Weekend Warriors: May 31-June 1


Now that you’ve completed your first few days of SBI you may find yourself in search of a way to kick back and relax this weekend. This weekend is also a fantastic opportunity to get to know the people you’ll be living and working with this summer, so grab a few new friends and do something fun! Here are two suggestions, courtesy of uwishunu.com and mainlinetoday.com

The Roots Picnic will be held Saturday at Festival Pier, Penn’s Landing. The festival is headlined by The Roots and will include Snoop Dog, Emily Wells, and Electric Wire Hustle. As of this posting, tickets are still available at $64, and can be ordered online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/the-roots-philadelphia-pennsylvania-05-31-2014/event/02004C63BE198A01

If you’re looking for something closer to campus, consider a Sunday screening of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The London National Theater’s rendition of Mark Haddon’s acclaimed novel. Both funny and poignant, the play tells the story of a teenage math genius who, by investigating the death of his neighbor’s dog, finds out more than he had ever bargained for. The screening starts at 1:00 PM Sunday at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute (824 West Lancaster Avenue, only 1.5 miles from Villanova’s campus). Admission is $10 with a student ID, $20 without. http://www.brynmawrfilm.org/films/?id=1049


The Wildcats of Wall Street: Adrienne Galvin Makes Connections


This post marks the first installment of our series “The Wildcats of Wall Street”, which will highlight SBI who have found full time work in the financial services industry, both on Wall Street and off.

After working at ING as a human resources intern in the spring of 2013, Adrienne Galvin knew that she wanted to work in the financial services industry. That summer, Adrienne took SBI in order to obtain the background in finance that she knew she needed. Adrienne notes that “SBI taught me the fundamentals of finance.  I know that I have a lot more to learn, but SBI gave me the confidence to begin my career in finance.”

Adrienne Galvin

Adrienne’s efforts have paid off. She is slated to begin the Accelerated Development Program at Vanguard Financial. Based at Vanguard’s headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, the 15 month program will introduce Adrienne to investment analysis, general management, and client relationship management. At the end of the program, she will begin a full-time position at Vanguard.

Adrienne had learned about a similar development program while interning at the Pennsylvania offices of Morningstar, a Chicago-based investment research company, so she searched for a similar program on the East Coast. She came across Vanguard’s program and applied. In preparing for the interview, Adrienne recalls that  “I reached out to two Villanova alums who were more than happy to speak with me and give me some tips for the interview”. Adrienne, who applied to both of her internships through GONOVA jobs, notes that “Villanova has great career resources”. She recalls that SBI helped prepare her for these opportunities as well, as it “gave me the tools I needed to feel confident in my application and interview process”.

While building a strong background in finance, Adrienne remained active in her major; she served as President of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communications honors society. Adrienne believes that her background will suit her well at Vanguard, a firm that prides itself on its client service. Adrienne’s time at SBI was only one step on the way towards her desired career in financial services. Her blended academic background, her aggressive use of Villanova’s career resources, and her industry experience have served her well in pursuing her career of choice.

SBI Class of 2014 Breakdown


Schools Represented: Boston College, Colgate University, Denison University, Goucher College, Vanderbilt University, Villanova University, Washington University – St. Louis


class year Most frequently expressed reasons for taking SBI: Gain competitive edge, gain business credentials/minor, better understand business principles, professional development, provide career direction, become a more well-rounded student.

Words of Wisdom


“The Secret to getting ahead is getting started” – Unknown 

IMG_0511 Today marks the beginning of a 10-week learning experience that will introduce you to new disciplines, require you to learn new skills, and challenge you to grow as a professional. It won’t be easy, but you have your reasons for being here. So when you start SBI today, you aren’t just working towards a line on your resume, you’re starting to expand your horizons personally and professionally. If you’re looking to get ahead, you’ve picked a great way to get started.

Source: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_motivational2.html

Fast Five With Sara Brooks


Sara Brooks (Villanova 2015, SBI 2013) is a math major and pre-medical student.

Brooks 2

How has your SBI experience helped you since graduating the program? 

Since graduating SBI, I am a lot more comfortable discussing business topics and I feel that SBI has opened up opportunities both on campus and in the working world. The alumni network is also an amazing resource that I plan to use as I search for internships and jobs. SBI introduced me to so many new online resources through Villanova that I would never have known about otherwise.

