Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives Site Visit

Students at MBI

My name is Maeley Nakamura and I am in the class of 2026 majoring in Economics and minoring in Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business and pursuing a business fundamentals certificate alongside entrepreneurship. I had the opportunity to go on a Site Visit to Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI), as it is a step to earning a Certificate in Entrepreneurship. Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, located in Worcester, is an incubator that encourages scientists to take transforming innovative ideas and make them into tangible realities, empowering entrepreneurship. 

During the visit, Jon, the CEO of MBI, provided us with a thorough tour of the facility, offering insights into entrepreneurship in biomedicine. One of the hallways we walked through showcased various inventions originating from Worcester, such as pieces of the space suit, birth control, and the duckbill pipe wrench. It was fascinating to see how MBI continues to foster innovation through its incubator. While technically an incubator, I found it unique that MBI exhibits qualities of an accelerator by actively supporting and guiding entrepreneurs through the entrepreneurial process. The environment and architecture of the building was particularly notable with each floor, wing, and section representing a different stage of progression. For example, the journey for entrepreneurship at MBI starts in a small lab room for initial experimentation and research then goes into larger labs with an office dedicated for manufacturing. When the tour concluded, we all sat down to converse and ask questions. Jon shared some valuable insights. Something that stuck out to me was his ideas of the entrepreneurial mindset. He says some great advice he was given was to meet one new person every day to expand your network, adhere to the “touch a paper only once” principle to promote efficiency and productivity, and be a problem solver, addressing challenges proactively. Jon also emphasized the importance of a liberal arts education, highlighting that liberal arts students know how to learn. In conclusion, I personally had the best time during the site visit. I was able to get a glimpse of the complex and powerful ecosystem of biomedicine entrepreneurship at MBI.

Written by Maeley Nakamura ’26

Students Explore Business Over Winter Break

Students at Fidelty Networking event with Tom Jessop '88 President of Fidelity Brokerage

Kicking off the spring 2024 semester, 160+ students participated in four concurrent workshops the week before classes began.  The week of January 18-22 was led by 25+ alumni presenters and mentors in the following areas:

Fullbridge Professional Edge: This simulated workweek provides exposure to the basics of business and an opportunity to collaborate in teams through active learning culminating in a final presentation where students present a growth idea for a Fortune 500 company. Special congratulations to Team Under Armour for the innovative growth idea securing them each the top prize of a $300 Apple gift card! Kathryn Sweet ’26, Charles Bacon ’27, Marisa Mamak ’27, and Mary Powers ’27 led by Coach Carmen!

Corporate Finance & Banking: 38 students toured at top Boston banks including Bank of America with Ted Lynch ‘84, SV Health Investors with Tom Flynn ‘87, and Natixis Asset Managers with Beatriz Pina Smith ‘87.  The highlight of the workshop was the fourth annual networking event held at Fidelity, hosted by Tom Jessop ‘88.  

Interview Prep: Personal branding and a core value proposition are key to successful interviewing. 86 students further developed their elevator pitch and practiced interview skills with the Center for Career Development followed by successful career tips from notable alumnae including Mimi Doherty ‘02 and Christina Imrich ‘08.

Marketing Communications & Sales: Alumni led 34 students through the practical exploration of advertising, marketing, sales, and public relations including, JR Butler ‘08, Catherine Cote ‘18, Tyler Dooley ‘17, Katie Macdonald ‘07, Kerri Mannion ‘19, Courtney Quinn ‘96, Cal St. Denis ‘08.  Teams competed in the PepsiCo Challenge, each tasked with bringing SodaStream to the next level with short- and long-term strategic thinking. Thank you to our PepsiCo judges Rowan Burgess ’23, Maureen Connolly ’18, Alex Smith ‘14, and Chris Vandervoorn ’19.

Many of the students participated in more than one opportunity as they worked towards Business Certificate Program completion, including the month-long Excel Tutorial offered during the month of January.

Check out the @holycrossbusiness Instagram page for photos from the event and follow to stay up to date with future programming and highlights. 

