2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Samantha Davidson, Northeastern University (D’Amore-McKim)

Samantha Davidson

Northeastern University, D’Amore McKim School of Business

“I am a powerhouse: disability advocate, musician, and fierce academic, sparking change with passion.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am a singer-songwriter with music that has over 3.6 million streams.

Hometown: Lexington, MA

High School: Concord Academy

Major: Business Administration with Concentrations in Marketing and Accounting Advisory Services

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Advertising and Brand Promotion

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

I am a member of the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society for high-performing students with disabilities, which aims to create leaders in disability awareness and educate the campus and greater community on disability. This year, I was accepted into the inaugural class of Accenture x Northeastern Disability Leadership Cohort for career-minded student leaders ready to take on life after college.

I currently participate in Northeastern’s Council for University Programs and Live Music Association’s open mic nights on campus that fundraise around various causes. I won second place at Northeastern’s talent competition in 2021 for a live performance of an original song about my disease. My passion for art and music led me to photograph concerts for Tastemakers Magazine. They recently selected one of my photos to sell as a poster to help fundraise for the club. I understand the importance of speaking up for my communities, and raised over $270 for the American Migraine Foundation last cycle by selling my art.

In my field of business, I serve as a mentor for the Women in Business Club, where I instill the strong spirit and confidence that helped me carve out space at Northeastern in underclassmen looking to do the same. Within Northeastern University’s Marketing Association, I worked as a marketing consultant who created surveys and research deliverables for start-up clients.

The D’Amore-McKim School of Business recently awarded me a membership to the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society for students graduating in the top 10% of their class. Each semester at Northeastern, I have achieved Dean’s List and did so with a summa cum laude GPA of 3.96. Last year, I won the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Scholarship award for my accomplishments at the University.

Where have you interned during your college career? When searching for a co-op, I strengthened my self-advocacy skills by contacting copious Northeastern alumni on LinkedIn. I built lasting relationships with them via informational interviews, and, in the end, I created my own Marketing Lead position with local Boston entrepreneur Mark Ostow. During co-op at his two cafes—Café Zing and Kickstand Café—and photography studio, I identified and created business opportunities based on market analysis, designed marketing materials, built an original company website, printed postcards, and more. While on co-op, I established my own marketing consultant firm with three real-world clients and over 100k views on social media so far.

Where will you be working after graduation? D’Amore-McKim encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit and driven work ethic. I wish to continue that level of academic rigor after graduation by pursuing advanced certifications like the CPA, CMA, and PMP while continuing to run my marketing consultant business.

Who is your favorite business professor? Peggy O’Kelly, Principal Lecturer in Accounting, is my favorite business professor for a multitude of reasons. She was my first accounting professor freshman year and instilled in me an unexpected love of accounting. When I began my Northeastern career, I intended to solely pursue marketing, yet Professor O’Kelly’s enthusiasm and ability to create digestible lessons piqued my interest in accounting. She noticed my stellar performance and approached me about considering a new concentration she was creating, the Accounting and Advisory Services concentration I am graduating with four years later. Her kindness and mentorship were invaluable in reinforcing my confidence in the male-dominated accounting and finance space. I am now one of the first students to graduate with D’Amore-McKim’s newest accounting concentration.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? I learned how valuable it is to pursue one’s passions and explore new areas that pique interest. I was unafraid to try something new and learned that each aspect of business complements the other. Stepping outside of my area of study positively benefited me and helped me make better-informed decisions. I took courses in entrepreneurship, coding, grammar, finance, and more. Each deepened my understanding of marketing and accounting.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My advice is to make lasting connections with your peers and especially your professors. Professors are there to share their compendium of knowledge about a subject they are incredibly passionate about. I have kept in contact with my professors dating back to freshman year, as they enjoy connecting with equally passionate students. Building a relationship with them helps facilitate deeper learning as you better understand their teaching style and why they have organized the content as such. They are valuable resources for when you need help understanding concepts but also for advice on other aspects of business, career, and professional life.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising aspect of being a business major is the interconnectivity of each concentration. Aspects of marketing like design and copyediting apply to accounting and vice versa. Other fields, such as coding and psychology, also inform business. For example, understanding coding and consumer behavior is invaluable to creating effective marketing research and deliverables.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I could go back and redo my business school experience, I would reach out to connect with students at other schools and the Northeastern alumni network sooner. When I started my time at Northeastern, I did not know about all the opportunities we have as students to connect with like-minded and talented individuals in the same major as us. As I grew older, I explored Northeastern’s vast alumni network and attended intercollegiate business conferences to form lasting connections with others as passionate as me.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Last semester, Northeastern’s Literary Arts Magazine, Artistry, wrote a feature article about me and the advocacy work I do through my singer-songwriter talent. The article represented the culmination of my successes and growth as a disabled student artist. I am also in an activist rock band where we collaborate to write songs that call for inclusivity and accessibility for all. In my solo work, I have over 3.6 million streams to date, a testament to other disabled artists that there is both space and an audience for us all. Through my lyricism and voice, I hope to raise awareness and inspire others who are suffering to advocate for themselves and share their voice. Songwriting is a creative outlet for my perseverance and strength, and I am honored to be recognized by Northeastern for sharing it with the world.

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire my classmate, Emily Liu. We met freshman year on Zoom and have supported each other’s achievements ever since. She always comes to my open mics and is a great friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I most want to thank my mother for my success. She is the strongest and most inspiring person I know. I am lucky to call her my biggest supporter.

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

  1. Get on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List
  2. Secure a marketing job that I love

What made Samantha such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Samantha is a force. It has been a privilege to watch her grow professionally and personally during her Northeastern University journey. She is fearless and determined. Once she sets her mind to something she cannot be stopped. Samantha is a powerful leader with a strong work ethic who shows unwavering empathy, curiosity, and drive with everything she does. I admire how she has constantly challenged herself and her deep commitment to building relationships and lifelong learning. Congratulations, Samantha! I look forward to watching you continue to succeed and make an impact!”

Brooke Johnson
Senior Cooperative Education Faculty at D’Amore-McKim School of Business


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