Casey Hogan, attracted by the city of Boston and the prospect of co-op, knew she was going to Northeastern. She knew she was going to the D'Amore-McKim School of Business. But Casey, now a junior, never imagined how much her interests would change in her freshman year. Much of her journey started by sitting quietly at Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club meetings.
"I would go and just sit in the back," said Casey about her first few meetings of the Entrepreneurs Club. Her quiet dedication got her noticed. Then club president, Aaron Gerry, came up to her after a meeting and said, “I see you sitting back here… just don't be shy.” He then introduced Casey to the other members of the club leadership. Casey became deeply involved in what, seemingly out of the blue, became her passion. She got involved. She became club president. She changed her major. She traveled the world.
Casey is not alone. “The interest in entrepreneurship on campus is exploding. We've engaged 900 members this semester alone. The student-led piece is a huge factor in our success and how we run. We are known for our quality programs and events, and when students learn that it is all run by students, they get excited and want to be a part of the process. We attract the most incredible talent from campus, because it is those driven students that want to lead programs and help grow the club even further,” she noted.
Casey’s interest changed from marketing, and she is now an entrepreneurship major with a minor in computer science. Her exploration of entrepreneurship led her to participate in a Northeastern University Dialogue trip to South Africa last July. The trip focused on conducting business research and assisting in marketing and networking for Little Green Number, a company that recycles billboards into reusable and stylish bags. Before they left for the trip, Casey and her classmates made business assumptions about what they would find in South Africa. However, once she got there, Casey realized that a business plan’s first steps involved listening to employees and getting a good feel of the existing business culture. Casey explained: “It opened my eyes to how much adapting it takes to do business in other places. It became apparent that business practice in the United States is completely different from rural South Africa."
Casey will complete one more co-op before graduating. She is contemplating working for a large company, in order to compare that business culture to her past experiences with small business startups. “For my second [co-op], I worked at the New England Venture Capital Association. Even though it works with VCs, it was a two person organization, the executive director and me. It had a very entrepreneurial, start-up type feel. And I love that.”
Casey plans to start a minor in computer science soon because she sees computer science as a must. “Even if you’re not a developer, in Boston especially, if you’re looking to get into startups, anything you can learn in order to be able to understand and converse with technical people is incredibly useful. So I’m excited to do that [and] change up what I’ve been learning, too.”