No More Confusion: Your Ultimate Guide to Marketing Communication Lingo

 

Cartoon picture of business people talking

Considering that every industry has its own language, concepts and acronyms, try to familiarize yourself with this list if you are interested in the Marketing Communications industry. The list of need-to-know terms will continue to grow as time, techniques and technologies advance so feel comfortable asking about a term or acronym if you are unfamiliar with it because chances are that others are also in the dark when they hear “UX”, “KPI” or “CTA”. 

Analytics

In marketing, analytics refers to the process of analyzing data to determine the return on investment of a particular marketing activity. Marketers may also use the term analytics to talk about the dashboard or system they use to review and track this data.

B2B

This acronym is shorthand for business-to-business marketing. B2B companies are those that market their products or services to other businesses.

B2C

This acronym stands for business-to-consumer marketing. B2C companies sell their products or services directly to the end consumer.

Brand

A brand is the way a company is perceived and experienced by potential customers. Pieces of a brand include its logo and other design elements, the voice it uses when interacting with customers and the target customers it’s known for serving.

Brand awareness

The extent to which potential customers are familiar with your company and the distinct images or qualities that are associated with what you are selling.

Buyer persona

Buyer personas are the imaginary people marketers target when they design ads or create content like website copy. Although buyer personas aren’t real people, they are created based on data from actual consumers. These personas are then used to inform the audience, tactics and tone of the messages delivered.

Call to action (CTA)

 A call to action is a prompt that encourages website visitors to take a certain action, such as subscribing to an email newsletter or submitting a contact form. CTAs are used to guide potential customers through the next step in a sales funnel. Campaign

A campaign is a cohesive set of marketing activities designed to achieve a specific goal, like increasing sales for a certain product or spreading awareness of a new product feature.

Case study

Case studies are a type of content that typically showcases a company’s work with a past customer, often with a heavy focus on statistics or other quantifiable data that help highlight how the company achieved the desired results.

Cold calling/emailing

A tactic used by salespeople to contact potential customers via phone or email with whom the company has had no previous contact.

Content

Content is any piece of information that’s created to be viewed by an audience. This could include blog posts, email newsletters, social media posts, videos or even print brochures.

Customer journey

Continue reading “No More Confusion: Your Ultimate Guide to Marketing Communication Lingo”

Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance

Leif Johnson ’21, Economics Major
Fall 2019 Ciocca Center Intern


Coming into freshman year at Holy Cross I played lacrosse, and only lacrosse. That is who I was my entire life. I am very thankful for the lessons in teamwork and leadership along with the life long friends I made being that these are things I will have forever. I was never in any extracurriculars being that I truly thought all I would do is go to college, play lacrosse, and graduate with a job waiting for me. However, at the beginning of my sophomore year that all changed when I sat down and thought about all the things I wanted to explore on campus and beyond.  Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Shares Path to Finance”

Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82

Bob Guillocheau ’82
Chairman & CEO of Ascensus

“We are very much a mission based company, values driven, and a lot of that came from my learnings at Holy Cross.  The ‘men and women for others’ very much resonated with me and it’s something I bring with me everyday when I go to work.”

Bob Guillocheau headshotOn March 22, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bob Guillocheau ’82 to learn about his journey from HC into the financial services industry.  Bob was an economics and accounting major and currently serves as the Chairman & CEO of Ascensus.

Who/What inspired you to enter the business world?  I graduated Holy Cross with an economics accounting degree and, typically if you have a accounting degree, you get recruited by what was back then the big eight accounting firms.  There have been mergers and today it is the big four accounting firms. The world has changed a lot from 1982 when I graduated, but getting recruited is what got me into financial services and the business world.  I took an accounting class in high school, taught by a woman by the name of Mrs. Ellis. She made it really fun and interesting and she was a businesswoman who explained to us how the world works and how accounting and finance plays into any aspect of company. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bob Guillocheau ’82”

Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Alumni for Class

Business on campus at College of the Holy Cross is developing as the newly named Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society expands its offerings to students eager to learn about the industry.  The business program at HC includes the following: Certificate in Business Fundamentals (with an optional track in finance and banking), Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Business Ethics, and Society.

