Advice to the Class of 2012

Illustration: Richard Mia Collection/

Illustration: Richard Mia Collection/

As caps and gowns fill campus this May, Babson professors offer parting lessons to graduates.

Storytelling is how we learn about the world, connect with others, and make sense of our own lives. Never forget to read more novels, engage in deep conversations, create and share your own adventures, and reflect on your own story.
—Stephen Deets, associate professor of politics

Here are a few thoughts that have been helpful to me. I hope they are helpful to you, too. Integrity is precious. Treat others with respect, and they likely will do the same for you. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones, not possessions. Problems don’t diminish with the passage of time, so admit your mistakes. I have found people to be very forgiving. Seek out good mentors, and find ways to interact with them. You can learn much from them. Focus as much on listening as on talking. The most successful people I have known are great listeners.  —Bob Halsey, professor of accounting and associate dean of the Undergraduate School

Life is not a race, it is a journey. Where you are tomorrow isn’t necessarily where you will be in a year, in two years, in 20 years. Be amazed at what you learned while here and build on it. Make your own path at your own pace. Reflect often. Listen to yourself, not to what others say. Don’t be afraid to make a decision. Find something that makes you happy, and share that happiness with others. Be proud of who you are, and be true to who you are. Hug the people you care about. Smile often. Stay in touch with those who helped make your Babson experience what it was.  —Dawna Travis Dewire, P’08, ’13, senior lecturer, information systems

Don’t wait to do something that you really care about. If you can do it, you should. If you can’t, you should try.  —Heidi Neck, associate professor of entrepreneurship and Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

We all now live in a fishbowl. One must make an effort to create the personal brand that represents your values, and one must be diligent to live it carefully, consistently, and unwaveringly. Once lost, it is difficult to regain. So stay away from creeps, and live by a set of moral guidelines that you believe in. Never compromise on these values.

And to the entrepreneurs, remember that entrepreneurship is a life choice where one chooses to focus on the pleasure of the journey as opposed to the destination. It’s not about building your 401(k) to make your retirement comfortable; rather, it’s about building a life of everchanging relationships and challenges that are valued regardless of where they lead.  —Bob Caspe, lecturer in entrepreneurship

I hope your years at Babson have been fulfilling. While you will not be with us as students, you are now part of the Babson community for life. We hope you will return to campus to add value to your own experience, as well as to impart your knowledge to current students. All of us will benefit from this ongoing interaction. I know I have learned a great deal from you throughout your time here, and I hope we will keep on sharing these experiences in the years ahead. God speed on life’s journey.  —Bob Turner, P’07, associate professor of accounting and graduate associate dean of on-site programs