Babson College will be altering regular operations due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Senior-Led Seminars

March 2020

For Students, By Students

Made possible by a generous gift of the Donald W. White Sr. ’50 Family, Babson offers seminars each spring semester taught entirely by students in their senior year. The classes are on topics that hold special meaning with their instructors, and this semester range from making better slides to appreciating and understanding rock & roll. By sharing their passion with their peers, the seniors are able to teach topics that aren’t currently offered in the standard undergraduate curriculum. These classes are very popular among fellow students whose desire for knowledge extends beyond the typical course load.

Senior-led seminars are free, non-credit, and meet the first five weeks of the spring semester. The sixth class is a Showcase (download the Senior-Led Seminar Showcase (pdf) for more information), where senior instructors and students enrolled in their courses share highlights from the experience. Upon successful completion of a seminar, students enrolled in a seminar receive a passing grade, and the course appears on their transcript. To register for a seminar, go to course listing and search “SEN”. For more information about the program or the seminars, please email Tracey Reza.

Spring 2020 Seminar Schedule

Wednesday, January 29 Class 1
Wednesday, February 5 Class 2
Wednesday, February 12 Class 3
Wednesday, February 19 Class 4
Wednesday, February 26 Class 5
Wednesday, March 4 Class 6/Seminar Showcase

2020 Senior-Led Seminars

Making Better Slides

Yulin Chen

Business students spend a tremendous amount of time and effort designing slides, because they know they matter. But many students want to make better slides. This course focuses on the design principles, technologies, and strategies to make visually appealing and effective slides, in particular for business presentations. In addition to learning about business-related design principles and tactics, students will learn highly practical—but not difficult—hacks using Photoshop, Python, Excel, and PowerPoint. Students in this seminar will learn to make stunning slides using the most time-efficient approaches.

Behind the Playlist: Music Business 101

Nikhil Anand

Behind the Playlist: Music Business 101 will give students a comprehensive look into the business of music. Through interactive lectures, case studies, and guest speakers, students will be introduced to the various components of the music business. Course topics include music contracts, recording v. publishing, streaming, touring, data in music, and the pros and cons of independence.

Like a Rolling Stone: Understanding Rock & Roll

Natalie Novak

This seminar will examine some of the most influential rock songs of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. At the course’s core, students will listen to and discuss songs such as Whole Lotta Love, Pinball Wizard, and Help. Students will also learn how the songs were created and connect them to a broader cultural context. For each song, the seminar will explore “why this song, for this audience, at this time?” Broad topics will include Beatlemania, Psychedelic Rock, New-Wave and Glam, and students should come prepared to hear new songs and enjoy themselves!

The Taiwan Strait: History, Politics, and a Troubled Relationship

Viola Du

The Taiwan Strait, with its significant geographical location and well-publicized political tensions, is an important part of the U.S.’s Asian Pacific strategy. This seminar explores the history of mainland China and Taiwan, including U.S. intervention, from WWII to present. Students will discuss the triangular relationship among the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Nationalist Party (KMT), and the U.S. Topics will include the Chinese Civil War, the U.S. notion of the “loss of China,” conflicts between mainland Chinese immigrants and indigenous Taiwanese, and the changing of Taiwanese identity, to name a few. This seminar stands at the intersection of history, political science, and international relations. It aims to provide an introduction, so students can form their own analyses about Taiwan, objectively and critically.

When Students Become Teachers

Babson Thought & Action

“The Senior-Led Seminar is a wonderful Babson tradition,” says Ian Lapp, dean of the Undergraduate School. “It embodies an essential element of our undergraduate experience: peer-to-peer learning.”