As another semester comes to an end, it is time to say goodbye to our beloved senior e-board members who are December grads, Ellie Gordy and Katherine Hayes. Ellie served as the Case Competition Lead this semester and in a variety of other roles in previous semesters, and we thank her for her extraordinary contributions to NUMA. Our exceptional President, Katherine Hayes, has held every NUMA e-board position imaginable, from Mentorship Chair in her freshman year to VP Membership and then President in her final two years at Northeastern. She will pass the torch to Co-Presidents Dalila Franzolini and Meghana Kartham for next semester, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for the spring!
Katherine has been one of our most hard-working, innovative presidents to date, and her leadership and contributions to NUMA are unmatched. We cannot thank her enough for her dedication to our organization.
At our last e-board meeting, I asked Katherine to reflect on her time in NUMA and share her final thoughts on where the club is heading.
Congratulations on graduating! What’s next for you?
After taking a short trip to Australia and New Zealand (where I will visit the previous president of NUMA!) I will head back to Boston where I will work at Digitas, a global marketing and technology agency, as a Search Engine Optimization Analyst for the newly won Dunkin’ account.
What was your favorite meeting/event/milestone of NUMA this semester?
Probably hitting a hundred members! My sophomore year I was VP Membership, and the idea of having a hundred official members would have been laughable to me at the time. But now it shows that we are creating value for people and a community where people feel excited to come and meet other people with similar interests.
What were some of the challenges you’ve faced this semester as President?
I think for me, one of the hardest parts of this semester was to take a more backseat role. I think one of the most essential parts of being President is making sure that when you’re gone, those that follow have been empowered to do the role, so this semester I tried to focus on making sure that everyone had the chance to take on as much responsibility as they wanted and they knew that they could own their projects.
How have you seen NUMA grow as an organization since you joined in Fall of 2014?
I have seen it grow so much – it’s so exciting! When I started, our e-board was significantly smaller, we didn’t have as much money to put into membership events, and the speakers we brought in were strictly those that were hiring co-ops. It was still a fun organization to be a part of, but I definitely think that we have been able to create more opportunities for all of our members now, including everything from local conferences to even just pizza at each meeting!
What are you most proud of from your time as President?
I’m really proud of the shift we have made in terms of speakers. Last year, my EVP and I decided that while we obviously wanted to still bring in speakers who work at companies that offer co-ops, we wanted to move away from being an organization that only brought in co-op employers. Co-op is clearly important, but we wanted to make NUMA about learning more about marketing as a whole, from all kinds of interesting speakers from all different kinds of companies. While we were nervous people wouldn’t be interested in attending panels where the speakers weren’t hiring co-ops, we actually found the opposite to be true! By focusing on providing the most interesting experience possible, we’ve seen attendance increase and overall enjoyment of panels skyrocket.
What responsibility did you enjoy the most or learn the most from as President?
I loved having the chance to reach out to so many interesting speakers. Prior to joining NUMA, I barely even knew what marketing was – now I have had the opportunity to hear from literally hundreds of experts across different roles and fields that relate to marketing, something that has definitely informed my decisions about what I am interested in.
Has NUMA influenced your career ambitions?
So much so – it’s incredible! NUMA has, first and foremost, given me the opportunity to learn about a ton of roles in marketing I might not have even known existed before, as well as the knowledge of different ways you can apply marketing to different industries. By hearing about so many jobs, I’ve been able to learn a bit more about what I think might be a good fit for me long-term. And then in terms of networking, it’s been incredible. Searching for a full-time role is stressful, much more so than searching for co-op. Luckily, thanks to NUMA, I’ve built relationships with an incredible amount of people who work in marketing in Boston, so when it came time to find a job, I reached out to some of them and had extra help getting my foot in the door at a ton of places around the city.
Do you have any final advice for Dalila and Meghana, our incoming Co-Presidents, as well as the rest of e-board for the coming semester?
My biggest piece of advice would be to continue making NUMA not only a professional organization, but a community where people can come to make friends and feel a sense of belonging. My earlier semesters in NUMA I felt this, but I also had to put in a bit more work to get involved. I would love to see NUMA be a place where this comes naturally, where from day one members know that they have found a place on campus where they fit. I think Membership has begun doing a great job at making this happen, with hosting fun events like Boda Borg and getting t-shirts to more visually have a sense of community, and I would love to see this only grow in future semesters.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your time in NUMA?
Yes! NUMA has been such a big part of my life these last four and a half years, and while that’s partly because I love marketing and have big professional ambitions NUMA has helped me get closer to, it’s ultimately because of the incredible people I’ve met in the organization. I have been so fortunate to meet so many amazing people who have made such an impact in my life. Thanks to NUMA, I have people who were upperclassmen when I started who I still look up to and turn to for all kinds of life advice, friends graduating with me who have become some of my best friends in the world, and current underclassmen who I hope I have been able to help the way I was helped when I was their age. These people might be all over the world (New Zealand, Washington D.C., Germany, and San Francisco to name just a few places!), but I’m lucky to know that no matter where I am, I will always have a fantastic support system of incredible people.