2019 Best & Brightest: Leslie Parra, Babson College

Leslie Parra

Babson College

A charismatic, independent, hilariously sarcastic human aiming to inspire positive changes in individuals around her.”

Fun fact about yourself: I love trying out random activities (pottery, painting, boxing, etc.) in the hopes that I’ll find my “true gift” in life.

Hometown: Bronx, NY

High School: Monsignor Scanlan High School

Major: Business Administration

Minor: Marketing

Favorite Business Course: Case Studies in Ecological Management

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Posse Foundation Scholar, Dean Lists (all semesters), VP of Communications for ONE (Origins of Necessary Equality, Babson’s diversity and inclusion club) for 2016-2017 Academic Year, Student Chair for 2019 Babson Black Affinity Network Conference, Operations Committee Member for the 2017 National Dominican Student Conference, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) Career Prep Fellow CP’2019 Class, Habitat for Humanity Volunteer

Where have you interned during your college career? Ernst & Young, New York, NY, Audit Intern; Ernst & Young, New York, NY, Business Advisory Intern; The  Clorox Company, Alpharetta, GA, Sales Analyst Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? The Clorox Company, Sales Planning Analyst

What did you enjoy most about your business school? What I enjoyed most about my business school was, funnily enough, the emphasis placed on liberal arts courses. While I entered Babson knowing that I wanted to seek out career opportunities in business, the classes that challenged me the most were outside my career choice. The social science, history, and literary courses I’ve taken at Babson have allowed me to explore my interest in hobbies/topics outside of my career, such as sustainability and performing arts.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing about majoring in business is that after any setback comes something incredibly life-changing. While studying business at Babson, I learned that going with the flow is key, as a considerable amount of this field requires adaption, whether it is to new roles or new trends; things are constantly changing all around you. Your ability to remain in control of your reaction to these changes is what will keep you successful, in whatever way you may define success.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…psychology. My fascination with market research/sales is delving deep into the behind-the-scenes of the ultimate consumer and so much of that field is understanding the way people’s minds work. My older sister will soon be graduating with her Masters in Psychology and learning from her always piqued my interest in this field.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? One of my high school teachers, Mr. Keelin, influenced my decision to pursue business in college because of my passion for numbers. Having always done extremely well in my math courses in high school, my teacher recommended that I pursue Accounting as a field and it is with that intention that I applied to Babson.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? While it’s not necessarily an achievement in the most formal sense, I consider studying abroad in Denmark to be the accomplishment I’m most proud of. Studying abroad in a foreign country, traveling without fellow classmates to have as a safety net, and learning and adopting an entirely new culture for four months was a transformative experience for me personally. I learned so much about my social skills, my natural instincts, and my ability to adapt to drastically different environments in a way that I never thought I would. I owe so much of my positive experience in this beautiful country to my amazing host parents and my homestay-sister Ashleigh.

Which classmate do you most admire? One classmate that I admire most is Zahira Perez. She is my Posse mentee, so she is one year younger than I am but no less wise. She is not only a powerhouse at Babson and in her personal life, but she is an incredibly intelligent, wise, compassionate human being. I’ve never met anyone as fearless and resilient as Zahira and it’s with so much honor and pride that I’m able to call her a dear friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would most want to thank Marjorie Feld, my Posse mentor, for my success. Throughout my four years in college, she has been the ultimate lifesaver during my most suffocating moments. In times when I did not feel confident enough to pursue opportunities, she continuously pushed me forward and reminded me of my excellence and intellectual power. I’m eternally grateful to her for the undying support and love that she has shown me over these four years.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? The top two items on my bucket list are to “participate in a wildlife conservation/social justice volunteer program” and “go paragliding”. The former relates to my growing interest in environmental injustices and creating a positive impact on our earth. The latter relates to my desire to do something daring and exciting. I’m usually known to be someone who plays things “safely”; while there’s nothing wrong with that, I’ve also noticed the number of amazing moments I’ve passed up on because of it. In an effort to rectify this, I’ve been slowly adopting a “once-in-a-lifetime” approach to unique opportunities hoping that this will help me develop the daring and free-spirited qualities that I know are buried inside.

What are your hobbies? My top hobbies would have to be anything related to self-care, which can be very subjective considering self-care signifies something different to everyone. To me, self-care is caring for my body (working out at the gym/going for a walk or on tiring days, doing absolutely nothing and binging on Netflix), mind (reading, watching documentaries, etc.) and soul (spending time with family, which usually includes my favorite activity: dancing.).

What made Leslie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Leslie Parra is a superb human being. I begin with this statement because it’s not her sheer determination, her strong moral compass, her powerful intellect, or her work ethic that drive me to support her nomination. It is the sum total of these that inspire me to do so. Parra did not grow up with the stability and privilege accorded many of our Babson students. Her transition to the academic rigor was difficult, but she persevered and dug in to dedicate herself to doing well. She worked jobs that supported her college experience and also her family at home in the Bronx, New York. She did all of this while keeping leadership commitments that improved the quality of life for LatinX students and others on our campus, and that “gave back,” as they say, to young people like herself. Why is Leslie Parra such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?  She has been my mentee (through the Posse Foundation program), my classroom student, and too my friend. She has taught me invaluable lessons about doing the right thing, about commitments and goal achievement. And she modeled these lessons for her peers. All of that has made her invaluable to me and to the entire class of 2019.”

Marjorie N. Feld
Professor of History
Babson College

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