2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Abigale Purvis, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Abigale Purvis

Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

“Impact-focused and passionate about solving complex challenges in climate resilience.”

Fun fact about yourself: In 2019, I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain!

Hometown: Woodinville, WA

High School: Woodinville High School

Major: International Business

Minor: Global Social Entrepreneurship, Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity

Favorite Business Course: Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development in India (ENTR 4512)

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • United Nations Millennium Fellow
  • Clinton Global Initiative University Participant
  • E-Board Member of the Social Enterprise Institute Student Association
  • Sigma Sigma Sigma National Panhellenic Sorority
  • Northeastern University Dean’s List

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Promotions Intern at Soli in Boston, MA
  • Workforce Development Admin at iCater at Pine Street Inn in Boston, MA
  • Program Director at Manna Project International in Quito, Ecuador
  • Projects and Events Assistant at the Charles River Conservancy in Boston, MA

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Dennis Shaughnessy introduced me to the concept of business for social good in his class Global Social Enterprise. After taking his class freshman year, I became fascinated with social enterprise and immediately declared it as a minor and applied to study it abroad in India. I also had the privilege of working with Professor Shaughnessy at the Social Enterprise Institute and getting hands-on experience in the world of business for social good. Professor Shaughnessy’s passion for the subject brings all of his classes to life and encourages students to care deeply about social enterprise around the world.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Being a business student has taught me many valuable lessons about group collaboration and how people with diverse skill sets and experiences can come together to effectively support a project. I appreciate all of the experiences I had working in group projects while in school for the way they prepared me for the realities of teamwork in a professional setting.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Business connects to all things so I would encourage students to explore every nook and cranny of the business world to find a topic that you are truly passionate about.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Business is a very powerful tool that can be used to enact large-scale positive change. Although I knew this before studying business at Northeastern, I was surprised and excited to learn about the vastness of the social impact field and the extent to which positive choices made by large firms can create sweeping environmental and social benefits.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Although I didn’t necessarily have a clear path through college and may have meandered through many different minors and work experiences, I wouldn’t do anything differently about my time at Northeastern. Looking back, each of the experiences that may have seemed like wrong choices at the time were actually instrumental in helping me find what I’m most passionate about and launch my career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of the 13 months I spent living and working in Latin America. As a part of my International Business major I had the opportunity to complete a semester studying abroad at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico and an international co-op in Quito, Ecuador. Although it was challenging to adapt to new cultures and work in a different language, I am proud of the everything I was able to accomplish. This experience taught me countless valuable lessons about myself and my field and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to take my studies abroad.

Which classmate do you most admire? I admire my classmate Rebekah Davis for her driving passion to do good in the world. Rebekah is deeply invested in creating a positive impact in her communities and challenges others around her to do the same. Towards the end of her college experience, Rebekah made the courageous decision to change her major and pursue an alternate career where she could have the most positive impact on the world. I know she will continue to do great things in the future!

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my co-op advisor, Brooke Johnson, for supporting me throughout my entire time at Northeastern. Although I may not have been the typical marketing student, Brooke always found joy in helping me pursue my career interests and introducing me to opportunities I hadn’t even thought were possible. I’ve always been able to ask Brooke anything and I am so grateful to have had her on my side these past few years!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? My professional bucket list includes returning to Latin America and working in the field of climate resilience or food systems sustainability. I hope to one day use the business experience I have gained to help solve the many environmental challenges facing our world.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy cooking, sewing, hiking, and live music. I look forward to returning to in-person concerts in the future!

What made Abigale such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Abigale has shown a strong commitment to engaging and giving back to community her entire career at Northeastern University. She is humble and driven and demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence and empathy. Abigale is committed to academic excellence and is wise beyond her years.”

Brooke Johnson
Senior Co-op Coordinator


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