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.
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.
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: $100 – Clare 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: $150 – Gabe 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: $250 – Matthew 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.
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.
“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.”
Intensity was in the air last night as Holy Cross held its annual Shark Tank competition in Hogan Suite A. This year the competition was fierce among nine teams pitching for seed money (about $1,000) with just three minutes to pitch, or venture money (over $10,000) with five minutes to pitch. After each presentation the judges had time to ask a few questions before heading to a private room to deliberate. While waiting, the audience got the chance to vote for a new category, the People’s Choice Award. The contestants waited anxiously as the room filled with fellow Holy Cross students and alum. Around 8pm the judges returned with three oversized checks in hand… Check out photos from the event HERE.
$5,000: Dillon Carmichael ‘18 pitched Redefining Black Masculinity, a platform for those actively redefining black masculine identity. Dillon said “the event is intimidating and inspiring. To see different people come with such great ideas and motivations makes you want to improve and keep on doing better. Hearing some people go before me almost disuaded me from giving my pitch, but once those jitters settled, it served as additional fuel for my fire. It’s competitive, but a healthy competitive because it comes from a place of genuine passion. Winning still comes as a surprise, but I am beyond grateful that I did and had the opportunity to share my idea with everyone at the event.”
$5,000: Riley Benner ‘20 launched a bespoke men’s fashion line produced by refugees for his company Phoenix Haberdashery. Riley commented “Holy Cross’ Annual Shark Tank was a really unique experience. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to share a night with other aspiring entrepreneurs and get to see the wide range of projects that they’re working on. We have a great community of support here on the Hill, especially from Ja-Nae and Professor Chu and many faculty members, but I think the most rewarding support that we can receive is from our peers who are all just trying to make their dream ideas into reality. Winning the competition was an honor, and it’s a reminder for me to keep working towards fulfilling the mission of Phoenix Haberdashery, because the judges clearly believed in that mission. It’s a wonderful affirmation of the hard work that my team and I have been putting in for the past 6 months, and we’re excited to use the money we received to further that mission.”
$2,500: Brad Ross ‘18 wants to improve goal accuracy for soccer players with his idea Scopum. Brad commented “The Shark Tank event is a really fun and exciting way to engage the entrepreneurial side in all of us. The prospect of pitching in front of judges with incredible backgrounds and experience while competing for real cash prizes allowed us to think as true entrepreneurs. This coincides with the exciting new entrepreneurship program at Holy Cross that provides us as students a platform to truly find our entrepreneurial spirit and bring it out the right way. Thinking about not only specific projects or ideas, but also the market opportunities, business plans, and go-to-market strategies that are necessary to consider in the real world.”
$1,140: Christina Nee ‘19 is interested in upcycling food waste to make delicious treats with her company named Top Banana. Christina wants to say “Thank you to everyone involved last night! I’m so excited to be able to pursue a business that will help combat food waste!”
$100: Hawar Haddadi ‘19 and Michael Lyons ‘19 won the People’s Choice Award for their idea, The Device Doctors. This company is a door-to-door phone repair service for campuses, starting with the College of the Holy Cross. Hawar commented “The event really brought to light the competitive nature of the entrepreneurial world. Everyone really came with their A-game and it was clear that everyone was extremely passionate about their idea. It was great to see such a high level of competition and excitement from Holy Cross students. I had a blast presenting and we received some really awesome feedback on how we should advance with our business!”
Thank you to our runners-up:
Anthony Saltarelli ‘18 presented his mobile app, The Networking Assistant, a tool to help students organize their network.
Nick Lacasse ‘18 pitched Table Split, a mobile app to divide checks amongst a table of friends at restaurants.
Nate Chung ‘18 launched a mobile app named EchoMe that enables users to live broadcast music and listen together in real-time, regardless of geographic location.
Michael Lowther ’18 pitched Undercover Difference Makers, an online platform to highlight those making a difference in the world.
Special thanks to our judges:
Stacy Chin ’12, CEO & Co-founder, HydroGlyde Coatings
Prof. Daniel Klinghard, Director, J.D. Power Center, Holy Cross
Tyler Scionti ’15, Product Expert, Hubspot
Thank you to Ja-Nae Duane, EIR, and Ben Lodge ’18 for making this event a true success. Looking forward to next year and hearing about all the incredible ideas the next group of Holy Cross students have!
