Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance

Leif Johnson ’21, Economics Major
Fall 2019 Ciocca Center Intern


Coming into freshman year at Holy Cross I played lacrosse, and only lacrosse. That is who I was my entire life. I am very thankful for the lessons in teamwork and leadership along with the life long friends I made being that these are things I will have forever. I was never in any extracurriculars being that I truly thought all I would do is go to college, play lacrosse, and graduate with a job waiting for me. However, at the beginning of my sophomore year that all changed when I sat down and thought about all the things I wanted to explore on campus and beyond.  Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance”

Holy Cross Graduates 46 Business Certificate Program Recipients

Established in 2006 with limited offerings for students to explore business at Holy Cross, the office was recently named the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.  Parents, students and alumni alike have found the Center’s experiential learning opportunities to be a valuable addition to the liberal arts education and student interest in these business certificate programs is booming. As of the spring 2019 semester, there are more than 470 students participating, and they come from all majors. Enrollment in the workshop about supply chain management doubled from 2017 to 2018, from 20 to more than 40 students. The workshop on business ethics and principled leadership had so many students enroll that Prof. David Chu, Director and Prebusiness Advisor,  hopes to offer multiple sessions in the future.

“With the center, we’re going to be able to significantly expand opportunities to meet student demand. The purpose of the center is to provide students with multiple pathways to learn about business — pathways that can complement any major in the curriculum. We don’t try to replicate a business school curriculum; we take a distinctively liberal arts approach” Chu comments.

Today, the Ciocca Center is proud to graduate 46 students from the Business Certificate Programs.  See a list of students below. Continue reading “Holy Cross Graduates 46 Business Certificate Program Recipients”

Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Anne Fink ’85, P17

 

Anne Fink ’85, P17
President of Global Foodservice, PepsiCo

“One of my mentors has been a real model for servant leadership. This notion of putting others first stands out to me: just because you’re at the top of the organization, doesn’t mean that people are serving you.”

On April 1, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Anne to learn about her journey in the food and beverage industry.  Anne is the President of Global Foodservice at PepsiCo and is a member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you always know you wanted to work in the food and beverage industry?  I grew up in a business family.  My father and mother started a business when I was in grade school and it ended up being a family affair.  It was a company called Mats Incorporated, a commercial floor matting business. My father started it from the trunk of his car selling doormats to businesses.  Little by little, he grew the business into a pretty large and successful entity. Actually, my three brothers own the business and run it today and they have hundreds of employees.  My mother would type the invoices at night and I used to help her. So, it was very much a family business. I grew up interested in business, curious and involved. I knew I liked business and was interested in pursuing a career in it.  I had a good feeling for that pretty early on in life. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Anne Fink ’85, P17”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bill Abbott ’84

Bill Abbott ’84
President & CEO of Crown Media Family Networks

“This is where being a major in English really comes in handy.  I feel like I learned story, characters, and emotion and all the things that comprise great storytelling at Holy Cross.”

Bill Abbot Headshot

On March 29, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bill to learn about how he turned his English Major into a career in the entertainment industry.  Bill is the President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  Did you always know you wanted to work in the entertainment industry?  No, not at all. I was an English major, with a lot of political science classes mixed in there.  I was really focused more either on law school or teaching when I was at school. But, after college I felt like more school wasn’t really where I wanted to be my first year out.  So, I was fortunate enough to get a job in the media world, loved it from the beginning, and decided that’s what I would focus on. Entertainment is not something I intended on, but the liberal arts education provided me with a great backdrop for really anything I wanted to do because it teaches you and gives you a good sense of how to communicate and critically think and write.  All of those are crucial aspects to any job. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bill Abbott ’84”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82

Bob Guillocheau ’82
Chairman & CEO of Ascensus

“We are very much a mission based company, values driven, and a lot of that came from my learnings at Holy Cross.  The ‘men and women for others’ very much resonated with me and it’s something I bring with me everyday when I go to work.”

Bob Guillocheau headshotOn March 22, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bob Guillocheau ’82 to learn about his journey from HC into the financial services industry.  Bob was an economics and accounting major and currently serves as the Chairman & CEO of Ascensus.

Who/What inspired you to enter the business world?  I graduated Holy Cross with an economics accounting degree and, typically if you have a accounting degree, you get recruited by what was back then the big eight accounting firms.  There have been mergers and today it is the big four accounting firms. The world has changed a lot from 1982 when I graduated, but getting recruited is what got me into financial services and the business world.  I took an accounting class in high school, taught by a woman by the name of Mrs. Ellis. She made it really fun and interesting and she was a businesswoman who explained to us how the world works and how accounting and finance plays into any aspect of company. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82”

HC Startup: Boston Kickoff Event

networking event “With the relaunch and the rebranding of the HC Startup group, there is also a renewed vision to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurial-minded folks. With the future of work dramatically changing the landscape, we need to prepare and support our students and alumni for this shift.” Ja-Naé Duane, EIR & Lecturer, Holy Cross

JOIN US for our winter networking event at T3 Advisors in Boston.
JANUARY 16, 2019 << Click to REGISTER.

