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A Night with Michael Winston

NCH Student Blog | January 8, 2020

Since NCH became part of Northeastern earlier this year, there have been a few changes around College. The most obvious, of course, are the many Americans that are now suddenly in the building. The most beneficial change, however, is the business lectures that we now have access to.

At these business lectures, successful Northeastern alumni come in and talk about their careers with us, giving tips and inspiration. Last night, it was Michael Winston’s turn to inspire us. Winston graduated from Northeastern in 2010 and is now, not even 10 years later, Director to the CEO at The Collective, a fast-growing business based in London that is revolutionising the way we live.

At the event, Winston shares a very personal story of how he got to where he is now. He shared how it took him some time to find his purpose in life, how he was lonely at one point and unable to find a living solution where he could share space with someone other than Hippies. That is what set him on his path in the co-living industry and what makes him so happy nowadays, he tells us. It was very visible that he was happy, he radiated energy where he not only owns the room but makes everyone inside it feel welcome and appreciated.

Winston talked about the challenges he faced when he founded his first own business, before he joined The Collective. This is where all the pens in the room start moving. His advice was specific and incredibly helpful for all of us who are thinking of starting a business, just his tips for getting investment are literal gold. When he goes on to show us what he does at The Collective and what the living space there looks like, two students behind me whisper “I wanna work there” – “I wanna live there”. It’s no wonder since the rooms and amenities seem to be right out of everyone’s Instagram dreams.

Some of these business lectures have come to be known as more of a collection of inspirational Pinterest quotes, like ‘Always go the extra mile’, but not with Winston. When he tells us to ‘Find a purpose in life’ it is backed up with a one, two and five-year strategy and thereby all the more inspiring. As the night came to an end, and it’s much later than at the usual NCH events, everyone stays behind for a bit. Winston takes time for all of us, listens to business ideas and gives out his contact information. He is still as enthusiastic and happy as at the beginning of his talk; and if there is one thing I will definitely take away from this night, it’s that I want to be as happy with my career as he seems to be with his.