Summer Internship Series: Reflecting on Certificate Experience

Caroline Quinn ’22 is pursuing the Certificate in Business Fundamentals and is checking off the internship requirement this summer.  Follow along as she reflects on her experience, lessons learned, and how her liberal arts education and Holy Cross network are helping her along the way.

Summer Series: Part One

I’m in the midst of my ten-week-long internship as a Sales Strategist with PepsiCo, and I’m happy to say that my experience thus far has been extremely captivating and enriching despite it being 100% virtual. For starters, I’m working on the Allied Brands Team which focuses on PepsiCo’s partners (like Ocean Spray and Voss Water) who independently produce/manufacture their products and then distribute/sell through PepsiCo. This is a symbiotic relationship with this arrangement because the Allied Brands benefit from PepsiCo’s nationwide presence and reach, and PepsiCo benefits from selling products that it doesn’t produce or typically sell. My particular project is oriented around an Allied Brand called Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. Before PepsiCo partnered with Bundaberg in 2017, it had never sold a craft soda. But now, PepsiCo is highly competitive in that market because of this partnership. Bundaberg’s top-selling product is ginger beer which is a premium, non-alcoholic, craft soda that is commonly used as a mixer. Regarding my project, I’ve been tasked with creating a feasible strategy to grow Bundaberg sales by 4X in the US. While this is a tall order, I am confident that I am putting together a really great pitch that I’ll present at the end of my internship. Much of my confidence can be attributed to the Ciocca Center and Holy Cross as a whole. 

The Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Siociety has given me great insight into the business world, specifically through workshops in the Certificate in Business Fundamentals. Firstly, the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program proved to be a critical experience for me, as it resembles this internship on a micro-level. With my Bundaberg project, I am focusing on identifying key opportunities within distribution (the number of stores we sell Bundaberg at), velocity (the amount of Bundaberg that each of those stores sells), and portfolio (the diversity of flavors available at these stores, like diet and root beer). This requires me to explore data and identify points of opportunity, similar to the work I did during Fullbridge. Secondly, the Excel Tutorial was instrumental, as it gave me a sufficient understanding of how to organize, navigate, and summarize data. I’ve used Excel every single day of this internship, and I’m happy that I didn’t have to waste precious time on learning the basics. Thirdly, the Global Supply Chain Workshop provided relevant vocabulary and information about the realities of producing consumer goods. Bundaberg is made from ginger root and cane sugar, brewed for three days in Australia, loaded onto a cargo ship for a six-week-long journey across the Pacific Ocean to a port in California, held up in customs for roughly two weeks, shipped to distribution centers, then sent out to retailers around the country like grocery stores, restaurants, and bars to then be consumed. I don’t think I would understand the intricacies of this process if it weren’t for this workshop. As I am formulating a plan to grow Bundaberg’s sales, I’m able to take into account supply chain management because of what I learned at the workshop. Lastly, the Marketing Communication & Sales Workshop gave me a great sneak peek into PepsiCo as an organization. This workshop was led by a team of PepsiCo alumni who challenged the cohort to create a plan for promoting SodaStream in colleges around the country. Not only did I get better acquainted with marketing and sales in general, but I also saw how PepsiCo employees operated. They were excited and passionate about the product, and they also gave great constructive feedback after the presentations. 

There is such a strong link between Holy Cross and PepsiCo which is something I am so grateful for. After securing the internship in November, I was invited to and regularly attended the HC PepsiCo Happy Hour– a casual biweekly Zoom call with PepsiCo employees who attended Holy Cross. This included everyone from Maegan Moriarty ‘20 to Kristen Buonassis ‘11. As I got closer to my internship start date, my relationship with these alumni grew stronger and ultimately provided an amazing foundation for this summer. I had the privilege of starting my internship with a great support network. In fact, my mentor on the Allied Brands Team is Maegan! She has been such an incredible resource, as I can ask her anything and she’s always eager to help. Also, Chris Vandervoon ‘19, a judge during the workshop, is a Commercial Intern Orientation Leader so I was immediately greeted by a friendly face on my first day. Maegan and Chris frequently provide me with support and the now weekly happy hours have made me feel like I’m already a part of the family. I’ve chatted with my fellow interns, and many of them have struggled to feel connected to PepsiCo because it is challenging to create rapport in a virtual setting. I am so grateful for the unique connection that Holy Cross has given me and I look forward to continuing to build those relationships.

Think Like an Actress at the 16th Annual Women in Business Conference

Fierce+Females+workhsop

The sixteenth annual Women in Business Conference will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2021.  The student planning committee is hard at work identifying alumnae speakers, clarifying what exactly a hybrid conference looks like, and the exciting ways to engage students and alumnae from various industries and career stages. We are thrilled to be offering this year’s conference in a hybrid format to maintain the exciting geographical reach of the 2020 virtual conference as well as welcome those interested in joining us in person on the hill.

