NiaChloe Bowman ’19

Embracing Change While Staying True to Myself

NiaChloe Bowman ’19 / Brooklyn, New York

“The way I see it, every day you have opportunities to make decisions that change who you are, and at Babson I saw a space and a community that would help me transform and grow. I was so amazed by the stories I heard from Babson students, and I thought if these 18- and 19-year-olds can take advantage of Babson to make these kind of impacts, why can’t I do the same thing?

“Babson is an in­clu­sive com­mun­ity of young pro­fes­sionals where sim­i­lar­­i­ties are appre­ciated and differ­ences are respected.”

“What makes Babson stand out is the people. Even though I grew up in New York, I never had the opportunity to befriend people from countries like India, China, Brazil, and Rwanda. Babson is an inclusive community of young professionals where similarities are appreciated and differences are respected, which has helped me understand my classmates better as people. I find it so interesting that we all came to Babson for business, yet we see business through different lenses and we will pursue our career paths in diverse ways that reflect our unique perspectives.

“As a black woman with a single mother who lived in low-income housing for most of my life, I have distinct identities, and at Babson I’ve been able to define those identities further without refining who I am as a person. My experience here has motivated me to never forget where I came from, but it’s also helped me understand I don’t have to be limited by the stereotypes associated with the environment I grew up in. Groups like the Babson Dance Ensemble, Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness, and the Black Student Union have strengthened my relationship to the Babson community while offering safe spaces to express my thoughts, embrace my passions, and enjoy the company of others with both similar and different identities.

“One member of the Babson community in particular who’s been influential for me is Professor Tina Opie. I was the chief marketing executive of my Foundations of Management and Experience (FME) business KUBEK (the Polish word for “cup”), which was a collapsible, BPA-free coffee thermos, but my favorite memory of FME was the first day of class when Tina walked in and smiled at me. I knew from that day on that she would be an important person in my college career and beyond. Having a successful black professor who supports me outside the classroom has left a huge imprint on me. She sees potential in me that I am not always able to see in myself, like when she asked me to interview the CEO of a company she was doing a case study on, and she’s set expectations that I wanted to fulfill for both her and myself.

“Babson has given me so many opportunities to take advantage of, so going forward there are a lot of different career paths I can pursue. For example, growing up in NYC led me into fashion from a young age, but only here at Babson did it occur to me that I could go into fashion retail management after graduation. There was a Center for Career Development (CCD) event for marketing and consumer products that featured representatives from TJX, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s, and it helped me connect my love of fashion with buying and merchandising. Another long-term goal of mine is to work in education—my dream has always been to open my own school—in order to give future students the same opportunities I had. My being at Babson shows that your address doesn’t determine your success, and I want to be able to offer options that enable students to get a great education regardless of their socioeconomic background.”

NiaChloe Bowman ’19