Spring 2019 Northeastern Co-op Spotlight - Justin Winuk

We continue the Q&A series with our Spring 2019 Northeastern University co-ops and share Justin Winuk’s experience and insight.

What is your major/background/hobbies/interests at Northeastern?

I am a Business Administration major with concentrations in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. As far as extracurricular activities, I’m a Senior Investment Analyst for NU Impact, Northeastern University’s student-led impact investing fund, that invests in a variety of companies that create a positive social and/or environmental impact. I’m very involved with the fund, and a large portion of my role is sourcing potential companies to invest in and conducting due diligence on these companies to determine their level of impact and the feasibility of generating financial returns from these potential investment opportunities. In my free time, I enjoy playing intramural sports and am currently playing flag football and softball intramurals.

What were you hoping to gain through the Northeastern co-op experience?

The co-op program was one of the main reasons why I chose to go to Northeastern. Having the opportunity to gain more than a year of professional work experience before graduation is invaluable and prepares students well for life post-graduation. One thing that I was hoping to gain through the co-op program was a more concrete idea of the career path I envisioned myself following. Entering college, I knew that I was interested in business, but I didn’t have much of a sense of which field within business I hoped to pursue. The co-op program has allowed me to hold positions focusing on marketing analytics, business development, and consulting and has been very influential in guiding the career path I plan to follow.

At Stax, what were your co-op responsibilities and what have you learned over the last six months?

I had a large variety of responsibilities at Stax which allowed me to enhance skills that will be essential as I begin my career. During the first few days of projects, I would often help create phone and web surveys that were utilized to gather insights on a variety of target companies and industries. Additionally, I conducted phone interviews with customers and industry experts, while also performing secondary research to learn more about target companies and the industries they compete in. Throughout certain projects, I would often perform data cuts using Excel and Sawtooth to develop insights from web survey data and would frequently work on building deliverables to be sent to clients. This co-op has also allowed me to further enhance my critical thinking skills by using available data and information to recognize industry trends and develop insights on target companies. In addition to the skills I developed throughout the co-op, my time at Stax has taught me a tremendous amount about the consulting and private equity industries, as well as a variety of different industries that I examined through project work.

What has been your most memorable experience at Stax? What has been your favorite industry, product, or service to evaluate?

The most memorable aspect of my experience at Stax is having the opportunity to work on deliverables that clients use to guide major acquisition decisions. Having that level of responsibility was an incredible experience and consistently motivated me to do whatever I could to work with my project teams to provide as much value to clients as possible. Throughout my co-op at Stax, I really enjoyed working on several projects within the healthcare space. Healthcare affects a tremendous number of people, so it was very interesting to learn more about the industry at a very detailed level.

How has this experience compared with other co-op opportunities you have had?

The co-op experience at Stax was unique because the fast-paced nature of projects led to each day being different, allowing me to have a large variety of responsibilities. Additionally, this was my first co-op experience within the consulting field, so the position was quite different from my previous two co-ops, which focused on marketing analytics and business development. My co-op experience at Stax was also unique due the high levels of team collaboration that came with projects. During my past co-ops, I worked on many of my projects independently or with one other team member but working and frequently meeting with full project teams at Stax gave me the opportunity to enhance my communication skills and gain a new perspective on working with project teams.

What advice would you give to an incoming co-op/intern?

Ask any questions you have to your coworkers when you’re first beginning the job. There’s a lot of information to take in at the beginning, but I found that asking a lot of questions during the orientation sessions and throughout my first project expedited the learning process. I would also advise being proactive in looking for additional ways to help the project teams you work with. Whenever you finish a task early, asking your team if there are additional ways you can help or independently perform secondary research to find information or data that’s relevant to the project are great ways to learn more and provide extra value to the team.

How has the Stax co-op experience helped guide your post-graduation careers goal/path?

The Stax co-op experience has been quite influential on my career goals for after I graduate, as I am very interested in entering the consulting field. When I started this co-op, I was interested in consulting and a large part of why I chose to work at Stax was to gain hands-on experience in the field to help determine whether it’s a career path I could see myself exploring upon graduation. My experience at Stax has helped validate my interest in consulting and I will strongly consider entering the field once I graduate.

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