Closing the G.A.P. Between Ambition and Action
Hanson Grant ’16 / Saratoga Springs, New York
“When I was 18, I left my home in upstate New York and drove across the country to California. I spent four months there, first as a room keeper at Yosemite National Park and then as a ski and snowboard instructor at Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.
“My G.A.P. semester was an opportunity to broaden my horizons and get a taste of the real world, which helped me enter Babson really motivated and confident.”
“It wasn’t a random decision though—I was taking advantage of Babson’s G.A.P. (Grow. Achieve. Prepare.) program. G.A.P. allowed me to start classes in January while staying on track to graduate in four years.
“My G.A.P. semester was an opportunity to broaden my horizons and get a taste of the real world, which helped me enter Babson really motivated and confident. That time spent away, free from any expectations, helped me define my sense of self and learn how to exert self-discipline. By the time I started as a first-year in January, I had already been a leader and a teacher out West, and I was ready to take advantage of everything Babson had to offer.
“The biggest reason Babson appealed to me was its reputation as a top school for entrepreneurs. I ran my own custom T-shirt company in high school, and I loved the idea of being my own boss. However, when I was the co-CEO of my Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship business, EyeCare for Boston, I also learned to work in a team and adapt to the different personalities involved, delegating responsibility when I understood that it was best for our company.
“I used the lessons learned from my previous businesses when I was developing my latest venture Think Board, a removable and reusable clear vinyl film that turns any surface into a dry erase board. As the founder and CEO of a rapidly growing business that encourages creative work while saving paper and money, I have a huge opportunity to impact many lives locally and globally, especially in schools and developing countries.
“Babson for me is a combination of adventure and business, so when I’m not working on Think Board I’m traveling. Through Babson’s BRIC program, I was able to learn about the history, culture, and business environment of Russia, China, and India while visiting local companies and important sites in each country. I also took advantage of Babson’s Elective Abroad in Argentina and Uruguay. Every travel experience is eye-opening in its own way, showing me the many opportunities entrepreneurs have to add value around the world.
“Before I first came to campus, I wasn’t sure what to expect as someone starting college a semester later, but at Babson I’ve found a home filled with the resources I need to develop as an entrepreneur and person. Just like being on my own during my G.A.P. semester helped me understand myself, being a Babson student on campus and abroad has given me insight into what inspires and motivates others.”