2017 MBAs To Watch: Courtney Wilson, Babson College

Courtney Wilson

Babson College

Wellesley Woman. Combat Veteran. Babson MBA Candidate. Personal Trainer. Marathoner. Founder of DropZone For Veterans.

Age: 30

Hometown: Boston, MA

Fun fact about yourself:  I am a die-hard Groupon fan and love using it to learn new skills and gain unique experiences. I’ve gone hang-gliding, taken balloon rides, driven 10 laps on a Nascar track, and have gone to bee-keeping and sushi-making classes.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Wellesley College, B.A English with a concentration in Creative Writing

Webster University, Masters in Management and Leadership

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I served as U.S. Army Engineer Officer for seven years as well as a personal trainer at my fitness company, Bronze Star Fitness.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Participated in an accelerator (Babson Summer Venture Program) and launched my company, DropZone For Veterans—a customizable directory of high-impact veteran benefits.

Where will you be working after graduation? DropZone For Veterans as the founder and CEO

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Honors & Awards: Babson Forte Fellow, Babson Graduate Assistant, Military Entrepreneur Making a Difference, HUBSpot’s Changemaker of the week

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school?  Running the 2017 Boston Marathon as part of the Mass Fallen Heroes Charity and being able to raise awareness and $7,500 in direct donations for them.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Leading troops in Afghanistan. Nothing will ever top that.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Gary Ottley in Intro to Marketing. There is nothing that I appreciate more than insanely intelligent and competent people with self-deprecating senses of humor.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Marketing Analytics because it showed me how to funnel intention down to actual tangible, quantitative impact.

Why did you choose this business school? Because every interaction I had with Babson was so authentic and enjoyable that I felt like it was a community I would not only be lucky to be a part of, but proud of as well.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general?  Having my mind blown pretty much every day, whether it was from something I learned in class, from interacting with my classmates, or seeing a fellow start-up accomplish something great.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? Learning just how important emotional intelligence is in business.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? The most impressive version of you is the authentic one. Don’t try to fit into some cookie-cutter mold.

What is the biggest myth about your school? People think that because it is a smaller school, the networking opportunities won’t be as good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What was your biggest regret in business school?  Not being more diligent and intentional about cultivating and maintaining relationships with professors.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire?  My SLE (Signature Learning Experience) Group: Spencer Hines, Gabriel Pinedo, and Julie Bowerman. They believed in me and the idea of DropZone For Veterans enough to make it our term project, and together we took it from an idea in my head to a full-fledged product. I will forever be grateful to them.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I figured out I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My time in the military taught me how to execute plans, but I wanted to have the business acumen to back it up.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school…I would be a personal trainer and running my own fitness company.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Create a course on “Military-Infused Entrepreneurship” that incorporates the military’s operational efficiency and ability to execute, with the best business strategies and principles of launching a small business.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Create a community of military members and their supporters that generates tangible impact through the creation of mutually beneficial and supportive relationships—and do it in a way that is authentic and inspires members to feel unstoppable.

or

Create significant, quantitative impact in the world through connections that are mutually supportive and beneficial, and do it in a way that is authentic and inspires people to feel unstoppable.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My friends who believed in me.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Someone who made them feel unstoppable.

Favorite book: Gone with the Wind

Favorite movie or television show: The Office

Favorite musical performer: O.A.R (Of A Revolution)

Favorite vacation spot: Grad students can afford vacations?!?!

Hobbies? Working Out.

What made Courtney such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Courtney has had a huge impact on Babson and her community in the short time she has been here for her MBA. As an ex-combat officer, she has the discipline and know-how to get stuff done. But that’s just the beginning. She is involved with many clubs and organizations at Babson, demonstrating her leadership and sharing her experiences to help other women and veteran MBAs. She has worked incredibly hard, in addition to her studies, to conceive, develop and launch an awesome startup while at Babson.

Courtney’s company, DropZone for Veterans, helps military veterans connect with the wide range of services they are given from government and non-profit sources to help them recover and re-enter their lives in the US. Not only is this an incredibly important gap in our system that needs to be filled, but she has done it in such an extraordinary way. She has gotten everyone at Babson engaged with her endeavor – fellow students, faculty, other entrepreneurs and veterans – and attracted significant media attention winning pitch contests and startup competitions. She has used her smarts and creativity to bring her vision to life, and in the process, she has taught many other MBA entrepreneurs what is possible.

Courtney is an excellent community member who thinks of how to help others at every turn. Even in the middle of the chaotic time when her startup launched, she collected all the important materials and documents needed to start a company to create a toolkit for her fellow Babson entrepreneurs. This allowed them to benefit from learning the ‘how to-s’ that she learned on her own startup journey, saving them time, money and aggravation. Courtney never shies away from things that are hard. During her time in our Summer Venture Program, a 10-week intensive venture accelerator, she pushed herself to do things that were difficult for her. She knew she had to push through these things to get to the next level as an entrepreneur. She has drawn from her experiences as a military veteran, her toolkit as an MBA and her deeply embedded set of values to become a leader who will have great impact on the world. It is for these reasons that I believe Courtney deserves to be on this list of the top MBAs.”

Debi Kleiman
Executive Director
Arthur M. Blank Center For Entrepreneurship
Babson College

 

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