Summer Internship Reflection: Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21

My name is Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21, double majoring in Sociology and Psychology with a concentration in Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies. 2019 marks my sixth year with Raytheon Company and my second summer as a college intern. In addition to creating valuable connections, my education at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School and years at the College of the Holy Cross, involvement with the Ciocca Center Business Certificate Program, and experience on the Women in Business Planning Committee have all helped me to succeed in a company focused on the defense industry and the protection of our war fighters. Continue reading “Summer Internship Reflection: Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21”

Brittany Polanco ’12 on Culture Fit

“I think it’s important to build a culture where people feel valued as individuals, supported in their values and able to control whatever balance looks like to them.” — Brittany Polanco ‘12

Brittany Polanco ’12, current Marketing Manager at PepsiCo, was interviewed by Women in Business committee member Margaret Anderson ‘21.  She shared her path from Mount St. James to the world of business, holding prominent roles in Frontier Communications, Hilton Worldwide, and PepsiCo.

The Holy Cross PepsiCo community, from left to right: Jessica Vona ’08, Kristen Buonassisi ’12, Robert Santariello ’16, Anne Fink ’85 P17, Alexandra Schiffmann ’15 and Brittany Polanco ’12.


Why did you choose Holy Cross? Going to an all girls, Catholic high school (Mercy High School in Middletown, CT) had a huge impact on my perspective and growth as a female leader.  At my high school, you were popular if you were smart, funny and kind rather than based on looks or social status. We were still teenagers so we had our fair share of drama, but the unique environment allowed me to grow and thrive.  It was a supportive community that cultivated ambition, collaboration and academic achievement. When I visited HC, it was clear that there was something special about the school and that it was a similarly tight-knit, high achieving community.  I immediately felt at home at Holy Cross and knew it would be a place I could build strong relationships while continuing to learn and grow at a new level. Continue reading “Brittany Polanco ’12 on Culture Fit”

The Holy Cross Student Investment Fund Wins First Prize

On March 28, 2019 the Holy Cross Student Investment Fund competed in the  UMASS Minuteman Equity Fund.  With twelve teams competing, including MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown, Penn State, UConn, Northeastern and Babson, Holy Cross won $3,000 for first prize!  Four students (pictured below) pitched CVS. Congratulations!

HC Student Investment Fund Left to right: Hayden Ivatts ‘21, Jack Boyd ‘21, Jack McConville ‘20, Hannah Callaghan ‘20

The HC Student Investment Club, now in its second year through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society, is a group of 37 students from all class years and majors.  After a competitive application process, students work in teams to gain experience in the fields of asset valuation, equity research and portfolio management with the Bloomberg Terminal on campus.  The students work closely with alumni and have scheduled site visits in NYC and Boston, MA.

“On our recent trip to New York, we showcased this feat and the work of our club to key alumni in the financial services industry.” comments Jack Boyd ’21. “There, the Industrials and Technology Group showcased their pitch-decks on United Rentals (URI) and Square, (SQ) respectively. The rigor and quality of these presentations were amplified with the use of our Bloomberg Terminal and strengthened after weeks of hard work within their coverage groups.”

Thanks for reading! Cassie

Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society

Ask Alumni Anything

Holy Cross alumni thriving as entrepreneurs and business leaders respond to real student questions about how to find success and satisfaction in the business world. Read student questions posed to alumni through Slack, HC Startup’s online message board, to learn what it takes to navigate the business world and find success as a modern entrepreneur.

Want to be a part of the community? Have answers to student questions? Join the conversation and meet us on Slack!

 

>> Q: Kit Mullen ’21, international studies major, asks “Lots of times people are torn between doing what they love and doing what will guarantee them successful in the eyes of others. As entrepreneurs how did you make the choice to leave the more normal, reliable lifestyle of working for a company for the riskier task of starting your own company?”
A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answers Sometimes it comes down to a gut call but job satisfaction and fulfillment typically out weighs a “normal” life.”