Have you seen the show Shark Tank? Did you know we had our own version of it here at Holy Cross? YES! It’s run by the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Ja-Nae Duane, where current students will pitch their ideas to a panel of alumni judges for real money. Don’t want to compete? Come watch the show!
The annual competition will be held on Thursday, February 22 from 6-8pm in Hogan Suite A …followed by an alumni networking event! Stay tuned to see who the alumni judges will be.
>> Want to compete? Join us for a prep session held on: Monday, February 5 and Monday, February 12 at 6PM in Stein 216. *Must attend one prep session to compete.
MORE INFO: Meet with Ja-Nae via Google Hangout or stop by the new co-working space in Stein 129C.
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UPDATE: Interested in who will be on the judging panel this year? Come to the event to meet them and mingle during the networking hour with a number of alumni entrepreneurs!
Stacy Chin ’12, CEO & Co-founder, HydroGlyde Coatings
Prof. Daniel Klinghard, Director, J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts & the World, Holy Cross
Tyler Scionti ’15, Product Expert, Hubspot
Miss the annual Women in Business conference? No worries! Read a review of the 2017 Women in Business conference, written by committee members Sarah Anderson ’20 and Kate Beckerman ’20. Special THANK YOU to Provost Freije for interviewing Deirdre Latour ’95, Senior Advisor, VP & COO at GE.
This year at the Women in Business Conference, we are ~shaking~ things up! Out with the old and in with the new. We’ve transformed our keynote address into a keynote interview and to celebrate the evolution of the Conference, we’ve interviewed four students from four different majors. They have shared their insights into the Conference and gave some of the biggest tips they’ve learned over the years! Be sure to read up about their experiences and sign up for the Conference at holycross.edu/business/wib
TESS ANDREKUS ’18
Q: How did you hear about the Women in Business conference?
My mom is an alumnae (Moira Garvey ’78), and she actually brought me to a Women in Business conference back when I was only 11 years old. I got to go to some of the panels and I was hooked. Then once I got into HC, I made sure to sign up for the Prebusiness program so that I could keep an eye out for the conference each year.
Q: What year did you attend?
I’ve attended every year that I’ve been at HC, so that would be 2014, 2015, and 2016. Plus the time when I was 11!
Q: What was your favorite part of the conference?
I’ve really enjoyed when the alumni at the table engage with us students and try to figure out what helpful advice, tip and tricks they can give us. They have insight that is super helpful.
Q: What was one lasting connection you made at the conference?
I have made sure to talk to Mary Donahue Quinlan every single year. She had a panel at the conference when I went as an 11 year old, and from then on I have been a loyal fan!
Q: What are you most looking forward to at the conference this year?
This year I’m a senior so I think any advice that alums have for me will be helpful. Hopefully I can make some connections that will help me achieve success and happiness.
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Thanks to Casey Carty ’18 for this interview. Hope to see you all at the conference this year on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Registration is OPEN so be sure to sign up!
As a student at College of the Holy Cross, homework, sports practice, club meetings and the job search can be overwhelming. How can a student at Holy Cross possibly manage to build their network while also meeting deadlines?
Every November, the Women in Business Committee brings upwards of 200 student and alumnae together to meet, chat about life on the Hill and learn about life in the real world in Hogan Ballroom. The all day event includes FOOD, FUN and NETWORKING! What more could you want from a Saturday on the Hill? The alumnae that travel back to their alma mater are here to talk with student, dish out great advice and if you’re lucky, hand you their business cards for the next time you’re in their area.
This year on Saturday, November 11, Chief Communications Officer of GE, Deirdre Latour is coming to talk about her life at Holy Cross as a History major and how she became the awesome, powerful, inspiring woman she is today! Check out the agenda, panels and alumnae on the website. Be sure to register while you are there!
This year’s sponsors include: GE, PepsiCo, Deloitte and Eaton Vance. In addition to sponsoring this incredible event, GE and PepsiCo will also be sending alumnae representatives to the college to have recruiting lunches. This of course is by application ONLY, so be sure to get your resumes in early to have a little extra face to face time with these two fantastic companies! How do you apply? 1) Register for the conference 2) Send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re missing out on the Women in Business Conference, your missing out on networking with some of the most fun, charismatic and passionate women in the world of business. Be sure to register for your spot now!
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Thank you to Casey Carty ’18, WIB Student Committee Member, for this great write up. Hope to see you at the conference on Saturday, November 11, 2017! #HCWIB #HCWomeninBiz
“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!