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”

Virtual Entrepreneurship Week Awards Over $10,000 in Prize Money

Congratulations to all of the students who competed during the annual Entrepreneurship Week, March 18-25, 2021, through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society and the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Holy Cross.  These virtual events attracted more than 65 students with 9 alumni involved as judges and mentors throughout the week.

Kicking off the week, HC Launch held its bi-annual Innovation Challenge in partnership with CodeSaders and the Green Fund. The challenge required Holy Cross students to come up with creative ways to build community and connect students during the COVID-19 pandemic. With 11 teams pitching their ideas to a panel of six judges, two being our very own co-presidents of the Student Government Association, students managed to develop and create detailed plans and events that centered around the theme of community. The winning idea of this competition will be immediately implemented with the help and mentorship of Dean Murray.

Normally, the Innovation Challenge would have been held in person, but due to COVID precautions was held virtually this year. The Ciocca Center’s Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program, Ja-Nae Duane, kicked off the event by informing the teams and 70+ audience members of the ground rules, prizes and goals. Tom Cremins ’21 and Mary Anne Wiley ’22, HC Launch’s Managing Directors, led intermission and gave out raffle prizes to audience members while the judges deliberated.

Congratulations to the 2021 Innovation Challenge winners:

  • 1st Prize: $1,000 for Fresh Fest: an outdoor festival to help freshmen to connect by Nick Bettenhauser ‘24 & Sasha Paradise ‘24
    * Watch for this inaugural event scheduled for Friday, May 1, 2021!
  • 2nd Prize: $750 for HC Jumpstart, a social connection to meet others on campus by Britt Axelson ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21 & Connor McNerney ‘22
  • 3rd Prize: $500 and “Most Creative Award” for Sader Sips: a senior-focused beer garden by Katelyn Cody ‘22, Julia Covelle ‘22, Allie Russo ‘22 & Karter Seitz ‘22
  • 4th Place: ‘Special JudgesAward’ received for their outdoor movie night on the freshman field by Fabiola Trejo ‘22 and Victoria Covarrubias ‘22

Special thanks to our judges: James Keyes ‘77, Cheryl Martin ’84, Dean Michele Murrary, William Turtone, and co-presidents of the SGA, Noah Sisk ’21 and Victoria Tara ’21.

The next two events were casual pitch nights for students with early stage projects or ideas. These events are designed to helps students identify next steps, stress test an idea and find team members to help build it out. The first event was an opportunity for students to pitch to their peers and the second gave students pitch practice pitching their idea to an alum, Catherine Wilcox ’80.

To finish off Entrepreneurship Week, HC Launch held its eighth annual Shark Tank Competition. The  event allows Holy Cross students to pitch their business ideas to a group of judges for five mins each, followed by three minutes of Q&A. Ten teams (five teams in the seed stage category and five teams in the early-stages category) competed for a combined total of $10,000 in prize money.

Congratulations to the Seed Stage Shark Tank Winners: a category focused on the market opportunity and concept validation of the business idea.

  • $500 to Greenlist: a browser extension for identifying environmental product info Nathan Lewis ‘22
  • $500 to That’s Yo Body: A motivation/fitness brand
    Josh Azor ‘24
  • $500 to Chering: A web-app that helps thrift stores resell their clothing.
    Jacob Azzi ‘23, Dana Dinardo ‘21, Raphaella Mascia ‘21, Genevieve Wagner ‘21 of Ohio State & Molly Zachlin ‘21of Notre Dame

Congratulations to the Early Stage Shark Tank Winners: a category for students with more developed business models.

  • $3,000 to SaderSleeps: a mattress rental service for college students by Louie Fiacco ‘22 & Will Spangenberg ‘22
  • $2,000 to PakChat: a mobile app that allows different friend groups to meet other friend groups within their own community by Peter Blunt ‘21 & Chad Arle ‘21
  • $1,000 to FUD: an app using algorithms to identify common restaurant preferences by Chris Herndon ‘22 & Jean Baptiste “JB” Goriou ‘22

Congratulations to the Ignite Fund Winner: a category for students to work with funding and guidance through the JD Power Center.

  • $2,000 to SynchRUNous: an app for coaches to live track their runners by Meg Gerety

Special thanks to our Shark Tank Competition judges:

  • Matt Drinkwater ‘95: Former General Manager, Buzzfeed
  • Alex Hanlon ‘06: Executive, Reddit
  • Beau Lescott ‘95: President, Adaptive Portfolio Technologies
  • Michelle Stark Barrett: Director, Community Based Learning, Holy Cross
  • Jim Tselikis ‘08: Owner, Cousins Maine Lobster

Congratulations to everyone involved during the 2021 virtual Entrepreneurship Week and we hope to see you next year!


Update 6/24/21: Read more about the Shark Tank winners in WorcesterMag & the Worcester Business Journal!  Congratulations and keep it up!

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.”

 

15th Annual Women in Business Conference Celebrates Around the World

The conference provided opportunities for hundreds to network with and learn from successful women entrepreneurs and executives.

“We were thrilled with the number of registrants from around the world,” said Cassie Gevry, associate director of the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, & Society. “The strong interest from alumnae is a testament to the strength of the Holy Cross network and something we will continue to foster through the Women in Business network, even when we return to in-person events. It seemed that now, more than ever, women were looking for a way to come together to discuss their careers in business, and we were so glad the remote format gave so many attendees the ability to hear our speakers.”

>> Read more in the Holy Cross News Room. 

Brittany Alkes ’15 Shares Sales Industry Insights

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.

Resources & Advising through the Ciocca Center

The Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society is virtually available to you as you navigate your time at Holy Cross.  We have a number of resources available including office hours (see below), as well as a business LibGuide, financial aid for workshops, various workstudy and intern positions, and more!

Consider all of the ways you can reach out…

General Inquiries & Certificate Programs: 
Prof. David Chu, Cassie Gevry and/or Kathy Kinnarney
    • Zoom 1:1 Meetings: 20 minute slots available via Google Calendar on Wednesdays 10-11:30am & Thursdays 2-4pm
    • Chat (with workstudy Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21) Wednesdays from 10-11:30am  and Sundays 7-9pm via Canvas Chat
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program:
Prof. Ja-Nae Duane

If you are interested in studying the institution of business through a historical and philosophical lens, consider pursuing the academic Minor in Business, Ethics & Society through CIS.  Please contact Prof. Kendy Hess…

Advisors Give BES Minor Application Advice

More than 40 students tuned in on September 15th for the Business, Ethics, and Society (BES) minor application workshop. The BES Team worked with the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) to develop the workshop in response to the high levels of student interest in the minor.  As Professor Hess said, “We wanted the students to understand how the minor works, and to have a chance to explore the many different opportunities it can provide.”  Continue reading “Advisors Give BES Minor Application Advice”