2019 Student Speakers Look to Commencement

Student commencement speakers

Commencement: It’s a time of reflection on the past and excitement about the future. It’s the pomp and circumstance of festive celebrations, and it’s thoughtful advice and good wishes from family and friends.

And, for two Babson students, it’s a chance to address their fellow classmates one last time.

This year’s student speaker selection committees, made up of Babson administrators, faculty, and students, have chosen Swapnika Yarlagadda ’19 and Rodrigo Riviello MBA ’19 as the 2019 student speakers.

Swapnika Yarlagadda ‘19

Representing the undergraduate Class of 2019, Swapnika Yarlagadda ’19 plans to speak about how Babson has become a home away from home during the past four years. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Yarlagadda says “Babson has helped me grow into who I am today, and taught me what it means to have a community that truly supports you in both your successes and your failures.”

On campus, she has been involved in many activities–performing on stage in the AMAN show, serving in leadership roles as a resident assistant and peer career ambassador, and excelling academically, achieving magna cum laude honors.

All her accomplishments aside, Yarlagadda’s favorite Babson memory is the day-in, day-out routine known as Trim-sitting. “My friends and I will go for a quick lunch,” she says, “and then we end up staying at Trim for two or three hours just hanging out.”

After graduation, Yarlagadda will join Wayfair as a profitability and strategy analyst. “Babson instilled a curiosity and a confidence in me that I didn’t have before,” she says. “I’m leaving Babson much more comfortable in my own skin and confident enough to ask for help when I need it.”

Rodrigo Riviello MBA‘19

It was just a year ago that Rodrigo Riviello MBA’19 was arriving on campus, about to begin his one-year MBA journey.

“The things I’ve learned in one year at Babson have gone far beyond academics,” he says. “My Babson experience has been filled with people from every corner of the world, from different cultures and different countries. It’s a great opportunity that you don’t get elsewhere.”

Now, poised to graduate with the 2019 Centennial class, he is looking ahead to a professional career in Boston, with the dream of eventually launching his own business venture to revolutionize the biotechnology industry in his native Mexico.

Riviello will be addressing graduates and their families from all of the Graduate School’s programs: MBAs, as well as students earning specialized master’s degrees in business analytics, entrepreneurial leadership, and finance.

“I see the Babson community as a really special network,” he says. “No two people are the same, and our diversity and differences mean there’s always someone who knows about your area or can help you with your question. It goes beyond the people we studied with, and links us to previous generations, to faculty, and to the entire Babson chain.”

Now that the marathon of a one-year MBA is nearly behind him, Riviello is looking forward to having more time for his favorite hobbies, including wakeboarding, rock climbing, practicing archery, and spending time with his 3-year-old Husky, Cana.

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