Here’s the latest post from guest blogger Frank DeLeo! Enjoy!
With the conclusion to week two of the SBP, new challenges awaited me at the beginning of week three. The amount of valuable information kept flowing, causing me to fill page after page of legal pad with important notes. After another phenomenal week in the program, I could only hope that week three would top the prior two weeks to kick my adrenaline up another notch.
Before I got there, a lot of work needed to be accomplished on the team project over the weekend. Our team meeting was on Sunday, so Saturday I spent most of the day continuing research and gaining as much knowledge about Home Depot and their customers as possible. On Sunday, I spent the morning and afternoon in Hopkinton, MA by the pool with my best friends from Holy Cross. We had a tiny celebration because, conveniently, it was my two year anniversary with my girlfriend. It was nice to get off campus and have solid food due to my meal scavenging tactics and lack luster cooking ability. The event was a just the change of pace I needed to recharge my batteries to press on with the program after still being burnt out from the academic rigor of the past semester.
From my relaxing afternoon by the pool, I was dropped off in Milford, MA at my executives home (Al Correia ’78). There we had a nice meal and accomplished a ton of work: the planning of our project, the structure of our project, and the determination of the remaining steps needed to create our presentation. At the meeting, we disclosed all of the information we had obtained from our excursion to Home Depot the past week. We discussed our interactions with customers and our questioning with sales associates as well as what we saw in the ceiling and walling isles. Ultimately, we came to a consensus on customer types, and the particular needs/wants of each group. From there, steps were laid out and responsibilities divvied up in order to proceed through our plan of attack.
The first half of week three has brought new and intriguing topics to the forefront. Personal finance and the management of the Holy Cross endowment definitely sparked my interest. Because I am a very future oriented thinker, personal finance really struck an emotional cord within me. I consider this trait to be a double-edged sword. It is a benefit because I always plan ahead, and am constantly thinking about how I am going to support my family in the years to come. On the other hand, I tend not to live in the present, which causes me to miss out on some of the worry free fun college has to offer. I by no means don’t enjoy the college experience, I just tend to worry about the future more than the average person, which is reasonable considering the current economic climate. Regardless, the session with Professor Anderton on Tuesday taught me about bond and stock mutual funds, compound interest, and general investing strategies just to name a few.
On Wednesday, Tim Jerry ’00 taught us about how Holy Cross invests its endowment. This is a behind the scenes topic that never came to mind. It was definitely much different than personal finance, especially when it came to investment strategy. When dealing with an institutional endowment the standard deviation and return rates played a huge factor. Generally, when creating such a portfolio, the investments need to be more conservative. On the other hand, in personal finance you can take more risks in hope for a higher return. We ultimately created our own endowment portfolio and learned about hedge funds, real assets, fixed income, and equities.
Week three is flying by. Every day is a new opportunity to learn, and the information that is being presented has great practical use now and in the future. I cannot believe there is only 10 days left before I pack up and head back to CT for the summer. I’m making the best of each session, and can only hope that I continue to soak up all of the business knowledge that I’m being exposed to.
Thank you, Frank! It seems like the teams have some stiff competition this year. Can’t wait to hear more!
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Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor