Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

Life at Babson: A Letter to All First-Years

Guest Writer: Melissa Altarejos


Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Education: University of Southern California
Previous Experience: Marketing & Advertising – Dailey & Associates, RPA, Let’s Eat It All Up
Activities: Babson Entrepreneurship Club, Graduate Student Council, Marketing Club
Favorite Babson Entrepreneur: Jon Feinman, Innercity Weightlifting


To all first-years:

Your first year is going to be challenging.
Your first year is going to be extremely busy.
Your first year is going to be stressful.

Breathe. Your constant companion will be the persistent thought of your busy schedule. Days where meetings overlap. Endless reading assignments—some of which you’ll fall asleep on because your daytime activities ended at nine, ten o’clock at night. And you’ll make desperate efforts to acknowledge one of the main reasons of why you’re here—to build a network.

Soon you’ll find yourself in the midst of the second, third, fourth module. You’ll find yourself testing out a new lifestyle, one that benefits your mental health and allows your brain to consume more knowledge. Because you’ll consume—you’ll have no choice. And thank goodness you have no choice because life right now is go, go, go.


Taking a break from on-going work in your SLE Learning group

The consumption of knowledge and caffeine will go hand in hand. So will your consumption of pizza—and boy is there a lot of pizza! Pizza will be the lure for every event. And you’ll take the bait because no matter how crappy it may be, it is the definitive meal of a broke graduate student.

While you try to keep your head above water, schedule every assignment, every project, and every event into your Google Calendar, you’ll find yourself rhythmically going from one task to another. The days will pass by so quickly you’ll wonder why you ever questioned how you were going to be away from home for so long.

In fact, home will be the last thing on your mind as you’re exploring a city so different from yours–whether you’re simply hiking through Wellesley’s beautifully quaint, woodsy neighborhoods as the leaves change, eating at Rail Trail Flatbread Co. to see first-hand Babson’s own Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® methodology at work, or expanding your primary research on Newbury Street as an excuse to check out Boston’s iconic brownstones.

It’ll be the last thing on your mind when you are laughing so hard with your SLE group for no other plausible explanation other than getting a sugar high from the sweets your classmates brought in and developing cabin fever from the amount of time you spend in your beloved SLE room.

It’ll be the last thing on your mind as your professors talk about their own experiences as an entrepreneur, a leader, and an individual–weaving the excitement of potential opportunities into your growth as a student and as a person.

So yes, your first year will be challenging.
It will be extremely busy.
And I can promise you, it will be stressful.

But it will be awesome.

So long as you remember to breathe.


Babson SLE Groups (Signature Learning Experience Groups) are made up of 5-6 students from diverse backgrounds. Left to right: Andres Hinojosa MBA ’17, Johnny Kerr MBA ’17, Melissa Altarjos MBA ’17, Kunal Alaigh MBA ’17, Johanna Geisinger MBA ’17, Yutaka Murakami MBA ’17