Oriana Torres MBA’13
Business Development Manager, Knightsbridge Schools International
What is your pre-Babson experience?
I attended the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. Before coming to Babson, I worked for Endeavor Colombia. My role was entrepreneur services manager for Colombia. Endeavor is the biggest nonprofit that supports high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide.
Why did you choose Babson for your graduate education?
For me, Babson was a natural fit, yet still an aspirational university given precisely that fit. I had started a successful career at the Colombian operation of Endeavor. With the support of an unrivaled network of seasoned business leaders, Endeavor works to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide. So, I wanted to go to one of the universities that had the branding and experience to really de-construct entrepreneurship from many angles, working with entrepreneurs of all kinds.
As a Babson student, what did you do when not in class?
I think my cocurricular experience was as important as my academic one. I was on the Graduate Student Council. I was one of the co-chairs of the Babson Entrepreneurship Forum, probably the most amazing intersection between entrepreneurship and student life. Our slogan that year was Celebrating Entrepreneurs of all Kinds, and it was the first gender-balanced event, where we secured equal participation of women and men as speakers. I was also on the organizing team for the Babson Latin American Forum, and naturally was part of the club as well. We brought in former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe as keynote speaker. I was also quite involved with the Lewis Institute, and part of the Social Innovation Action Learning Network. I also interned for CWEL—it’s amazing to see all the wonderful stuff they’ve done. I also went to Rwanda with Babson, and was one of the coordinators of the Rwanda CWEL Entrepreneurship Program.
I loved the activities at Sorenson! I did theater, we did a play about the story of Matthew Shepard, which was quite powerful because his mom came to see it. I took painting classes. Quite funny as not many MBA students did those type of activities.
What was your favorite part of the Babson student experience?
The balance between pure academics and the campus experience is what I loved most. I even gave a TEDx talk (in the first TEDx version in my city), where I spoke about this and about Babson. Also, the amazing friendships I made for life.
What do others need to know about Babson?
Babson is all about collaboration. A person like me needed it. I tend to be very competitive and Babson, through its culture, just gave me a great lesson on how collaboration and excellence can meet. Collaboration does not lower your standards, it multiplies them.