Finding a Home Away from Home: Babson India Symposium
As we sat in the Sorensen Theater listening to Nishtha Yogesh MBA ‘18 practice the opening address, it felt like only yesterday we were sitting in an Olin classroom discussing the marketing plan of the third Babson India Symposium – Best of a Billion Minds.
In her speech, Nishtha talks about what the Babson India Symposium is all about and what it means to us at Babson: the celebration of the success of Indian entrepreneurs and business professionals in India and abroad.
The planning for the March event began in November. The entire team for the India Symposium constituted of graduate and undergraduate Indian students. Five members made up the marketing team, but 45 members across the events, finance and speaker outreach teams made up the committee for the 2018 Symposium.
Working on such events at Babson always makes you learn something new and add to your skillset. Having taken on the responsibility of creating the promotional video of the symposium, I got the opportunity to work on Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects and master my video editing skills. The best part about working with this team was you didn’t have to go in knowing everything. The attitude was to learn together.
Moving more than 7,500 miles from home is not an easy task, but events like these that help you realize what a big family you have here at Babson. I have not felt closer to home in the past few months than I have in the weeks of planning the Babson India Symposium. The icing on the cake was the Indian lunch the committee decided to serve on the day of the event.
The agenda of the full day event comprised of three keynote speakers – India’s first individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra; Malini Agarwal – founder and blogger in chief, missmalini.com (the co-founder is a Babson alumnus Mike Melli ‘04) and Anupam Kher, a famous Bollywood and Indian theater artist. Panel discussions on topics such as what stops India from making a larger impact and why are some entrepreneurs successful were planned between the keynotes. One of the panels we were excited for was Babson Comes Back, moderated by President Kerry Healey. We were just looking for some inspiration through the success stories of Babson alumni!
Organizing the Babson India Symposium felt like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. It was amazing how individual pieces from different verticals of the organizing committee started to fit perfectly with each other. For me personally, the puzzle fitting together was learnings from within the classroom being applied to the real world. Budgeting for the events using activity based costing and pitching for sponsorship, all of it felt like a practical test after the first two modules.
The lights are back on at Sorensen Theater and we are done with the dry run of the event, but nobody wants to leave. We can’t believe it’s coming to an end. Throughout the three months of planning the event, I don’t know when teams became a family. It will be difficult to say goodbye to this family after the event is over and if given a chance, I’d do it over and over again.