Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

The Babson Dream Team! Musings From A Year Gone By

This is the final graduate life blog for 2016-17, and Humans of Babson has been a revelation this year. As the President of the Graduate Student Council for next year, I have a variety of responsibilities, yet I volunteered to write this one. But I may end up regretting taking this task up because writing about one wonderful person is hard, try three.

Alyssa Lee, first ever Madame President for Grad School, forever smiling and magical in her presence. Santiago Vazquez, my first brush with brilliance packed in every move, every strategy. Prateek Chakrabarty, with the advice, the time, the selflessness in everything. 1 year into my MBA life, I wonder how one becomes friends with a group of people who you can call at 2 AM, and talk about the complexities of strategies for the community’s betterment and plan the next big party in the same breath?

(From L-R) Alyssa Lee, Santiago Vazquez, Prateek Chakrabarty

So for the final Humans of Babson feature of this academic year, we ask the three most “looked up to” leaders what they thought about each other.

  • Alyssa on Santi and Prateek

What are a few inimitable qualities about Santi and Prateek that make them one of a kind?

Santiago is an on the ground mover and shaker in the Babson Community. He’s also my partner in crime as the Exec VP in the GSC. He cares about the Babson reputation and making the community a more connected place. In all, he spends at least 5-10 hours per week on the ground, working on events and initiatives that help build the Babson Community. We all owe him thanks for his time and efforts.

Prateek is engaged to a wonderful woman, although sometimes I think his first love is Babson College. To summarize Prateek’s involvement and eagerness to improve the Babson community, every time in a GSC meeting when someone brings forth an issue, Prateek ALWAYS takes the lead in thinking of and following through on next actionable steps. He’s extremely generous, and sometimes too generous with the amount of time and effort that he puts into improving the Babson Community.

Prateek, with his fiancee, Aishwarya Iyer

An unforgettable moment that you shared with them?

Santi is known for bringing our class together by hosting amazing barbecues at his house, and inviting everyone, all 150+ of us! At his last barbecue in spring 2016, he surprised us all by proposing to his now wife Dennise Tellez. Almost the whole class was there to share the moment, in addition to an awesome mariachi band.

Santi – proposing to his now wife, Dennise

Prateek was the ONLY ONE in my 1st year MBA section to ALWAYS do his homework. Case in point, our final corporate finance class with Professor Taillard, none of my other classmates could complete the assignment, because we had a billion other things to do. Thankfully the professor knew he could call on Prateek for answers even when the rest of us were falling behind.

What else should the Babson Community know about them?

Santi secured a $12,000 company sponsorship in 2016 to fund the 2016 Health Care forum. The healthcare club was short on funds to hold their annual keynote event, so he went out and hustled, and networked to get funding and make the event happen. Since then, the GSC has depended on Santi’s steely resilience and unbeatable charm to fund most of the school’s events.

Prateek is the Babson MBA Soccer Team coach, and helped lead the team to the grad school’s first ever sports championship victory in the form of the 2016 Yale Cup. He also single-handedly raised $1,500 from the Babson community to help support the Soccer Team’s travels to other competitions around the country.

Prateek, the coach of the Babson MBA soccer team at the Yale Fields after winning the 2016 Yale Cup

  • Santi on Alyssa and Prateek

What are a few inimitable qualities about Alyssa and Prateek that make them one of a kind?

I’ve had the opportunity to work and lead with Alyssa in both academic and social projects, and I can tell her enthusiastic and energetic approach always yields the best results. With a smile on her face, even when going through the toughest times, Alyssa powers though every challenge thrown at her. The quality about her that I resonate most with is that she likes to go beyond the requirements always hoping to make something better and more meaningful. As the Graduate Student Council’s president, she headed the design and implementation of a series of reforms and processes that I am sure will carry on to the future GSCs.

Prateek is your “go to” guy for anything at Babson. He just knows everything or can easily point you in the right direction. Working with him in the GSC was great because I knew that whatever I was up to, Prateek would always find time to help and go beyond. He was always open to ideas about having better events and how to improve the community, and with him I had the opportunity to engage in many a deep and meaningful conversation. He has a rare ability to communicate exactly what he has in his mind, and on top of that he has great written skills as exhibited by all the “Humans of Babson” blogs he’s written, in addition to a few published poems and articles.

An unforgettable moment that you’ve shared with them.

It’s hard for me to single out an unforgettable moment with Alyssa, because there are just so many of them. I believe we might be one of the very few Babsonians that got to work together for three consecutive semesters, so we have many stories together. But it did not start out that way, Lee and I first met as contenders for the vice-presidency of the First-Year batch that resulted in Lee winning over me by ONE vote. Shortly thereafter, we were placed together in the same BCAP group. It did not take long for us to bond and become a great duo. From that point on, we started working together quite well. I am usually the bad cop to her good cop so we balance each other out.

