Business in the Real World: Student Laura De Francisci
Born in Palermo, Sicily to an American mother and an Italian father, Laura de Francisci (class of 2019) is a Business Administration major and Economics and Finance minor. Currently, she is the president of the Business Club at John Cabot University.
What sparked your interest in Business Administration and Economics?
I always liked business, but when I started college, like many of us, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do after graduating so I decided to study something that could give me flexibility in the future. Business Administration made me passionate about the business world, it strengthened my soft skills, and the majority of what I have learned can be applied to the real world.
I also decided to minor in Economics right after taking Micro and Macro my freshman year. I became interested in the dynamics of markets, what the theories behind it are, and how can it can all be connected. In particular, I was inspired by some very interesting classes such as Economics of China and Economics of Development. I learned about the rapid growth of China’s economy and the characteristics of the country’s development. I have found great benefits in majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Economics because it has given me the ability to understand economic patterns which directly affect all businesses.
Who is your role model in this field and why?
Earlier this year I started reading about Jane Elfers, the current C.E.O. of The Children’s Place, North America’s largest children’s retailer, and she quickly became my role model. Jane Elfers arrived at The Children’s Place only a few years ago and has managed to successfully turn this business around. By retargeting its strategy, the company has become a leader in digital business and it is beginning to build an international market. Jane is an inspiring woman who promotes women’s empowerment and makes bold decisions. Her drive and intellectual capabilities inspired me to apply for an internship at The Children’s Place’s corporate headquarters in New Jersey this summer, and thankfully I was hired! I am currently interning for the Wholesale team and already within my first week, I have been exposed to many aspects of the business and its culture. I will be working on a summer project with my team of other interns and then potentially have the opportunity of presenting it to my role model, Jane Elfers.
You have worked at Tommy Hilfiger in NY. What have you learned from this experience?
Interning in New York City last summer for Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Merchandising gave me the opportunity to grow and learn new skills while gaining experience in a very fast-paced environment. During the morning commute, I had to learn my way around the city and stay at everyone’s pace during rush hour. When I got to work, there was no stopping, every day I attended at least one meeting where data was analyzed and decisions were made, from what shirt to sell in store to how to cut costs, to what articles of clothing were performing best during the week and why. I worked closely with the Planning and Allocation department and the Finance department and learned that communication and teamwork are essential to the success of a business, no decisions are made alone and everyone’s opinion is valuable and could improve the final outcome. During my internship, I also learned that the clothes we see in stores are the result of months of hard work and have gone through many phases before getting to your closet. Most of all, I got to experience NYC to the fullest, a city that generates pure energy, a city that never sleeps because the people never stop. No other city will ever be able to give me the same vibrant feeling that NYC gave me when I stepped out and walked on those streets.
What exactly is Enactus and what is your team’s project?
Enactus is a global non-profit organization where students, through their entrepreneurial actions, impact people’s lives and at the same time advance the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. John Cabot University officially started its first Enactus chapter this February.
Together with our advisor Professor Silvia Pulino, the Business Club decided that it was best to shift our focus towards Enactus for this semester, and it has been a great idea. Thanks to my hard-working team, Laura Brogi, Costanza Cicero, Alessia Gozi, Gaia Kouki, Peter Ogden, Giulia Primo, and Alessandra Vanoli, we were able to win the National Competition on June 1st and therefore have the opportunity to travel to Silicon Valley in California to compete in the World Cup this upcoming October.
Our project, called “Our Common Thread,” will help migrants of the Trastevere community in Rome to pursue a job in tailoring through the refurbishing of second-hand clothes collected from the JCU community and in the future from other universities in Rome. Enactus has been an amazing experience and now we are motivated to keep working hard, happy to make positive changes starting from our community, and excited to have the opportunity to present our project at the World Cup this fall.
What’s your advice to other students who are considering JCU?
My advice is to find your best study method as early as possible, which will help you a lot along the way. Never underestimate anything and always be prepared. Be open to as many new experiences as possible, become active in the numerous JCU clubs, step out of your comfort zone, and meet new people. JCU offers many opportunities to grow both inside and outside of the classroom, so take advantage of the benefits of this international community.