Here’s another one from Frank DeLeo ’14!
Week four began our quest to obtain a victory on Friday after all the trials and tribulations of the Summer Business Program. The stress and anxiety set in early when trying to perfect our presentation. Every bullet, every sentence, and every movement had to be rehearsed and scripted. The PowerPoint needed to be clear and concise to get our ideas across. Most importantly we needed to look and sound our best in order to be the epitome of a real business presentation: professional.
The week began with a session on career planning. Taught by Pam Ahearn and Amy Murphy, we learned the nuisances of navigating the Holy Cross website and LinkedIn to find alumni not only for internships and jobs, but also for informational interviews.
The Holy Cross network is a phenomenal resource that I will continue to tap into during my last two years at HC, and even after graduation. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life after college, but I have a strategy to piece together my varying interests. By taking advantage of everything Holy Cross has to offer: the academic internship program, study abroad, ELW, SBP, etc, I can gain a better understanding of my likes and dislikes.
During my journey, I know that the network is always there for me to ask questions. The most important take away from the session was that alumni want to help, so I should never hesitate to contact them. After Monday, my two primary summer priorities became networking and setting up my LinkedIn profile.
As the week went on we were taught how to use Microsoft Office tools such as PowerPoint and Excel. Wednesday’s session on PowerPoint and presentation skills with Jessica Blau’08 and Roger Lobo ‘04 provided pertinent information to incorporate into the pitch.
During the session, we learned about tips and tricks for PowerPoint, verbal delivery, and slide content. My team took this new knowledge and touched up our presentation before we asked Ms. Blau to film our first dry run. I always hate watching myself on film, but the team and I discovered a lot from watching ourselves. We were able to see areas in which we could improve and mistakes that needed to be corrected by Friday. Thursday was the day to make those corrections.
When Mr. Correia told us that Thursday meant perfection, he wasn’t kidding. The team had no idea what to expect at 10 a.m. for the start of our meeting in Smith 155. We began with sharing all of the new information we had learned in our sessions, in addition to our perfected PowerPoint. From there, we jumped right into the dry runs. Every movement and sentence was scrutinized. People forgot lines, swayed in place, stepped forward wrong etc. Each time we made a mistake Mr. Correia would say, “Do it again.”
After a few tries, we got the hang of it. All that remained was being able to control our nerves the next morning and remember the transitions. We were confident in the content of our presentation and our ability to pitch the information. We simply needed to execute.
At 2 p.m., Mr. Correia had to go talk to the parents at Gateways. His wife couldn’t make it, so he needed someone from the team to go with him. I volunteered to talk to the parents with the mentality that I’d be sitting on a panel answering questions. Oh how wrong I was. It turned out that I had to speak in front of an almost full ballroom of parents with no preparation. I was terrified, but it was a great public speaking experience. I told my story and explained how the parents should let their children grow up, but still be involved in their lives for support and advice.
After my near heart attack, the team reconvened and decided to go practice separately for tomorrow. We had rehearsed so much that we needed a break to get our heads on straight. Mr. Correia left us to work by our own accord, and trusted us to be ready for game time, 10 a.m. Friday morning.
We were as ready as we’d ever be.
I can’t wait to find out how they did! Thanks again, Frank!
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor