2020 MBAs To Watch: Paul DelVecchio, Babson College (Olin)

Paul DelVecchio

Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

“Former Walmart Employee of the Month trying to make it in the world of business and entrepreneurship.”

Hometown: Medway, MA.

Fun fact about yourself: I once placed second in a banana bread bakeoff (and to be honest, a case could be made that I deserved first, but it’s fine…I’m definitely not bitter about it).

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Connecticut, BA Economics.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Finance and Analytics Manager at American Express

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? NA – One Year MBA Program

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided. Hoping to work in a Finance and Strategy position within a startup environment.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Babson Board Fellow – I am a non-voting member on the board of Union Capital Boston, a local nonprofit that aims to drive and reward community engagement.
  • One-Year Class Representative – Acted as the liaison between the students in the One-Year program and faculty/staff throughout the core program.
  • Accounting Teaching Assistant – Acted as the tutor for the full-time, two-year MBA students as well as evening and blended MBA students upon request. Covered material discussed in class and prepared them for upcoming exams.
  • Babson MBA Fellowship Recipient

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My role as Teaching Assistant for the Two-Year MBA Accounting course was far more rewarding than I could have imagined. Having taken the course myself, I had a strong grasp of the material. It wasn’t until I was teaching to groups of 40 plus students at a time that I realized that they were just as intellectually curious and driven as I was. As a result, I had to work extra hard to prepare for any question they could possibly throw at me. And so I did. I knew that course like I had written the lesson plans myself, and the results showed. I was so proud of all of the students who emailed me to let me know that I was able to help them get them an A, or a B, or whatever the grade that they didn’t think they could possibly get. I have a profound respect for professors who do that every day.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? When I was working at my previous company, I was up for a job promotion, but it meant switching teams and work functions. The role that I was taking on was in our Corporate Finance group, managing the Long-Range Plan and Annual Plan for the entire company. I had done my due diligence and spoken to current and former team members about what to expect and was surprised by what I heard. The person who I was taking over for told me that the process was a mess, causing her to routinely be at work until nearly midnight during the busier times of the plan. Not afraid of hard work, I was prepared for the worst. When I finally arrived on the team, I saw the issues first-hand. The team was understaffed and the model they were working with was a mess of patchwork and untraceable numbers. Our first directive was to update what we had for the current year, only changing what we needed. After studying it for a couple of days, I realized that was never going to work.

I suggested that we start from scratch and build it from the ground up, making it clean and straightforward and automating where possible. No more wondering where numbers came from and painstakingly changing inputs. It took me about a month to complete, but what I had when I was finished was something to be proud of. Updating the model used to take days, now it took an hour. No more late nights pulling our hair out to get it done in time. Now, additional time could be spent on more significant analysis rather than number reconciliation. We were able to turn around work faster, which is important when the people waiting on it are the Head of Corporate Planning and the CFO. What I am most proud of, though, is that that model is still used today, and it doesn’t take a week to understand, but rather an afternoon.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Richard Bliss has been one of the best professors I have ever had and his Finance for New Ventures course has been my favorite at Babson. Skipping his class sessions is ill-advised. That’s not because he will penalize you. Instead, it is because, without his engaging lectures and straightforward way of explaining the concepts, students would have little hope of sifting through the complex and dense material. He is always available outside of class, truly cares about his students, and challenges them to grow as scholars and entrepreneurs.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? By the nature of it being a One-Year MBA Program, the curriculum is highly condensed, which for us meant spending 14 weeks in the summer, Monday through Friday, in class and working on group projects and assignments in order to complete our core requirements. Being the summer, one-year MBA students were the only people on campus and we spent all day, every day together. Needless to say, it was exhausting and stressful. But every day, no matter how busy we were, we took a break, went outside, and ate lunch together. We spent time laughing, commiserating, learning about each other, and getting our minds off school, if only for a moment. We were in it together, and I think that permeates through the rest of the business school. It is never me versus you but more like we are all on the same team, and we succeed together or we don’t succeed at all.

