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Following his creative spirit

Two years ago, Preston Turk broke his iPhone shortly before leaving for a trip to Europe. Seeing no other option, he begrudgingly shelled out the money for a replacement.

But the incoming Northeastern freshman wasn’t happy about it. As he puts it, “I thought to myself, ‘This is ridiculous. I can do this.’”

Since then, Turk has developed the tech-savvy to dismantle and reassemble his own iPhone — and help his friends repair their own damaged devices.

Turk’s iPhone ingenuity is but one example of how puts his inventive curiosity and knack for tinkering with gadgets to good use.

In another instance, the Charlotte, N.C., native recently teamed-up with his childhood friend to build a go-cart. The pair assembled the aluminum frame in August, and hope to install the drivetrain, wheels and steering and braking systems over Thanksgiving break.

As a high school senior, Turk also discovered a 1953 Leica IIIF — an old German camera — buried in the back of an art classroom. He received permission from the school to restore it.

The experience, he says, boosted his interest in photography and fostered a greater appreciation for the intricate design and the precision necessary to manually operate old cameras.

At Northeastern, Turk hopes to cultivate his artistic drive, interest in invention — and burgeoning business spirit — through the University’s entrepreneurship program in the College of Business Administration.

His business savvy, he says, dates back to middle school, when an interest in how watches work spawned a repair business of sorts for classmates who had damaged their timepieces.

“I want to see something that is not working, work again,” Turk says. “It’s about bringing things to life. I enjoy figuring out how things work.”

Small wonder he plans to pursue a co-op with a large global company in the smartphone industry. “I’m definitely looking forward to co-op,” he says.