My name is Sarah Anderson ’20.  I’m a junior at Holy Cross, majoring in English with a Religious Studies minor working towards my Certificate in Business Fundamentals.  As the current chair of the annual Women in Business Conference, I am interested in learning more about different leadership styles and company dynamics within the workplace.  For the Academic Internship Program, I am taking a seminar called “Boards and CEOs: Governing America’s Businesses” with Professor Dan Riccardi and interning at the Ciocca Center.  My main project is crafting a blog featuring my research and interviews with HC alums that highlight current CEOs and board members of a variety of companies with a liberal arts education.

Check out the following blog posts to learn from HC alum CEOs and board members about their roles and how they got there!

Ask Alumni Anything

Holy Cross alumni thriving as entrepreneurs and business leaders respond to real student questions about how to find success and satisfaction in the business world. Read student questions posed to alumni through Slack, HC Startup’s online message board, to learn what it takes to navigate the business world and find success as a modern entrepreneur.

Want to be a part of the community? Have answers to student questions? Join the conversation and meet us on Slack!

 

>> Q: Kit Mullen ’21, international studies major, asks “Lots of times people are torn between doing what they love and doing what will guarantee them successful in the eyes of others. As entrepreneurs how did you make the choice to leave the more normal, reliable lifestyle of working for a company for the riskier task of starting your own company?”
A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answers Sometimes it comes down to a gut call but job satisfaction and fulfillment typically out weighs a “normal” life.”


>> Q:  Gavin McNamera ’21, political science major, asks “Early in your college experience, how did you find direction on where you wanted to take your career in business or entrepreneurship?”
A: Dan Barrett ’13 at Madaket Health, repliesGood question… the classic response is “follow what you enjoy doing”.  It’s classic for a reason though: it’s true. Reflect on the classes that appeal to you, the assignments that appeal to you, the “aha” moments and the deep curiosities as you encounter new ideas in the classroom. Pursue those things.
Entrepreneurship is hard.  Working is hard. If you’re not doing something that fundamentally aligns with your interests you will burn out in a snap.  Entrepreneurship is not flashy, it’s a grind. It usually involves grinding into a headwind, uphill. But it’s also a race. And if you hate the field you’re in or find it a total bore, it will be next to impossible to race against the people who happen to enjoy doing it.”


>> Q: Max Krause ’21, economics major,
asks How do you make sure your idea is a good idea before you go and invest your time and money into realizing it?

A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answersIf your idea solves a problem you are most likely on the right track. How you execute is more than half the battle however.”
A: Stacy Chin ’12, Co-founder & CEO at HydroGlyde Coatings, responds “ Listen to the market and you will see if they agree to your solution.”

Thanks for reading! Cassie

Cassie Gevry, Associate Director of Student Engagement
Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society

The Great Balancing Act

Cara Gontarz Hume ’03
Senior HR Leader, General Electric Finance
Major: Political Science

It seems as though achieving a healthy work-life balance in today’s society is unattainable. Finding harmony between a demanding work schedule and a role as a mother, or juggling classwork, a social life and sleep as a student is exhausting. As highly motivated women with many goals, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Meet Cara Gontarz Hume, one of our fellow female Crusaders, who has created a balance between her career and family that works for her. Hume is the Senior Human Resources Leader for General Electric Finance and has three children all under the age of five-years-old. With an executive career and three young kids, she asks herself a question that many struggle with, “Can I still work and be a great mom?” For Hume, the answer is yes. She has managed to be present as a mother while simultaneously progressing her career. She remembers going on maternity leave for the first time and how worrisome it was balancing her career with the vision of what it means to be a mom. However, when she sat down with her manager and explained her situation, he gave her the life changing advice of, “just leave early.” In that moment, Hume discovered that the keys to balancing her home life with her work life were setting priorities and not keeping her two lives separate from each other.

