Acting and Business
Oriana Torres: “Hobbies during Graduate School” seems to be an oxymoron. At Grad School time is indeed extremely limited, especially during your first year. Yet finding spaces to live your passions is always possible, if you proactively look “behind the walls of Olin Hall” and if you are open to mix and mingle with different groups of the Babson Community such as the undergrads.
I enjoy acting. I used to practice it until I the start of my adolescence and I am confident to say that acting has taught me some of the most powerful lessons I use in business life! During my first MBA semester I had to goal to go back to acting and after contacting the Sorenson Theater I managed to get into a casting for a play directed by Professor Beth Wynstra.
And yes, I was the only graduate student there. And yes, I believe at the beginning all undergraduate students might have wondered why a grad student would choose to do that! Well, here are the reasons:
- Acting makes you compromise: While acting one on of the basis of success is to “compromise with your role”, which means staying in character, embodying every aspect of the person you are representing. There is no space for distraction or for shame. In business you need to the same when you are leading, you have a goal and you commit to it until the end.
- Acting is a natural training for Public Speaking: If you ever have kids, do not hesitate to suggest theater as a practice. Acting is fun training for public speaking and persuasion. In business great leaders are those who can talk fearless in front of audiences, know how to improvise when needed and are genuine storytellers.
- Acting develops your Discipline: Preparing for a play is a serious process, even on the amateur level. You need to agree, commit and deliver to the rehearsal schedule, plus invest extra time for individual preparation.
I would encourage every grad student to explore options through the Sorenson Theater if any sort of art is your passion. Creativity is one of the most valuable assets of an entrepreneur and our society is demanding more and more “right brainers” who can tackle conventional problems in unconventional ways. Art is a shortcut to become that type of leader.
Images of “The Laramie Project” Production which Oriana was a part of.
Oriana Torres, Babson MBA Class of 2013