Boston: Carbonite and Merrill Lynch

On Thursday, our group visited Carbonite and Merrill Lynch. The morning began at Carbonite. Walking through the halls to our meeting room, the group started to notice a theme: The Jedi Room, Lukes Room (Men’s Restroom), Leaia’s Room (Women’s Restroom), graffiti murals depicting space ships and storm troopers. The entire office was designed with a Star Wars theme. Not being the most involved Star Wars fan, I did not immediately recognize the significance of “Carbonite.” For those who may not know, Carbonite is the substance that Han Solo was frozen in. When the company was founded by Dave Friend, he chose the name Carbonite because the business freezes and stores client data in the cloud to ensure data protection. I usually don’t notice the origin of a company’s name because I usually assume it is a person’s name. Just on the initial walk through the hallway, I could tell Carbonite was a great company.

We started by hearing from Paul Oetjens, a Loyola alum who works at Carbonite as a Business Unit Executive. He described the company and all the different products they offer for data protection. The company is relatively new, opened in 2005, so it was very interesting to hear from Paul about how the business has been growing and changing with technology. After this overview, we had the opportunity to work on a case study for the company prepared by Kanda, head of talent acquisition. Carbonite recently acquired a cybersecurity firm, so they provided us with an overview of the acquisition, financials, and the announcement article. We used those resources to analyze the marketing and financial benefits and risks of the acquisition in order to develop a final recommendation on whether to go through with the acquisition. The engagement from the group made the case interesting, and I was extremely impressed by the knowledge of all of my peers and our ability to figure out the problems. I learned a lot at Carbonite and felt energized afterwards because of how kind and engaging the employees were. Also, thank you to Brianna and Lauren in talent acquisition for all their help setting it up and their insight into the company.

We got lunch after Carbonite at ZC Boston, a Chinese/Japanese cuisine restaurant. After lunch we went straight to Merrill Lynch for our second tour of the day. We met with Loyola alum Patrick Dapic, who was joined by his colleagues Alex and Dave. All three shared great advice about making the transition from school to full time employment. What stuck with me the most was their advice about moving through trials and struggle. They talked about getting used to disappointment, not in order to become complacent, but instead to get used to it so that you can move past it and build on that experience. Overall, getting a glimpse into the financial advisory world was interesting. I did not know much about that profession before this tour but hearing these three men talk about their experiences was very insightful. Also, Pat was gracious enough to get us some cannoli’s from Caffe Vittoria which were incredible. Merrill Lynch was a great visit for me because it was a company in an industry that I have never taken much interest, but I appreciated hearing how other students who are considering finance or economics liked the visit.

Overall, I learned a lot today. I was not extremely familiar with either industry or company, but I feel like after the two visits I have a better understanding of the businesses and careers within them.


Grace Sperr (BBA '19)
Information Systems, Supply Chain Management