Fall 2020 Northeastern University Co-op Spotlight - Crispin Ferris

Fall 2020 Northeastern University Co-op Spotlight - Crispin Ferris

We continue our Northeastern University Q&A series with our Fall 2020 co-ops and share the experience and insight of Crispin Ferris.

What is your major/background/hobbies/interests at Northeastern?
I started my college career as a business major and swimmer at the University of Rhode Island. After my freshman year, I transferred to Northeastern University where I have a major in finance and minors in International Affairs and Urban Studies. For my extracurricular activities, I am an avid skier, traveler, scuba diver, and runner.

What were you hoping to gain through the NE co-op experience?
The co-op experience was one of the main draws for me when I decided to attend Northeastern. It has provided me with invaluable experience and work in three companies and a variety of different roles. The beauty of co-op is that it lets you gain exposure to an industry or job that you might not otherwise gain insight into, within such a short period. I saw this with the stark difference from my first co-op in a more startup-like environment to my second at an investment bank.

What are your co-op responsibilities and what have you learned over the last six months?
One of the greatest strengths of the associate co-op role is that you are tasked with the same responsibilities as a full-time associate and treated as such albeit within a 40-hour week. My day-to-day functions have been conducting primary outreach and working on deliverables. The associate co-op role has been vital to my professional development, cultivating my attention to detail and problem-solving skills. This role has pushed my abilities while showing me that I still have room to grow and learn. It has forced me to multitask, balancing calls, taking notes, and probing for the deeper questions relevant to the project. Stax is in a unique intersection between private equity and consulting, as we consult for private equity firms to make strategic investments. Having this exposure to both industries has taught me a tremendous amount in such a short time.

What has been your most memorable experience at Stax? A favorite industry, product, or service to evaluate?
My most memorable experience was working on a project about street sweeping services. This was not a space that I would have anticipated enjoying as much as I did. Through primary research and outreach, I got the chance to speak to City Managers and Heads of Public Works Departments from across the country who were thrilled to speak about their fleets of machinery. It is niche projects like this that make Stax special. One week you can be working on street sweeping services, and the next be working on an entirely different space such as HR software. Despite the challenges of being in a pandemic, and working remotely the entire co-op, still I have felt socially connected and engaged with my team and seen the value that my work provides on projects. Additionally, the company hosts monthly socials.

How has this experience compared with other co-op opportunities you have had?
In my first co-op, I found a great corporate culture and autonomy but struggled to see the impact of my work. The work in my second co-op, was the opposite. As intense and exciting as the work was, the corporate culture did not align as closely with my core values. At Stax, I have found a balance between engaging work and great work culture.

What advice would you give to an incoming co-op/intern?
Show up to work every day with an open mind. You are going to be bombarded with information. Keeping an open mind will help you get a lot further than if you show up just ready to go through the motions. There are days where you may have back-to-back interviews all morning, and no time to catch up on notes, but one person might give you some great takeaways that will help form a central hypothesis on the project.

How has the Stax co-op experience helped guide your post-graduation careers goal/path?
I was drawn to Stax because I wanted to work for a company where I can grow as a person and as an employee. I wanted to develop skills and advance professionally in my career. I was attracted to Stax and consulting because of the dynamic and collaborative nature of the work, and because of the impact one can see on a project in a short span of time. I went into this final co-op hoping to confirm my interest in consulting. Working at Stax has done that; consulting is what I want to pursue after graduation.

We'd like to hear from you Contact Stax