Babson Magazine

Spring 2016

Three Things Babson Taught Me

As Commencement draws near, graduating students share their thoughts.

Brian Stauffer/

Illustration: Brian Stauffer/

Darpan Shah, MBA’16

1. Your startup need not be “sexy.” It should solve an existing problem. You might be smitten by the technology startups in the San Francisco Bay Area, but they are not the only path to entrepreneurship. 2. Don’t only consider your peers as friends; regard them as teachers, too. They are credible and knowledgeable professionals. Pick their brains when you are stuck. 3. While strategy and business plans are guiding tools for a company, success lies in executing the plan and adapting to changing environments. Babson’s core principle of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action was my biggest lesson.

Shatiek Gatlin ’16

1. Before coming to Babson, I wasn’t the “let’s start a business” type and had a skewed perception of what entrepreneurship means. But I soon realized that being an entrepreneur isn’t about being your own boss. It’s about wanting to change the world. 2. The “Freshman 15” (or 20) is a real thing! In high school, I worked out twice a week for four years as part of my physical education requirement, but when I got to Babson, that quickly ended. The importance of nutrition and maintaining a healthy diet became a quick lesson. 3. There’s no better time or place to try new things and, also, to fail. A lesson for life and entrepreneurship.

Lena Wu ’16, MSA’16

1. If you want to create value and affect positive change, couple personal ambition with community buy-in. As president of the Student Government Association, I asked students about changes they wanted to see. I was inspired by my peers, and I became equally interested in actualizing their ideas. My experience became more meaningful with their trust and interest. 2. A business education is more valuable when blended meaningfully with a liberal arts curriculum. My business education will help me obtain a great job, but my liberal arts education will provide me with the tools to become a true leader and help me advance in my career. 3. Ask for feedback from peers and mentors, and take the time to reflect. Remember to provide useful, direct feedback in return.

Bryanne Leeming, MBA’16

1. I’ve learned to jump into new situations before I feel completely ready. This takes a healthy dose of fearlessness and an understanding that failure is OK because it helps you improve. 2. There’s no such thing as luck. When obstacles arise, roll up your sleeves, immerse yourself in the task, and find a way to change the situation. 3. Le Petit Prince is the most important book you will read in business school. Images and quotes from this book found their way into more than a few of my courses. Sometimes it’s helpful to step out of the business world and think like a kid.

Elizabeth Holmes ’16

1. My junior year, I learned the importance of perseverance. I had a season-ending ACL injury while playing field hockey. But after nine months of rehab, four during my spring semester in London, I was able to play all 19 games of my final season. 2. Create lasting relationships with professors and staff. By building strong relationships, I received job opportunities and found long-term mentors who I can go to for personal advice, career questions, or a quick conversation over coffee. 3. Go outside your comfort zone. I pushed myself to study abroad, and it opened me to incredible cultures and a more worldly perspective.—Sharman Andersen