Not the typical entrepreneurs
When most people think of the word entrepreneurship the definition that typically comes to mind is starting and running your own business. That’s true for Babson as well, but only partially.
At Babson College the word “entrepreneurship” engulfs so much more. The standard answer for a request to define the word “entrepreneurship” here would be “entrepreneurship is making things happen” or “entrepreneurship is the process of turning ideas into reality”. Hence the Babson slogan: “explore, connect and make it happen”.
This sort of entrepreneurship is a mindset and a lifestyle at Babson College. As long as the student is passionate enough, the administration will go out of its way to help him/her out. You see this in all corners of the college:
The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship as well as the Entrepreneurship Tower (a living and learning community of students starting up their own ventures) support students in identifying opportunities as well as starting, optimizing and running personal ventures.
One of my favorite examples from this category is ThinkLite, a company started by two Babson sophomores Dinesh Wadhwani and Enrico Palmerino. ThinkLite provides customized energy-saving light systems and capitalizes on a portion of its customer’s savings. Enrico and Dinesh were recently featured among the top 25 Best Young Entrepreneurs in BusinessWeek and are projected to drive $3.5 million in revenue this year.
Babson has over 100 organizations which is A LOT for a school with under 2000 students. There is a very high likelihood that you’ll find one that meets your interests. If you do not it is overtly simple to start your own. To get registered by the Student Government and receive funding all that the prospective club/organization has to do is find an advisor, develop a charter and show that other students are interested in it as well.
I got to experience this myself when my very good friend Carlos Trevino and I found that the martial arts offered at Babson did not meet our areas of interest. The Sernkai Ju-Jitsu classes were focused more on self-defense than working your body, did not have sparring and did not match our backgrounds in boxing. After developing a charter and getting over 75 signatures of interested students we now receive $2500/semester for fighting equipment and a professional coach for the Babson Mixed Martial Arts Club.
3) Making a difference
Social responsibility is at the heart of Babson College. There are a series of clubs and organizations that support students in making a difference in areas that keep them up at night. Just to list a few: Best Buddies, The Babson Green Tower, Habitat for Humanity, Women Giving Back, the Rotary Club and the Philanthropy Tower. If there aren’t any organizations that impact the area of your interest the Bernon Center can help you solve this problem.
The Bernon Center for Public Service aids the Babson community in finding ways to make a positive net impact by providing you with volunteer opportunities, putting you in contact with the necessary non-profits and initiative leaders and helping you design your own way to make a difference.
Marissa Uvanovic was very passionate about fighting gendered violence. She discovered Web of Benefit her freshman year when the Bernon Center aided her FME company in connecting with volunteer opportunities. After completing her community service Marissa continued participating in the activities of Web of Benefit, a non-profit that empowers women through the provision of self-sufficiency to survivors of domestic violence in the Boston and Chicago areas. Today (three years later) she is the backbone of the organization. She juggles a large portion the behind the scene work with client management, data management, accounting, marketing, communications, and grant submissions. Marissa built Web of Benefit’s presence on the internet from the ground up; creating and maintaining all social media accounts and creating and designing all of their websites.
How’s that for entrepreneurship?
4) Paving a Career Path
How can finding a job be related to entrepreneurship? Well as I said, Babson’s definition of entrepreneurship is “explore, connect and make it happen”. Once you have a vision of a career path that you crave to turn into reality the Babson Center for Career Development (CCD) will do all it can to help you achieve it. The CCD will help you target the right companies/organizations and arm you with an arsenal of tools such as defining your personal brand, training you to become a networking guru and trying to give you as much preparation as possible through over 25 different career training seminars.
Instead of giving an example I’ll just provide one simple statistic: over 97% of Babson graduates either have jobs or are in graduate school within 6 months of graduation. Not a lot of schools can say that.
These were just a few of the bigger examples of the atypical entrepreneurial atmosphere at Babson College as well as a few reasons why I am in absolute and unconditional love with this amazing institution.
Hope you enjoyed the post!
I’m off to exploring, connecting and making things happen!
-By Shoney Yakubjanov