2017 Best & Brightest: Justin C. Flynn, Boston University (Questrom)

Justin C. Flynn

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

“A young intellectual striving to be the very best, like no one ever was.”

Fun fact about yourself: I love music. I was a chorister in my home church and then played the trumpet for 7 years until the end of high school. I listen to everything from Drake to John Legend and Bon Iver.  

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan

High School: Brother Rice High School

Major: Finance and Real Estate

Minor: Political Science

Favorite Business Courses: FE469 Real Estate Finance and LA245 Business Law

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Captain of Boston University’s Men’s Track and Field Team.
  • Elected as Boston University’s Student Body Treasurer.
  • Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Co-Coordinator of Programs for Brothers United. This group is focused on creating community, providing mentorship, and promoting excellence for men of color at Boston University. Howard Thurman, mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., believed in a philosophy of acceptance and understanding based on shared experiences.
  • Boston University School of Education, Undergraduate Research Assistant. Project focus was a program designed to foster the educational, personal, and professional development of disadvantaged youth who had been negatively affected by the Criminal Justice System.
  • Scarlet Key Honor Society
  • Bloom Leadership Academy, recognized as a “Leader of Merit”
  • Boston University Student Representative at the Patriot League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Summit in Philadelphia. Represented the interests of BU student-athletes on issues pertaining to academic and athletic policy.
  • Programs Assistant in the Boston University Dean of Students Office

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • 2016: Wells Fargo, Boston, Commercial Real Estate Financial Analyst
  • 2015: Ameriprise Financial, Detroit, Private Wealth Management Intern

Describe your dream Job: My dream job is any role in which I can feel that I am positively affecting change in society. Most specifically, I hope to one day put my experiences in public policy, finance, and real estate to the test by working on urban development and community building initiatives in underserved neighborhoods.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? I most enjoyed learning how to approach problems analytically and then solving them with logical, results based solutions. I think studying business is great in that it teaches you to strategize most effectively. Also, you get to wear suits, who doesn’t love suits?

Where would you like to work after graduation? Wells Fargo, as an analyst in the Boston Commercial Real Estate Group.

What are your long-term professional goals? At some point, after gaining professional experience, I would like to go back to school and then work more specifically on economic development and investment. I would like to work for a private equity firm that aims to create real change through investments in businesses that look to address social causes.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Work hard. Have fun. Be kind. Do what you enjoy, and search for opportunities that expose you to different types of people. Try to find a balance of good money and good people in your work life. Good people make your experiences that much better.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I walked into Questrom. The atrium is beautiful and the building is buzzing with the energy of driven young people. The vibe is contagious.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…double Majoring in Political Science and English.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…how to use excel effectively. Now I know.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Signing my letter of intent to run track at Boston University, it felt as if so many years of hard work in and outside of the classroom had paid off. Seeing that my parents were proud of me also made me proud.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Definitely my work with the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground and Brothers United. The community and support system that we developed has yielded real growth and friendship between all who are part of it. It is a resource that I hope will remain at Boston University long after I am gone.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A lion. Lions are strong-willed animals who work well in groups.  

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my family. I am very blessed to have two parents who have invested more time and love into me than I ever could have asked for. They also made sure that I was exposed to a unique set of experiences growing up, which I think will benefit me for the rest of my life. My younger sister, Mariah, is my best friend (we are not twins but many say we could be) and I am inspired by her hard work and loving kindness each day. My family has instilled a sense of duty and tradition within me. This is what compels me to maximize my potential both professionally and personally.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would hope that they would say I was a good person who they enjoyed being around.

Favorite book: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Favorite movie: Inception

Favorite musical performer: Drake

Favorite vacation spot: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

What are your hobbies? Tennis, hiking, and reading.

What made Justin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Justin Flynn has been involved with the Howard Thurman Center (HTC) all four years of his Boston University career. From visiting the center daily to coordinating our Brothers United weekly program, Justin has served as a reliable, kind and compassionate friend and mentor. He regularly engages in conversations in and out of the HTC with anyone, anywhere about anything; moreover, he knows whole heartedly that there is no limit to what he can intellectually and emotionally receive from any given soul. Justin continues to be a powerful source of respect and BU pride throughout his days as a student, track team member and Howard Thurman Center family member. There is no telling where his mind and talents will deliver him, but regardless of location, it will be exactly where he belongs.”

Shari Tumandao
Assistant Director of Arts, Grants and Programs
Boston University Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground

“Last year, Justin volunteered in Dr. V. Scott Solberg’s research lab to assist with the evaluation of the Right Turn Career-Focused Transition Initiative (“Right Turn”). Right Turn is a career development program for youth currently involved or at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system. The program provides individualized education, training, and workforce development opportunities designed to develop three skill areas: self-exploration, career exploration, and career planning and management. The purpose of this evaluation was to explore the Right Turn implementation experiences among youth and case managers. This study focused on understanding the initial implementation experiences to determine whether and how youth and case managers felt about participating in or conducting the program. Justin played a key role in this project by conducting an extensive literature review, assisting with the survey design, and engaging in data analysis. The culmination of Justin’s efforts led to his authorship on a paper that was presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Convention in Washington, DC.”

Taryn Hargrove Gore
Glenn Fellow, Ph.D.  Student in Counseling Psychology
Boston University School of Education


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