On Wednesday, April 22, 2015 the Financial Management Association hosted an event with guest speaker, Luigi Testa, a finance manager at Nanigans, an advertising software company. Testa discussed his experience working at Venture Capital companies as well as start-up Companies. He contrasted the two types of industries and the lifestyle and personality characteristics that are needed to succeed in these companies. He explained that at Venture Capital companies, such as Merrill Lynch, the financial statements are much more clean cut and neat, and that the lifestyle is much more business formal. Compared with this, start-up companies, such as Nanigans and Rapid 7, are different regarding that the work is not as cut and dry but requires more dirty work. In addition, Testa explained how it is much more laid back at start-up companies and much more business casual. FMA members listened attentively and asked many questions prompting Testa to go further into depth regarding what kind of characteristics one needs in order to fit in at a start-up company. Testa highlighted that in order to work at a start-up company some characteristics that are needed are patience and willingness to learn.
On April 21, 2015 Corey Baker a graduate of the class of 1998 returned to Stonehill to talk to students about his job as Senior Director of Finance at PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage company in the world. Baker spoke about his transition form Rolex where he spent 7 years, to “the more fast paced and dynamic” Pepsi Co. He spoke about his position with Tropicana one of Pepsi’s many segments. Contrary to many students knowledge Pepsi owns a wide array of product lines including Quaker oats, Captain Crunch, Cheetos, 7-up, Gatorade, and many other segments. He highlighted that you don’t just make the orange juice, you sell the brand to the customers while sustaining a solid business environment. Baker also highlighted that Pepsi was honored as one of the best places to work. One of bakers main points high drove home to students was “performance with a purpose” highlighting giving back to the environment. Many students were curious about the company’s approach to branding, Baker responded about the company’s focus on the millennial generation. Students took a lot from the talk and are hopeful he can return again.
On Friday April 10, 2015, the Financial Management Association did a corporate visit to the Boston Beer Company (and its Samuel Adams Brewery) in Boston. It was a very educational experience on the operations and inner workings of one of the world’s most award winning beer companies. The tour began with a brief history lesson on the company and how it all started in Jim Koch’s kitchen in 1984 when he first brewed Boston Lager. Our group was then given the opportunity to taste test the different types of barely that go into making the beer as well as examining the hops. (photo below). This allowed our group to truly understand what went into the beer consumers drank, where it came from, and the process the Samuel Adam’s company goes through in picking its suppliers. The description of the beer making process quickly ensued, learning about the different processes needed such as fermentation, mashing, milling and many other steps.
The last section of the tour was the taste testing of the beers for those of age, including Summer Ale, Boston Lager, and a trial IPA not yet released to the market. Upon the distribution of the trial IPA we came to learn that the Boston factory is the trial factory. It has created over 60 different styles of beer over the last 31 years and continues this process every year. The Companies larger factories around the area produce the current offerings and send them to distributors and storefronts around the country. The Boston factory is constantly researching and developing new styles of beer to sell to its consumers, explaining why they have such a large share of the shelves in liquor stores as well as a strong presence in bars all around. It also highlights the company’s relationship to its consumers, including both the drinkers and the storefronts that sell to them. Samuel Adam’s is notorious for its buyback program, a program in which if the beer is past its peak freshness date on the shelves, the company will buy it back from stores for its market value. This ensures that the customer is drinking the best product possible and that the stores and bars selling their product never lose money. Sam Adams is the only brewer with a cooperative program with its distributors to buy back products past its peak freshness date. The high standards Sam Adams sets with the ingredients that go into the product, the long testing process of new beers, and the buyback program illustrate how committed they are to selling the best product possible. This process could be seen as part of the reason the company’s stock has done so well in the last 10 years, rising from $23.70 in 2015 to $262.99 as of April 14, 2015. High customer satisfaction, distributors never having sunk costs due to unsold or expired products, leading to distributors constantly keeping the company on the shelves, both highly promote sales growth.
This was a great experience for all who went to see the operations of a highly successful company and how it’s high standard operations process and customer consideration has impacted its growth and promise. We look forward to our next company trip in the fall, we highly suggest you attend.
Congratulations from the College, Business Department Faculty and members of our FMA Chapter to the following students who earned induction into the FMA National Honor Society. Finance Majors qualify for this special honor given in their senior year if they have maintained a GPA of 3.5 in at least 12 hours of finance courses as well as an overall GPA of 3.25. Individuals accepted for membership in the Honor Society have the distinction of belonging to the only International honorary that specifically recognizes the achievement of Finance majors and demonstrates their expertise in areas such as financial economics and decision making.