Hume recalls the once defined line between work and personal life: “I was taught, you keep work at work and home at home.” However, throughout her career, she has seen a change in this attitude to which she attributes much of her success. She explains that she brings her full self to work not hiding that she is a working mother with three young kids. She explains, “I will be there and deliver but I do carve out time for kids. I do not use them as an excuse or a limiting factor, just part of who I am.”

As a student at Holy Cross, she was able to develop her time management skills. Like many students on the Hill, she managed a schedule of rigorous courses, a competitive athletic schedule and a variety of other campus activities. The ingrained concept of Cura Personalis, or “care of the whole person,” is a mentality promoted at Holy Cross that has contributed to much of her success. Hume says she draws upon these ideas of caring for the mind, body, and soul as a foundation of her whole-self resulting in a better self.

Multiple priorities are hard to balance and this difficulty will never go away. Hume emphasizes the importance of setting parameters around prioritizing personal time. She says, “If you don’t set a framework for personal time you will burn out. And no one will set it for you.” Everyone has their own tips and tricks on how to balance commitments, but what has worked for Hume is making a habit of taking personal time. She advises, “Make an actual plan. Mark it on your calendar and block it off.” Mark off family dinner or gym time. Put drinks with friends in your calendar and stick with the designated schedule. Having personal time marked into the calendar will make it part of your routine, making it harder to let your personal time go by the way side. Additionally, she warns, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew and avoid the extremes.” Hume also recommends constantly turning inward for personal assessments. Nobody’s fulfillment plan will be the same so it is important to check in with yourself to make sure you are happy with the way life is going.

With the school year starting up soon and new projects beginning at work, try using Hume’s trick and mark your calendar with consistent “me time” to care for yourself. Happy balancing!

Continue reading “The Great Balancing Act”

The 2018 Academic Conference & Beyond for Seniors

Looking back just a month ago when campus was alive with students, the College held the annual Academic Conference where students from all class years and majors put on a show of research, performances, presentations and so on.  This year over 470 students participated in the four-day celebration!

“The best piece of advice we got was to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Sierra Hannough ’18 recounts her experience working with choreographers her senior year and working out what comes next after the hill.

Read on to see some of the amazing work Holy Cross students are doing here.

 

 

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Future Steps Workshop – I’m ready for the next step, are you?

“What are your plans for next year?” – The dreaded question that all college seniors are asked.

It would have been easier to ignore the frightening reality that I am graduating in four months, but with determination I ventured back to campus a few days early to attend the Future Steps workshop over winter break, January 15 & 16, 2015. This COES & Pre-Business workshop, taught by Mimi Doherty ’02 – Founder & President of Future Steps, is geared toward juniors and seniors looking for an internship or a full time job. We were all eager to learn the tools necessary to nail a job interview, write the perfect cover letter and present that 60 second pitch.

What did Mimi teach us?

  1.   How to answer behavioral interview questions
    1. What types of questions can you expect?
    2. Why are the interviewers asking these questions?
  2.  How to construct your resume
    1. Make sure it’s visually appealing
    2. Are your bullet points concise? Do they show what you’re capable of?
  3. How tell a coherent story
    1. Are you making sense? Are you using specific examples to back up your points?
    2. Are you using the three step rule to tell your story?
  4. How to tailor your resume and interview to company specific expectations
    1. Are you qualified? Do you meet their expectations?
    2. What stories do you tell?

Overall, I highly recommend this workshop to rising juniors and seniors. Mimi was incredibly generous in her willingness to help us develop our interview skills, resume and how to market ourselves in the workforce. Attending a liberal arts college has tremendous benefits for the real world.  However, most Holy Cross students lack the proper language to leverage our unique academic background. This workshop will help you choose key vocabulary to enhance your brand and land that first job. I can honestly say I am much more prepared for the job search process.

I’m ready for the next step, are you?


Thanks to Grace Chmiel ’15 for this honest reflection and review of the new COES Future Steps Workshop taught by Mimi Doherty ’02, Founder & President of Future Steps.  Good luck in the job hunt, Grace – we are confident in your success!

As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness and watch for the next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies