Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Finance Boot Camp – The Beginning

September 29th, 2011 by kkayer

The COES & Prebusiness office has been hard at work all summer and this past month preparing the first ever FINANCE BOOT CAMP.  This highly competitive program is stirring up interest all over campus.  Here’s a quick overview:

  • 4-day immersion in the framework and careers of Wall Street.
  • Interview prep simulating the fast paced, intense environment of a Super Day.
  • Networking opportunity with HC alum working on Wall Street.

We have interviewed 78 extremely qualified candidates for 30 coveted spots.

This program, like all other COES programs, brings successful alumni back to campus to help better prepare HC students for jobs in business, specifically finance in this case.  It’s bound to be an intense and exhausting week and we’ll be blogging each day, so watch for updates.

As always, don’t forget to “Like” us on FACEBOOK and look for our WIB, SBP and ELW groups on LinkedIN!


Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

Summer Business Program: Week 3

June 14th, 2011 by kkayer

Quinn is back with another SBP post!

Quinn Korzeniecki is a senior English major with a Pre-Business concentration. She is editor-in-chief of The Advocate, a progressive online publication at Holy Cross, and works as an assistant in the Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Office. As a participant in the Summer Business Program, she hopes to learn more about marketing and advertising aspects of business. Quinn aspires to enter into publishing either in the editorial, marketing, or advertising departments.

Wow, how quickly time passes when you’re learning about the different aspects of business!

As I said at the end of my last post, on Wednesday we learned about what it means to work in the financial sect of the business world as a venture capitalist and how to choose the best way to fund a new business. We learned about Warren Buffett’s amazing work as one of the most successful venture capitalists in his company, Berkshire Hathaway. As a member of a venture firm, one must value companies based on their profitability, growth, and risk. I learned a term I never heard of before: EBITDA, which means “earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization.” Tom Flynn instructed us to throw that term into a financial interview to clinch the position. In the end of the session we were sent off into our groups and assigned the task of picking which company we would buy stock in, either Facebook or Google. Although I am obsessed with social networking, my group ultimately picked Google because a new social networking site will probably enter the spotlight within the next year or so and make Facebook obsolete.

Two former football playing Holy Cross alumni came in on Thursday to speak about marketing and sales. Peter George, the CEO of Fidelis Security Systems, spoke about the qualities of a successful salesperson. He filled us in on SPIN, or the science of selling, which is a four step way to assure that you are maximizing your potential as a salesperson. Since I am competitive, smart, hard-working, and a team player, I could definitely see myself going into this field of business! Terry Waters, the CEO of the Yankee Group, taught us about B2B (Business to Business) marketing, through which companies sell products and services to other businesses that in turn sell them to the consumer. The best marketing departments have board commitment, knowledge of the target market, and have a clear, quantified, focused, realistic, and resourced marketing plan. All companies want to have a combination of vision and ability to execute, and those that fall short either run out of money and need to ask for more debt or equity or fail. It’s survival of the fittest in America these days!

On Friday, Ian Dowe, another football alumnus came to Smith Labs 155 to speak with us about advertising. This workshop was completely different from the previous ones: we were asked to bring in magazines and links to advertisements on Youtube and used these ads to learn what runs through the minds of those working in an advertising firm when they are creating one of these promotions. After analyzing a nail polish ad in which a woman’s fingernails matched the eyes of a tiger and wore a large diamond ring, I realized that advertisements do indeed play into our wants and desires: we all want to be more desirable, and advertisers play into this to get you to buy their product. We broke into our groups with the task of advertising a product: my group created a new product, the “Shrup,” or shrinkable and portable cup. It was interesting to learn about the thought that goes into advertisements and it was even more beneficial to advertise for a product ourselves.

After a weekend of relaxation, shopping in Providence, and more relaxation, we got back to the grind. Monday morning we received a brief introduction to microeconomics with Professor Cahill. We learned about making decisions based on weighing opportunity costs. In our teams, we competed against each other making deals that served as examples of imperfect competition: a lot of friendships were broken by cheating team members, but they made amends in the next round when we made bids on bonds. Some ended up winning by a large margin to keep the peace (but I don’t think that’s how it would work in the real world). In the afternoon we learned about business organizations ranging from sole proprietorships to corporations. All in all, the past four days were a great success, and I look forward to learning how to use Microsoft Excel in the business world.

