2021 MBAs To Watch: Jennifer Reed Papadopulos, Babson College (Olin)

Jennifer Reed Papadopulos

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

Jennifer is a passionate person who can spread enthusiasm to others. She is caring, honest, and disciplined.”

Hometown: Torreon, Mexico

Fun fact about yourself: Life gifted me the privilege to be raised in a family of 5 sisters, who are very outgoing and overtly expressive. I consider myself to be an outgoing and decisive person, but I have had to survive as the fourth sister. I have had to find my own strengths, and place to be an outstanding person.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Anahuac University (in Mexico City), BA in Business and BA in Finance

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? My last job before joining business school was in a family business enterprise, where I spent two years restructuring the company´s debt. My team and I converted short-term debt to long-term debt and payed off more than 60% of the amount outstanding.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? I do not know what the future holds for me. I can see myself in many different job roles and just being happy. I guess time will tell what my next steps will be. I might go back to consulting.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Because of COVID-19, I was forced to take all of my classes online. This has never stopped me from engaging with my MBA peers. I always made an effort to be a contributor to the group and to keep in touch with my classmates, despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic. It is an honor to be nominated for Poets&Quants. It validates all of the effort that I have directed to engaging with my peers and maximizing my MBA experience.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I particularly enjoyed the Institute of Family Entrepreneurship (IFE) at Babson, where I got to spend every other week in a forum where my peers and I shared our experiences on family business issues. IFE was a safe place to find different perspectives on common family business problems, with peers who were in asimilar situations.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I had always wanted to work in the family business. The day I got the offer, it was not easy to make the change. I had to leave Mexico City, where I had spent the last 7 years of my life, and my current job as a consultant so I that I could go back to my hometown of Torreon to work side-by-side with my father. For two years, I worked as my father’s right-hand woman. This enabled me to see the business world from a new entrepreneurial perspective.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose to pursue my degree at Babson College because I knew that it would provide me with the tools and networking necessary to thrive in my career. Most importantly, I chose Babson because I knew that I would become a better entrepreneur. As the leader in entrepreneurship programs for 27 consecutive years, Babson teaches entrepreneurs to have a disciplined approach in creating economic and social value. I am completely committed to becoming a person who generates value for the world and Babson is helping me to become that person.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? Babson is a unique place for people who want to pursue entrepreneurship. You can find the culture of entrepreneurship in every class, faculty member, and most of the student body. In 2019, Babson celebrated 100 years of teaching entrepreneurship and it is this tradition that I most enjoy.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? My MBA experience has been one of the happiest rides I have taken in my life. If I were to change one thing, it would be hard to say what that would be. I would not even change the fact that I had to be a remote student due to the pandemic. I know to some this could have been a deal breaker, but to me it was an opportunity to pursue my dream of getting an MBA with an added challenge. I had to adapt and to take on the challenge of finding happiness in a less than ideal situation and to not engage in thinking about what it would have been like to be able to attend classes in campus.

I do regret one thing, the fact that time flew by so quickly. I would have loved it if my classes would have continued for an additional six months.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Babson is that it is a business school for people who already have a business venture in mind. Babson is for anyone who is passionate about new ventures, it is for those people who want to be business creators, and who are willing to keep an open mind about how to tap into growing markets.

What surprised you the most about business school? The biggest surprise I think most of us have in business school is how time flies! When you least expect it, the MBA is over.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? I really did not feel that I had an advantage when getting into business school. If I did, I could not say what it was. Earning an MBA had been a goal of mine for more than two years, and I worked tirelessly to achieve this goal.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire my entire class because of how we all overcame the challenges posed by the pandemic. My class is full of entrepreneurial leaders, who are empathetic and willing to share their ideas on how to solve business problems. Go Babson MBA Class of 2021!

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? It was disruptive, but I decided to look at the bright side: I got to spend more time with family while pursuing my degree. Since I did not have to commute, I spent more time connecting online with my classmates and working remotely on homework. I also got to spend my short breaks playing with my niece and nephew. Zoom and WebEx sometimes lost connection, and family members did pass behind me while I was on camera, but it was all part of the experience.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? It was my parents. My father always encouraged me to better myself through education and my mother always told me that I should strive to be a better person.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I have two goals in mind. My first goal is to start a business and to become the entrepreneur Babson taught me to be. My second goal is to help future MBAs to fund their education. The scholarships that I received to pursue an MBA helped to make my dream a reality and I want to help others in the same way.

What made Jennifer such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Jenn is a living entrepreneur; she is extremely curious, self-driven, and action-oriented. She fuels her drive from envisioning a more just socio-economic world. In the changing world, Jenn addresses what a business must stand for. In leading this change, Jenn represents the group of new rising entrepreneurial MBAs. She aims to engage different people in conversation and together wants to develop a societal mission that is more meaningful for different constituents. Where others see an end, she imagines and creates a new path to a better end.”

Sinan Erzurumlu

Faculty Director for the Full-Time MBA Programs

DON’T MISS: THE FULL LIST OF MBAS TO WATCH IN 2021

 

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