Career-focused programs set students on roads to success

A growing portfolio of Road to Success programs enhances student job-readiness and Rutgers Business School's return-on-investment.

At Rutgers Business School, there is an emphasis on ensuring that students are job-ready when they graduate, with knowledge and skills as well as a confidence gained from mentoring and experiential learning experiences.

The focus on job-readiness is a big component in Rutgers Business School’s reputation for return-on-investment. In 2020, Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick was ranked No. 13 by Poets & Quants for its five-year return on investment. Rutgers Business School-Newark was No. 31 in the same ranking.

Students begin forging the paths to their careers as early as freshman year and there are a host of programs to help them learn about their fields, gain mentors and work experiences along the way.

Rutgers Business School’s signature program for connecting students to jobs in the financial industry, Road to Wall Street, leverages the power of alumni to provide students with mentoring and internships. Now, a host of programs modeled after Road to Wall Street, including Road to Silicon Valley, are expanding the ability of students to get internships and full- time jobs in fields such as technology, entrepreneurship, accounting and consulting.

Road to Wall Street works like a feeder program, linking Rutgers Business School alumni who are in senior positions in some of the nation’s biggest banks to high achieving students with aspirations to be on Wall Street. The hallmark of the program’s success is alumni giving, whether it comes in the form of a donation, mentoring or opening doors to help students secure internship opportunities.

“Without Road to Wall Street, I would not have gotten that opportunity.” - Finance student Zach Kronheimer

Road to Wall Street focuses on providing students with the skills and resources to turn opportunities into full-time job offers. Cohorts typically consist of 55 students, and the program has a job placement rate of 98 percent. To get a sense of how students are enriched, consider Zach Kronheimer who spent the summer interning with MSD Partners after Road to Wall Street introduced him to an internship opportunity at the firm. Kronheimer described the internship as “incredibly rewarding.” It was the type of learning experience he had been told Road to Wall Street would offer him and what led him to study finance at Rutgers. “Without Road to Wall Street,” he said, “I would not have gotten that opportunity.”  

In its second year, Road to Silicon Valley is working to build and leverage alumni connections in the tech industry in the same way Road to Wall Street has forged them to create paths for students in finance. By combining a tech and business curriculum, emphasizing training in soft skills like public speaking and experiential learning experiences, the program provides students with the knowledge and traits to be innovative leaders and entrepreneurs. In its first year, the program attracted 120 applications. Forty-eight students – 45 percent female and 55 percent male – were chosen for the first cohort. The program is led by founding director Mukesh Patel, a serial entrepreneur and experienced angel investor. Patel has formed an advisory board made up of impressive Rutgers alumni who are working at such companies as Salesforce, Etsy, and Amazon.

For many students who study accounting as undergraduates, a CPA proves to be a valuable professional credential. The new Road to CPA program is a broad-based program intended to create a culture of CPA preparedness. Rutgers Business School-Newark will offer its first Road to CPA cohort in Spring of 2021, inviting up to 50 accounting majors with a GPA of 3.0 or better to participate. Students in the cohort will be offered annual assessment exams to ensure they are mastering technical competencies and to determine if they can benefit from tutoring or supplementary study materials. “If we do this with students in our cohort, we stand a better likelihood of having more students pass the CPA exam,” said Joyce Joseph, an assistant professor of professional practice in accounting who will oversee Road to CPA at Rutgers Business School-Newark. Students in the Road to CPA cohort will also be paired with mentors with whom they can form structured relationships and gain insights and guidance from an industry professional. Road to CPA will provide all accounting majors – at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick and Rutgers Business School-Newark – with mentoring opportunities, workshops, career services and CPA exam preparation resources, including the ability to take a rigorous Rutgers Capstone CPA Review Course. The course, which will be offered for the first time in the summer of 2021, is open to students who have completed Advanced Accounting 1. The course will initially focus on the financial accounting and reporting section of the CPA exam. Accounting instructor Sarah O’Rourke, who will oversee Road to CPA at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick, said the program’s focus is to set students up to do well on the CPA exam and to thrive in their accounting careers. Accounting majors in New Brunswick also will have access to mentors, workshops and career resources as well as the Capstone CPA Review Course.

Two more Road to Success programs are currently being developed: Road to Consulting and Road to Future Entrepreneurs.


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