For an undergraduate school of just over two thousand, Greek Life has a strong presence at Babson. The school holds roughly a thirty three percent participation rate, which represents not only Greek Life’s strong presence within the community but also a shared desire among the student body to explore and invest themselves in the values of scholarship, leadership, service, respect and unity. The Greek system here has historically done an excellent job of not only maintaining these values, as since the fall of 2009 the All Greek GPA has always been higher than the all Babson GPA. Fraternities and sororities have also done an excellent job of exemplifying the school’s value of integrating students from all backgrounds, philosophies, and socioeconomic statuses.
Professor Craig Ehrlich is an Associate Professor of Law, teaching business law to undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to this, he was a practicing lawyer in Chicago and Seoul for fifteen years.
Free Press: How did you come to be a professor?
Craig Ehrlich: I read wanted ads in the Chronicle of Higher Education. I was practicing law at the time. I was overseas and I really wanted to come back to America. I got really tired of being a foreigner and I got really tired of living in the third world too, to be honest. So I wanted to come home—had to do that. And at the same time, I needed a new job. I thought of making a career change because I had been, at that time, a lawyer for fifteen years, and it pretty much sucks. So I subscribed and answered wanted ads and got called in for an interview. That’s how I came here.
FP: Do you like it here?
CE: Most of the time, yes. I would say it’s a lot less stressful. For sure I’m not going to court here and I don’t have to chase clients to get paid the way practicing lawyers or anyone in business does. In that sense, it’s a lot easier and simpler, and therefore less stressful. On the other hand, it’s a lot less adventure because dramatic things hardly ever happen here.
FP: How long have you been teaching?
CE: At the end of this calendar year I’ll have completed 20 full years of teaching.
FP: Would you go back to practicing law?
CE: One—I don’t know it anymore. I know a lot more law than I did when I was practicing. But what you know to practice is different from what you know to teach. One is theory and the other is practice and I don’t know the practical side anymore.
Two—the world still has more lawyers than it needs.
Three—I’m disillusioned with law generally. I have no respect for the institution anymore because we’re so over-lawyered and so over-lawed. There’s regulations and fine print everywhere. Even on the syllabus here at Babson there’s supposed to be fine print now about the rights of the students. I just consider that to be over-regulation. So I don’t want that increase in the amount of law that already exists.
FP: Why did you want to come back?
CE: I wanted to come back from the moment I got there, to be honest. I spent nine years in Seoul and it sucked from day one. It’s a developing country, it’s not American, it’s not happy and friendly, but the work was fascinating. I got onto the world stage through the backdoor. Here’s some little guy who graduated in the middle of his class from a mediocre grad school and suddenly I’m working on cases with the most famous lawyers in the United States. I learned how to be a good lawyer because I had really good colleagues to copy.
FP: Can you talk about an interesting case?
CE: No. There’s only two cases that have the best stories. The stories are so good that I only tell them now in my criminal law class. If I give them away no one would take my class. Got to take my class to hear the stories.
“You’re going to have to work hard in school and on the job. The only way to you can do that is if you love what you’re doing. Pick a subject that you love, and work really, really hard.”
FP: What part of law did you do?
CE: In Chicago I was a litigator and I was doing corporate and commercial cases. I was in court arguing every day. And when I went to Korea I did international business transactions. Both business law, but one in court and one in the office.
FP: Did you speak Korean?
CE: Yes, very bad Korean.
FP: Which one did you like more?
CE: Well, they were each good in their own way and I learned very different things from both. In Chicago I learned how a big city court system works and I learned about corruption, Chicago style. In Korea I learned how the world, as a whole works. So I like them both equally well.
FP: Have you always lived in the city?
CE: I’m just now starting to make my way out of the metro area. I’m hoping next year to be living up in New Hampshire because that’s really where I want to be. I figured, well, I’m old enough now, I’ve sort of paid my dues in life, maybe I’m entitled to do exactly what I want, which is to live really close to the mountains and the forest. That’s where I feel energized and refreshed and I feel right in the world the way you just can’t feel sitting in traffic.
