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.

Business and the History Major

History on the Hill

“History on the Hill is a new Holy Cross newsletter published by History majors in order to highlight the range of work, experience, and reflections of history majors. It supplements the existing student-run journal, Of Life and History: The Undergraduate History Journal of the College of the Holy Cross. Professor Rupakheti, who played a pivotal role in initiating the journal, is also shepherding this new project. But, unlike the journal, History on the Hill is run by first-year and second-year students. We hope it provides opportunities for history majors to share their experience, knowledge, and reflection on various facets of their academic and non-academic life as history majors. At the same time, we also see this project serving as an information resource for the prospective majors.” – Mission statement from the first edition of the newsletter, written by Dennis Liu ’22 and Holly Tente ’23.

Spring 2021: History on the Hill Article “Business and the History Major”

If you are a History major interested in learning about business, consider the Ciocca Center’s Business Certificate Program! Alumni, staff, and faculty have united to form the structure of the 1) Certificate in Business Fundamentals, 2) Certificate in Finance and Banking, and 3) Certificate in Entrepreneurship Programs. Students can embark on any of these three tracks and learn about business experientially by interacting with alumni, industry professionals and some faculty through several workshops. In addition to completing these workshops, you will take three Holy Cross courses from a provided, extensive list, participate in an internship and job shadowing program, and finish an advanced Excel tutorial. All of these modules provide a crucial business foundation, especially for humanities students.

The Certificate in Business Fundamentals students are able to improve their presentation and decision-making skills in general business through experiential learning. Students attain a solid business foundation by learning technical skills in global supply chain management, marketing communications, decision-making, and presentation. This is an especially valuable certificate for History majors that would like to dip their toe into business but would prefer to avoid accounting and economics courses. The Certificate in Finance and Banking students take a deep dive into the institutional framework and career specializations of finance and banking by visiting top banks and investment management companies in New York and Boston with alumni professionals as their mentors. They learn how to leverage their liberal arts background for this competitive industry and convey their value proposition to future employers. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship students explore innovation. They have the opportunity to build on their liberal arts curriculum while learning the fundamentals of starting a venture and keeping a company relevant in this fast-changing world. Common Questions About the Business Certificate Program:

Q: How can you make the certificate work for you and fit your potential career aspirations?
A: Each certificate offers ways for you to showcase to future employers that you have skills and experience that go beyond the classroom. The workshops provide you with a basic level of business literacy as well as the opportunity to polish your business competencies, skills, and professional traits. These programs will also help you to leverage your liberal arts education and connect it to the world beyond academia.

Q: How will this program prepare you for the world of business?
A: There are multiple ways in which the certificate programs will help you in the business world. Apart from gaining great insights into your chosen program and how business works for that specific industry, you will gain access to a professional network of alumni and coaches. The different workshops will help with presentation and public speaking skills, teamwork, as well as how to effectively disagree. Overall, you will feel prepared, and will have the confidence and knowledge essential to land an internship or job in today’s competitive market.

Q: Why is it better to come from a liberal arts school than to go to a business school?
A: Holy Cross being liberal arts encourages you to explore and engage within numerous fields, which can prove to be useful in connecting with people from different academic and career backgrounds, contributing to the diversity of thought which is crucial to a well-balanced workplace. Additionally, a liberal arts school teaches you to think critically, articulate yourself well, and solve problems by “thinking outside the box.” These positive attributes of a Holy Cross education, combined with the skills and experience you gain through the workshops offered in the Ciocca Center’s certificates, will give you a strong foundation to build upon once you enter the workforce.

Q: Does my choice of academic major matter to business employers?
A: Employers primarily want to hire people who show interest in their business, are intelligent and willing to be trained, can work well with others, and are motivated to improve. What you major in college is less important in comparison (unless you are interviewing for jobs that require specialized training, such as accounting, engineering, etc.). It is important to be able to articulate “transferable skills” that you’ve learned from your major (writing, reading, research, attention to detail, oral presentation, etc.).

