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Marvin Tarawally ’17

Marvin Tarawally ’17

Executive Director, SMART Liberia

“I’ve been inspired to believe even more that it’s possible to make the world better.”
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What piece of advice changed your life?

In 2009, I read the book Reform Your World by Ryan Cook, and it set me on my current path. It’s a Christian book that talks about how the world needs reformers in the midst of all the problems we are facing as a global community. The book details the eight characteristics of reformers and encourages one to look within to discover them. These are the eight characteristics of a reformer:

  1. Dream of a better world.
  2. Tell the truth.
  3. Ask the right questions.
  4. Believe the time to act is now.
  5. Seek the knowledge.
  6. Are not afraid of the dark.
  7. Take action against injustice.
  8. Personify enduring courage.

I was able to assess my life at that point and discovered I felt all those characteristics were part of my person. That was the day I committed myself to helping solve the problems in my communities and beyond. I even named my organization Student Reform Initiative, which is now SMART Liberia.

How has being a member of the Babson community helped impact your career?

Coming into Babson with a reformer’s frame of mind, I needed to find the inspiration to dream big and, most importantly, develop the skills to make those dreams come true. I’m incredibly grateful that this community has helped me achieve both. From friends who raise over $1 million to launch their own ventures, to the exceptional brilliance of staff and faculty, I’ve been inspired to believe even more that it’s possible to make the world better. To get things done. The classroom was my testing ground. I used every opportunity to develop the skills that would enable me act on my passions. From FME to Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship and the variety of thoughtfully crafted Liberal Arts classes, I’ve been able to grow my abilities to create, lead, and inspire. I’ll continue to be grateful for what these four years at Babson has been to me.

Why does the world need more leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset?

We have extraordinary problems that require extraordinary leadership to tackle. The problems of food insecurity, human trafficking, rising global youth unemployment, extreme poverty, etc., are all so vast that we can’t afford ordinary leadership. Ordinary leadership would be one that fears failure and encourages apathy. Leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets are extraordinary. They know action is vital. They act and learn. Fail fast and keep going. They are willing to challenge the status quo to test out new alternatives. These are leaders who will do the very best and not only what’s convenient.

What do others need to know about Babson?

If you have ever had an urge to challenge the status quo, build something that adds value to society, learn in a highly diverse environment, or even be a part of those who are changing the way the world works in the smallest ways, Babson is the right choice for you.

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