Irish step dancer balances studies, co-op like a champ


 

Three years ago, Courtney Hastings, DMSB’16, performed in front of a global audience and became a World Champion of Irish dance.

“I was on two teams and both won the worlds,” she said. “It was a lot.”

She described winning as the best feeling and also the moment when she retired as a competitive dancer. That was the end of Hastings’ freshman year at Northeastern.

Today, she’s a senior studying accounting and finishing her third co-op at Deloitte, with plans to graduate a semester early in December 2016. She believes the discipline and work ethic she has learned through dance competitions for nearly two decades has positively influenced other aspects of her life.

“I would say I’m a pretty competitive person,” she said. “Even when finding a co-op, I wanted to get the best that I could.”

Hastings completed her first co-op as a tax intern at Anderson Tax, one of the largest independent accounting firms in the country. While she enjoyed the experience, she decided to try her hand at auditing on her second co-op. She landed an audit intern position at Deloitte, and after six months, made an important decision. “If you like public accounting, this is where you want to be.”

Her second co-op also became her third, which she’s been doing since January 2016. She was able to return to the same Deloitte team working with the same client. “I’m hoping for a full-time offer in April,” she said.

Coming from three generations of Huskies, Hastings is the 11th person in her family to attend the university. Her footsteps have nearly mimicked those of her aunt, Robin Devereux, DMSB’82. A D’Amore-McKim alumnae, Devereux majored in accounting and found success early on, including experience at Deloitte.   

“She’s just next door from me right now,” Hastings said. Devereux is currently the CFO of Summit Investments and sits on the advisory board of Northeastern’s student-led venture accelerator, IDEA.  

Hastings quickly added that it was her choice to come to Northeastern. “The co-op opportunity was huge for me,” she said. “I applied to other schools in the area, but I knew I wouldn’t get the same experience at the other schools I applied to.” It was an added bonus that she could be close to her sister and join the pack of alumni in her family, she said.

At the latest 1st Thursday alumni event earlier this month, Hastings and her sister, Alexandra, N’15, performed a few dances in line with the evening’s theme, “Luck of the Irish.” They both came directly from work – Alexandra from her nursing position at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Courtney from Deloitte. 

Both also happen to be preparing to become certified Irish dance instructors, known as the TCRG. Courtney aims to give back to the community that she described as having given her everything, including discipline, time management, and speaking skills. Hastings has been a student dance instructor since the age of 11, and she hopes to pass these skills on to a younger generation. “It’s so rewarding to see them develop,” she said.

She has also started studying for the CPA exam, which she hopes to take in the coming months. Her years of rigorous practice and competition has allowed her to see what can result in dedicating herself to something, as well as the ability to appreciate the people who have helped guide her along the way.

“I wouldn’t have given it up for anything,” she said.

Written by Emily Turner