Thanks, Quinn! If you have any questions about SBP, please email us at Don’t forget to find us on facebook!


Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

No matter what they tell you, your GPA really does matter

May 13th, 2011 by kkayer

Yes, I realize the timeliness of this post.  And, I am aware that it might even be a little cruel, but after surveying recruiters, it’s undeniable -if you want a job in finance, you have to boost your GPA.  There’s no way around it and unfortunately the minimum keeps climbing.

An alum at JP Morgan gave us the following cold-hard facts:

  • JP Morgan won’t hire anyone below 3.4 (there was an addendum that if you manage to WOW someone in hiring, he’s seen one or two 3.2s sneak in, but it is rare.)
  • The average cumulative GPA of new hires is 3.5
  • Some colleges and universities have long-standing grade inflation practices.  You might have to work harder for your 3.5 than the next girl/guy (and you’ve earned it), but on paper it all looks the same to recruiters.
  • It’s a MYTH that it’s okay to have a rough semester your freshman year. In the world of finance, everything counts. Find a tutor, join a study group, do anything to earn those few extra points – you need it.

So, keep up the hard work and realize there is a reason you are living in Dinand.

COES wishes everyone good luck on their finals!!

Don’t forget to find us on FACEBOOK!

Keep an eye out for our FINANCE BOOT CAMP posters throughout campus and watch for an upcoming post with more info!


Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor

You have to read the Journal

February 16th, 2011 by kkayer

I’m pretty new to Holy Cross, but over the course of the fall semester, I’ve had a few opportunities to meet with some distinguished alums working in the finance world.  When asking how our program can better prepare HC students for careers in finance, no matter who I talked to, or where they worked, I heard the same response over and over again:


So, there’s the big secret everyone.  No matter what else you do to prepare for your finance interviews, number one on your list should be reading the Wall Street Journal every single day.  No excuses.  Every alum I spoke with, no matter their age or title, promised me that in any interview they can tell within the first few minutes if the candidate reads the Journal regularly.  Those who do, engage in educated conversation about what is going on in the industry and can provide well informed answers to questions about market trends and statistics.  Those who don’t tend to have brief and unsuccessful interviews.

I have compiled a few tips they suggest that might make this task less daunting.

1.       Find a few companies you like and follow them.

You don’t have to be able to quote the paper cover to cover, but be able to speak intelligently about major happenings in the industry.  An easy way to do this is by following articles about a product or company that interests you.  The most common examples that they gave me were Nike and Apple.  If you can have a discussion about the two companies, who their competitors are, what changes you see in their product lines and how they are fairing in the market, you are proving to your interviewer that you understand the industry and are engaged and interested in the field.

2.       Don’t try to read everything.

Piggybacking on the last point, it’s important to remember that you won’t be able to retain everything if you attempt to study the enter issue.  Read enough articles so that you feel comfortable and confident with the material and recent industry activities.  If you continue in this manner, eventually you’ll become familiar with the styles and formats of the Journal and you’ll be able to expand your reading and retain more information.

3.       You don’t have to go it alone.

One young alumnus, who recently finished his MBA, told me that the way he got used to reading the Journal was in the company of his study group.  When you have friends to read and discuss the articles with, you are more likely to concentrate on the material and to remember what you are reading.  It keeps your mind from wandering and it gives you practice discussing what you’ve read.  You can bounce ideas off of each other and add insight to what you are learning.  It could become your new lunch/dinner table discussion with your other finance-minded friends.

With all of this in mind, I have two tools for you to consider.

First, Prebusiness has a site that can be really helpful for you: Ewallstreeter This site brings the important financial news articles and blogs right to you.  It’s a free service that has been tailored to meet Holy Cross students’ needs, so take advantage of it!

Second, I’d like to invite all of you to join a Wall Street Journal reading/discussion group.  We can meet once a week and talk about what we’ve read, what’s going on, and help clarify anything that might not be clear.  Participants can switch off giving updates on the companies they are following and industry changes they find interesting.

Email me if you are interested. Oh, and don’t forget to find us on facebook!

Until next week!


Kaithlyn Kayer
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

David Chu
Director, Entrepreneurial Studies & Pre-business Advisor