Q: How early should I get involved in the program?
A: Starting as early as freshman year, you are encouraged to get involved and participate over the course of your four-year college career. Not sure where to start? Consider the Fullbridge Professional Edge program, an introductory immersive workshop, as the first step in completing the certificate. If you are considering this program as a sophomore or junior, there is still plenty of time to complete the requirements. Seniors who want to participate in specific programs should contact the Ciocca Center (business@holycross.edu) to discuss registration because acceptance is typically given to students who are in a certificate program.

“As a History major interested in pursuing a career in the film industry, I wanted to make sure I had a solid foundation in business before leaving Holy Cross. The Certificate in Business Fundamentals has opened my eyes to so many possibilities as to how I can utilize my History major skills in case documentary work does not become my ultimate path. I urge all History students to consider this program because it truly helps to transform your resume and make it much more well-rounded.” – Holly Tente, Class of 2023, History major, Film Studies minor, Certificate in Business Fundamentals

“Incorporating the Pre-Business program with my History major and wider Holy Cross education has served as a means with which to utilize my developing skills and unearth new abilities, both of which will be essential to any direction in which I travel after my time on the Hill. I’ve been able to apply my writing and research skills to practical dilemmas from across the business world, as well as collaborate with many of my peers for projects and presentations, which in turn has allowed me to hone my abilities in communication and teamwork. While my exact career trajectory remains a work in progress, connecting with the Ciocca Center, and supplementing my academic program with these valuable workshops, courses, and experiences, has unmistakably instilled skills which will serve me well in any professional environment.” – Alex Kanya, Class of 2022, History major, Rhetoric and Composition minor, Certificate in Business Fundamentals

Check out the Holy Cross History department web page to learn more about where History majors end up following graduation. As you will see, many enter business roles!

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”

Women in Business Committee Thanks Senior Leadership

WIB senior headshots

Many thanks to our graduating seniors for their strong leadership through the transition to virtual and for celebrating the 15th annual conference with such success.  When asked to reflect on their four years on the hill, our Women in Business Conference committee seniors shared dorm memories, favorite Kimball meals and most memorable professors/courses.  Please join us in thanking and congratulating our graduating committee members! From left to right: Margaret Anderson ’21,  Grace Ingram ’21 & Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21. We wish them all the successes and happiness as they transition to the next phase, and hope to welcome them back for future conferences! Continue reading “Women in Business Committee Thanks Senior Leadership”

Ciocca Center Graduates Business Certificate Program Students

61 students at the College of the Holy Cross completed the Business Certificate Program through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.

We are proud of the hard work these students have done and their commitment to completing the Business Certificate Programs offered through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.  The liberal arts education is complemented by the experiences and skills gained through the  Business Certificate Program and an excellent opportunity to connect with the alumni presenters.  Each student received a pin to wear on graduation day as well as an official certificate noting this achievement.

Graduating during a pandemic is an added hurdle to securing a full-time position.  We encourage all participants to stay positive and connected with the Holy Cross alumni network, faculty and staff, particularly the Center for Career Development. We are all here to help students succeed and are available as resources for you.  Congratulations!

Read more to see a list of students and Business Certificate Programs. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Graduates Business Certificate Program Students”

Networking and Collaboration: WIB and Dress for Success Story

The Women in Business student organizing committee welcomed Dress for Success Worcester to their weekly meeting on April 12, 2021. The committee met with Justina Lachapelle, Beth Butler, and Nellie Philius who chatted with the group about Dress for Success’s day-to-day activities and their new ways of supporting women during the pandemic.

Following this informational review of the organization, they offered a fun and thought-provoking workshop on vision boards. The team at Dress for Success shared that they like to create a transformational experience for all the women they service where they help with resume and cover letter writing, offer tips on personal branding, and fit them for an interview suit and a week’s worth of professional attire. The women serviced have to be referred by a Dress for Success Agency Partner, such as the College, are unemployed and seeking work, or under-employed. They help women set up SMART goals, an acronym for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals that the women can work towards.

The vision board served as the perfect way for the WIB student committee to share how they are feeling in the semester and provide a space for the new members and the current members to interact in an interactive setting. 

— — —

Thanks to Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21  for maintaining the Women in Business and Dress for Success Worcester relationship and sharing this committee experience.

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.

 

 

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.

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.”