Meet Riley Benner ’20: Founder of Phoenix Haberdashey

Riley Benner’ 20
Summer Assistant, Prebusiness Office
Founder, Phoenix Haberdashery

“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!

 

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Ninth Annual Women in Business Conference

WIB_2014On November 1, 2014, just under 200 alumnae and students attended the 9th annual Women in Business Conference. This year, Keynote Speaker Anne Fink ’85, COO of PepsiCo North America, talked about “Longevity in the Workplace: The Pursuit of Self Discovery.” This year’s Student Organizers were Patricia Feraud ’15, Brooke Levine ’15, Alexandra Schiffman ’15, Lauren Campson ’16, MaryAnn LaShota ’16, Sydney Pugliares ’16, Lauren Biolsi ’17, and Caroline Keane ’17.

Check out what the Student Organizers for this year’s Women in Business conference have to say about the 2014 WIB event on the HOLY CROSS blog – and browse the photo gallery!

J.R Butler ’08 Translates an HC Degree to a Successful Sales Career

HC Sales Logo

On Monday, October 27th the Holy Cross Sales Group hosted J.R Butler ’08 in a workshop on translating a Holy Cross degree into a successful career in sales. During his time on the hill, Butler found success both in the classroom as a Sociology major, Art history minor and as a Varsity athlete playing for the Men’s Hockey team. More recently, he has been busy in his professional career, recently being named as Regional Sales Director at VM Turbo, one of the fastest growing tech companies in the Boston area.

To Butler, the three most important things that Holy Cross can offer a student interested in sales are: an inquisitive mind, critical thinking skills, and the ability to interact with a variety of people. As liberal arts students, we are taught to understand a wide variety of topics at a deeper level that allows us to apply these skills in the real world. Furthermore, we learn to make reasonable arguments that would appeal to a wide variety of people. Someone with a successful career in sales utilizes these skills to find why a client may need a service or product and is able to help the client understand why it is necessary to the well being of his/her company.

The Holy Cross Sales Group thanks everyone who was able to attend the event and we encourage those who are interested in sales to attend any future meetings. Our next meeting is Monday, November 24, 2014 at 7:00pm in Stein 120. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks to Kyle Larkin ’15 and the Holy Cross Sales Club for inviting J.R. Butler ’08 back to campus for a lively talk on the sales industry.  As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness Watch for our next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Arts Transcending Borders: Cultural Entrepreneurship

Pato_DinnerOn Thursday September 25th, Cristina Pato – a Galician bagpiper, pianist, composer and Artist in Residence here at the College of the Holy Cross – held a special dinner lecture titled: “Cultural Entrepreneurship: At the Intersection of Business & the Arts.” Pato has an active professional career devoted to Galician popular and classical music and jazz, and her dual careers have led her to perform on major stages throughout Europe, USA, India, Africa, and China.
The night started with Cristina telling the dinner guests about her story. She was the first female Gaita (Galician bagpipe) player to release a solo album in 1999, and she became a huge pop star in Spain. Since then, she has also collaborated on world stages with Yo-Yo Ma, Arturo O’Farril, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Osvaldo Golijov, to name a few. However, she had no idea that she could become this product: Cristina Pato. She was fortunate enough to have a edge in the music industry as the first female, soloist playing a Galician bagpipe. Yet other artists today do not always have this competitive advantage. Thus, she developed the Galician Connection, an annual festival dedicated to promote intercultural dialogue through music and encouraging cultural entrepreneurs to rise.As the night went on, Cristina got all the dinner participants to interact at their tables and gave each table a scenario to discuss. Scenarios included: Being an artist with no initial funding, being an artist with public funding, etc. The fundamental idea was to come up with a way for the artist to market their product and make a sustainable income. After each table presented their plan of action, Cristina posed the question: “What is holding the artist back? What’s stopping all of us from sculpting, from being a famous singer, from being a renowned pianist?” It seemed like the unanimous answer was that in our modern world, most art has funding through public donations or private investments, and that we believed being an artist would not be able to rake in a steady income.That is exactly why Cristina created the Galician Connection. She is passionate about education, and feels that people need to be educated on how important art is, and they need to have a support system while creating art. Participants in the Galician Connection are able to attend classes and workshops that help them grow as artists, and they have a forum where they can connect and grow together.

So what exactly is cultural entrepreneurship? Everyone had a different definition. But if you ask me, cultural entrepreneurship is being able to acknowledge that the arts are an important part of society, and finding a way to creatively present an art form to other people so that you can make a living off of it, and so that others can appreciate and connect with it as well.

Thanks to Sophia Jin ’15, for attending and writing this blog post. Great speaker, great dinner and great conversation! As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director
Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies