Rutgers University Business for Youth

Our Mission

Rutgers University Business for Youth (RUBY) is a student-run organization at Rutgers New Brunswick that strives to make a difference in our local community by mentoring and educating under-served high school students about business and college, providing resources and knowledge that would otherwise be unavailable to them.



The RUBY Project

There is a resource that we are not tapping. That resource is the high-quality motivated student who attends school but lacks supplementary guidance and support.  It is not that these students are being ignored. The teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators in the schools these students attend are aware of the talent within their schools.  The issue is that these students do not have adequate exposure, beyond their school environment, to the opportunities available to them and the incentives required to make these opportunities work. They do not have access to many of the resources they need to become successful such as interaction with college students, college environment, business (corporate) settings, knowledge of business education, etc. Dean Markowitz's experience teaching for eleven years at a Junior High School in the South Bronx indicates that the parents of these students are generally unaware of the “pathway” to college and have limited knowledge of how to direct their children to good careers in the business professions. Most of the parents of Dean Markowitz's students simply told their children to “study” which is a difficult task in the midst of a social environment that, in general, does not encourage such behaviors.

The purpose of the Rutgers University Business for Youth (RUBY) project is to expand the horizons of youth to include business, so that they will be able to identify pathways to careers in business and perceive these pathways and careers as viable options for themselves to purse.  When students who are college bound, who have not had such exposure, are asked what their future careers will be, they almost invariably answer “doctor” or “lawyer.” These answers are prolific because that is all they know. These are the only ambitious professions to which they have had exposure. We at RUBY believe that Rutgers, as the State University of New Jersey, has a responsibility to support these students, encourage them to learn about business, and (ideally) come to the Rutgers Business School so that we can continue to help them grow and become productive members/citizens of New Jersey.



The current program allows under-served students to gain a better understanding of business through talks and discussions with faculty, Rutgers Business School students, and business executives, field trips to major corporations, seminars on contemporary business topics, and an activity involving the development of a Business Plan.  

Each semester (fall and spring), 30 high-achieving sophomore high school students are chosen to enter our three-year program.

Our sophomores spend their semester working in teams to create business plans, and they compete in the Bi-annual Business Plan Competition at the end of each semester. Once a week for a total of 5-6 classes, they are bused to Rutgers where they are taught by esteemed Rutgers’ entrepreneurship Professor Ernest Ruffin, who is assisted by the RUBY Executive Board and RBS student mentors. Throughout the semester, Professor Ruffin guides the students on the essential aspects of business planning, including manufacturing and sales forecasting, financial understanding, market research and SWOT analysis, presentation building, and so much more. By the end of the semester, the students not only present their creative business ideas, but in creating comprehensive business plans, they are able to exemplify what they have learned. From their executive summaries to their break-even point predictions, these students include all of the essentials of business understanding in their presentations. The bulk of their work is done outside of the classroom. Working in teams of six, it is up to them to have their PowerPoint presentations fully prepared with research, graphics, and charts by the end of the semester. They are encouraged to reach out to their mentors for guidance and suggestions, but it is up to the students to do the heavy-lifting. Many will ask for visual suggestions for their presentations, and they are encouraged to put together optional advertising campaigns, to really drive their presentations home. Every semester, the students go above and beyond what is expected of them, not only in presentation quality and business understanding, but in their advertising campaigns as well. In the past, students have actually filmed “commercials,” created their own t-shirts, and utilized props. It is impressive what these young minds are able to produce, and they are encouraged to be as creative as possible with their ideas, regardless of any current technological limitations. These confident and creative presenters set the bar higher for the next set of students every semester.

Our juniors attend visits to various corporations where they have been able to learn about different companies and the career opportunities that are available there. Due to this exposure, these students have been able to learn about careers in business they may have never known, and they now view these companies as  viable options to begin their working careers once they graduate college.

Our seniors are enrolled in a Kaplan Prep course. There, the students learn and practice various different techniques that will improve their test-taking skills for the SATs. Each student also receives a SAT book of their own.

We also will be volunteering at numerous different schools and organizations around the New Brunswick area in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, in order to expose more students to information about different business majors, careers in business, as well as information about college ranging from financial aid, SAT/ACT test-taking tips, the college essay, and more.



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