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Virtual Reality in BabsonCODE

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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.

Babson’s first food entrepreneurship class

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A seafood empire owner,restaurant investor, major food distributorand bicycle-fueled food delivery enthusiast sit together on the third floor of Tomasso building. No,this is not the start of a bad joke.This is Friday afternoon at Babson.

One of the eventful Fridays in which Rachel Greenberger, Director of Food Sol–a food industry action tank part of The Lewis Institute–teaches her class on Food Entrepreneurship; the very first class of this subject within Babson’s undergraduate and graduate academic history.

The class took place over three days, September 8th, 9th and 16th, of which certain hours of the class were open to auditors and undergraduate students.

The graduate students were also broken up into similar groups, divvied up among the classroom into sections pertaining to their interest. This proved helpful in creating a representation of the New England food industry itself, of many tight-knit small communities that are separate yet constantly intersecting with one another to share perspective, and of course, the love of food.

And Babson sure loves food. It seemed only fitting that the last day of the Food Entrepreneurship class coincided with the kickoff of Babson’s Alumni Weekend, with a few alumni themselves featuring on the panels, including:
●Ian So (B‘08) Co-Owner & Co-Founder of Chicken & Rice Guys, a food truck, catering and restaurant business that also focuses on giving back to the community.
●Nadia Liu Spellman (B‘04) Owner of Dumpling Daughter, a fast-casual restaurant serving both traditional and trendy Asian dishes in Weston, MA.
●Rob Dalton (M‘14) Co-Founder of 88 Acres, a line of healthy, non-GMO, gluten free, nut free, snacks and granola bars.
●Dana Masterpolo (M’01) Co-Founder & Head Storyteller of Bantam Cider, a modern craft cider made right in Somerville from freshpressed apples.

Shea Anthony (B‘18) attended one of the panel sessions that focused on retailers within the food industry. She said, “I am constantly, and pleasantly, surprised by the amount of resources Babson College offers, and the many career fields and industries it is connected
to. I think people often forget that Babson is not just for the startup, finance, and accounting people but also the fashion, technology, design,
media–and as we can see today–food people as well.”

For those who consider themselves to be possible “food people” or are still perhaps figuring it out, Greenberger encourages them to access those untapped Babson resources and attend Food Sol’s Community Table every Tuesday from 1 – 2 pm in the Blank Center. Food entrepreneurs are invited to speak and discuss what’s going on in today’s food industry with other graduate and undergraduate students, and more often than not, one leaves with not only new pieces of knowledge, but also a solid Boston restaurant recommendation.

Mighty Well, A Year Later

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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.

Events calendar: November 3-12, 2015

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Upcoming events

Babson club life has always been vibrant and bustling with activities. Below are some upcoming events:

Come learn about Babson BRIC, the Cornerstone of the New Global Economy fall semester abroad program. The information session is November 5th, 5:00-6:30 PM, Tomasso 303

Being Here, Going Beyond: Paintings by Percy Fortini-Wright, artist talk and reception by a multiracial artist interested in combing diverse materials and imagery to create urban streetscapes and bold portraits of imaginary people that share a beautiful sense of movement and anticipation. Exhibition is on view from November 5th at 5:00 PM-January 8th in the Hollister Lobby.

PRIDE/ Student SafeZone Training, an ally training program for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning community, is being presented by Babson College staff on November 11th, 7:00 PM- 8:30 PM in Babson 203. Participate and receive a sticker to identify your space as a ‘Safe Zone’.

 

Things to do in Boston

Looking for things to do this weekend? The Free Press has some suggestions to explore, alone or with friends:

Second Annual Celebration of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds, connect with a diverse group including startups, nonprofits, and corporate leaders. Listen to the innovative stories from Boston Public Market, Rapid7, PillPack, and more on November 3rd at 6:00 PM.

Photoshop Workshop, learn essential digital image editing techniques, foundation skills needed for retouching and image editing, as well as create high quality images. Take this course at the American Graphics Institute on 120 Presidential Way Woburn, MA 0180. November 2nd 9 AM- November 3rd 4:30 PM, Admission required (includes curriculum, materials, and all computer and lab fees).

Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week with Women of Mass Challenge, at the Women Founders Quick- Fire Challenge. This event will engage members of the audience through group brainstorming and highlight the growth challenges of four women-led startups. Build your network and celebrate the art of entrepreneurship quick-fire style on November 12th, 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM, 21 Drydock Avenue, 6th Floor Boston.

           

Get To Know The BFG

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As business majors, sometimes we forget that there are so many alternative, non-traditional sectors of business we can develop a career in. These industries include fashion, music, public policy, and sports management. We are often geared toward marketing or investment banking,or in the case of Babson, entrepreneurship. This was difficult for me my first semester at Babson because I knew I wanted to do business,but I wanted an opportunity to be creative. Like many Babson students, I want the opportunity to make people think and challenge what already exists.  

This mentality gave Babson students a desire to create more opportunities in the business of fashion at Babson. There are so many artistic, stylish people on campus that we do not even know about. The Babson Fashion Group has been working to change this. Virginia Mhasavi voiced that “when she came to Babson, there was no fashion organization on campus.” The problem was that there was no formal outlet for Babson students to express their fashion interests and acquire the resources their need. Often, we have to find our own resources, and in such a competitive industry, that can incredibly challenging. Mhasavi stated that finding her first fashion internship was quite difficult, but eventually through the CCD, she was able to learn about alumni connections in the fashion industry such as Ruthie Davis, the ladies shoe designer. Much like many Babson students, she wanted to explore opportunities beyond operations and retail. She wanted shadow a designer and work in the creative decision making aspects of the industry.  

Biggest class size in Babson’s history

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In the history of Babson College, the first-year class of 2020 is undoubtedly the biggest cohort that matriculated, with the numbers showing that at 588 students, about 60 more students chose to enroll this year as compared to the previous year.

The acceptance rate, which dropped from 28% to 26% last year, currently stands at 25%–the lowest it has ever been thus affirming that the admissions process has become even more selective. In addition, the yield rate which traditionally stands at 27-28% was higher this year, which means that although the admitted students are academically more competitive and are likely to have other choices among top notch schools, a greater number of the first-years chose to complete their undergraduate degree at Babson.

It is thus upon the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Office to adjust the algorithm used to determine selection and yielding of students because as the Dean of the Undergraduate School, Ian Lapp confirms, “The population growth seen this academic year was unintentional and will not be the class size for future incoming cohorts.”

This year’s large intake does reflect a growing level of interest in Babson and its commitment towards promoting entrepreneurship of all kinds, however, the size of the campus cannot fully support additional students. The population increase has had an impact on the availability of adequate housing on campus with the effect being that several transfer students lacked on-campus housing this year while several rooms in residential houses were subdivided to accommodate more students.

Similarly, despite the warm reception of the new dining services from Chartwells, there has been the tendency of long queues forming during peak hours of the day at both Trim and Reynolds. There has also been limited opportunity to adjust class schedules or take some of the required courses, which prompted the Registrar’s Office to add more sections to certain courses in order to accommodate the increasing numbers. Finding parking spaces in the designated campus areas has become an even greater struggle with students commenting that “I’m trying to find parking or I had to park far away” is currently a valid excuse for being a few minutes late to class.

Nonetheless, Dean Lapp states that there are currently no expansion plans underway for the campus but rather that the school is keen on pursuing alternative means of adjusting to the increased population. As he emphasizes, “This is no crisis just community, with the additional students adding to the intellectual enrichment of the campus.”

Tuition dollars support FME and campus improvements

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Ever wonder where tuition money goes? Does it go into FME startup companies? How exactly are tuition expenses split up?

Babson College’s tuition is approximately $46,784. Add Room & Board and the Meal Plan to that and you get a whopping $64,612 in estimated expenses. As it turns out, an average undergrad pays approximately 68% of that total cost of attendance. So where does that other 32% come from?

