Fareeha Naim, DMSB'19, is taking over our Instagram account Thursday, Nov. 15, as she finishes up her last Fall semester in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business undergraduate program. We asked Naim to reflect on her time at Northeastern University, including classes, co-op experiences, and extracurricular activities. Be sure to follow her Instagram takeover beginning Thursday, Nov. 15 @damoremckim.
Q Why did you decide to enroll at Northeastern University and major in business?
That’s a question I keep getting, and I finally think I have a clear answer. I actually applied to Northeastern for its finance program because of the encouragement of a high school teacher. Back then, I had no idea what business school entailed or even what it really meant—I come from a family of doctors, so I wasn’t readily exposed to any other career options growing up. Admitted students’ day, specifically its focus on the co-op program, is what officially sold me. I officially changed my concentration during the second semester of my freshman year. After taking both the core finance and accounting classes, I realized that I was most excited to do my accounting homework and go to class. I owe it to Professor Cynthia Jackson (who is now retired); she made the class engaging, intuitive, and fun! Now that I’ve done three accounting co-ops, I can’t imagine doing anything else! Special shoutout to the kids who have listened to me nerd out about tax law and still want to be my friends after all these years—thank you for not leaving me with only a calculator as a friend.
Q: Tell us about your co-op experiences.
I’m extremely lucky to have worked for an employer so willing and able to send me wherever I asked to go. I have done three tax co-ops, all with Andersen Tax; my first one focused on individual, trust, and partnership taxes in the Boston office, the second concentrated on alternative investment funds and corporation tax in the San Francisco headquarters, and the third revolved around Irish taxes, bookkeeping, and financial statement creation in the Dublin, Ireland office. Not only have I learned about the various kinds of tax returns and contracts that exist, but I've also learned about the type of work culture I thrive in by working at multiple Andersen Tax offices. Each office was completely different—Boston had the high stress, high stakes environment that is customary in an East Coast financial firm, San Francisco promoted “life-work balance” and building community as one would expect from a California office, and Dublin only worked 37.5 hours a week with plenty of tea breaks and chats between doing returns. I have grown both as an employee, and as a student through the various clients I was given. I’ve met many people within the company that have been essential to choosing my ultimate career path, determining what work I really enjoy, and helping me become more confident in my abilities.
Q: What have you been involved with at Northeastern?
Too much! But somehow, not enough. Two clubs I have been heavily involved in since my freshman year are the Student Alumni Association (SAA) and NU Stage Musical Theatre. In SAA, I have served as the director of operations, vice president of internal affairs, and vice president of collaborations. Through these positions, I planned alumni, academic, and musical events; participated in the Husky Hunt; created semester and event-based budgets; volunteered during the Homecoming Headliner in Matthews Arena; made lasting alumni connections; and had a constant community to return to after spending semesters outside of Boston. In NU Stage, I music directed Legally Blonde in Spring 2015 and Catch Me If You Can in Fall 2015, and performed in 2017’s summer revue Novaturient and the fall 2017 mainstage performance of Heathers: The Musical. I am also a senator in the Student Government Association, an honors living learning assistant, a D’Amore McKim Delegate, and I am a part of the accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi. I love having things to do outside of classes and being part of diverse organizations—it’s a fun way to meet new people on campus and get involved in planning events!
Q: Reflecting back on your time here, what stands out as your favorite memory and why?
My favorite Northeastern memory is definitely performing as Ms. Fleming in the NU Stage Musical Theatre production of Heathers: The Musical in Fall 2017. It was so unlike anything I’d usually do. I don’t consider myself a strong performer, and I prefer working behind the scenes rather than being on stage; however, it’s a role that’s very important to me. I auditioned without really expecting anything—imagine how much I freaked out when I got the role! I was taking four difficult classes that fall, so having nightly rehearsals was exactly what I needed to destress through singing, dancing and acting. The two nights we performed in Blackman were simultaneously the most excited and most anxious I have ever been, but I get to say I DID IT! Even if it still wasn’t enough to get over my stage fright, I’m thankful I was given this opportunity.
Q:What do you plan on showing our community during your takeover?
I want to showcase how many options there are at Northeastern, both within the business school and in clubs on campus. It’s easy to get wrapped up in career planning and joining professional societies to further our careers, but I think it’s even more important to branch out and join clubs to fulfill different hobbies as well. College is probably the last time we’ll have these many options to try out and explore, so I want to show how many ways a business student can get involved!