FP: How about hobbies outside of work?
CE: I’m an incredibly dull and boring person. I used to have a lot of hobbies and at this point they’ve all dwindled and become forest work. I used to pursue other athletic activities. I used to do gymnastics and I used to practice judo as a boy. I used to have a coin collection, which is sort of lame. In terms of what I really enjoy doing at home, I love listening to music and I wish I could play a music or sing. I love that more than anything else.
FP: Advice to people who want to go into law school?
CE: It costs a lot of money to go to law school. If you can get into a good state law school, do that.People generally are not satisfied with law as a profession. If you want to be a lawyer, go be a small town lawyer. Get to know your clients and get to know them for a lifetime. Take care of them like a family doctor might and that could be a satisfying, wonderful career. If you want to be a small cog in a big machine and do paperwork and big deals, you probably going to end up hating it like everyone else and I’d say don’t waste your time going to law school.
FP: Any advice to freshman starting out college?
CE: I think a lot of students think it’s all about making connections and networking. That has some value but the advice I would give is to take the academics and classwork seriously. I see a fairly large percentage of the undergraduate population think that this is a social experience and the way to get ahead in business is by making valuable social contacts. My advice would be number one, that’s bullshit. Number two, this is the place to do hard, hard work. And if you can’t do it, you probably shouldn’t be in business anyways.
Now, I’m going to go further than that. I’ll give you the same advice I gave my daughter. I told her this: the middle class is disappearing and that’s a fact. And the world is going to consist of the well to do and those that are living lives of misery and poverty. And it’s important to me, dear daughter, that you’re in the better group and not the worse off group.
The way to do that is to work really, really hard. You’re going to have to work hard in school and on the job. The only way to you can do that is if you love what you’re doing. Pick a subject that you love, and work really, really hard. That was the mistake I made in college. If I could go back it would be to go back with my head on straight, which it was not when I was eighteen years old. And to work like a demon studying and being the very best student I could be.
That’s my one great big regret in life, it was that I was a screw-up for most of my time in college and law school. So my advice to students is that you have a precious opportunity and someone is paying a hell of a lot of money for you to be here, so don’t waste the opportunity by failing to study.
Step into the shoes of a college student in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. The newest “craze” are personal computers – big, bulky machines that only displayed command prompts and weighed a ton. They honestly looked stupid. And the people who sat hunched over those tiny screens might have looked like idiots – or worse – nerds.
Fast forward a little less than a decade and the Apple 1 comes out; soon computers start to become mainstream. A few short years later and a bright student from Harvard noticed that these computers lacked meaningful software, and launches a startup called Microsoft.
I don’t need to paint the picture any further. The point isn’t that computers started out as stupid machines and then became ubiquitous.
A course-by-course guide to explaining Babson at Thanksgiving dinner
Being the smart and astute people that all Babsonians are, we all know that preparation for Thanksgiving is a must. However, while Thanksgiving preparation for typical college students starts and ends with making sure that you come hungry to the big feast, Babson students face an additional task: being prepared to talk about Babson (especially if you’re not from the state of Massachusetts).
Although we all know how awesome and amazing Babson is, not all of our relatives do. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s the scenario:
It’s Thanksgiving Dinner time and you’re ready to dig into all the delicious food on the table… but your journey to this year’s annual food coma is interrupted by your forgetful grandmother/distanced cousin/annoying uncle: “What’s Babson!?”
Just as with any good Thanksgiving meal, you want to make sure you start off your deluge of Babson facts lightly (the basics), then lead into the juicy (and more interesting) details, and end the presentation with a soothing touch.
Here’s a great way to appease your relatives’ hunger for Babson that won’t interfere with your relatives’ (and your) quest for the after-meal glow.
