Business at the Hill

Back in January, right before the second semester started, I participated in the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program through the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society.

One concern that some students have—as I did before coming to the college—is that Holy Cross does not have direct finance or business majors. The Ciocca Center, however, offers a certificate program to still prepare students who want to follow that track.

In Fullbridge, we learned a lot about self-awareness and the process of creating business ideas. Later in the program, we began looking at more logistic aspects of business. We looked at financial statements, as well as important margins and ratios, for instance.

Public speaking was also a huge part of the program. We did several presentations and dove into important practices when carrying business conversations and making connections, but also in every-day interacting. At the end of the program, we analyzed different financial figures of a specific company and created business ideas for growth, then presented them in public.

One of my favorite parts of the program was the negotiation section. We picked sides—buyers or sellers—and worked on getting to outcomes that would benefit both sides, utilizing selling strategies and interaction skills.

Without a doubt, Fullbridge was a great experience that will be extremely useful in the future, considering my career goals, and I believe that every student interested in business will find it just as useful!

From Winter Break to Spring Semester

Hello hello, everyone!

Time has gone by, quick for some, snail-speed for others, and Winter Break is almost finished. The moment when the classrooms at the Hill will be filled again is nearer every second!

I have to admit, I did not cross out any items on my bucket list this break. I visited a few people, went to one or two museums, read a few books… the same things that I believe most people do. However, even if it sounds a little boring, I cannot complain. I rested, I had time to relax, and, deep down, that was really all I wanted.

I am looking forward—with a bit of fear, if I may say, but also with excitement—to starting the spring semester. My schedule is somewhat rough but I am still, for one reason or the other, really excited about each one of my classes!

I hope everyone a good last week of Winter Break!

A Weekend to Remember

Finals are over, winter break is underway, and grades were posted a few days ago. Everything is moving forward, but I want to go back in time a little bit.

On the weekend before finals, the tension on the hill was almost palpable.  People whom I know wake up, regularly, no earlier than eleven o’clock were having breakfast at eight. The more competitive ones were looking for a table at the library at six.

I did not change much of my sleeping schedule other than going to bed earlier. My alarm still rang at six o’clock and my breakfast was served a bit after seven. Really, I knew that this was just another weekend; I had already dealt with several exams in one week (though this time I had two in one morning). However, I still felt a kind of… rush. For the first time, I felt as though it was all—my studies, my grades, my future—up to me.

My schedule during “Finals Weekend” was fairly simple. I had breakfast between seven and eight o’clock and went straight to Dinand. There, I would find a place to sit down and spend about five hours studying. Usually, this session was all accounting. Sometimes it took me a while to find a place. I even thought that some people left their belongings at tables overnight. In fact, I sat at a cubicle one day, and it was right next to a table with no people and a jillion sheets of paper spread out. “They must be on a break,” I thought, but when I finished my five-hour study session there were still no people at the table. In any case, after that, I would eat lunch and have another study session.

I am glad to say that it was very much worth it and that I, somehow, really enjoyed the process.

Having said all that, I wish everyone happy holidays!

Sometimes, All You Need Is a Funny Box

Hey everyone!

It has been a while since my last post, but there is a reason, I promise.

I will begin with Thanksgiving “break.” I say it like this because I went home carrying my rather heavy backpack and my laptop, knowing that I would just change the setting of Dinand to my living room. I knew that college would follow me no matter where I went. Even so, I had a good time. It was nice to spend some family time for a change—just me, my mom, my dad and, of course, my textbooks.

When I came back to the Hill, a week scarier than Halloween was waiting for me. I had three midterms and, if it was not already spooky enough, the final presentation for one of my classes was due. I had no idea where to start. At this point, time management seemed to me like a legend made up by some mythological character.

“Welcome to college,” someone told me. I actually felt it this time.

As of today, three of those four unforgiving hurdles are down. Only one more midterm to go. It has been tough, but I realized somewhere along the way that it is better to just take it one step at a time.  Just something worth noting.

Having said all this, I want to end on a more positive note. My father sent me a package today, and not quite the package itself but the box where it came was the highlight of my day.

My package’s very unexpected box.

“Spoiler alert. It’s socks again.”

Sometimes, Later Might Be Better

Hey there, everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well and that the cold weather has not escalated too quickly on you. I know it did for me. In any case, today I would like to do a bit of a throwback. I would like to tell the short anecdote of my first day of classes.

