Mohamed Bennis, DMSB'21, is taking over our Instagram @damoremckim this week! Follow along for an inside look at his experience at D'Amore-McKim including co-ops, clubs, and more!
Q: What is your major and what year are you graduating?
A: I'm pursuing a combined major in business administration and math with a finance concentration and a minor in data science. I'm projected to graduate in December 2021!
Q: Why did you decide to come to Northeastern University and enroll at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business?
A: I'm originally from Tangier, Morocco, and decided to enroll at Northeastern after a trip to Boston my junior year of high school. During this trip, I visited different Boston universities, including Northeastern. I fell in love with the city and felt “at home” here. Upon doing more research, I learned more about Northeastern and discovered many opportunities such as co-op, challenging academics, global experiences, and more. It felt like the perfect fit.
Q: Tell us about Disrupt. What is the club all about, and how can our community get involved?
A: Disrupt is the FinTech (financial technology) club on campus. FinTech is becoming a popular industry worldwide, focusing on financial inclusion, personal finance, cryptocurrency, digital banking, and more! Even though Disrupt is not even two years old, we have become very involved in the Northeastern ecosystem by hosting events and innovation programs, starting mentorship programs, and participating in research projects and technology projects. The best thing about Disrupt, though, is the team. This team is the best I've worked with during my time here. The passion, the energy, and the friendliness are contagious, and every board member is unique in their own way. Everyone is free to join all of our events, but programs require applications. Learn more here.
Q: What does Disrupt do at Northeastern, and what events does the club host?
A: We hold events related to two different club series. One is the Executive Speaker Series, and the other is the Workshop Series. The Executive Speaker Series events include FinTech professional fireside chats and panels focused on current events and future planning. These events are also great opportunities to learn more about what it is like to work in the FinTech industry as students navigate the workforce. The Workshop series includes multiple workshops focused on developing business and technical skills; a few past skills we have taught include Python and MATLAB.
Q: Tell us about Finnovate within Disrupt.
A: Finnovate is one of the newer initiatives within Disrupt; it is the one and only FinTech Innovation Program on campus. This program runs in the form of a boot camp where students are challenged to develop revolutionary ideas in the FinTech space as they kickstart their entrepreneurial journey. Throughout the boot camp, students connect based on major and experience. By participating in this experience, they are exposed to the different FinTech sectors and develop an arsenal of skills valuable in the ideation process.
Q: Why FinTech? What spurred your interest in this area?
A: I became interested in FinTech when I began my minor in data science. As part of the minor, I decided to learn to code as it was something I knew nothing about. During my first class, we were assigned a coding project, and I decided to tie in what I learned in my finance classes and I built an equity financial analysis code. This experience was eye opening for me and made me realize there's even more to FinTech then this – and I wanted to be involved in it. As I learned more, I realized that FinTech also makes the world a better place as it changes people's lives for the better. People who never had bank accounts, access to credit, or any other essential financial services now have access in some parts of the world because of FinTech. I believe in this movement and truly believe in its potential.
Q: Tell us about your other campus involvement.
A: I have been involved with the Arabs Students Association (ASA) and the Real Estate Club (NURE). I was the Vice President of both clubs during my time in each. At ASA, the prime objective is bringing together Arabian students at Northeastern and forming a global community of leaders. ASA is not only for us students but also for alumni all around the world. I found this to be a fantastic way to expand my network and stay connected. During my time with NURE, I followed my passion for real estate and event planning. The team is extremely friendly and forward-thinking. During my time there, we also started NURE School, which ended with a Shark Tank-style competition where students pitched different real estate deals to real investors.
Q: Tell us about your co-op experiences at Northeastern. What was it like applying to co-ops during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what advice do you have for fellow students?
A: My first co-op experience was at Arrowstreet Capital in Boston as an Investment Services Associate. I'm currently on my second co-op at a leading investment company in New York City as a Private Wealth Management Analyst. Applying to co-ops during the pandemic has definitely been different in its own way as it is something new to us all. A piece of advice to those applying to co-ops now is to utilize your Northeastern networks to the max. Many people at Northeastern can help you learn about various roles and what you can do to increase your chances of getting hired. It's also important to stay positive, remain in high spirits, and do your best, as cheesy as that may sound!
Q: Tell us about your global experiences.
A: My global experiences at Northeastern are limited to one. Still, I wish I traveled more during my time here, so I encourage anyone reading this to check out upcoming dialogues and other global experiences (when traveling is permitted again). I studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) for three weeks in a session focused on Alternative Investments. I went to LSE right after my freshman year, and it was an excellent way for me to step out of my comfort zone, experience a different culture, and learn in a rigorous classroom environment. It was my first time in London, and I loved the city!
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
A: The only thing I'd like to add is whenever you think you've learned everything you can about Northeastern, know that there is so much more you haven't discovered yet. I am continuously learning about different initiatives and opportunities on campus, even as a fourth-year student! Northeastern is genuinely an amazing place to be, learn, and work toward your goals. The key is to explore and always learn more about what you don't know while you affirm what you do know. By keeping an open mind and exploring, you will do great things here. Once a Husky, always a Husky!