What does a hard-earned college degree taste like?
If you’re in Babson’s Class of 2022, it’s a splash of inspiration, a healthy pour of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®, and a pinch of experience topped off with the refreshing taste of lemon-lime.
Serve it chilled in a green can emblazoned with Babson landmarks and there you have it: Beaver Bite. The non-alcoholic, Babson-themed beverage comes from the collaborative efforts of six friends and members of the Class of 2022 with an assist from President Stephen Spinelli Jr. MBA’92, PhD.
“We’re just glad we could actually create a product that highlights Babson students utilizing their experience while making an impact for a client and giving back to their Babson class,” said Matthew Campbell ’22, one of the Beaver Bite creators.
The friends were consulting for AstraLuna, a small distillery and distributor in Medfield, Massachusetts, when the drink was conceived, pitched, and packaged as part of Babson’s Management Consulting Field Experience (MCFE) program.
The MCFE team, with AstraLuna’s and Spinelli’s help, made 2,500 cans of the lemon-lime thirst-quencher that will be served to undergraduates and graduates at their respective Commencement receptions Saturday.
Festooned in a brilliant Babson green, the 12-ounce cans feature an outline of the venerable Tomasso Hall in the front and a quote—“Cheers to a new beginning”—printed on the back.
The concoction is an ode to what makes Babson so special, said Corey O’Neill ’22, another Beaver Bite creator.
“It provides utility in that the product’s a drink, it’s dedicated to the class and full of school pride, and (Spinelli) just loved how it encapsulated the Babson spirit,” O’Neill said. “We’re not just thinking, we’re doing. We’re working in a live business situation and finding out what works and what doesn’t as we go.”
Beaver Bite Blueprints
The tale of the Beaver Bite started in January, when O’Neill and his compatriots decided to take Babson’s MCFE program during their last semester. The program offers students the opportunity to gain practical industry experience from well-known companies such as the Boston Red Sox and work with professionals in the business community. Businesses, meanwhile, get the chance to have Babson-trained talent weigh in on their current challenges.
The friends decided to consult for AstraLuna, owned by Andrew McCabe, a friend of O’Neill’s. They concentrated on the company’s golf-focused cocktail line called ParTee, and instead of simply offering suggestions at the end of the semester, the crew decided they’d try to implement some of their suggestions.
“We’re just glad we could actually create a product that highlights Babson students utilizing their experience while making an impact for a client and giving back to their Babson class.”
Matthew Campbell '22
The idea to create a Babson-based beverage sort of popped up while they were working, Campbell said. “It’s funny because this aspect of our project wasn’t even in our initial scope of work, but because of our relationship with Andrew, he gave us the green light and fully trusted us,” said Campbell, whose focus at Babson has been strategy consulting.
Five of the Beaver Bite creators—including Campbell, Colin Cianciolo ’22, Collin Regan ’22, Keanu Leibowitz ’22 and Benjamin Cantera ’22—all lived in the same apartment, where it didn’t take long to break down the logistics of creating a small-batch beverage made especially for the Class of 2022.
Here’s where another key relationship kicked in to help Beaver Bite become a reality. Campbell, who works in the Office of the President, discussed the idea with several officemates and eventually was able to meet with Spinelli.
“We had the opportunity to personally pitch this initiative to President Spinelli,” O’Neill said. “It was a great opportunity. We were there, we’re very passionate seniors, and we wanted to do something for our class after a long four years. So, it all just came together.”
Beaver Tail Takeaways
The friends are thrilled to be contributing to Commencement day, and Babson’s MCFE program helped highlight the practicality of lessons they learned in the classroom.
Cantera, who will be commissioned by the U.S. Marines after he graduates, said the experience was another example of the many possibilities open to Babson students and graduates.
“This is really why I came to Babson, because there are opportunities like this for everyone and anyone who’s interested in doing it,” Cantera said.
Regan said that working with multiple stakeholders while staying true to AstraLuna’s brand was a great hands-on experience.
“When I think about the work that I’m doing for AstraLuna, I’m really conscious about how it’s going to reflect on my client, because at the end of the day, it’s not my business, it’s theirs,” Regan said.
The group, which has embraced the casual nickname of “Beverage Guys,” says the MCFE program and the creation of the lemon-lime Beaver Bite is the perfect way to end their time at Babson.
The slogan they created for Beaver Bite’s carefully designed tin can says it all: “It’s been a dam good time.”
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