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Nicole Coates spent five years in the financial services industry, long enough to learn why it remains important for women to differentiate themselves in the workplace if they want to get ahead.

The 27-year-old from Jersey City can recite some of the telling statistics: "At Fortune 500 companies, only 5 percent of the chief executive officers are female, and at those same companies, women account for 14 percent of senior executives."

"Those statistics are abysmal," said Coates, who knows companies such as her former employer, American Express, have taken steps to groom women for executive roles and help improve those numbers.

When it came to her own work life, Coates decided to pursue a Rutgers MBA to broaden her knowledge of business, to round out her experience and demonstrate a commitment to her career. And the path she chose is becoming a more common one for women.

At Rutgers Business School, women represent 51 percent of the new class of 79 full-time MBA students -- the highest since 2007 when female students made up 48 percent of the class. In 2013, the incoming class of full-time MBA students was 39 percent female.

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Internal Revenue Service offers Rutgers accounting students a unique look at career option

The Internal Revenue Service started a role-playing event, dubbed the Adrian Project, in 2002 as a way of introducing college accounting students to the agency and its work.

The event is named after Michigan's Adrian College, where the first event was held. It has been held at Rutgers Business School nine times under the guidance of Senior Associate Dean Martin Markowitz.

"Most accounting students don't know that law enforcement is a good fit for them," said IRS agent Robert Glantz, who organized the event. "We want to open their eyes to it."

About a dozen IRS agents -- seven Rutgers University alums among them -- participated in the Adrian Project on April 4 at the Livingston Student Center. The event attracted 17 RBS students and nine Sayreville High School students who are studying honors accounting.

Listen to the reactions of students who took the IRS up on its offer and the reflections of alumni who are now IRS employees.

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Alumni Profile: Christine Knight, Rutgers MBA '90, CFO, Prudential Group Insurance

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