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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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 viaGoogle 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
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…
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”
On a warm Tuesday night in early September (9/8/20), over 130 students registered for a virtual version of the annual Business Program Info Session, with a bonus business club fair! Professor David Chu and Professor Kendy Hess, co-directors of the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society at the College of the Holy Cross, shared an overview of the opportunities for students to connect their liberal arts education to the business world.
“Three out of four Holy Cross alumni, that’s 75%, currently work in business roles.” shares Prof. David Chu.
Students, often first and second years, participate in the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program at Holy Cross to immerse themselves in business, finance, marketing, and innovation — the skills employers seek. Starting early on in their college career gives them the opportunity to build a resume that supports their career interests, but also build a network of professionals and successful alumni in that industry.
When COVID-19 disrupted all in-person meetings, the team at Fullbridge and Ciocca Center got to work brainstorming how to best translate the six-day program into a virtual format. The experiential components of an immersive workweek, complete with 9am – 5pm with an hour lunch break, had to be reimagined at the very same time the world was figuring out how to work remotely. Continue reading “The Impact of Fullbridge…”
We’ve just hit a big milestone for the minor in Business, Ethics & Society (BES), and unlike much else that’s going on in the world, it’s good news! So I’m interrupting your summer to tell you about it.
As you probably know, BES isn’t a traditional business minor. While it certainly includes plenty of practical components, it’s about much more than learning how to “do business” or how to get a job in business. BES is about what it means to do business, and what it might look like to do it well — for each of us individuals, and for all of us together. To be able to develop your own ideas about that, you have to know things about business, and about society, and about doing well. What does it look like, and what does it take, for each of us and all of us to “do well”? To flourish? And what can business contribute? It’s a demanding course of study and a selective process, but I am delighted to announce that we have just admitted our first students.
The Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society has been an important partner in helping students to stay ahead of the consequences caused by the pandemic. There have been many unexpected twists and turns leaving students unsure of Certificate Program progress, summer internship plans and what to expect this fall when classes resume. The Ciocca Center has partnered with various Holy Cross offices to try to mitigate some of these new realities with additional funding and new opportunities.