2019 Best & Brightest: Charlie Doherty, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Charlie Doherty

Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Sustainability nerd, technically an athlete but also the clumsiest person you’ll meet.”

Fun fact about yourself: I had to get stiches on the same spot on my forehead on the same day in consecutive years (I’m now extremelly cautious on April 22nd)

Hometown: San Diego, CA

High School: Canyon Crest Academy

Major: Finance & Entrepreneurship

Minor: Sustainable Business Practices & Business Analytics

Favorite Business Course: Impact Investing & Social Finance

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • NUImpact, Northeastern Impact Investing Initiative: VP of Education & Investment Analyst (2018 – 2019)
  • Co-op Peer Mentor (2019)
  • NU Men’s Club Water Polo: President (2016 – 2017)
  • Generate, student-led product development studio: Operations Data Analyst (2017 – 2018)
  • Northeastern International Business Department: Research Assistant (2015)
  • Dean’s List all Semesters
  • Graduating with Honors
  • New World Scholars Program
  • 2018 Harold S. Geneen Charitable Trust Scholarship Recipient

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Sperry Capital / Sausalito, CA / Project Finance Analyst Co-op
  • Ceres / Boston, MA / Investor Network, Shareholder Engagement Co-op
  • MFS Investment Management / Boston, MA / Fund Treasury Financial Reporting Co-op

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided

What company do you admire most? Ben & Jerry’s: Beyond making the best ice cream on the market, they’ve been one of the most active companies in promoting environmental sustainability, good corporate governance, treating employees well and community involvement.

Who is your favorite professor? Mark Bernfeld: Beyond the class, I took with him being fantastic, Mark has consistently been a mentor to me in my career and inspired me to pursue sustainable finance. He has been a tremendous resource to me and other students in giving his time as a faculty advisor to new clubs and organizations on campus and always pushing the new frontiers in business with impact investing and fintech initiatives.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? You can feel the entrepreneurial spirit everywhere on campus and especially within D’Amore-McKim. I maintain it’s physically impossible to go D’Amore-McKim without getting involved in some new venture in some capacity. As someone who had never previously considered myself a creative person or someone capable of pursuing a new venture, one of the most important things I’ve gained is that sense self-efficacy by constantly seeing students accomplish amazing things in their ventures.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Don’t worry about stigma and expectations. Don’t pursue a career path just because everyone says that’s what success looks like. Especially within Finance, it can sometimes seem like there’s really only one or two choices for you if you want to be considered “successful”. The most successful people are those who pursue things they find intrinsically rewarding or interesting, so don’t measure your career against someones else’s definition of success.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I have been surprised how much of being successful in business truly just comes down to your ability to deal with ambiguity and problem solve. I entered Northeastern with a very quantitative mindset that all problems had one answer that could be determined from just knowing the right formula. The emphasis on creative thinking and solving problems that don’t have one right answer really stressed me out at first, but dealing with total ambiguity has probably been one of the best lessons I took from majoring in business.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Architecture or Civil Engineering. I was a huge Lego and Rollercoaster Tycoon kid growing up and always thought cities, buildings and urban design were really interesting.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Business isn’t something typically covered in high school, but I took the only business management class offered at my high school twice over two years. The class was responsible for running a café on campus and it was the first time I had been given leadership responsibility for something that actually had real-world consequences. It was really scary but also really exciting and I think Ms. Chufo really challenged the students to step out of their comfort zone.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Being nominated for and ultimately receiving the Harold S. Geneen Trust scholarship last year was a hallmark of my time at Northeastern. The scholarship is awarded to rising seniors with a demonstrated interest in good corporate governance and business ethics, which was incredible validation of my pursuits in sustainable finance. To me, it signified the culmination of many smaller pursuits and I was incredibly grateful to be recognized for those efforts.

Which classmate do you most admire? Every time I finish a conversation with Connie E, I come away feeling better about where the world is going. She’s done an absolutely phenomenal job as President of NUImpact and I don’t think I’ve met anyone else as genuinely dedicated to pursuing positive social change as Connie.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents have been above-and-beyond supportive my whole life and there’s no way I would’ve gotten to where I am now without them. They’ve somehow always seemed to strike the right balance between being supportive and letting me find my own way and I definitely don’t thank them enough for that.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Learn how to play a musical instrument (and stick with it for more than a year) and see the Northern Lights.

What are your hobbies? I’ve played water polo since high school and have always loved swimming. I also watch way too much football and basketball and have an unhealthy addiction to true crime podcasts and cooking shows. I also love hiking and camping but don’t do it as much as I’d like to.



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