Last week my PepsiCo summer internship came to a close. After spending ten weeks cultivating a sales growth strategy plan for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, I had the opportunity to present my recommendations to an audience of senior leaders at both PepsiCo and Bundaberg. It was honestly such a blast to show off my knowledge of the brand and my newly developed sales skills! While I’m confident that I added value to the Allied Brands Team with my project work, I wanted to use this blog post to reflect on the impact this internship had on me. More specifically, I want to highlight some of my key takeaways about business, sales, and PepsiCo. Continue reading “Summer Internship Series: Alumni Connections in the Workplace”
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. Continue reading “Summer Internship Series: Reflecting on Certificate Experience”
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.
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.
The judges, Anthony Ruoti ‘12, Clayton Krueger ‘17 and Linda Paquette, Merchandise Specialist at the HC Bookstore, rated each group based on three factors:
- the viability of their idea,
- how well they pitched it
- what their sales/marketing strategy looked like
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.
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…
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
On February 24, Holy Cross alumni who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the commercial real estate business shared their wisdom, advice and experiences in a COES event focused on educating students about careers in real estate.
James Whelan ’00, Senior Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Colin Blair’00, Account Manager in the Corporate Services Group at Cushman and Wakefield, described some of the opportunities in the industry before introducing keynote speaker John Power ’80, Principal and Co-Founder of Fairley, White. Four panelists, Matt Harvey ’02, Principal at Cresa Partners ; Sean Duffy ’86, Executive Director, Brokerage, at Cushman and Wakefield; Catherine Britt ‘04, Senior Project Manager at Northstar; and Tim Mulhall ’10 of Colliers International also offered advice on how to stand out as a potential intern and job candidate.
As someone who has been knocking on the door or real estate companies for the past several months, I was especially interested in hearing their views on what it takes to break into, and succeed in, the industry. Their response: passion, persistence and networking.
John Power, who has more than 30 years of experience in the field , sought advice from another Holy Cross alum, Bill McCall, and described how standing in McCall’s office, he became fascinated by the buildings he saw through the window. He began to imagine the possibilities for the building and knew from that moment that he wanted to be involved in commercial real estate. “Commercial brokerage is the best profession. It involves no risk, and it offers high rewards. But you must be willing to invest your time,” stated Powell.
Here are some other insights:
— All majors can apply. Both Whelan and Blair pointed out that commercial real estate offers opportunities for students of all majors and with a variety of interests, whether it is sales, finance, law, or marketing. Work ethic and personality matter more than major.
— One building, many opportunities. Every building offers a range of transaction/business opportunities: sales, rentals, leasing, purchasing, financing, management/operations, etc. This is what makes the industry so dynamic.
— Learn the business first. Harvey stressed that new recruits should take the time to learn the business and not be frustrated if they aren’t involved in big deals right away. Knowledge about the business will help you in future deals.
— Sell, grind and build relationships. Duffy emphasized that every day you need to sell both yourself and the product. He reminded attendees that relationships matter, always – and that persistence pays off.
— The Holy Cross advantage. Power pointed out that Holy Cross students have an advantage in the field because of the school’s high reputation in the real estate industry. Mulhall added that his Holy Cross education boosted his confidence and gave him an edge because his writing was stronger than his peers.
The lesson? Holy Cross’ liberal arts curriculum and the reputation of its alum can help open doors to a vast array of career opportunities in commercial real estate.
Thanks to Kevin Kennedy ’16 for covering this event and to all the alum sharing insights to the real estate industry! As always, don’t forget to “like” us on FACEBOOK and follow us @HCPrebusiness Watch for our next blog post…
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Frank DeLeo ’14 is on a role! Here is a recap of week 3.
The end of week three meant that there is only one week of the program to go. With the team project looming, I was in desperate need of an energy boost to get motivated. My prayers were answered when Tom Patton ’86 and Carolyn Rizzoli ’86 led Thursday’s session. Personally, it was the most exciting day of the program, hands down. When 4 o’clock rolled around I didn’t want it to end.
During the session, we learned about marketing and business ethics. In the morning, we played the marketing game. We weren’t given any rules other than what type of product we were selling. Our objective was to make the most profit during the allotted time by selling exclusively to or in combination with the three types of stores: a high end boutique, a department store, or a big retail chain.
Chaos and role-playing ensued with time being of the essence. My team, Karma, ended up winning with over 12,000 dollars in profit in 3 hours. The game taught me how to manage time, think about possible curveballs, and communicate with the different parts of a supply chain: the banks, the customers, and the manufacturers.
After lunch, we resumed on the topic of business ethics. Mr. Patton role-played as we worked through different, difficult ethical dilemmas. The answers were not black and white due to the varying circumstances and legal consequences. Through acting out the scenarios, he turned a provocative subject into a good time. The best part was that all of the situations were real life examples, and we learned how he personally dealt with them.
What I took away from our discussion was that we need to make many moral decisions during our lifetime; we have to take a step back, think rationally and logically, and rely on our values to make the right decision.
The project being a week away meant buckling down on the presentation over the weekend. On Friday and Saturday, my team structured and created the first draft of our PowerPoint. Since we had a meeting with Mr. Correia at his house on Sunday, we needed to bring something to get feedback on.
When we arrived at the Correia household, we had a phenomenal Father’s Day bbq. Mr. Correia having us over on a day set aside for relaxation and spending time with family was an incredibly nice gesture. I took advantage of the opportunity because I was in dire need of solid food. Rice and take out just wasn’t cutting it. After dinner, we got down to business. The PowerPoint definitely needed touching up; in particular, the content and word choice. I had already cut down majority of our wordy slides; however, it was simply not enough. In the end, we had a productive evening, which resulted in plenty of work that needs to be completed as we move forward.
As the weekend comes to a close, the start of week four is upon us. Week four is crunch time. The Excel and PowerPoint sessions this week will provide pertinent information to add to our presentation. A lot of long days are ahead. Between practicing, preparing, and touching up our presentation in order to get it just right, my team has the mentality of knowing our facts cold. Every word, sentence, and gesture will be scrutinized to uncover its relevance to the overall message we want to convey. We don’t care how much work it takes. We want to be number one.
Thanks, Frank! Two more posts to go for SBP… will Frank’s team take home the win? Keep reading to find out!
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor