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.
The Mission-Driven Podcast features conversations with alumni who are leveraging their Holy Cross education to make a meaningful difference in the world around them. Produced by the Office of Alumni Relations at the College of the Holy Cross.
In this episode, modern-day Renaissance woman Yolanda Rabun ’90, recent Women in Business speaker, is joined in conversation with Holly Tente ’23, Student Diversity Liaison for the Ciocca Center. Their inspirational conversation covers a lot of ground. With their shared passion for social justice, they speak about how Holy Cross inspires them to work hard and make change in their own communities.
Following this informational review of the organization, they offered a fun and thought-provoking workshop on vision boards. The team at Dress for Success shared that they like to create a transformational experience for all the women they service where they help with resume and cover letter writing, offer tips on personal branding, and fit them for an interview suit and a week’s worth of professional attire. The women serviced have to be referred by a Dress for Success Agency Partner, such as the College, are unemployed and seeking work, or under-employed. They help women set up SMART goals, an acronym for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals that the women can work towards.
The vision board served as the perfect way for the WIB student committee to share how they are feeling in the semester and provide a space for the new members and the current members to interact in an interactive setting.
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Thanks to Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21 for maintaining the Women in Business and Dress for Success Worcester relationship and sharing this committee experience.
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.”
The Women in Business student committee recently made a video that we want to share with you. The Diversity Student Liaison for the Ciocca Center, Nalani Ramos Ruiz ’21, initiated the response video and the committee was there to support her and the greater call. We are struck by their words and proud to share with you. May we all find ways to be better humans as we strive to connect with what it means to be men and women for and with others.
Earlier this month, members of the Women in Business student committee spent a morning at Dress for Success Worcester. Dress for Success is a non-profit national organization dedicated to promoting female financial independence and career achievement by providing free professional clothing to wear in the workplace and to job interviews. In addition to providing clothing, the organization also assists women with resume building and interview preparation to increase their chances of being hired.
WIB committee members volunteered at the Worcester branch where they organized, steamed, and polished clothing and shoe donations. We were also able to learn more about what the organization does for the women it supports and opportunities to further get involved. We learned various helpful career and resume tips from Dress for Success staff members. For example, Justina Lachapelle and Beth Butler, executive director and program director respectively, explained the difference between branding and marketing and how understanding the distinction between the two can be important when developing your own personal brand for purposes such as job interviews.
Spending the morning with Dress for Success was a great way to bring in the new committee members and to better get to know one another outside of our weekly meetings. It was a great opportunity to give back to an organization that does so much to support female empowerment in the professional world.
As a committee, we are currently working to plan the 15th annual Holy Cross Women in Business Conference which will take place on campus Saturday, November 7th, 2020. We have confirmed our morning keynote alumna speaker (stay tuned for an announcement!) and are planning plenty of new programming and surprises! I hope you will celebrate 15 years with us!
Thanks to Grace Ingram ’20, WIB Committee Co-Chair, for sharing her experience. We look forward to the 15th annual conference this fall!
The Women in Business student committee is excited to announce the keynote speaker for the 14th annual conference! Meet Maggie O’Neill ’99, the co-founder and chief creative officer of SWATCHROOM, a DC based design, art and fabrication firm. As an artist herself, Maggie’s movement SUPERFIERCE is designed to empower, connect and advance female visual artists and to make sure the work of underrepresented women artists is seen worldwide.
Maggie received her degree from HC in political science, believing that her path was law school. Get excited to hear about her journey from political science into the art studio. Save the date for Saturday, November 2, 2019.
“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”
Anne Fink ’85, P17 President of Global Foodservice, PepsiCo
“One of my mentors has been a real model for servant leadership. This notion of putting others first stands out to me: just because you’re at the top of the organization, doesn’t mean that people are serving you.”
On April 1, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Anne to learn about her journey in the food and beverage industry. Anne is the President of Global Foodservice at PepsiCo and is a member of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always know you wanted to work in the food and beverage industry? I grew up in a business family. My father and mother started a business when I was in grade school and it ended up being a family affair. It was a company called Mats Incorporated, a commercial floor matting business. My father started it from the trunk of his car selling doormats to businesses. Little by little, he grew the business into a pretty large and successful entity. Actually, my three brothers own the business and run it today and they have hundreds of employees. My mother would type the invoices at night and I used to help her. So, it was very much a family business. I grew up interested in business, curious and involved. I knew I liked business and was interested in pursuing a career in it. I had a good feeling for that pretty early on in life. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Anne Fink ’85, P17”