Why did you choose this business school? I had been toying with the idea of going to business school for a couple of years but hadn’t taken any steps to do so when I saw a banner hanging in Boston’s South Station promoting Babson as the #1 business program for entrepreneurship. This caught my attention to the point where I went home and started doing some research. In addition to the top ranking, Babson also has an amazing alumni network, top tier professors, and an incredible culture with students from all around the world. Part of the reason I had not applied to business school sooner was that I hadn’t come across a program that fit me and would provide me with a new frame of thinking, putting me in a position to be successful after I graduated. Babson’s focus on Entrepreneurial Thought and Action was exactly what I was looking for.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Babson has built an incredibly diverse culture, so don’t be afraid to be yourself and show them what makes you truly unique, unique Is GOOD. There is no shortage of resources at your fingertips as a student here, but try to convey how you plan to use those resources and what you hope to get out of this program specifically. Put your passion on full display and share your lofty goals, we like those here.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Babson is definitely that everyone that goes here already has or plans to start their own business. While some students do fit this mold, the majority do not. Babson believes in Entrepreneurial Thought and Action and many of the programs and courses implement that view. But what this really means is that they encourage students to adopt a new, entrepreneurial, way of looking at the world and a new approach to problem-solving. So, whether you hope to start a business or not, thinking differently is not a hindrance, it’s a gift.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? The one thing I would do differently is talking to more people. Babson has no shortage of incredible students, brilliant professors, and amazing staff. You do yourself a disservice by not meeting and connecting with as many people as you can for the short time that you are here. There are people from all over the world with bring different personal and professional backgrounds and plan to take different paths in the future. You never know who has mutual connections, similar interests, or industry expertise, and I have yet to meet anyone at Babson who is unwilling to sit down and chat. While I did do my fair share of networking, I always wonder what that next person that I didn’t talk to would have shared.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Babson has done such a wonderful job of selecting students to admit into its various MBA programs, With that said, one particular classmate is hard not to admire. Karmveer Singh, who we affectionately referred to as KP, is the perfect embodiment of what a Babson MBA student should be. KP has a relentless work ethic, is a natural entrepreneurial thinker, and is quite possibly the most inquisitive person I have ever met. Coming from India, with a background in Metal and Materials Engineering, KP had to be away from his family while he pursued his MBA here at Babson. Always sure to greet me with a hug (and sometimes homemade Indian food, if I’m lucky), KP is one of the kindest people I know and has made incredible sacrifices to be where he is today, and that is certainly worth admiring.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My grandfather was the person who sparked my interest in business and ultimately why I pursed it throughout college. I remember going over to my grandparent’s house when I was a little kid and going into my grandfather’s workshop in the garage. He was always tinkering with something, rebuilding household appliances so that they worked better or building something of his own. I also remember rotating stacks of soda, or candy, or kitchenware, all of which he would buy in bulk and resell to people in town. Coming from humble beginnings, and having nine children, he worked harder than anyone I had seen or have seen since to provide for his family. I like to think that I have always had his entrepreneurial spirit, and pursuing business in college has helped me unlock that.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Two items on my bucket list are being an integral part of a finance team that helps take a company to an IPO and to be the founder of my own company one day.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A passionate and curious individual who was always eager to lend a helping hand and isn’t afraid of a challenge.

Hobbies? Reading, playing basketball, cooking, rooting for all Boston sports, comedy, and daydreaming.

What made Paul such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020? 

“Paul has demonstrated that he is a collaborative entrepreneurial leader with a mind for integrated sustainability. Bringing a positive attitude to any task, he quickly identifies which help to provide to his classmates, gets their buy-in, and works with them to create win-win solutions.”

“Since his first semester at Babson, Paul DelVecchio has demonstrated that he is a collaborative entrepreneurial leader with a mind for integrated sustainability. My observations below are my first-hand experience as one of Paul’s instructors.

In the Financial Reporting course, Paul was one of the best students, and that with a background in economics, not accounting. Knowing that he learns best when he teaches, Paul wasted no time creating a win-win solution by starting a multi-channel peer tutoring service. I heard that he frequently met with fellow students, whether on campus, the Boston Public Library, classmates’ apartments, or virtually.  The feedback from his classmates contributed to Paul’s appointment as a tutor for three classes in the following semester. Paul also was one of the two class representatives for the MBA core sessions. I received thoughtful feedback from him, which I have implemented.

The final segment of the core course, called BETA-X, was a multi-disciplinary feasibility blueprint group project.  Paul and his team colleagues developed hair shampoo tabs and accompanying refillable bottles that help sustainability-minded customers reduce waste from their personal care products.  Paul stepped up and led his group’s project submission. It was a pleasure for me to observe the positive energy during the team’s presentation, in which all group members participated.”

Brigitte Muehlmann, Ph.D.
Professor & Babson Research Scholar
Division of Accounting & Law


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