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Mr. ‘Fix-It’

When he was 5 years old, Sean Burris launched his first “venture” called The Fix-It Company. Burris would gather up plumbing parts or wood lying around his Lincoln, Calif., house left over from his father’s construction company and turn them into little trinkets or other improvement items that he could give to his parents. He even made up business cards.

“I liked to pretend I had my own company,” recalled Burris, who will begin at Northeastern this fall in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business with concentrations in new venture management and entrepreneurship. “But even at an early age, I was already thinking about ideas for different businesses.”

During his sophomore year of high school, Burris’ first real venture took flight. A long admirer of vintage airplanes, Burris began researching companies that chartered flights with planes from the 1950s and 60s. He soon launched Classic Jet Tours for vintage airplane enthusiasts like himself, in which arranged group charter flights for passengers aboard these aircraft.

“I learned a lot about the charter industry, as well as customer service. I found myself suddenly answering a flood of emails from interested customers, and I was even getting phone calls when I was in class,” he said.

At Northeastern, he’s eager to continue pursuing his entrepreneurial spirit through student organizations like the Northeastern Entrepreneurs Club and experiential-learning opportunities like co-op. In particular, he noted his interest in the E-Club’s Husky Startup Challenge, a semester-long business development competition that includes boot camps, networking events, and an end-of-semester Demo Day. Burris will also be in the Honors Program.

In high school, Burris took a leadership class in which he and his peers organized school events like dances and cookouts. He said the skills he learned in that class will definitely be applicable during his time at Northeastern.

“We brainstormed ideas about how to improve and build upon these types of events, while also creatively solving problems and figuring how to maximize student participation,” he said. “That class really put into practice the tasks of problem-solving and thinking about new ideas.”