As with any good round of Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres, you want to make sure that your appetizer of Babson facts are simple but varied. Try these basics:
- Small private business school located in Wellesley, Mass founded by Roger Babson in 1919
- Total size of around 2,900 students (2,100 undergrads and 800 grad students)
- Our mascot is Biz E. Beaver (did you know he’s the grandson of TIM, MIT’s mascot?)
- Three campus locations: Wellesley, Boston (for MBA students), and San Francisco
The Main Course
We all know that the turkey is the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal. Just as the turkey is juicy and hearty, you want to make sure that you recite some facts here that will keep your relatives’ attention. After all, your ability to properly execute this part of the meal will play a huge role in whether or not you get asked the dreadful question again next year.
- Every Babson student will leave being able to say that they’ve created and operated a business (through our hallmark FME Program)
- Roger Babson is buried on our campus! Don’t think that’s crazy enough? He’s buried between his first and second wives!
- ETA means something a little different at Babson. It’s not boring “estimated time of arrival;” it’s “Entrepreneurial Thought and Action.”
- By the way, we’ve got some famous alumni:
- Arthur Blank: Co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons
- Akio Toyoda: President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation
- Roger Enrico: Former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo and former Chairman of DreamWorks Animation
- Daniel Gerber: Founder of Gerber Baby Foods
- Alberto Perlman: Co-founder and CEO of Zumba Fitness
- Remember the guy that bought Google.com for a bit? Yeah, he’s a Babson grad too. (Sanmay Ved)
Oh dessert, the part of the meal that we all know we shouldn’t have. The part of the meal that we don’t really need… at least, that’s what you say until you see the gorgeous pumpkin pie screaming to let it be the pièce de résistance of the entire (and already superfluous) meal. Just like dessert, you don’t really need our rankings and accolades to describe the greatness of Babson. But, come on, why wouldn’t you want to boast about these?
- U.S. News & World Report: #1 Entrepreneurship (19 consecutive years)
- The Princeton Review: #1 Entrepreneurial Program
- PayScale: #5 overall ROI (#1 among all business schools)
- The Economist: #2 for Value, 2015
- Money Magazine: #2 Best College in the U.S., 2015 (#1 in 2014)
How to respond to the eternal question: “What’s Babson?”
With all this great information, hopefully you’re well equipped to properly answer the all-annoying question: “What’s Babson?” If you’re not…you are (I mean, we all had to write an essay to get in). But seriously, if you don’t think you’re ready, just speak on the experiences you’ve had as a Babson student. Trust me, any Babson experience is an interesting one.
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal! As you conclude your meal, you’ll realize how thankful and blessed you are to attend an amazing institution such as Babson.
Babson College recently welcomed returning family member Patricia Bossi, who completed her MBA at Babson’s Olin Graduate School of Business and is now returning as a QTM professor.
Free Press: Where are you from?
Patricia Bossi: Well, I’ve lived here my whole life. I was born in Boston, and as a small child moved up to Chelmsford, Mass. I moved to Bedford, Mass nine years ago, which is about 20 minutes away from Babson without traffic.
FP: What brought you to Babson?
PB: Well, I got my MBA here and have been very involved ever since that point of time. Also my prior boss is here, so that kind of influenced me quite a bit. When he came over here, it was only a matter of time before I came over to teach a course or two with him. I adore him, so I couldn’t wait to come over.
FP: What’s the transition like from teaching at Bentley to Babson, considering that the two schools are known to be rivals?
PB: I don’t really consider them as rivals. I think Bentley is more of an accounting school and it’s much more focused on being a fear for the accounting world. I think Babson is more of an entrepreneurship school, so I don’t really see them as rivals. I think Babson is much more focused on a global education, entrepreneurship, educating all around, so it’s not so much of an accounting structure. I see much more of a rounded student coming out of Babson. I see the school as a lot more competitive with, I think, the Ivy League schools, personally. The Harvard’s and the Stanford’s and the Kellogg’s quality of their students are similar to those at Babson.