>> Q:  Gavin McNamera ’21, political science major, asks “Early in your college experience, how did you find direction on where you wanted to take your career in business or entrepreneurship?”
A: Dan Barrett ’13 at Madaket Health, repliesGood question… the classic response is “follow what you enjoy doing”.  It’s classic for a reason though: it’s true. Reflect on the classes that appeal to you, the assignments that appeal to you, the “aha” moments and the deep curiosities as you encounter new ideas in the classroom. Pursue those things.
Entrepreneurship is hard.  Working is hard. If you’re not doing something that fundamentally aligns with your interests you will burn out in a snap.  Entrepreneurship is not flashy, it’s a grind. It usually involves grinding into a headwind, uphill. But it’s also a race. And if you hate the field you’re in or find it a total bore, it will be next to impossible to race against the people who happen to enjoy doing it.”


>> Q: Max Krause ’21, economics major,
asks How do you make sure your idea is a good idea before you go and invest your time and money into realizing it?

A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answersIf your idea solves a problem you are most likely on the right track. How you execute is more than half the battle however.”
A: Stacy Chin ’12, Co-founder & CEO at HydroGlyde Coatings, responds “ Listen to the market and you will see if they agree to your solution.”

Thanks for reading! Cassie

Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society

The 2018 Academic Conference & Beyond for Seniors

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.

 

 

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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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CPP STUDENT HIGHLIGHT: Ben Lodge ’18 started the COES Professional Program during his freshmen year with the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program. He later participated in two alumni-led business workshops: Finance Boot Camp and Marketing Communications & Sales.  Ben will receive his Certificate of Readiness and Graduation Pin at the upcoming Prebusiness: Road to Success event on April 18.

Ben’s advice to underclassmen? Start early and try everything. Completing the Fullbridge program my freshman year gave me ample time to attend a few of the many workshops offered by COES. I was also able to attend many of the alumni lectures and dinners that the office sponsors.  Through these experiences I was able to explore a multitude of industries in order to find out what I was interested in and how I could turn those interests into a career.

Join Prof. Chu in congratulating Ben and the many other students who have earned the Certificate of Readiness! Hear more advice and eat free pizza on Tuesday, April 18 at 5PM in Stein 208. 

 

 

 

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Boston Networking Event: 10/7/2015

HCEG_Alum

Mark your calendars: the Holy Cross Entrepreneurs Group’s Alumni Networking Event is on Wednesday, October 7th!

The COES Pre-Business Office is presenting current students the opportunity to connect with alumni who are directly involved in start-ups or are involved with a business looking for start-ups as customers. Held at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, the event will consist of a general networking period, allowing students to speak with alumni about their experiences, and a Q&A session with a panel of four Holy Cross alumni.

The COES Pre-Business Office offers at least one networking event per semester, and has been offering this particular event since 2007. Professor David Chu suggests creating a business card for yourself (including your name, class year, email address, and cell phone number), and that you bring a few copies of your resume. In Prof. Chu’s opinion, “the most important thing for a student to ask is, ‘What do you do, and how did you get there from Holy Cross?’” Take this opportunity to learn from people who were in your shoes not too long ago! This is a great chance for students to make connections with HC alumni and solidify their reception networking skills.

Looking for networking tips?

  1. The HCEG student club will be meeting today, 9/29, for the second time this fall. In honor of this upcoming HCEG Networking Event, they’ll be discussing
    networking etiquette and important DOs and DON’Ts. Again the club meeting is tonight (Tues., Sept. 29) in Hogan 402 at 7pm.
  2. The Center for Career Development has put together a handout outlining networking tips. Access the blog here, and stop by their office (Hogan 203) during drop-in hours M-F 1-4 pm and Wednesday 10-12 pm for resume review and more.

The event, titled Graduate School: Accelerating Your Entrepreneurial Trajectory, will run from 6:30-9:00pm on Wednesday, October 7th at MIT of Cambridge, MA. *Students can register for free! Dress is business casual – no jeans. Full details of the event and descriptions of the panelists can be found here. We hope to see you there!

