Heather Spector '17 is ready to mix business with social responsibility

The business and computer science double major on when she knew coming to Brandeis was the right choice, her favorite place on campus and more

Heather SpectorPhoto/Mike Lovett

Heather Spector '17.

When Heather Spector '17 toured prospective colleges, there was a little test she liked to run.

As she walked by people around a campus, she smiled at them to see if they would smile back. 

Brandeis passed with high marks. 

"They smiled here, so I deemed it friendly," she said. "And I was right. I've never met more nice people in one place."

Four years later, Spector is a double major in business and computer science who is ready to take on the corporate world armed with a passion for social responsibility.

When did you know you made the right choice by coming to Brandeis?

Pretty quickly. I did the social justice pre-orientation program and I was so impressed by how kind people were, and by the amount of diversity. 

In orientation, and in that first month of classes, I saw that there weren't cliques here. Maybe people have different friends, but they are all friendly with each other. I've never experienced that before. It was really refreshing and it made me feel at home at Brandeis.   

People are endearing and awkward and quirky and passionate. It's great to see the kind of community that's created when people bring their passions to the table.

What do you 'Nerd out' about?

If I see the words corporate responsibility anywhere, or I learn about a business doing socially responsible things, I get really excited. I love to see what different people are doing and how it is advancing.  

Brandeis has taught me that you can be a champion of social justice in pretty much any career, and I want to be an activist for social justice in the corporate world. 

What has been your most rewarding experience outside the classroom?

Planning for ‘DEIS Impact and trying to get people interested in social justice. No matter what you're passionate about, there is a way to involve social justice. For example, I think the Cheese Club could talk about food and justice - and also bring free cheese!

People drive social change and it’s the bravery of people that make change. There are a lot of opportunities for students to become strong leaders here. For me, that opportunity was ‘DEIS Impact and getting involved in social justice.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

I like being in the Shapiro Campus Center. I have a lot of memories there. It's kind of the hub of student activity.

It's where I interviewed to be an orientation leader. It's where I became more involved in community service. It's where I've had lots of conversations with people who mean a lot to me at Brandeis. Einstein's is also there and they have chocolate chip bagels.

How has Brandeis helped you make a difference?

I've learned so much about how I can use my unique skills to contribute positively to the world. I'm a business and computer science major. You don't typically think of those majors when you think of social change. But I know I can use technology to increase transparency in corporate supply chains. I know I can use my business skills to start a mission driven company. I can start an ethical fashion company if I wanted.

Business can be a force for good in the world. I know that because of what Brandeis has taught me about using my skills to make the world better. I've become a better leader and a better activist by being here. I'm proud of the person I am today and I'm grateful to Brandeis for that.

Heather Spector '17 is the Class of 1952 Scholar

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