What was the most challenging part of SBI for you, and how did you overcome that challenge? 

The most challenging part was the time management, especially with classes every day from 9-4. I was able to overcome this challenge by completely committing myself to my studies on weekdays, especially after class, but allowing myself to take a little time off on the weekends.

What was your favorite SBI course and why? 

My favorite course was Competitive Effectiveness, because it was my first college course that emphasized group work and cooperation, and I found that I enjoyed learning about management and marketing strategies. I also enjoyed being able to apply what we learned directly to an actual business plan project.

What have you been up to since graduating SBI? 

Since graduating SBI, I have enrolled in classes that will further my business education. For example, I am currently in a senior seminar that discusses financial mathematics.

How do you plan to use your business education in the future?

I plan to use my business education no matter what career I choose to pursue, and also in my individual investment strategies. As I continue on my pre-med track, I plan on using my business education to one day open my own private practice.

SBI Faculty Profile: Professor Julie Pirsch


Dr. Julie Pirsch is confident that Competitive Effectiveness (a course that teaches the fundamentals of marketing and management through lectures a collaborative capstone projects, also known as CE) is effective at simulating a real-world marketing project; after all, she designed it that way. Not only did Dr. Pirsch serve as a co-chair of the committee that designed the original Competitive Effectiveness curriculum, but she relied upon her industry experience in designing and launching marketing plans when doing so. “The goal in competitive effectiveness is to give students as close to a real-life marketing experience as they can get without actually going to work for a company, so we get our partners to come in with real time problems,” says Pirsch.

Pirsch 2

The “partners” that Pirsch speaks of are corporations that present CE students with a marketing problem that the partners are actually trying to solve. CE students are divided into groups and spend the course researching the problem and designing a marketing plan to solve it. At the end of the course, the top groups present their solution to representatives of the partner corporation. Recent partners have been Knoll, Inc., a high-end office furniture company looking to break into the higher education market, and American Eagle, a clothing retailer focused on launching its back-to-school denim line.

Dr. Pirsch teaches CE and upper-level marketing courses during the academic year, but SBI is one of her favorite teaching experiences of the year. Pirsch loves the “diversity of student perspectives”  in SBI that produces a “unique mix of intellect and creativity”. This diversity of thought  that goes into an SBI competitive effectiveness project leads to unique results; Dr. Pirsch notes that, “Students outside the business school think differently than business school students…. That allows teams to come up with some really unique and innovative solutions for our clients, and that’s just a lot of fun.”

Dr. Pirsch also notes that the structure of CE during the Summer does differ slightly from the academic year version. While academic year students write a paper to present their market research, SBI students annotate their final power point instead. Additionally, the marketing and management deliverables – smaller writing assignments assigned throughout the course that require students to apply the management and marketing principles they have learned – are shorter to account for SBI’s compressed time schedule. Still, Pirsch stresses that the SBI version of CE is no less challenging or fulfilling than its academic year counterpart, as she says that the course presents, “The same content, but a different format that allows us to fit it into five weeks.”

For Dr. Pirsch, the best part of SBI is the round of presentations that take place during the final days of CE. On the first day of presentations, each group of students presents their plan to the rest of their class. After the professors select the two best groups from each section, those groups present to representatives of the corporate partner and to the SBI student body as a whole. Pirsch says that “we really build up” to the experience of presenting, then defending, the presentation that students have been working towards for the entire course.

Even if a student doesn’t advance to that final round, they will walk away from CE, and from SBI, with valuable experience. “At the end of the summer, you have knocked out not only some basic blocking and tackling business courses, but you’ve been exposed to the postgrad world, both in business and in your discipline,”, Pirsch says, “We’ll make this the best possible experience that you can have.”

Summer 2014 Roster Posted!


Check out the “SBI 2014 Student Roster” tab on the left side of this blog to see section and Competitive Effectiveness group assignments for summer 2014. This post marks the resumption of the SBI blog’s daily Monday-Friday posting schedule, so keep checking in for new content. Enjoy your next week off; we’ll see you on Tuesday, May 27th!