Making Connections: Blended Learning MBA Startup Week
On Tuesday, October 25, the entire Fall 2016 Blended Learning cohort came to campus for the first time for Startup Week. While the majority of the program takes place online, the Blended Learning program utilizes a hybrid format, with in-person sessions scheduled throughout its 21-month duration. Startup Week is one of only two times that the entire cohort, consisting of both the Wellesley and San Francisco groups, is in the same room together, with the second taking place about a year later. I am occasionally asked why this program isn’t fully online, and I usually respond by emphasizing the personal and professional growth that results from intimate, face-to-face connections with advisors and fellow students. Those are the kind of connections that are at the center of Startup Week.
Babson College has six clearly defined learning goals with an overall mission to educate entrepreneurial leaders. A large component of this is to foster a collaborative and innovative community. The Blended Learning program strives to add to this community by bringing together working entrepreneurs of all kinds who will each contribute their professional experience and technical knowledge to the classroom. The class of Fall 2016 entered with an average of ten years of work experience, from over 100 different employers, and from over 60 different colleges and universities from around the globe. Throughout the week, various new members of the Blended Learning community stopped by my office or emailed to tell me about their group, the people that they met, and the ideas they are hoping to put into place in their own work environments. That is why the in-person meetings are of vital importance to Babson. We are extremely proud of our online experience, but it works because we have paired it with the chance to shake the hands of those with whom you are collaborating online. The relationships of our students are deeply rooted because they have tapped into a shared wealth of knowledge, begun by shared experiential learning.
Welcome to the Fall 2016 Blended Learning Cohort. We are so excited to have you all add to our community.