Metamorphosis: Insights from Babson’s GEL Forum 2024

Team leaders and volunteers celebrate after organizing Babson's Global Entrepreneurial Forum.

The Global Entrepreneurial Leadership (GEL) Forum—hosted annually by the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business—embraced a springtime theme of “Metamorphosis” this year, bringing speakers from across the world to talk about remaining resilient and successful in the face of constant change. 

The event last month included presenters who discussed driving change and creating impact, such as Nithesh Wazenn MBA’25, a committed business leader in the blue economy. Other speakers included Alyssa Dver, head of the American Confidence Institute, and Pernod Ricard’s North American CEO Ann Mukherjee, a seasoned C-suite executive specializing in transforming global companies by leveraging demand-driven growth. 

A student-led event, the GEL Forum also provides a learning opportunity for graduate student organizers on event operations, fundraising, marketing, and management. Four of the GEL Forum committee co-chairs weighed in on their biggest takeaways from planning and organizing the event, and discussed the lessons learned from networking and panel discussions. 

Resilience Is Key 

“The journey of putting together the GEL Forum 2024, starting from brainstorming in August 2023 to wrapping it up on March 1, 2024, was quite a ride. One of the biggest lessons in adaptability and teamwork occurred only three weeks before the event, when one of the speakers backed out. Finding a suitable replacement on such short notice could have been a major setback, but the team came together brilliantly. We were able to identify someone who not only could attend but also perfectly fit the topic. By working together and leveraging each other’s strengths, we were able to overcome this significant challenge and ensure the forum’s smooth running.” — Arkadev Putatunda MBA’24 

“Being part of the GEL planning team was a standout experience for me at Babson. We faced and overcame numerous challenges, including outreach, marketing, funding, sponsorship, and logistics, to ensure the event ran smoothly. The team’s effort and our commitment to getting things done were instrumental. It was really fulfilling to see all our hard work pay off in a forum that was both exciting and meaningful.” — Diego Callo MBA’24  

Hard Work Pays Off 

“Participating in the GEL Forum was not just an event, it was a vibrant gathering that brought our Babson community closer. The opportunity to engage with peers, alumni, and industry leaders from different industries was unparalleled. Networking was a key highlight, offering us a chance to connect, share ideas, and build relationships that extend beyond the forum. This experience underscored the importance of community and the powerful impact of coming together to learn and grow. I felt inspired by the speakers, their leadership, humility, and approach to every challenge they faced. Working with the entire GEL team was an extraordinary experience.” — Veronica Ballen MBA’24 

“Seeing the way a few motivated individuals could pull off an event of this magnitude makes me realize that at any workplace or in any situation, hard work is all one needs to be successful. Ensuring that one is motivated for the entire stretch and able to keep the teams motivated is key to success. Another key lesson was that of flexibility and patience. It is imperative that one has an open mind and is willing to listen to multiple viewpoints.” — Dheeraj Pherwani MBA’24 

Posted in Community, Entrepreneurial Leadership

More from Community »