Luckily, Babson’s operating activities are rich in contributions from alumni. This allows Babson to administer many of the educational programs and auxiliary activities effectively—one of those programs being FME.

Every year, Babson accords $100,000 to the FME program, in which students have the opportunity to write an inspired business plan and reclaim all of that money. “We essentially treat [FME allocations] as a loan, and when the business is made, [partial profit goes to Babson and the rest goes to charity],” Senior Associate VP of Accounting and Finance Richard Bowman said. The $100,000 does not get fully reimbursed into Biz E. Beaver’s wallet; that is when alumni contributions come into play.

Taking into account all of these expenses, most of which are part of the Undergraduate program, one might notice that Babson as an institution distributes this money to benefit students. Expenses range from Instructional Divisions to Student Services to Institutional Support, and, most importantly, to Academic Support.

One significant investment Babson has made for its students is the upgrading of campus residence halls, illustrated by the major construction in Park Manor Central. These all contribute to beautifying and differentiating Babson campus life and academic life from other schools.

When walking around the campus, one should aware of their surroundings. They may notice that a lot of what is coming out of students’ pockets is being put to good use.

CWEL addresses equal pay equity

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CWEL’s first Disruption Dinner, sponsored by the Center for Women & Wealth at Brown Brothers Harriman, attempts to talk about gender pay equity by sharing six influential women’s career story and advice to 200 plus attendees.

Meg DeMarco, Director of Programs at CWEL, calls the room to attention and introduces Jane Edmonds, VP for Programming and Community Outreach at Babson, who has an impressive background in politics and entrepreneurship. Edmonds delivers an eloquent speech about the other guests and glides over the Equal Pay topic. Edmonds gives a promising anecdote about Kerry Healey’s impressive work ethic and passion for helping the underserved citizens of Massachusetts, especially women fighting for equal pay.

The moderator is Candy O’Terry, Massachusetts Broadcaster of the Year, President & Co-Founder of Boston Women in the Media and Entertainment, 25-year veteran of Magic 106.7, and a member of brand consulting company, Brunner Communications. She starts by beautifully singing Amazing Grace, which is most definitely one of the evening’s highlights. O’Terry manages the panel remarkably like a radio talk show host. She skillfully flows from question to question effortlessly while adding her own experience and answers.

The Panelists’ are Jackie Glenn, Global Chief Diversity Officer at Dell EMC; Nancy Joyce, Founder and CEO of Joyce Advisors; and Evelyn Murphy, Founder and President of The Wage Project. Each of these women reveal extraordinary career paths and valuable life lessons.

Each of these women reveal extraordinary career paths and valuable life lessons.

1. O’Terry (career in Media and Entertainment)

●Success is a conscious decision

●Don’t just show up, stand out

●Wisdom is recognizing a mistake before you make it again

2. Jackie Glenn (career in Health Care and Technology Recruiting)

●Own your difference

●Go above and beyond – sometimes doing so doesn’t pay off, but most of the time it will,and when it does, it will open doors

●Do not be afraid to travel for an opportunity

●Do not be afraid to ask for help

●Think outside the box, go above, below, sideways, and around to solve problems

●Do not give up because mindset is important; if you put down your foot to solve a problem, you will be able to succeed

3. Nancy Joyce (career in Brand Consulting and Entrepreneurship)

●Fostering and building relationships when you don’t need them is just as important as
when you need them

●When someone asks, “how are you,” don’t just say, “I am good.” Share something about
yourself, share a recent accomplishment because that will help you build a relationship
with them

●Learn to advocate for yourself in the workplace because no matter how diligent your supervisor is, he or she will be busy and will not be able to keep track of your accomplishments as well as you can for yourself

●Ask for what you want

●Don’t take everything personally, it’s business

●Research people in your desired career path

●Tips for negotiations: be comfortable with silence, ask for 25% of medium

4. Evelyn Murphy (career in Politics and Non-profits)

●Do not blink at opportunities, take them because they might be game changing

●If women act, then employers will react [in reference to the equal pay gap]

●”We [women] are just as educated and work just as hard [as men]”

●Sometimes, other people see things in you that you cannot see in yourself so use your mentors and people to help you

●The best way to protect yourself and obtain fair compensation is to understand laws and policies about Equal Pay; educate yourself on the topic for your specific company and position

●Attend free salary negotiation workshops

●Pursue your dreams, do something that matters to you

●Know how to translate skills that you learn outside of work into skills that you can use in
the workplace, example is team sports

An important resource for individuals interested in learning more about the Equal Pay Equity is Murphy’s non-profit organization:The Wage Project.

