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Senior-Led Seminars

For Students, By Students

Made possible by a generous gift of the Donald W. White Sr. ’50 Family, Babson now 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 the marketing in the fashion industry to mobile app development. 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.

2015 Senior-Led Seminars

Electronic Dance Music Production (SE1306)

Evan Shirley

It is no secret that music is an essential element of life and component of culture and identity around the world. Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is a rising force, taking our generation by storm. EDM has been growing since its explosion onto the U.S. scene in the late 21st century; its fans number in the hundreds of millions, and the industry now tops $6 billion a year. In this course, we will explore how this music is created and how you can be a part of it. You will develop an understanding of proven patterns in EDM and get a chance to apply them with software tools. By the end of the course, you will have created your very own tracks from top to bottom. All you need is an interest and a passion—no experience or special equipment is required. This is your music and your time!

Alternative Finance in the 21st Century: Islamic Finance, Microfinance, and Socially Responsible Investing (SEN1308)

Ryan Diplock

You may be interested in finance, but did you know:

  • As of today, over $2 trillion of assets (15% of the world’s total invested assets) are managed by more than 300 banks and 250 mutual funds that are “Sharia compliant”?
  • A concept pioneered less than 30 years ago to help raise families out of poverty now impacts the lives of 80 million borrowers worldwide?
  • $3.74 trillion in assets sit in socially screened investment funds?

Islamic finance, microfinance, and socially responsible investing are all projected to grow at annualized rates of 15% to 20% over the next decade. This seminar will delve deeply into the principles of all three types of alternative finance, teaching the basics and exploring the controversies in each field. Group discussions will be augmented with guest speakers from each of the three industries, and in-class competitions. Winners of each competition will be entitled to a free lunch or dinner with the guest speaker for that particular topic. If you are interested in learning how Islamic finance gets around interest rates and the derivatives market, how microfinance has become so successful despite political headwinds, or how socially responsible investing is impacting the greater business community, this seminar is for you.

The T in LGBTQ: An Introduction to Transgender Studies (SEN1309)

Elizabeth Lin

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to transgender studies. Introduction to Transgender Studies will be divided into three phases. First, the course will critically examine the interactive relationships between cultural/social institutions and individuals based on an understanding of non-normative gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities. This first phase will take a deep dive into the institutionalized oppression faced by the transgender community in federal and state documentation, medicine, housing, employment, and incarceration. Next, students will look into how race, sexuality, and disability intersect with and impact trans individuals’ lived experiences. In the final phase, students will focus on developing an understanding of allyship and what it means to be an ally to the transgender community.

Advanced Excel and VBA through Personal Investing (SEN1310)

Dineth Siriwardane

This course aims to teach students two distinct yet complementary skills—personal investing and Excel. Students will learn useful technical skills that they will practice by exploring a variety of personal investing strategies.

Advanced Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) through Personal Investing will introduce students to concepts applicable to personal investing, such as technical, fundamental, and comparative analyses. Simultaneously, students will learn advanced Excel functions such as VLOOKUPS, COUNTIFS, SUMIFS, INDEX MATCHES, and OFFSETS, as well as basic VBA commands. While these skills will be applied to personal investing in this course, they are also transferrable to multiple situations in the working world.

By the end of the class, students will have created a comprehensive template for personal investing.


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