2018 Best & Brightest: Kate Murdock, Northeastern University

Kate Murdock     

Northeastern University (D’Amore McKim)

“Networking queen, competitive figure skater, novice guitarist, CEO, adventurer, french-fry connoisseur.”

Fun fact about yourself: I once helped a lemur give birth.

Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee

High School: Hume- Fogg Academic Magnet High School

Major: Business – Finance

Minor: Political Science

Favorite Business Course: Entrepreneurial Finance

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Dorm Room Fund: Partner
  • Scout, Northeastern’s Design Studio: Marketing Director (2017)
  • Entrepreneurs Club: Director of EIP (2014-2015)
  • IDEA: Investment Analyst (2014-2015)
  • Alternative Spring Break Volunteer: Costa Rica (2014), Puerto Rico (2015), Baton Rouge (2016)
  • University Scholar and Honors Program
  • Dean’s List
  • Northeastern International Business Department: Research Assistant

Where have you interned during your college career? (List Companies, Locations and Roles)

  • IDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator; Boston, MA; CEO (May 2017-Present)
  • Trove (Heal with Trove); Product Manager (July 2017-Present)
  • Hercules Capital; Palo Alto, CA; Analyst (June 2016- Dec. 2016)
  • General Electric; Fairfield, CT; FMP Co-op (July 2015 – Dec. 2015)
  • New England Venture Capital Association; Boston, MA; Marketing Intern (Feb. 2014 – May 2015)
  • Bare Tree Media; Boston, MA; Brand Manager (Oct. 2013 – Feb. 2014)

Where will you be working after graduation? I have not made an official decision, but I am excited to work in a place that matches my values, challenges me everyday, and allows me to work with an incredible team.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Northeastern has this insane entrepreneurship ecosystem we call Mosaic. There is a student-led design studio and student-led product development sudio, Scout and Generate respectively, that work on client projects in design and engineering. The Entrepreneur’s Club makes entrepreneurship accessible and exciting to anyone through the many programs they run. There are up and coming organizations like the Accounting Resources Center, Origin – a graduate student run organization that identifies and invests in research coming out of Northeastern labs, and Ascend – a student run marketing organziaton, and more. Every part of the entrepreneurship ecosystem is run by students. Although these organizations might not all be in the business school, they are supporting entrepreneurship on Northeastern’s campus. The opportunity for exposure to other disciplines through experiential education is easily my favorite part of Northeastern.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The people you surround yourself with are arguably more important than the work you’re actually doing. Teamwork is essential.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…product design and development, music, theatre, or international affairs and policy. I have learned to focus my interests, but I will be a life-long learner across disciplines.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? There is a huge difference between the classroom and the real world. I have learned an incredible amount on my co-ops and can’t imagine a degree without integreated work experiences to take back to the classroom.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? In high school I worked at the American Civil Liberties Union, for an environmental lawyer, and was on the Mock Trial team. I applied to schools for International Affairs and Global Health Policy as well as for music and theatre programs. I was the kid that when you asked “what do you want to be when you grow up,” I would’ve said a “Supreme Court Justice”. I knew I wanted a global career and chose International Affairs at Northeastern.

One day, standing in my parents’ bathroom, I just decided to switch my major. I don’t know if I really knew why I made that decision at the time, but it just seemed right. My mom is the CMO of a healthcare-tech company and has been an executive for as long as I can remember. I think I always knew I was fascinated by business, but didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do with it. My mom is probably my biggest inspiration in all aspects of life – and I have certainly chosen my own path – but with a lot of advice along the way. I don’t remember her ever directly pushing me towards business, but I think it just felt natural to me because I’d grown up around it. I reached out to a ton of clubs on campus during my first few weeks and the President of the Entrepreneur’s Club at the time, Casey Hogan, reached out and took me under her wing. From there, I was totally hooked.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my role as the CEO of IDEA: Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator. I get to work with hundreds of passionate, driven, and smart entrepreneurs who would give anything to make their concept a reality. I am proud of the work I do because I know that it is impactful for those students, alumni, and professors who want to turn their ideas into their careers. I have had the opportunity to run strategic intitiatives, work with an incredibly talented team, and continue to build an amazing organization. Each and every day is both inspiring and rewarding.

Which classmate do you most admire? I always find myself inspired by whatever Abbey Titcomb is doing. She started her own business, founded a community of support for female entrepreneurs, is doing amazing work in the VC community, and she’s an engineer. You just can’t keep up. She’s awesome.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I really couldn’t have gotten any luckier with my parents. If I could thank them every second of every day, I would. There are so many people who have helped me along the way and I just hope that I can do the same for the people who come after me.

What would your theme song be? According to this one buzzfeed quiz I took, my theme song is “Who Run the World.” I definitely don’t claim to be Beyonce level cool, but I am a girl and I definitely run my world, so I’ll take it.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My bucket list is probably a mile long, but I’d love to see an acoustic concert at the Red Rocks in Colorado and run the Boston Marathon.

Favorite book: The Count of Monte Cristo

Favorite movie: Hidden Figures

Favorite vacation spot: I’m more of a traveler than a vacationer. I try not to visit the same place twice, but if I had to choose a “vacation spot,” it would be home in Nashville.

What are your hobbies? I grew up as a competitive figure skater and dancer, so I try to get on the ice or find a dance class when I can. When it’s not blizzard-ing in Boston, I love to run. When it is Blizzard-ing, find me inside with a book. I’m currently learning to play the guitar, but I play piano, sing, and write music. I’m from Nashville, it’s expected.

What made Kate such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Impact. Kate Murdock is all about smart, positive, innovative, and high-energy impact.  Northeastern University and its entrepreneurial community are certainly much better off because of it.

Since the first day she entered my classroom, I knew that among all my bright and promising students, Kate was someone special. She spoke up confidently, with lots of intelligent things to say, yet was thirsty to learn. She worked diligently to improve herself, yet she was a leader among classmates and group-mates. She had already had the great foresight to make entrepreneurship her passion, and in sharing this passion with the class, she made us all better. As a great testament to her abilities, the entrepreneurs and venture capital professionals I have introduced Kate to invariably speak very highly of her.

Since taking my class, Kate has deservedly become the CEO of IDEA, Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator. The position is demanding, requiring a broad range of skills from leadership to innovation to administration to empathy. Kate has risen to the challenge, expertly leading a large and diverse Northeastern entrepreneurship community to higher impact while showing the breadth of her capabilities. I’m very proud of her.

Kate, as you enter the real world, I can’t wait to see the amazing positive impact you will have.”

Mark Bernfeld
Lecturer, Finance
D’Amore McKim School of Business at Northeastern University
Entrepreneur and Angel Investor



Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.