Babson Senior Launches New Mobile App

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Babson senior Hugo Finklestien launched a mobile student market place this September; right around when most of us were struggling to move into new dorms or new apartments.  Finklestien learned about the struggles of moving apartments early in his college career. As a sophomore, when he moved into a new apartment in Brookline, he realized that the problem of moving wasn’t so much a moving problem but more of a student problem. His moving experience – trading old text books, buying “new-used” fridges – proved that students were both lazy and broke, and that there were few tools in the market that address the needs of students specifically. Finklestien was aware of options like ‘Babson Free and For Sale’, but thought that there was room for improvement.  Finklestien said, “The business idea started early that semester, while I was hanging out on my porch”.  He and his roommate started working on ‘Olѐ’, their would-be student market place, but the trials of college life distracted the two from staying on task, until the spring of Hugo’s junior year.

That spring, Finklestien traveled to San Francisco, with Babson’s study-away program, and focused all of his attention on reformulating the idea and refocusing his effort. During his semester in San Francisco, Finklestien worked with classmates to research the market, re-design the user interface, and practice his pitch to venture capitalists. While away, Olѐ also hired a new CTO.  Finklestien credits the program for keeping him motivated and highly recommends San Francisco study-away to any aspiring business owners.

A few months later, a summer’s worth of working and forgoing internship opportunities, and two versions under his belt, Olѐ is in its second version of the application, which is available to students with a Babson, Boston Unversity, or Northeastern email.

A college email is required for membership, because Olѐ’s goal is to solve some of the struggles associated with earning and saving money as a student. Hugo decided that a digital market place, where students can transact with each other, would be the best solution. That’s why Olѐ takes no commission from either buyers or sellers who transact on the app.

The app is fairly simple to use, so if you’re in the market for anything from a used fridge to tutoring services, all you have to do is download ‘Olѐ! Student Marketplace’ from the app store, search for the product or service you want, or create a news feed post that describes what you’re looking for. The process is just as easy for a seller. If you want to get rid of some old textbooks or make extra cash cat-sitting, post a picture of your product, list a price, and wait for a buyer to make an offer.capture

Students initiate Alpha Kappa Psi colony

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Photo courtesy of Elaine Zhang

Another business fraternity aims to join the Babson community. A group of students, primarily freshmen and sophomores, are in the process of establishing a Babson branch of international professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, also known as AKPsi.

The group first required approval from the Heritage Center, the organization’s headquarters, and from Babson itself. It is currently recognized as a “colony;” that is, a fledgling chapter that must prove it has the membership and capability to be formally installed. Once this occurs, likely in the spring, the chapter may pitch to the Student Government Association to be recognized as an official Babson organization.

“It’s been a long process,” AKPsi President Rada Ilieva (’18) said. “It’s very different than a regular org.”

AKPsi is the oldest and largest business fraternity in the world. Started at New York University in 1904, it has since inducted more than 250,000 students. Previous membership includes Presidents Ronald Regan and Richard Nixon, U.S. senators, and business leaders in every industry.

“The main focus of Alpha Kappa Psi is to provide leadership development, personal and professional training and the fundamental ingredient higher education misses—experience,” the organization’s website claims.

Babson’s colony has expanded rapidly, attracting about 80 colonists in a few months. “We grew really quickly,” Ilieva said. “We’re trying to maintain that brotherhood and have those close relationships, which is why we started in the first place.”

Ilieva says she looks forward to seeing the chapter come into its own. “I’m most excited about seeing things develop and people actually being able to use it for networks and fun.”