For Samantha Capobianco MBA’20, the decision to pursue an MBA was about making an investment in something important: herself.
“There is something very special about investing in yourself,” says Capobianco. “It allows you to reach higher, provides you with new tools to help others around you, and gives you the confidence and knowledge to achieve your goals.”
Capobianco is one of 17 students who are graduating this May with MBAs from Babson College’s campus in Miami. Babson has a growing presence in the entrepreneurial city, and the close-knit and diverse class marks the first group to earn their Babson MBAs there.
“It is a very important milestone for us,” says Gustavo Trindade MBA’17, the director of Babson College Miami. “For the first time, we will be able to say we have alums from the Babson Miami campus.”
An Eclectic Group
The Miami graduates are an eclectic group. They work in a wide variety of organizations, from banking and real estate, to construction and retail, to nonprofits, startups, and family businesses.
Befitting Miami, a city considered the unofficial capital of Latin America, the cohort also is international. While most of them now reside in the Miami area, they were born in countries far and wide: Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru.
“You have pioneered the program. You are the pioneer for future students.”
President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD
Such disparate life and work experiences makes for a vibrant learning environment. “I was able to learn from instructors but also from my classmates,” says Jose Darsin MBA’20. “Babson’s MBA has been an exciting journey.”
For Darsin and his classmates, a big part of that journey was learning just how versatile the entrepreneurial mindset preached by Babson can be. “The biggest takeaway probably is that regardless of whether you are in a company or in your own enterprise,” says Darsin, “there are always opportunities to be innovative and entrepreneurial.”
Only the Beginning
With its wealth of entrepreneurial resources such as hatcheries and accelerators, not to mention a large number of Babson alumni in the area, Miami makes a natural location for entrepreneurship education. The Kauffman Foundation ranked the city No.1 on its Index of Startup Activity. “Miami is a great home for us,” says Trindade.
Trindade began working at Babson Miami in 2017. While its Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® was in its second year at the time, the College wasn’t offering many other programs in the city.
Since then, though, Trindade has witnessed Babson’s presence grow exponentially. “We have built something from scratch,” says Trindade. “The school is so entrepreneurial and is proving it can be everywhere.” Babson Miami now offers Executive Education programs and a Certificate in Advanced Management, and it has held Rocket Pitch competitions and, in March, hosted several events throughout the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor conference. To assist the mayor’s office with its response to the pandemic, Babson professor Jay Rao delivered two webinars on entrepreneurial leadership to city officials.
The graduation of the first MBA cohort is just the latest accomplishment for the school’s Miami campus. “It is only the beginning of our story in Miami,” promises Trindade.
Congrats from the President
As the spring semester wound down, Babson Miami held an online event to commemorate its trailblazing first class. Phillip Kim, Babson Miami’s faculty director, and many other professors were in attendance. “You have pioneered the program,” President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD told the cohort. “You are the pioneer for future students.”
Spinelli said the class is graduating during a historic moment. “It is a serious time in the world,” he said. “I think it is a defining moment for a lot of us. It will shape our legacies, and it will test our entrepreneurial skills.” But he was confident in the class and the education they received. “I know you’re ready. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do.”
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