“ETA Live!” – Practicing What We Promote
Every day I speak with candidates about Babson’s acclaimed teaching methodology, Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®, and how this approach to education makes Babson such a special place to learn. Similarly, I talk at length about how our graduate programs focus heavily on critical thinking, collaboration, and navigating ambiguity. I do my best to practice this approach often and very much had the opportunity to do so while working on “ETA Live: A Virtual Welcome Event for MSEL Students”.
On a regular basis the Office of Graduate Admissions has several different welcome events: Admitted Student Days, webinars, dinners with staff and faculty, and so on. This, however, was the very first time we organized a virtual welcome event, and one that had many unique and unfamiliar components requiring a significant amount of cross-campus collaboration.
Admitted MSEL students from all over the world joined together to serve in hypothetical roles as “America’s Best Consultants”. They were tasked with addressing “big, hairy, audacious goals” in small virtual breakout groups and told to come up with radical, innovative, and entrepreneurial solutions to intractable problems…and that they did. From delivery of affordable health care to reduction of traffic and congestion in places like NYC and Mexico City, our incoming MSEL’s engaged in out-of-the box problem solving to address these seemingly unsolvable issues.
Of course I was extremely impressed with the collaboration and caliber of our students (as I always am), but I also enjoyed having the opportunity to truly practice ETA myself. This exercise required staff and faculty from various departments such as IT, Graduate Admissions, Experiential Learning, and various academic divisions to collaborate on an exercise surrounded by much uncertainty. Many questions were present: Would technology cooperate? Would our students be able to engage with one another when literally located all over the world? Would the exercise succeed in executing its intended goal? Truly, we did not know…but we tried (and succeeded!). In the end, this experience reminded me of why Babson is such a special place to work and to study. We may not always know the answers or outcomes, but we are always motivated to try, to take risks, and to collaborate as one Babson community serving our students.
” ETA at its finest – ETA Live: A Virtual Welcome Event for MSEL Students” provided our participating students with a small sample of how we do Experiential Learning here at Babson! Each member of the Babson community, Faculty, Staff and Students, engage in analytical and creative approaches to problem solving, many times in the face of uncertainty. This type of learning provides our Graduate Students a stage to successfully problem solve real challenges in real time and deliver creative solutions.”
-Nancy Doherty, Director of Experiential Learning, Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business