Poets & Quants Says Babson MBAs Are Ones to Watch

Babson's MBAs to Watch

Babson MBAs continue to make waves.

The latest? Melissa Castro MBA’19 and Francesca Gibbs MBA’19 were named to Poets & Quants list of 100 MBAs to Watch in the Class of 2019.

The publication also recently recognized Babson MBAs Asini Wijewardane MBA’19 and David Lefkowitz MBA’19 and undergraduates Adam Kershner ’19 and Leslie Parra ’19 as two of the nation’s best and brightest.

Melissa Castro

At Babson, Melissa Castro was a fellow at the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), a participant in the Butler Launch Pad at The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, vice president of the Babson Black MBA Association, and a member of the Food Sol network and the Honor Board.

“I am most proud of developing the first-of-its-kind CWEL Mentoring Program,” said Castro in her interview with Poets & Quants. “I’ve matched more than 160 women professionals and implemented a tailored program that focuses on topics critical for the success of women entrepreneurs and professionals.”

She was quick to name Ruben Mancha as her favorite professor, one who “has the ability to make rising technologies approachable in a way that is interactive and exciting,” she said. “He goes out of his way to get to know you and your future career aspirations, and connects class lessons with your interests.”

When asked what the biggest myth is about Babson’s MBA program, Castro explained: “That it is only for individuals who have a business idea they want to pursue. Babson fosters entrepreneurs of all kinds and that includes intrapreneurship. You can come to Babson if you want to be a leader, and use the tools of entrepreneurship to take risks and drive change.”

Francesca Gibbs

Francesca Gibbs was a Babson MBA Diversity Leadership Fellow, president of the Babson Black MBA Association, a graduate assistant in the Admissions and Dean’s offices, where she specialized in diversity and inclusion projects, a mentor for CWEL’s leadership program, and a student ambassador.

Professionally, Gibbs is most proud of her time working with the World Bank. “I had the privilege to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico, to conduct a field study and work with local residents to develop social impact funding recommendations.”

As a student, she gained invaluable confidence and insights about herself by participating in Babson’s immersive learning experiences. “Just a few months into my first year of the MBA program, I participated in Babson’s Rocket Pitch event … [and] received an immense amount of support and interest in my [business] idea. Although I did not pursue the venture … I learned a lot about myself.”

Gibbs most enjoyed her Marketing Analytics course, taught by the late Associate Professor Abdul Ali. “[It] taught me how to use data and information to support my strategy and marketing decisions. I am positive that I’ll reference a lot of my class learnings as I progress in my career.”

What does she wish she knew before starting her MBA program? That it’s a great opportunity to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. “I would argue that I’ve learned equally from my courses as I have from conversations with professors, fellow classmates, and industry experts.”

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