Gail Batutis

Hometown: Newton, MA
Major: Political Science & Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship & Innovation/International Affairs, Global Social Entrepreneurship
College: College of Social Sciences and Humanitites

What was you favorite Honors class?

My favorite Honors class at Northeastern was Voices of Development: How One Person can Change the World, taught by Professor Dennis Shaughnessy. This class was a dynamic and challenging introduction to social entrepreneurship and using business for global good. Through group work and an engaging style of teaching, we learned how to deeply question established norms of international development. I was introduced to issues with impact measurement and financial sustainability when looking at charities and nonprofits, and began to understand how I could challenge that status quo. I still remember the excitement and passion for learning I felt each day of that class, and I’m lucky enough to feel it even more frequently now, as I changed my major and career aspirations to reflect what I learned in that first Honors course.

During your time at Northeastern, what experiences shaped who you are today as a graduating senior?

My most influential experiences in the past five years reflect the opportunities Northeastern afforded me in working, studying, and living abroad. The summer after my first year I participated in a Dialogue of Civilizations program to the Dominican Republic and Cuba, where we studied microfinance at a local university and did field research for a partner microfinance organization. For my second co-op, I worked at a social enterprise in India for five months, focusing on menstrual hygiene in under-served rural villages and creating monitoring and evaluation systems for the company. I was also able to study in the international relations department at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The summer after my fourth year I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, where I did a short-term consulting project for a small business owner in a local township (urban slum). Before I came to Northeastern, I never pictured myself as someone who traveled – but now that I’ve had a taste, I know it’s something I will continue to do throughout my life.

What is your best memory from being a part of the Honors Program?

Living in dorms with all Honors students during my first and second years at Northeastern was a wonderful opportunity. I was able to feel at home within a smaller section of the university and form friendships which will last me the rest of my life. I’m grateful to the Honors Program for creating a shared experience for students on campus.

Where are you headed after you graduate?

I plan on moving to eastern Africa to work at a social enterprise in the field. While most start-ups haven’t started hiring in earnest yet for when I want to begin, I’ve been able to leverage connections within Northeastern and begin networking, and I’m confident I’ll find the right position soon.