return to in-person events. It seemed that now, more than ever, women were looking for a way to come together to discuss their careers in business, and we were so glad the remote format gave so many attendees the ability to hear our speakers.”

>> Read more in the Holy Cross News Room.