2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Brian Miller, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Brian Miller

Northeastern University, D’Amore McKim School of Business

“A lover of Sweetgreen, coffee, and spontaneous FaceTime’s.”

Fun fact about yourself: I was born in Bahrain!

Hometown: Vienna, VA

High School: George C. Marshall High School

Major: Finance

Favorite Business Course: Alternative Investments

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Awards & Honors: Dean’s Scholar, Deans List, Huntington 100, Harry Lane Experiential Learning Grant, Harvard Stock Pitch Competition Finalist, Northeastern Annual Chinese Speech Competition (1st place)

Extracurricular activities:

  • Northeastern Out in Business (Co-Founder)
  • Student Value Fund (Chief Development Officer, Senior Analyst)
  • NUImpact (Director of Investments, Senior Analyst)
  • Delta Sigma Pi
  • Harvard College Consulting Group (Analyst)
  • Cambridge Public Schools (Chinese Teaching Assistant)

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Stratford Capital Group | Tysons, VA | Affordable Housing Development Intern
  • Piper Sandler | New York, NY | Investment Banking Intern
  • Brookfield Asset Management | New York, NY | Technology Growth Equity Intern
  • Goldman Sachs | New York, NY | Investment Banking Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? Goldman Sachs, Investment Banking Analyst

What company do you admire most? I applaud Patagonia on its commitment to ESG and upholding its core ethical values. From donating the money it saves from tax cuts to only partnering with other sustainable businesses, Patagonia is a leader in ethical business practices.

Who is your favorite professor? Hua Dong is a prime example of an outstanding professor who takes a personal interest in her students’ success. From teaching us Chinese-translated HBS cases to traveling to Utah with me for a BYU Chinese business case competition, she’s always gone above-and-beyond to advance our education and Chinese language studies. She’s truly one of the best professors I’ve ever had.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned from studying business is that often your qualitative skills are much more important than technical skills. Anyone can learn finance or coding, but your ability to communicate, think critically, and write well are probably the best competencies that will differentiate you from others.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Talk to as many people as possible. As a college student, you have unparalleled access to industry professionals just by being a student. Leverage it. If you’re still figuring out your career path, first start with upperclassmen and then talk with alumni. Use your resources and network to find the right path for you, and don’t feel peer pressured to enter certain industries over others. At the end of the day, you’re the one who must show up to work every day, so might as well be a job you enjoy.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised how the skills and frameworks we study in class are highly relevant to your daily life. Majoring in business teaches you how to think and approach challenges in a reality-grounded approach, as life and business cannot be modeled through some perfect economic theory. It’s messy, things go wrong, but being adaptable and confident through times of crisis is the ultimate lesson you can learn in business school.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I would have leveraged my professors more often. They teach because they choose to, not because they have to. As students, we’re often too clouded by grades and exams to see the bigger picture. Grades matter, but only to a certain extent. Ultimately, the goal of education is to learn, so go to your professors’ office hours, get to know them, and take full advantage of the resources your school has available.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’m most proud of founding a business-focused LGBTQ student club with two of my best friends. Navigating the lengthy and difficult process of registering a club, recruiting, and planning and hosting events have provided phenomenal learning opportunities. You must think about your organization as a business. What value am I providing to the student body? How can I differentiate and market my club? How can I retain members?  I’ve loved watching the organization grow over the last few years and knowing that our group is making the business school a more welcoming and inclusive community.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I admire most is my best friend, Abby Jiang. From studying and working in London, New York, and Boston together, she’s always set high goals for herself and her friends around her. She continues to push me to become a better version of myself and is an inspiration to everyone I know. Abby has that rare “It Factor” where you can tell she’ll be successful in whatever she puts her mind to, and I am so excited to see where she goes in life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Of course, I’d like to thank my parents for their consistent support and guidance throughout my childhood and college career. My dad has a great quote that has stuck with me for 10+ years and has served as a guiding principle. “No one can want it more than you.” Ultimately, you must be motivated to achieve your goals and it’s not the responsibility of anyone else to make them happen. If you want something, go get it, and don’t wait for it to be handed to you. Take initiative and have the perseverance to keep chasing your goals.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Spend a few years working abroad in either London or China
  2. Go to graduate school for either an MBA or MPA

What are your hobbies? I love to sail and have fond childhood memories of my twin sister and me reading countless books while getting sunburned in the cockpit. My family and I are also avid skiers and hikers, so any trip to the mountains is the ideal weekend escape. But for a regular weekend, I’ll never turn down a brunch offer.

What made Brian such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Throughout my time working with Brian, he has grown both personally and professionally while always offering to give back. Brian’s contributions and commitment to his peers at Northeastern University is overwhelming due to his work as a mentor, on campus leadership, and program development for other students. He has dedicated his time to helping other’s advance within the business industry by founding Out in Business, a Northeastern student organization promoting the advancement of LGBTQ+ individuals, and through one-on-one mentorship. His work is invaluable as we can only succeed as a community as long as we help each other achieve success along the way. As Brian said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Aryn Sherman
Assistant Cooperative Education Faculty, Finance & Accounting





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