Image of Alecia Martin smiling, wearing a gray shirt and blue rimmed glasses

News & Features

Monday, January 7, 2019

Alecia Martin has an entrepreneurial spirit and has her sights set high.

“I want to be the CEO of a company looking out of a glass window to the city,” Martin said.

Don’t bet against her.

A graduate of Homewood-Flossmoor High School in the south suburbs of Chicago, Martin transferred to Northeastern from Prairie State College after a counselor encouraged her to apply. Now a Management major and University Honors Program scholar, Martin is on track to graduate in Spring 2019.

“I love the Northeastern community,” Martin said. “Everybody is so community-oriented. If you know somebody, you know somebody else. You know the dean’s name, the president’s name. I can say hello and have a conversation with the president herself. I love being able to build relationships with different people because they’re all so nice and kind. I can always talk to anyone if I need help.”

As a member of the Honors Program, Martin is required to complete a senior project that represents outstanding undergraduate achievement and the culmination of the Honors Scholar curriculum. Martin’s thesis focuses on the College of Business and Management’s new project, the Business Innovation and Growth Center (BIG Center). Her thesis will examine how incubators are formed, a topic that has received little scholarly attention.

Martin’s grandmother, who was a consultant and marketing director, inspired her to become a businesswoman. She has ambitions of possibly starting her own business or working her way up the corporate ladder of an established company.

It is her creative energy and drive to succeed that impressed Jon Hageman, an Anthropology professor and coordinator of Northeastern’s Honors Program.

“Alecia is not afraid of a challenge,” Hageman said. “She may struggle initially, but she always works hard to find the strength and reserves within herself to meet and exceed the requirements of the challenge. She exemplifies some of the best of what Northeastern students have to offer.”

Hageman became familiar with Martin when she applied for the Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa scholarship for transfer students, which Hageman reviews. He was greatly impressed with her essays and believes her passion will take her far.

“It’s almost like Alecia has no fear, and I mean that in the healthiest possible way,” Hageman said. “She’s the kind of person I would like to work with because she gets the job done, she does it well, and if she doesn’t have the tools right now, she’ll get them and she’ll be successful.”

Michael Bedell, the dean of the College of Business and Management, suggested Martin’s research topic to Hageman, who presented the idea to all honors students as a possible thesis topic. Martin picked it up, and Hageman believes Martin’s research may allow her to present her academic work at conferences and potentially get published in a scholarly journal.

Aside from taking courses, Martin spends time cultivating relationships with classmates and instructors. During the 2017-2018 school year, Martin was a resident assistant at The Nest residence hall. She was also an intern in the College of Business and Management, assisting with the BIG Center. Martin was recently hired as a writing tutor for Northeastern's Learning Success Center. She also serves as president of Northeastern’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which has allowed her to take several trips to business conferences and network with other entrepreneurs. 

“I love this school, how it’s so innovative, how you can meet anybody and create relationships and hear their ideas and projects and stuff they do in class,” Martin said. “Just being able to be part of a community where everybody likes to help each other and wants to be involved, it’s just a great world I can be a part of.”