Stephen A. Balsamo Daniel J. Doherty Jeffrey P. Genest
Daniel J. Greaney Carolyn A. Moodie Theodore C. Palumbo
Amy M. Pelletier James J. Scanlan
Congratulations for this wonderful achievement!
Our FMA chapter co-sponsored with Beta Alpha Psi, the Accounting Association and the Marketing and Management Association the first annual Personal Finance Seminar entitled “Lets Talk Money”. The two-hour event was meant for graduating seniors to inform and prepare them for the realities of dealing with personal finance issues such as budgeting, savings programs, 401(k)s, taxes, insurance and fraud. The seminar was designed as an interactive discussion between our panel of experts, the student leadership panel and the student audience. We estimate over 80 students came to the event on Saturday afternoon and, based on the electronic poling at the end of the event, believed it was a very worthwhile use of their time. Our special thanks to the faculty, alumni and guest speakers that helped make the event a huge success.
For our annual fall company visit, members of the FMA joined the analysts of the Herlihy Opportunity Fund and took the opportunity to visit T2 Biosystems (TTOO) located in Lexington, MA. TTOO is an emerging growth in vitro diagnostics company that has developed an innovative and proprietary technology platform that is designed to offer a rapid, sensitive and simple alternative to existing diagnostic methodologies. It is using a proprietary T2 Magnetic Resonance platform, or T2MR, to develop a broad set of applications aimed at lowering mortality rates, improving patient outcomes and reducing the cost of healthcare by helping medical professionals make targeted treatment decisions earlier. The company went public in the late summer of 2014 and is led by Stonehill Alum and CEO John McDonough and garnered FDA approval of its first test for sepsis. Students participated in a 2-hour presentation / Q&A discussion about this technical but very interesting product opportunity for the company.
The Marketing and Management Association in cooperation with the Stonehill FMA were honored to host Stonehill Alum Robert Rivers, President of Eastern Bank and member of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Rivers has been a great friend of the College and the business program. “Think about where you would like to be when you are 40 years of age” was an exercise that was asked of him by a professor when he attended Stonehill. Back then he imagined he would be president of a bank. And while he achieved that goal is message centered around two key points. First, everyone should have a professional goal, one that reaches beyond the probable. It enables you to create a better professional development path that may lead you to this improbable opportunity. And second, even if you fall short where ever you are it will likely be a much better place than you might have thought possible in the first place.
Mr Rivers has had an interesting career path. Working in maintenance at a Bank while at Stonehill to a journey in marketing and a short trip to a senior position at a mid-western bank that lasted a month until the bank was expectantly acquired. But a call from Eastern Bank brought him back to the Boston area to what became that opportunity thought about some 20 years ago.
Mr. Kevin Bridgeo of EMC joined us tonight to accept our chapter’s FMA Outstanding Financial Executive of the Year award. Every year we present this award to an Alumni who has shown exception dedication to our chapter, Stonehill, its finance program and students. Mr. Bridgeo currently serves as a senior director of finance at EMC, and has been extremely instrumental in increasing Stonehill’s presence within EMC’s excellent finance rotational program and beyond. Along with that, he hosted a trip by our FMA chapter to visit the company last year. This trip was a great opportunity to meet with many members of the team, learn more about the programs offered within the company, and get a detailed look into the company’s operations now and moving forward. Mr. Bridgeo used the opportunity share with us a bit more about EMC and its corporate culture. He also talked about his time at Stonehill and provided suggestions on how we might maximize the great opportunity that Stonehill offers us. Our sincerest thanks to Mr. Bridgeo for his time and assistance in making our chapter of the FMA a great success.
Most business students at Stonehill get the opportunity to participate in summer internships in their major or in an area of personal interest. Maximizing those opportunities are important. Although sometimes a bad internship can teach you more than a good one. Nonetheless, these opportunities are important and can often lead to full time positions after graduation. This week the FMA sponsored a student panel to discuss a broad variety of internship experiences in finance, accounting and other related business areas. The session was very well attended and especially timely given the early start of recruiting season.
The FMA was lucky enough to be joined by two members of Suffolk to discuss their MS in Finance. Katelyn Lewis and Professor Jalal informed FMA students about the many opportunities available in this Boston based program. From providing a broad based alumni network, to the targeted focuses within the MSF program, Suffolk offers a great opportunity for Stonehill students to further their careers through what was presented as an exceptional education experience. We greatly enjoyed hosting Suffolk, and look forward to a continued relationship with Ms. Lewis and this program.