Teachers share life lessons Babson Thought & Action

Babson College graduate students gathered Wednesday night at the Joseph L. Winn Auditorium to watch their favorite teachers deliver their final lecture, a Babson tradition of inspiration and celebration.

“Success is deeply and fundamentally about looking for opportunities that are a bit unexpected and then doing it,” said assistant professor of finance Luke Stein, urging students to find a happy medium between overblown opportunities. original and others sure but exaggerated.

The class of 2022 voted to award Stein, who began teaching at Babson in 2020, the 2022 Thomas Kennedy Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award honors teachers who personify “excellence in graduate teaching and whose personal standards of quality and caring extend beyond the classroom.”

Stein was quick to show his gratitude during the two-hour event.

“Thank you. I love you. You are my favorite,” he told students completing the two-year Master of Business Administration program. He went on to tell students completing the Master of Science program in management and entrepreneurial leadership that they were his favorites—as part of a running gag in which Stein declared those in various graduate programs “my favorites.”

Lead with kindness

The lighthearted event evoked laughter, tears and even an impromptu song to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The graduating students stood up and waved their arms in the air in hope as they soaked in the life lessons of their professors.

“You are about to leave,” marketing professor Anirudh Dhebar told graduate students. “The question is what will you keep with you and what will you throw away.”

Among advice and wishes, professors such as Lauren Beitelspacher have shaken things up by having students play a well-known ice-breaker game called “telephone.” The goal, said the president of the marketing division, is to keep marketing messages brief.

“Boil it. Think about what you want your customer to remember and how it’s going to be told,” Beitelspacher said. Asking her students to “lead with kindness,” she ended her lecture on a sentimental note.

“I’m so happy to have spent every moment with you, each and every one of you, and I can’t wait to have more moments with you and to see all that you do,” Beitelspacher said as his eyes were filling up. “Remember: wherever you are, be there.”

Professor Jay Rao, who teaches operations management, reminded the students that they come from a place of incredible privilege.

“Anyone can get rich or make other rich richer. We are privileged, use this privilege. Aim to enrich the poor,” Rao said. He peppered his lecture with jokes at his own expense and detailed his success as being largely a matter of showing up and seizing opportunities when they presented themselves.

“Chance favors the prepared. But, being there and showing up will make you luckier than you can imagine,” Rao said.

be awesome

Kennedy Prize winner Stein ended the evening on an exceptionally impressive note.

Stein divided his lecture into three sections: finance, teaching, and genius. He pointed out that many rules in finance and investing affect success throughout life. Like investing money for retirement, the earlier students invest their time and energy in their careers, relationships and health, the better off they will be as they age.

Luke Stein, Assistant Professor of Finance

“It’s really hard to catch up if you start late,” Stein said. He also emphasized diversifying investments in personal health, relationships and career.

“That way, if your job sucks, you still have people in your life who are going to help you see your worth,” he said. Stein emphasized the growing value of higher education, and he urged students to continue learning and teaching others to remain mindful throughout life.

And, how will awesomeness affect students’ lives?

He urged students to surround themselves with great people and understand that they don’t have to choose between being a financial person – prioritizing wealth over morals – or someone who eschews money in order to focus on good deeds.

“The world needs people who have money to want to do good, and people who want to do good to have money,” he said. “It’s not just one or the other.”

To be awesome, Stein said in closing, is to combine something amazing with something surprising. He pointed to Jeremy Fry, a Boston Celtics fan who went viral for his heartfelt lip-syncing performance to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” during a game.

“There’s a point when Jeremy stops being normal and starts being awesome,” Stein said, encouraging students to recognize opportunities like Fry. “Being awesome is finding openings to do something that’s both good and unexpected. So go out there and do it.

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Angela C. Hale