Working Together for a Cause
Meaghan Toothaker '15 / Wakefield, MA
“When I first got to Babson, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I like finance and accounting, but more important than the type of work I might do is the impact of that work. I’m glad I came to that realization as a first-year student, thanks to the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship (FME) course.
“In FME, teams of students create businesses that sell products or deliver services that impact the community and then donate the profits to charities. I liked the teamwork aspect a lot. Not only was it great to be able to work together on a project, but I got a lot of good feedback from my peers and really learned a lot about myself. You wouldn’t get that in a regular course.
“My group’s business was called Stamp Out Suicide. Though we did sell some products, our main goal was to raise awareness about suicide prevention, which is different from the usual FME business. Even so, I was really impressed with how much support our idea got from Babson and particularly our FME professors and mentors. Professor Shankar never asked why we wanted to do this; instead, he asked how we could make our idea stronger, and what he could do to help us. That encouragement was very important to us.
“As vice president of event planning, I organized a 5K race that attracted 200 people. We also made a video of students holding up signs on which they wrote a reason to live. We put it on YouTube and the response was phenomenal. We even received a call from a student in Texas who asked if they could do the same thing.
“Instead of shutting down Stamp Out Suicide at the end of FME, we transformed it into a student club so we can continue to help people. I’m proud of what we did, and the experience of working for a cause was deeply meaningful to me—similar to when I took my service trip to El Salvador in March 2012. I worked with Habitat For Humanity to build a house and also had the opportunity to teach entrepreneurship to the people in the village. I worked with two teenage boys who had already started their own jewelry-making business, and were doing a good job keeping track of their inventory and maintaining precise accounting records. I was very impressed with their ambition and initiative—they’d fit in well at Babson!”