FP: What would you say are the focal differences between the two schools?
PB: Students here are much more rounded, they are go-getters, willing to take that extra step, ask questions, and are not shy. In my classroom experience at Bentley, students wouldn’t talk, they wouldn’t raise their hands. They would just sit there, take notes, and leave. It was not very interactive. At UMass Lowell, I was teaching a different type of student. I was teaching engineering students, and engineers are known to be more introverted, so I expected that over there. As far as business students go, it’s very refreshing to see outgoing, assertive and confident students in their skill base, and a lot of students here have started businesses and have done entrepreneurial things before and during their attendance. That is not something you see at other business schools in the area.
FP: Could you tell us a little bit about your work experience before coming to Babson?
PB: I started out in pure engineering, and then after getting my MBA I got much more into the business end of things. Of course, all the business was still in technical-based companies, so having both skills, a business background and a technical background, made it a very strong combination in the business world. I could understand the technology, so nobody could pull any blinders over me, and I understood the business side to things, so nobody could fudge the books on me. And I could help with the business planning and the startup process. It was great to have both; you need to have both.
FP: When you made the decision to pursue an MBA, was that because you recognized that you needed this business side?
PB: Absolutely. I would sit in meeting after meeting, and I understood math very well, but I did not necessarily understand what all the accountant and finance people were talking about when they discussed pro formas, year-to-years, and all these financial statements. I would wonder, “Am I missing something, are these real, is there a little bit of smoke being blown at me?” I knew I needed more understanding, and that’s when I went back and got my MBA.
FP: As an alumni, you know Babson’s focus on entrepreneurship. So how do you bring this focus into your own classroom?
PB: I try to get people to think on their own, to solve their own problems. I think a lot of the time by pushing back and giving in-class activities, and having people work together, you get a feel for what really happens in the business world. Not every one situation in life is someone going to be handing you a problem and solution. So you have to be able to think and solve problems on your own by doing some of the work. My students learn the skills and then they try it, solve it. I give them questions like, “What do you think about this?”—more open-ended questions versus a yes or no. I really try to get the thinking going.
FP: What is something that you’d like students to know about you or your class that they might not know about as of now?
PB: Well, about me, I certainly never thought I was going to get into teaching based on my career, and it was one of those things that people say “when the teaching bug hits you, it hits you,” and it hit me hard. I am here because I love what I do, and I do want to give back some, hopefully all, of the knowledge that I’ve accumulated over the years. I always want students, and everyone, to know that I am approachable, I am here for them, and that there is never a dumb question. I don’t care what the question is, it will never be dumb, and it will always be answered with respect and treated with respect. I am here to help, I am never here to insult you or treat you poorly because you need or want help.
I want people to know that there was a day when I sat in that same chair as a student, and I don’t forget those days. And I have kids, and I’ve had times when they come home and tell me bad experiences with teachers and it breaks my heart that teachers can be short or mean to students. I want everyone to know that my door is always open and I’m always here. If I can find a way to help, I will.
Just last week Babson College announced its 2017 Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (B.E.T.A) Challenge finalists, which included from the undergraduate school: Womentum (Prabha Dublish ‘18 and Derek Tu ‘18), Vinci (Eagle Wu ‘19) and DetraPel (David Zamarin ‘20, Jacob Heller ‘20, Ali Eldessouky and Larry Ng ’20). With the recent success of these entrepreneurial finalists, we take a look back at where last year’s BETA finalists currently are, particularly “Mighty Well,” founded by Emily Levy ‘16.
Mighty Well is a growing line of medical accessories that put strength, confidence, and mobility back into the toolkit for those coping with an illness or health setback. These accessories range in products, but what the company excels most in is the PICCPerfect Line Protector, a sleek and fashionable sleeve-like cover to protect insertion sites on the arm from contaminants, and to normalize these insertion sites into everyday settings.