Feel free to stop by the COES Pre-Business Office in Stein 129E or email dchu@holycross.edu with any questions.

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Thanks to Catherine Cote ’18, our Career Communications Liason student worker, for her detailed description of this upcoming networking event in Boston. Like she said, hope to see you there! As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness – and watch for future student write-ups of Pre-Business events.

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

 

Shark Tank Competition: Winners Circle

S15 Shark Tank Winners
Photo Credit: Chris Christo

 

On Thursday, March 26th, 21 student teams competed for over $10,000 in prize money.  Teams pitched their product/service idea to a panel of alumni judges for the chance to win! Students were given five minutes to pitch with just two minutes of Q&A, thanks to our avid time keeper Sophia Jin ’15.

With so many teams and such high stakes you can imagine how stiff the competition was, never mind skimming down to just two final winners for the overall prizes.  A big thank you to our alumni judging panel, listed below.

 

 

2015 Judges:

Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder, extensionEngine (eE)
John Calcio, VP, Channel Development, QStream
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
Ben Kaplan ’16, Co-Founder & CEO, WiGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Davide Marini, Co-Founder & CEO, Firefly BioWorks
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor

Spring 2015 Competition Winners:

Serious Start-Up Winners

John Tabone ’15 and Sean Donoghue
$7,500 to First Place: STUDILY is a productivity suite that allows students to plan their coursework, track their progress, and collaborate with classmates.

Andrew Valencia ’15, Michael Casey ’15, James LaVersci ’15
$4,000 for Second Place: SRKA (pronounced ser-ka) is a newsfeed platform that enables recipients of blast emails to manage their responses to these emails and an online event management software for high school/college student involvement offices to track current and upcoming events.

Clever Idea Winners

$250 awarded to Michael Carboni ’18
GAVEL is an app that summarizes current legislative bills that are on the floor for voting. This app summarizes the key points with a highlighted 1-2 page nonpartisan summary. The language of the response will be written at an early high school reading level so teachers can implement this resource into the classroom and all people can understand. The app is broken down into 3 sections: agenda, bill summary, and definitions.

$250 awarded to Alex Yeo ’15
TAP AND TEACH is a mobile app that connects students to qualified tutors.  Tap and Teach offers affordable on-demand tutoring and provides tutors with a consistent source of income.

Thanks to all the teams who competed! Click to view more photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Annual Shark Tank Competition

Annual SHARK TANK COMPETITION – Open to Campus (Come Watch!)
SharkTank_Comp S15 2
Over $10,000 in Prize Monies! *Multiple prizes will be awarded.

Competition Date: Thursday, March 26, 2015
5:30pm in McGrath Lecture Hall (Smith Labs 155)

TWO COMPETITIONS: (Choose one)
1. Clever Idea: Distill your idea into a two-minute pitch.  No Q&A.
Two prizes will be awarded at $250/team for an original and promising idea.

2. Serious Start-up: 5 minute pitch + 5 minute Q&A.
Two prizes will be awarded for teams most ready for launching their business.  First prize is $7,500/team.  Second prize is $4,000/team.

Pitch your product/service idea to a panel of alumni judges for the chance to win! *Multiple prize monies awarded from clever idea to serious start-up, only to be used towards venture.

2015 JUDGES:
John Addonizio P16, CEO, J. Addonizio & Company, LLC
Bob Allard ’91, Co-Founder, extensionEngine (eE)
John Calcio, VP Channel Development, QStream
Tom Flynn ’87, Managing Partner, SV Life Sceinces
Ben Kaplan ’15, Co-Founder & CEO, WIGO & 2013 Holy Cross Shark Tank Winner
Mary Moran ’77, Financial Services Consultant and Contractor

REGISTER: http://offices.holycross.edu/business/sharktankcompetition (Teams must register by Thursday, March 19th to compete.)

Don’t want to compete but want to check out all the good ideas?  COME WATCH!! Free and open to the campus community.