Double Whammy! Faculty AND Alumnus Profile: Professor Brian Harrington


Name: Brian Harrington

Grad year: 1989 (yikes, a while ago)

Undergraduate major: Concentrations in Finance and Marketing, CSOM

Classes that you teach: Entrepreneurial Marketing AKA “From Idea to Launch”

Department: Marketing

Mod: 37A

How long have you been at BC?

I came to campus in November of last year, as the Shea Center’s first Entrepreneur in Residence and began teaching in September of this year.

Do you have any advanced degrees?

I have an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

How did you prepare for your line of work?

Prior to coming to BC, I was the EVP Chief Marketing Officer for Zipcar. Prior to that, I had been part of executive teams in startups and early-stage companies.

In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?

I think I have teaching in my DNA. My father was a professor in the Accounting Department at BC back in the early 1970’s. I’ve always enjoyed sharing what I know.

What does your day-to-day look like?

Right now I’m teaching the class above along with trying to start a new company in the mobility space. Along the way I’m a dad of one high schooler and two college students-so it all keeps me very busy.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?

I love sharing what I know, particularly the professional experiences that have shaped my view on business and particularly within the marketing discipline. It’s wonderful when you can get a student to challenge conventional thinking.

What are your biggest challenges?

I like to move fast with content–and sometimes have to remember students don’t have the experience I do or the capacity in some circumstances to see issues/ideas from multiple viewpoints.

What were you involved in while at BC?

Well, I was on the varsity sailing team which was fun (but I was not a terribly good sailor). Secondly I worked in the Student Admissions Program, leading the campus tours program during my junior year. Lastly, I was a proud member of the Alumni Bartender Corp (which no longer exists, sadly).

What advice would you give to students about finding:

  • The right workplace fit?
    • Focus on who you are going to work for as primary vs. the role or even the company. This may not be traditional thinking–but in my experience your boss makes all the difference, regardless of role or industry.
  • Ways both to prepare and to enter this field?
    • Stay relevant constantly. Be ready to have a discussion about the latest topic in marketing during interviews–these days that’s performance marketing and the role of content for brand development and customer acquisition.  

Students can come to me with questions about:

Career advice mainly–with so many options available to our students, it’s hard to balance needs versus expectations and the safe vs. not so safe routes.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’m pretty proud of my three kids–for being confident in who they are and acting on it. And they are very different from me.

What activities do you enjoy outside of your job at BC?

I love to ski in the winter, and you’ll find me on the water (in various types of boats) during the summer. Running is an all the time thing. Reading is a passion. I usually have 3-4 books going at any one time. I wish I could write, it’s an aspiration.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I love underdogs, people who forge their own paths and those that practice compassion along the way. Folks like Dorothy Day, my wife (an M.D. working with opiate addiction) and Steve Pemberton who recently joined the BC board all come to mind.



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