The story behind the founding of Mighty Well traces back to Levy’s sophomore year at Babson College when she was diagnosed with Chronic Neurological Lyme Disease, a disease in which symptoms of lyme disease continue to occur despite use of antibiotics. These symptoms include fatigue, joint/muscle aches, and cognitive dysfunction which requires a PICC line, a long and thin tube inserted into the vein to pump in antibiotics or other medications.
*Issue rankings are based on the OnTheIssues.org rating system; -10 is most liberal, 10 is most conservative.
Experience: Former Secretary of State (President Barack Obama)
Home Residence: Chappaqua, New York
Total Money Raised: $67,820,095
Net Worth: $21,500,000
- Individual Rights: -9
- Domestic Issues: -8
- Economic Issues: -8
- Defense and International Issues: 0
- Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969.
- Clinton would become the first female president if elected.
Experience: U.S. Senator (Vermont)
Home Residence: Burlington, Vermont
Total Money Raised: $15,263,601
Net Worth: $330,507
- Individual Rights: -10
- Domestic Issues: -8
- Economic Issues: -8
- Defense and International Issues: -8
- Among all of the major presidential candidates, Sanders has the lowest net worth.
- Sanders was the third Socialist ever elected to Congress.
Experience: President, Trump Organization
Home Residence: Manhattan, New York
Total Money Raised: $1,902,410
Net Worth: $4,000,000,000
- Individual Rights: 6
- Domestic Issues: 6
- Economic Issues: 4
- Defense and International Issues: 2
- Trump rose to social prominence as host of NBC reality show The Apprentice.
- Trump is a real estate mogul, with investments in casinos, residential towers, hotels, golf courses, and more.
Experience: Former Neurosurgeon
Home Residence: Baltimore, Maryland
Total Money Raised: $10,702,881
Net Worth: $10,000,000
- Individual Rights: 4
- Domestic Issues: 2
- Economic Issues: 6
- Defense and International Issues: 0
- Carson became the youngest to head a major division at Johns Hopkins Hospital when he became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at age 33.
- Carson was the first person to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head.
Experience: Former CEO of Hewlett Packard
Home Residence: Los Altos Hills, California
Total Money Raised: $5,163,373
Net Worth: $59,000,000
- Individual Rights: 0
- Domestic Issues: 6
- Economic Issues: 6
- Defense and International Issues: 2
- Fiorina has degrees in Medieval History and Philosophy.
- Fiorina was the first woman to head a Fortune 50 company.
Experience: U.S. Senator (Florida)
Home Residence: West Miami, Florida
Total Money Raised: $42,910,595
Net Worth: $443,508
- Individual Rights: 6
- Domestic Issues: 8
- Economic Issues: 5
- Defense and International Issues: 8
- Rubio attended Tarkio College for one year on a football scholarship.
- Rubio was elected to the Senate in 2010, after serving as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, a direct trip to Boston is not part of Babson College’s shuttle itinerary. However, with a little creativity, there are multiple ways of overcoming this setback. Below is a chart outlining various modes of transportation to Boston (Copley Square), their respective costs, and their estimated times.
Out of all these options, Uber is most convenient, because its drivers can pick up students from anywhere on campus. Additionally, first-time Uber users get a free ride of up to $20. Fares for pre-existing users, however, can get costly, especially with added fees. Still, there are ways around this: invite a friend to sign up using your personal invite code and you get a free ride of up to $20. However, with more that 8 million registered Uber users, finding newbies to earn credit is becoming increasingly difficult.
Cost (one way): $25-33
Time: 30 minutes
Lyft, an alternative to Uber, claims to be less expensive, but fares often end up about the same. Launched in 2007 and introduced on the East Coast just this past summer, Lyft once offered a better benefit to first-time users, giving them $30 more free credit, but have since lowered it to match that of Uber’s. Likewise, Lyft offers the free $20 credit each time your personal code is used.