Santi (L) and Alyssa (2nd L) were in the same BCAP team and have been inseparable since

Alongside a fantastic team, Prateek and I worked together to create Buffoonery, hands down the best event this year. Nothing can compare to the brainstorming sessions that we would hold together to test the boundaries of political correctness and comedy. I can only imagine that this is how the writing rooms from comedy shows like SNL look like. To this day I still sing in my head Prateek’s “YMBA” – his ingenious sing along take on the YMCA song.

The Buffoonery Team – headed by Mark Gagliardi (Center) along with Prateek (being throttled) and Santi (flat on the left)

What else should the Babson Community know about them?

Alyssa is also engaged to be married to Sam Huntington. Not only is she ever present at school as our GSC motto requires her to be, but she juggles her personal life and interests with aplomb while keeping up with academics and job hunting. On another personal note, she cooks mind blowing-ly delicious dumplings, and is looking to make a foray into the food industry with a concept restaurant featuring her delicious creations.

Alyssa with her fiance – Sam Huntington

Prateek is a huge Manchester United fan. He regularly hosts game viewing parties at his place which are attended by professors as well. He was also the Graduate soccer team coach and went on to win the prestigious Yale Cup. And not a lot of people know this, but he’s also a great singer.

Prateek (far Right) singing during “Creating” in Sept 2015

  • Prateek on Alyssa and Santi.

What are a few inimitable qualities about Alyssa and Santi that make them one of a kind?

Alyssa is a tireless bundle of energy. She would often bike to school from Cambridge – that’s about 10 miles, spend 9 hours at school doing her work, and help out over a hundred others with theirs. While most of us would often crib and complain about the amount of work we had, she would go about her day having twice the amount of work with an infectious smile on her face. That – the ability to go through a grueling day, each day for 21 months of this program with a jovial attitude – is quintessential Alyssa.

Quintessential Alyssa – Smiling and beaming her way through the chaos

Jorge Santiago Vazquez Manjarrez is the most resourceful person I’ve come across at Babson. We’re cash-strapped a lot of times when we envision events, but Santi ALWAYS makes it a point to see to it that we manage to get the money required for everything. The GSC started off this year with a deficit of close to $20,000, which greatly limited us from doing a lot of what we planned. Alyssa, Santi and I set forth a broad goal to leave at least $1 in the bank for the next GSC, and we’ve followed through on that. All down to this man’s resourcefulness.

An unforgettable moment that you’ve shared with them.

In October last year, the second years led by the GSC surprised the first years with a basket of goodies for each SLE team as they sat through the 24 hour strategy exam. All this was down to Alyssa’s impeccable planning. She led the entire operation from sourcing the food down to making sure the distribution was flawless. Needless to say, the operation was a major hit, and all the first years were tremendously grateful. The look of unfiltered happiness on Alyssa’s face after the evening was a defining moment. She is all about spreading happiness and cheer, and this was the epitome of that facet.

In April 2017, one of Babson’s marquee events – the Grad International dinner – was under serious threat of being called off because of miscommunication between the caterers and the participants, and the convoluted laws the town of Wellesley institutes. During the GSC meeting when this was being discussed I saw Santi’s face change color 4 times. Not one to be bogged down by this, Santi within 30 minutes charted out a plan to execute the Grad Dinner in his own way if the scheduled event were to be called off in any case. He made sure that the event went ahead unencumbered, and it was a huge success.

What else should the Babson Community know about them?

Alyssa is a wonderful dancer. She’s apparently also a wonderful softball player, and throws it down in the evenings at times with the local softball teams in Cambridge. She also used to play the piano adding to the all-roundedness she possesses.

Santi is FRIENDS’ Monica Geller-come-to-life at least in terms of being a neat freak. In the list of unforgettable moments shared with both Alyssa and Santi, in early August last year, the three of us cleaned out the GSC room (which was being used as a store room), and turned it into an office space – The GSC office space. And most of it was down to Santi having terrible OCD when it comes to cleanliness.

“The Famous Five” upto some shenanigans in the GSC room – (L-R) Santi, Alyssa, Flora, Mark and Prateek

And there you have it, as members and leaders of the Graduate School, they’ve lived up to all the promises they made, some to the school, some to each other and some to themselves. It’s a testament to their brilliance that at the Leadership recognition dinner, the three of them were mentioned in each category. Leaving a place better than you discovered it, is hard, but the three of them leave behind a legacy of a Babson that cares, helps, pushes hard for what it believes in and strives to become the best version of itself. A Babson that’s awesome.

And finally, as just one of the many, many people you have impacted; on behalf of all of them, Alyssa, Santi and Prateek, thank you!

Guest Writer: Saachi Singh; President, Graduate Student Council (2017-18)

Hometown: New Delhi, India
Education: Delhi University (Acharya Narayan Dev College), New Delhi
Previous Experience: Strategy Manager – Contemporary Connect; Associate Analyst – Yatra.
Activities: Incoming President, Graduate Student Council; Co-chair, Babson Entrepreneurship Forum 2017
Favorite Babson Entrepreneur: Juan Giraldo, Founder – Wanku