Soaring Ambitions with Miles to Go
Madeline Pickering '14 / Eugene, Oregon
“I grew up in Oregon, and never ventured East of the Oregon border until I came to Babson for my Weissman Scholarship interview. That was an eye-opening experience for me—the first of many I’ve had at Babson.
“My passion for travel is so great that I’ve had the words ‘Miles To Go’ tattooed on my foot.”
“In fact, the next trip I made after settling in at Babson—and my first trip out of the United States—was to Rwanda to work out of the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center. I was both astounded and inspired to see so many local individuals and groups working entrepreneurially. I saw firsthand how entrepreneurship can be a catalyst in struggling communities by giving confidence to its people and providing an outlet for innovation. There was a man named Daniel who used his cow’s waste to fuel his lights and stove, and he was trying to get others to follow in his footsteps. He was a forward thinker in his community and proved that anyone can be an entrepreneur.
“Because of my interest in social change, I assumed my career would be in the nonprofit world. But my travels have convinced me that the way I can best make a difference is to focus on the for-profit world. I’d like to create a business that supports all types of people in learning to travel in a new way. Trips and vacations would focus on service to the communities you visit and in-depth learning about other people’s cultures. I believe if people with means engaged with people in other cultures, they would be more inclined to support nonprofits that serve those populations. I’m using part of my Weissman stipend to study this concept.
“Last summer, I flew to Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy to explore, and ended my summer in London doing an internship and study at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I would never have been able to do this without Babson’s support, and I’m grateful that Babson has taken a serious interest of mine—integrating social and environmental responsibility into an organization’s business model—and given me the opportunity to understand how it can happen here and abroad.
“My passion for travel is so great that I’ve had the words ‘Miles To Go’ tattooed on my foot. I think there are endless possibilities for the world to become a better place, and I won’t stop until I have contributed to that. Rwanda first inspired me, but I continue to be inspired by each new destination I come to! It’s kind of a cliché to say that something is a marathon, not a sprint, but I look at business as both. There is a lifetime of possibilities, and I can’t wait to rush out and experience them.”