What can you look forward to? Read on for exciting announcements about the fall Women in Business conference!  Continue reading “Think Like an Actress at the 16th Annual Women in Business Conference”

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! 

— — —

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 ‘22

Special 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 Shark 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!


Update 6/24/21: Read more about the Shark Tank winners in WorcesterMag & the Worcester Business Journal!  Congratulations and keep it up!

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!

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.”

 

Brittany Alkes ’15 Shares Sales Industry Insights

Nick Bettenhauser ’24, George Caldwell ’24, and Cole DiGregorio ’24 are current freshmen who are not wasting time. The three Sales Group chairs are making the most of our virtual semester by connecting with alumni, getting advice, and creating opportunities. Just one month into the fall semester and the group invited Brittany Alkes ’15, client development consultant for Thomson Reuters, to speak to the Sales Club on Thursday, October 1.

Brittany Alkes ’15 shared valuable advice, including:

  • Branding: start now! Create a LinkedIn account and start connecting with Alumni
  • Be Active: when on LinkedIn, be active and post articles that will gravitate towards your clientele
  • Personalize, Listen, Read, Share: share things that represent you, your company, and the beliefs of both
  • Holy Cross: work on skills like selling yourself and branding before you graduate
  • Alumni: add every alum you meet on LinkedIn

Stay tuned for more events! Make sure you are on the mailing list by registering for a student business club.

Real Estate Club Hosts Panel and Networking Event

On Tuesday, September 22nd over 40 students attended the annual 2020 Real Estate Panel and Networking Reception. This year, unlike in years past, the event was held virtually on Zoom with many more alumni panelists involved. The event started with an overview of the real estate market in the United States today by Cameron Lawson ’17 (Fun Fact: Cameron started the RE club on campus!). He explained that the US housing market was worth over $34 trillion dollars. He also went on to explain that the US real estate market can be broken down into 5 sectors: offices, industrial, multi-family, retail, and hospitality. He also talked about the many career opportunities that are involved in real estate for those who were interested. Cameron’s overview helped paint a clear picture for students to know how the real estate industry has an effect on every aspect of American society. 

The panelist section of the webinar included:

  • Colin Blair ‘00 of Cushman & Wakefield
  • Cassandra Clark ’02 of JP Morgan
  • Paul Formichelli ’96 of JLL
  • Bill Garey ‘12 of Taurus Investment Holdings
  • Cameron Lawson ’17 of National Development
  • Rob Rossi ’16 of Taconic Capital Advisors
  • Robert Valenti ‘11 of Kosmont
  • James Whelan ’00 of JP Morgan

Each panelist gave a brief informative presentation of how they ended up in their respective line of work which helped students understand the many different paths you can take to end up in the Real Estate industry. While all of the panelists are now currently in the Real Estate industry, almost all of them did not expect that they would end up working in real estate while at Holy Cross. The panelists also gave students advice on the best ways to enter into the Real Estate sector coming out of college, including using the feature on Handshake (Enter Link) for those applying for internships. 

There are loads of upcoming events and meetings, so consider joining a student business club!

Ciocca Center Announces Virtual Summer Opportunities

Holy Cross hat worn on student.

The Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society has been an important partner in helping students to stay ahead of the consequences caused by the pandemic.  There have been many unexpected twists and turns leaving students unsure of Certificate Program progress, summer internship plans and what to expect this fall when classes resume.  The Ciocca Center has partnered with various Holy Cross offices to try to mitigate some of these new realities with additional funding and new opportunities.

Read on to see what’s happening and get involved! Continue reading “Ciocca Center Announces Virtual Summer Opportunities”

Holy Cross Graduates Students with Certificates in Business, Entrepreneurship and Finance

Congratulations 2020 Certificate Graduates

The  Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society at the College of the Holy Cross works with nearly one in six students, or about 500, to provide technical skills and hands-on experiences to complement the liberal arts education.  Students from all majors, including Chemistry and Economics, to English and Studio Art, are encouraged to get involved as early as freshman year because you can major in anything and succeed in business.

A recent study of the working Holy Cross alumni database found that three out of four work in business roles, making it particularly useful for students to study business. With three Certificate Programs to choose from students can focus their experience on different industries, including 1) Certificate in Business Fundamentals, 2) Certificate in Entrepreneurship and 3) Certificate in Finance and Banking.

This year, due to COVID-19, many seniors experienced the Business Ethics & Principled Leadership workshop through a virtual session. We appreciate their commitment to completing the program and flexibility as the Center quickly transferred the material to a digital platform.

Today, the Ciocca Center is proud to award 68 Certificates from the three programs.  See a list of students below. Continue reading “Holy Cross Graduates Students with Certificates in Business, Entrepreneurship and Finance”