Two Babson MBA Students Honored as “Best & Brightest MBAs” by Poets & Quants
Bryanne Leeming MBA ’16 and Siddharth Astir MBA ’16 have been honored as two of Poets & Quants Best & Brightest MBAs In the Class of 2016. Out of approximately 200 submissions, 100 graduating MBA students were chosen. Fifty-seven of them are women, and 53 different MBA programs are represented.
“This year’s selections were a diverse group that ranged from a White House staff member to alternative rock singer and guitarist,” says Jeff Schmitt of Poets & Quants. “Through their actions, each embodied how business could be used as an instrument to disrupt norms, add value, serve needs, and achieve social good. And their inclusion is a reflection of the quality of [each] program — and the world class talent that [they] attract.”
Leeming is a 2016 graduate of the F.W. Olin Graduate School Full-time MBA program at Babson. She is the Founder and CEO of JumpSmart, a small business creating interactive STEM education products for children ages 8-12. Her first product is the JumpSmart Mat, which kids can code using a block programming language to create games and designs that require physical activity.. After graduation she will be continuing to run her business as Founder and CEO.
When asked about her proudest moment at Babson, Leeming says, “I am most proud of my time as Co-Chair of the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum. I gave myself a high bar to hit including selling more than 500 tickets after previous years of less than 300 attendees. I also wanted to make this year’s [forum] a more collaborative effort, so I connected with Olin College of Engineering to host a panel as well as 10 separate Babson clubs at the undergraduate and graduate level. I was able to plan and execute this event while also hitting key milestones for JumpSmart, like getting funding and adding key team members. In fact, running the [forum] was the best preparation I could have had for starting my own company.”
When asked, ‘Why Babson?’– Leeming says, “for graduate school, the choice was simple because I knew exactly what I could create with my background in cognitive science, product development, and technology, so I could come in sprinting. I pitched JumpSmart for the first time within the first two months of school and have not stopped since. I was inspired by stories of past Babson entrepreneurs because of the conscious companies and social enterprises that have emerged from the graduate school as well.”
Astir is also a 2016 graduate of the F.W. Olin Graduate School Full-time MBA program at Babson. He is a digital marketing strategist at VaynerMedia and the director of his own company, P.K.Astir & Co, which produces high-grade laces and fabrics to manufacturers, exporters, and suppliers.
When asked, ‘What was the most surprising thing about business school?’– Astir says, “the high level of collaboration. I always thought that top MBA schools would be very competitive and the cut-throat. However, at Babson, [students] are looking for opportunities to collaborate within and also outside Babson. The entrepreneurial spirit at Babson, and the many entrepreneurs around you, help make you see the world differently. The belief that people have in themselves and the trust they show in their peers helps in building a strong network and lifelong relationships.”
When asked, ‘Why Babson?’– Astir says, “Babson has ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship for the last 23 years, and there is a very strong reason for that. All faculty at Babson have either run or are currently running a business. The insights you get from professors’ real life experiences are the best learning experiences. Unlike most business schools, Babson students are very collaborative and are always willing to go out of their way to help a fellow student. The resources like the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and the Stephen D. Cutler Center for Investments and Finance are very unique, and making full use of these can kick-start every MBA’s journey to success. Making full use of these resources helped me kick start my idea, Cleanzy, through the Rocket Pitch event at Babson.”