Entrepreneurship Faculty Profile: Mary Gale
Mary Gale is a prominent member of the Babson community, adored campus-wide for her giving nature and infectious energy.
I got to know her while working for the Summer Venture Program, for which she is the faculty director. While out of state for the San Francisco Summer Venture Showcase, she shared via phone call her commitment to students, fascination with technology and why she believes Babson is so special.
What is your role at Babson? How long have you been at Babson?
I am a lecturer in entrepreneurship and have been at Babson since 2011. This began with a semester as entrepreneur in residence. Afterwards, I became a Summer Venture Program advisor, and taught my first class in Fall, 2011. In addition to continuing involvement with Summer Venture Program, I am part of a team working on an entrepreneurship ecosystem project in Manizales, Colombia.
Why did you come to Babson?
After being an entrepreneur for decades, I wanted to give back to the next generation. Through networking and luck, I found my way to Babson.
What classes do you teach?
I teach mostly undergraduate classes, including the introductory course, Entrepreneurship and Opportunity; a course on social entrepreneurship; and two technology entrepreneurship courses, one with Babson and Olin students, and the other for students in the Semester inSan Francisco program. In addition, I teach an MBA class in managing growth.
What area of research do you focus on?
Although I love acquiring new knowledge and discovery, my major responsibilities do not include substantial formal research. That said, I write cases and spend a lot of time trying to understand and apply certain areas of entrepreneurship to what I teach, for example, how technology is going to influence development, entrepreneurship, and improve society. Also, I experiment with new ways to teach entrepreneurship.
Technology is very seductive, and we’ve already seen the way it changes how we interact with people and develop new organizations. It will change life, work, and society at an accelerating pace. It’s fascinating to see how companies and people are adapting and applying that technology and what they might need to consider to use it effectively in the future.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Practical and thoughtful implementation of an idea to a concrete, sustainable means of bringing value to people. This is very much aligned with Babson’s Entrepreneurial Thought and Action approach. It’s a simple concept and, in my experience, it’s how entrepreneurs operate.
What does the world need from entrepreneurs today?
I believe deeply in the ability of today’s entrepreneurs to succeed in ways that many former generations of entrepreneurs have not been able to. This is in part because technology accelerates learning and implementation. Also, entrepreneurs today have a more open view about sharing information that will help people find economic and social value in a global and scalable way. The world needs people to do just that: collaborate, share, and create solutions that have a better chance of being effective.
Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs?
Think deeply about how your idea will create value and how this will affect real people.
After you take action, commit to figuring out what you learned.
Acquire learning actively.
Become a Master Googler.
Talk to customers from the time you start researching your idea to the time you leave your business.
What do you think makes Babson unique?
People at Babson are open to new ideas and are very action-oriented. It is a privilege to work with a community of motivated, fun, and hard-working students and colleagues across the entire institution. Everybody works together to learn, create solutions, and innovate without a lot of barriers.
What do you do for fun?
Traveling and being in the outdoors, including sailing and boating of all kinds. I love spending time with my husband, two children, and two grandchildren.
Describe yourself in four words.
Doer, conceptualist, information-hound, values.
Anything else people should know?
My door is open. I love interacting with students and colleagues, sharing ideas and having two-way learning experiences. Come see me about anything.