I was fortunate enough to spend a day at Babson College, my alma mater, to deliver two guest lectures one on Family Business to an undergraduate class and another on Entrepreneurship to a graduate class. It was an amazing 36 hours and let me share why…
It started on Sunday afternoon when I flew from Miami to Boston, which wasn’t easy to leave my girls, but I was very excited about the opportunity give back to Babson. Sunday I was able to grab dinner with a few of my Babson alum buddies that I haven’t seen in years. Nothing beats spending 3 hours with your buddies reminiscing about the college days to get you in the Babson spirit.
On Monday I had a jam packed day thanks to Carol Hacker who set the entire day up. I arrived on campus at 7:45am and a flood of memories came rushing back, it was like being transported back in time to when I was a student. I asked my Uber driver to drop me off and let me walk which gave me the chance to retrace my steps I used to take as an undergrad. So much has changed on the campus yet so much is exactly the same.
My day officially started at Reynolds with a meeting over coffee with Gerri Randlett who is the Managing Director of the Alumni and Friends Network. I was so happy to hear all the exciting things happening on campus with alums but also all around the world. There are so many opportunities to give back, not just in money, but in other creative ways. And Gerri made it clear they are open to being creative to allow alums to reconnect.
By 9:00 I was over at the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship to meet Professor Matt Allen who had graciously invited me to participate in two of his classes. At 9:45am it was time for the Family Business course which was a small group of seniors, all from family businesses and all interested in going back to the family business. I shared with them this topic:
After class I hustled over to meet my old baseball coach, Normi G for coffee at Olin Graduate School. Coach G hasn’t changed a bit and still very involved with the baseball program. We caught up on the “good ol’ days” when I was a player and I heard about all the amazing things the team is doing now.
Before I knew it, it was time to head over to Trim (my request) to have lunch with Rob Major, an Associate Dean of the Undergrad school, and discuss the curriculum and how it has changed since 1996 when our class was the first guinea pigs to try the new curriculum format. Very proud to hear that the curriculum continues to evolve and every 4 to 5 years they are innovating and try new things. Trim lunch was…a Trim lunch, for those of you that are alums, not much has changed.
After lunch I popped into the bookstore to buy up half the store. The only thing that stopped me was the size of my carry on bag wouldn’t fit more things. Once the shopping was done I spent time with Professor Allen being interviewed for a Family Business research paper he’s working on. It was a blast to share my experience of being in a family business and also launching my own business with my brother along the way.
By now it’s 3:00pm and I was on the go all day, but finally it was time for a campus tour and Carol showed up in a sweet golf cart and took me all over campus. Amazing to see the development over the past 10 to 15 years. Several of the highlights for me were (a) the baseball field looks the same and maintained very well (b) the Olin College campus is huge and looks beautiful (c) Park Manor is now an official quad with a brand new Park Manor West (d) the Horn Library was buzzing with activity and (e) the new Roger’s Pub looked awesome and was a huge upgrade.
Once the tour was done it was time to head downtown for my evening MBA class on Entrepreneurship where I shared this topic:
This was a lively bunch of 40+ graduate students all very engaged and focused on learning to better their professional career. It was extremely humbling to be able to share my experiences and see the reactions in their faces. Based on the Q&A session and the feedback I think/hope I convinced a few more to take the leap into being an entrepreneur.
I left the beautiful downtown campus and walked back to my hotel on the SeaPort very proud of Babson which I’m proud to call my alma mater.
For you alums that are reading this, if you are interested in having a similar experience please reach out to Carol Hacker and she can coordinate everything for you. I can’t tell you how rewarding it feels to give a little back to a school that gave so much to me.