Summer Business Program: Week 3

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

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