For Students, By Students
Made possible by a generous gift of the Donald W. White Sr. ’50 Family, Babson offers five classes each spring semester taught entirely by students in their senior year. The classes are on topics that hold special meaning with their instructors, and range from equine business management to exploring the complexity and vulnerability of black male bodies. By sharing their passion with their peers, the seniors are able to teach topics that aren’t currently offered in the standard undergraduate curriculum. These classes are very popular among fellow students whose desire for knowledge extends beyond the typical course load.
2016 Senior-Led Seminars
From 0 to 1: Launching a Tech Startup
Nina Vir & Jerry Baker
With all of the press that successful tech startups receive, it is extremely easy to lose sight of the difficulty of starting one. It is important to remember that for each business that thrives, there are plenty that barely survive. The primary focus of this seminar is to help you develop key skills and practice tactical strategies to launch a tech startup. To accomplish this, we will bring in outside speakers, expose you to Babson campus resources, and implement a learn-by-doing approach. The seminar will unfold through a playbook: each class will focus on a topic such as how to build a minimum viable product, how to hire, and how to raise money. By the end of the course, you will not only understand the basics of starting a tech startup, but you will have an intimate knowledge of the resources available on Babson's campus. Come ready to explore and pursue your ideas!
Algorithmic Trading Strategies Using MATLAB
Trading stocks can be a mentally stimulating and highly rewarding experience. However, with the rise of cheap computer processing power and speed, algorithms have overtaken humans regarding entering trades in the markets. This course will teach students how to develop trading algorithms using MATLAB code. Students will simulate trades by buying and selling equities, tracking portfolio performance, analyzing data and managing risk. No prior experience in MATLAB is necessary, nor is the completion of MCE/SME, although these will be useful courses to have taken.
The natural world (governed by chance) stands in contrast to the built environment (governed by design). In this entry-level course, we will seek to better understand design by comparing some of the many competing definitions of the word. We will go beyond “the way things look” to examine “why things work in that way” and even consider “the way things ought to be.” Next we will apply human-centered design (a set of methods and a mindset) to a central design challenge: How might we improve the Babson student experience? In small teams, we will use the tools and techniques pioneered by leading practitioners like IDEO and the d.school at Stanford to wrestle with this question and produce solutions.
Equine Business Management
Students in Equine Business Management will apply principles of Babson’s outstanding business education to the equestrian industry. The business of horses is a diverse and historical trade, ripe for innovation that Babson entrepreneurs can provide. In this seminar, we will study competitive governing organizations (such as the United States Equestrian Federation), stables, racing syndicates, and more. Students will also be introduced to many of the equine-related jobs available to business students. No former equine experience is required, just bring your passion and willingness to learn!
The Black Body Subjected: The Complexity of Being a Black Man in America
Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. Eric Garner. These are few among the many names of Black men who have recently been killed by police officers across the United States. We also can’t forget Trayvon Martin, unarmed teenager shot by George Zimmerman. The deaths of these men have sparked a national conversation about race in America, in the era of the first black male President. Conversations have sparked on Babson’s campus as well. What made the bodies of these black men subject to such peril, with no charges being brought to their executioners? From what historical realities and hierarchies did ideas associated with being a black man in America emerge? How do Americans act when they encounter a black man who doesn’t fulfill the negative stereotypes? This course will explore the complexity and vulnerability of being a black man in America, particularly as it pertains to the origins, perpetuation, and implications of negative stereotypes. We will also consider the intersections of socio-economic class, sexuality, gender, etc. in our seminar conversations. In the seminar we will be reading articles, watching media clips, and fostering conversation using both.