Cost (one way): $27
Time: 30 minutes
Students with a license have the ability to rent a Zipcar. Depending on the length of your stay in Boston, this option can be the cheapest alternative, compared to Uber and Lyft. The Zipcar fee also covers gas and insurance. Unfortunately, usage is contingent upon the availability of the cars themselves. There are currently four Zipcars on the Babson campus.
Cost (per hour): $8.50-9.50
Time: 30 minutes
Biking is another option. However, this is contingent upon the ownership of a bike and other uncontrollable factors, such as weather. Students must note that this alternative is a massive time-consuming, and not to mention strenuous, effort. But for broke college students, biking is an excellent option.
Cost (one way): FREE
Time: 2 hours
Public transportation via the MBTA is a cheap, but fairly inconvenient, option for Babson students. On Thursdays through Saturdays, Babson shuttles transport students to the Woodland station. From there, students can take the Green Line. Babson is also fairly close to the Wellesley Hills station, which offers a slightly shorter commute on the Worcester Line and a slightly larger fare of $7. Regardless, it is time consuming. Also, students must be cautious of shuttle pick up and drop off times and the fact that the T closes around midnight. Despite these unfortunate downfalls, the price is as cheap as it gets.
Cost (one way): $2.65
Time: 45 minutes
Academics are the main focus of any college, but with a strong co-curricular environment, Babson stands firm with 137 organizations, according to the Life@Babson online hub. Year after year, students leave their mark by finding new clubs. Here is the process one must go through to start a club:
Come up with an idea for an organization that would benefit the Babson community.
Find at least five people that share the same interest and will make a commitment to help start the club.
Go to life.babson.edu > Campus Links > Create a New Undergraduate Organization
a. Fill out a form for a general idea of what your club is about.
b. Find a faculty advisor.
c. Select a President and VP of Finance (or Treasurer).
Wait for an email that says when you will give a presentation to the SGA E-board.
a. This meeting is casual, and generally takes place on Monday at 8:00 pm in the SGA office in Reynolds.
b. Pitch your idea to the E-Board as a presentation.
c. Field questions in the follow-up Q&A.
Wait for their approval.
The fact that wild animals live in and around the Babson College campus may come as a surprise to many urban-dwellers or international students who aren’t used to four seasons, trees, or forested areas. The Babson College campus is a great edge habitat for raccoons, squirrels, or other snack-hungry wild animals because it is the boundary of two different habitats: the wooded forest of Wellesley and the human development that makes up our school.
According to “Wildlife in the Suburbs” on the Wellesley government website, wild animals are coming “too close to people and begging for food”. When people feed wild animals, the creatures lose their fear of human interaction and soon expect handouts from everyone they meet. While playing with these adorable animals, people need to be more careful with it in case they cause legal problems unintentionally. In fact, the town of Wellesley imposes a fine of up to $200 for feeding any wildlife.
In the past, the town of Wellesley has had problems with encounters between household pets and wild animals. Animals coming from their forested habitat into the edge habitat of suburbia take advantage of food, trash, or small household pets (yikes!) that have been left outside by accident. Members of the Woodland dorm community, like myself, agree that there is no shortage of skunks and raccoons playing around near the dumpsters by the Woodland parking lot. When walking past dumpsters (where they like to hang out), they generally run away when approached.
Here are some suggestions to avoid attracting a raccoon into your dorm at night: Secure trash in raccoon-proof containers, which are easily found around campus. For the most part, the dumpsters have heavy lids that raccoons cannot open. Given this, don’t leave the lid open. Near the Woodland dorms of Babson College, behind Trim, and in many more locations, it could be helpful to put ammonia, bleach, or red pepper on the trash bag in the evening to deter animals at night. Don’t leave snacks or leftovers on the picnic tables or on the barbecue grill.
Overall, this is a great campus filled with wildlife, but it can quickly become overrun by hungry critters if we’re not careful. We’re lucky to share such a great space with our abundance of wildlife, but we need to be more careful in the way we are treating them.