Conor Joslin ’23, the student intern for the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society, interviewed Prof. David Chu upon hearing about his retirement at the end of the current academic year.
CJ: Let’s start with a little background about your pre-Holy Cross life.
DC: I grew up in Hong Kong and came over to the United States for college. I went to a small college called Anderson College, where there were 2,000 undergraduate students. Anderson College is a liberal arts institution and I majored in accounting and business, which enabled me to study accounting and business while fulfilling all of the liberal arts requirements; so I had a very well rounded education. Then I went to graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington where I got my MBA and went on to get a PHD. I then taught at Indiana University while my wife was finishing up her medical training. After that, we decided to look around, and Holy Cross offered me a position, which I was very thankful for. My wife also got a job at what was then called the Fallon Clinic, and we moved out here. I started in the fall of 1991, and it has been a great career since.
Conor O’Reilly ’18 – psychology major
Account Executive, Oracle NetSuite
Interviewed by Ciocca Center intern, Conor Joslin ’23
“You have to recognize that you have an advantage. Having gone through that major and learning all of those essential skills is a benefit that not a lot of people get to learn through their college education if they’re not going to a school like Holy Cross”.
Please share a bit about your background, where you’re from, and why you decided to attend Holy Cross?
I am from Andover, MA which is just about thirty minutes north of Boston. Growing up, Holy Cross always had a fantastic reputation. I had toured it one spring day and it was a beautiful sunny day on campus. Students were out and I just kind of felt at home there. So I applied to Holy Cross kind of knowing that was where I wanted to go. I had no idea what I wanted to study at that point in high school, but I knew that it was the place for me. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Can you speak a little bit about what your major was and the impact that it had on your professional career?
Brendan Sullivan ’86 took the time to answer some questions regarding his experiences on the hill and career upon graduation. Brendan was first introduced to Holy Cross by his grandfather, Bill Brennan ’30, and uncle, Jeff Brennan ’60, who both attended Holy Cross as student-athletes. Brendan really wanted to attend an institution with a strong academic reputation and was looking for a college that stood out upon other colleges and universities. His trip to campus, hosted by the football team, solidified his decision to attend Holy Cross due to the experience that he had upon his visit.
Jack Dennehy ’21, Student at UVA McIntire School of Commerce
Holy Cross Studies: Political Science Major, Finance & Banking Certificate
Interviewed by JP Cunninhgam ’23
JPC: How was your experience as a student at HC pursuing one of the business certificates?
JD: I enjoyed my experience pursuing this certificate—the Fullbridge Program especially gave me good experience in being able to research a company and present on it. Additionally, the Finance Boot Camp was particularly helpful in terms of networking and learning more about different banks and specific roles there.
JPC: Was there one workshop, class, professor, club, activity, etc. that has influenced your perspective on the professional world to the greatest extent?
JD: The Finance Boot Camp definitely did. I gained valuable insight into the financial services world by getting the opportunity to see what the average day looks like in this field across many different companies. Additionally, visiting these different banks and learning more about them was a very unique experience that I valued greatly.
“The ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and apply a strong work ethic are really key skills when you’re thinking about a career in business.” – Susan Killilea Coburn ‘92 P24
Graduating from Holy Cross in 1992, Susan Coburn recently took the time to reflect on her years before, during, and after her time on the Hill. Due to her initial interest in law and history, she was drawn to the College because it checked all of her boxes, including being a strong liberal arts school, allowing her to major in History and minor in Spanish while also exploring a wide range of subject matter. She is very appreciative of the holistic education Holy Cross provides for students as well as the strong foundation on how to think critically and communicate effectively–two skills that will go a long way in the business world. Susan appreciates the strong alumni network the College has, helping her easily stay in touch with her classmates to this day. She found that the College’s social justice mission has greatly impacted her life and allowed her to gain new perspectives on pressing issues in the world today. Her husband Ed Coburn ‘93 is a JVC alum and an attorney practicing municipal law. She stays in contact with her HC friends, most recently through a group started by her classmates in the Class of ‘92, which acts as a grassroots anti-racism alliance.The group now has over 90 members and focuses on dialogue, understanding and action. She and Ed have two daughters, with their eldest now attending Holy Cross in the Class of 2024.
Connecting via Zoom during COVID-19 has become the new normal for Holy Cross students and this year the the annual Mock Super Day was a virtual event held on April 29th by the Finance Club through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society at the College of the Holy Cross. Club chairs Allie Silge ’20 and Piotr Pogorzelski ’20, worked with Pam Ahearn, director of employer engagement in the Center for Career Development, to organize seven alumni and 11 students to participate in the event. Ahearn hosted the event and mapped out the evening to have each student interview with each alumni via breakout rooms.
Special thanks to our alumni interviewers for sharing their time, knowledge and advice — Brendan Grady ’89 of KeyBanc, Sydney Latour ’17 of J.P. Morgan, Ted Lynch ’84 of Bank of America, Jay Mackie ’19 of Barclays, Matt McCrann ’94 of Citi Bank, Pat O’Reilly ’16 of UBS and Dan Vucovich ’18 of Barclays.
We have enjoyed working with our graduating Finance Club chairs over the year – Piotr Pogorzelski’20 is an Incoming Investment Banking Analyst at Barclays Investment Bank and Allie Silge ’20 is an Incoming GTP Analyst at UBS. Best of luck on the next chapter! We hope you will share your story and success with current students as alumni have with you. Congratulations!
Who/What inspired you to enter the business world? Both of my parents worked in business, so I definitely gravitated to what I was familiar with coming out of college. Within the business world, I chose to enter into the financial services industry because it complemented my strong interest in economics. Continue reading “Alumna Spotlight: Seton McFarland ’16”
Bill Abbott ’84 President & CEO of Crown Media Family Networks
“This is where being a major in English really comes in handy. I feel like I learned story, characters, and emotion and all the things that comprise great storytelling at Holy Cross.”
On March 29, 2019, Ciocca Center Student Intern Sarah Anderson ’20 interviewed Bill to learn about how he turned his English Major into a career in the entertainment industry. Bill is the President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you always know you wanted to work in the entertainment industry? No, not at all. I was an English major, with a lot of political science classes mixed in there. I was really focused more either on law school or teaching when I was at school. But, after college I felt like more school wasn’t really where I wanted to be my first year out. So, I was fortunate enough to get a job in the media world, loved it from the beginning, and decided that’s what I would focus on. Entertainment is not something I intended on, but the liberal arts education provided me with a great backdrop for really anything I wanted to do because it teaches you and gives you a good sense of how to communicate and critically think and write. All of those are crucial aspects to any job. Continue reading “Ciocca Center Intern Interviews Bill Abbott ’84”