Island scholar is college valedictorian
In 2006, Laflamme, 22, graduated from the Prout School at the top of his class as its valedictorian – an achievement of which any scholar would be proud.
Recently, he repeated that achievement when he graduated as the valedictorian of the 2010 class at Babson College in Babson Park, Mass.
He didn’t set out to earn the valedictorian’s title again, he said.
“At Prout, it was an intentional goal,” he said. “But at Babson, I just tried to do my best.”
Laflamme studied business and entrepreneurship at Babson College – a program, he said, that focused on half liberal arts and half business courses. He had a lot of freedom to pursue his own interests and also got to travel quite a bit, he said.
“I went to Ghana to teach entrepreneurship and consulting,” he said. “I taught students about basic entrepreneurship and how to write a business plan.”
Laflamme was also able to study abroad for one summer at the London School of Economics and for a full year at Oxford.
“Oxford was a tutorial system,” he said. “Instead of classes, I had one-on-one meetings with an expert in the field.”
Each week, he said, he had to write an essay on a particular topic and then answer the expert’s questions about it.
“It was very strong incentive to know everything you could about a given topic,” he said.
At Oxford, Laflamme studied economics and philosophy – a subject he refers to as a “passion.”
“It’s really enjoyable to focus on something that you love,” he said.
Indeed, “focus” has been an important part of Laflamme’s academic success.
“Yes, I was very disciplined,” he said, when asked about his study habits. “It did require staying in and studying.”
But, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a social life, he added.
When asked what advice he might offer to students heading off to college or high school in the fall, he said, “Organization is really key.”
It’s also important to take things slow at first, he said.
“All of a sudden there’s a spectrum of activities to choose from,” he said. “Don’t jump into everything.”
But it’s also important to make the most of your experience and the opportunities it brings, he said.
“Make the very most of it,” he said. “Seize all of the opportunities that come your way.”
As for the future, Laflamme said he hopes to start his own company. In fact, he hoped to get some ideas during a trip to China, for which he left earlier this week.
“My roommate was from Beijing,” he said. “I’m going to visit him and we’re going to the World Expo in Shanghai.”
For now, though, Laflamme said he’s enjoying being home with his family, which includes his parents, Moe and Mary-Ann, and brothers Marc and Noel.
He might want to go back to school someday, too – but he’s in no hurry, he said.
“Some time in the real world will serve me well,” he said.