Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

Finding and Forging a Different Path

By Allyson Kummins ’21.

For a large portion of my life, I told myself and everyone around me that I was going to be an accountant. I’m not even sure I knew what it meant at first, but I said it anyway. As I got older, I found a love for business in every aspect – except accounting. I came to Babson on a few visits with my business class during junior year of high school and, during an info session, found an opportunity to study here over the summer. At that point, I still wasn’t clear about what the word “entrepreneurship” meant, but I knew Babson was a business school, and that was all I needed to get on board.

Applying to Summer Study was a long shot and a last minute choice that I made on a whim shortly before the application deadline. I really didn’t know what was going to come out of it, but from start to finish my summer experience solidified that Babson was the place for me. I loved the professors and the content in my classes, but more importantly, I loved the conversations I was able to have with peers and student mentors. I hadn’t had a good conversation about business with another person close to my age before, so I was shocked when I was able to do that with any of my 80+ classmates during Summer Study.

Now, a year and a half later, I’m finishing my first semester here at Babson, and I’ve learned so much more than I ever imagined. My on campus exploration brought me back to The Lewis Institute. After Summer Study, I kept in touch with the office during my application process and came back to visit multiple times during preview days, so I was excited that Emily and Cheryl wanted me to join their team.

Social innovation was fairly new to me, and I didn’t really see myself working in the space as a career, but I came in with an open mind and was ready for a great learning experience. During my first few weeks on campus I attended Good Business Friday – a Lewis Institute staple I had heard so much about, and though I didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation, I thoroughly enjoyed listening. My job now allows me to work and learn simultaneously through conversations, research, and making connections, most of which I can’t do in a traditional classroom setting. This semester has completely changed the way I view social innovation and its applications. I didn’t see myself working for a non-profit, so I didn’t think it was for me, but I never realized that the concepts can be applied just as easily to any business in any industry.

I’m still exploring everything that Babson has to offer, and I am unsure of what career I will end up with, but the way that I have continued to think about the future is changing so much. No matter where I go, I hope to bring the ideas I’m developing here at Babson, and The Lewis Institute will feed into the work that I do in some way.