The day before, my roommate and I spoke for quite some time, speculating how it would all go. Comments along the lines of “This is college now” found their way into many instances of the conversation. Most of the times, those comments came out of my mouth. I went to sleep at about nine o’clock and set about five separate alarms. “Beat It,” by Michael Jackson, was the ringtone for all of them.

When I woke up, it was about five thirty in the morning. None of my alarms had gone off. Thinking, based on experience, that if I went back to sleep thinking “five more minutes” I would sleep for at least an hour and a half, I jumped off my bed. I showered and got ready to head out of the room. It was only a little after six.

I went to Kimball Dining Hall and ate breakfast with a few other people. I made sure to eat something healthy and drink plenty of water. They were supposed to help with brain performance and whatnot. I decided to leave Kimball at about twenty after eight. My class started at nine.

I arrived to my classroom, peeked through the window, and froze completely. It was almost completely filled. I could only spot one empty chair in the back of the room. I thought, desperately, “That’s my chair.”

Ignoring every bit of common sense I have, I walked into the classroom. Everyone turned their heads and gave me the glance that I was so scared of. “You are late on the first day?” the glances yelled. The professor looked at me briefly, then, without any hesitation, kept reading the syllabus. I sat all the way in the back, on that empty chair.

The professor kept reading the syllabus and mentioned something about international relations. It was then that it clicked. I was in the right room and building, but half an hour too early. I entered the wrong class. I felt awkward in every sense of the word, but I did not dare walk out. I thought it would look rude, so I waited until the end of that class.

I approached the professor after class was over. “I’m sorry for interrupting class,” I said. “My class actually starts at nine. I just got confused.” The professor chuckled. “Okay,” he said before leaving. I then learned that, sometimes, too early can be bad, too. Just something to keep in mind.

The Calm During The Storm; The Weekend Before The Midterms

Hello again!

As I am sure most of us noticed, last weekend’s weather was not exactly the one you see on postcards. I could see my breath as I walked and the insides of my shoes were flooded. If you are like me and walk to the gym even while drops of water slap you all the way there, you know what I am talking about.

I will cut my negativity there and move on to talk a bit about the multi-day event that was going on during the before said weekend: family weekend! It was quite nice to see the faces of many of my classmates filled with genuine happiness and liveliness. Smiling and telling some of their most interesting college stories. Granted, everyone needs a break with their family from time to time.

Unfortunately, my family could not make it to the event. However, I can still say that I had a fairly good weekend. I had time to catch up with some people and relax. I even found myself sitting at Cool Beans, finishing up a story I began writing a while ago. I have to say, it was most enjoyable to sit down and forget about time for a while.

All that being said, I also had to come back down to reality and, well, be a college student. I have three exams coming up between tomorrow and next Monday, so I had to allocate adequate amounts of time for each subject.

In any case, I hope everyone that was on campus enjoyed their weekend. I hope that everyone found at least one moment in which they were able to breathe slowly and deeply. And last, but not least, I certainly wish that I can survive this next week!

Chalkboards at the Hill

Hey there everyone!

My name is Ramsés “Ram” Taveras, and I am a first-year student at Holy Cross. I grew up in the Dominican Republic and moved to Providence, RI when I was fourteen. I have many interests and goals that I want to accomplish at the Hill, including majoring in Accounting!

My experience at Holy Cross has been a lot better than expected, I must say. I had rather scary ideas for how things were going to be, but I am glad to say that I was mistaken in just about all of them—I think the workload is the only thing that I estimated properly. However, instead of getting more in-depth into other topics right off the bat, I believe it is only fit that I explain why I chose to attend Holy Cross.

I remember the stress of researching different schools, the rush of applying to as many of them as possible, and the fear that overcame me when it came to deciding on just one of them. I had barely gone to any of the schools that I applied to, which made the decision that much more difficult. After all, my teachers, along with my parents and classmates, kept telling me that this was one of the most important decisions I would ever make in my life.

When I went to one of Holy Cross’ open houses, there was quite the uninviting weather—it was cold, windy, and there was a snowstorm going on. I tried not paying much attention to that and looked closer at the College.

Now, what really attracted me about Holy Cross was, in fact, its simplicity. The chalkboards were a big plus for me, probably because they reminded me of the classrooms in the Dominican Republic, and because; for some reason, those chalkboards also symbolized a certain humbleness.

As time at Holy Cross passes by, and we get deeper into midterms season, I wonder whether I will find myself within another snowstorm or a warm place under the winter sun. I will be crossing my fingers!