Jonathan Bellinghausen, 2024 MARK Leadership Conference MC

Graduating senior builds leadership skills through advocating for others

Jonathan Bellinghausen’s college experience began during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. Doing his best to meet and connect with classmates through virtual chat groups, Bellinghausen repeatedly heard students’ frustration with university processes. “I got interested in finding solutions and making resources easier to find,” said Bellinghausen.

To this end, he joined the Rutgers Business Governing Association (RBGA), the voice of the Business School students to the rest of the University that acts as a liaison between faculty, administration, and students. Membership benefits include gaining experience in the inner workings of the Business School. Bellinghausen wanted to learn the processes and systems that were frustrating students, and then work to see how he could make things easier, including explaining how things were done, where students could get advice, and what resources were available.

From distant/virtual membership initially, he grew into leadership positions over the last three years to serve as RGBA President his senior year. Getting voices heard and concerns addressed were rewarding and pushed him outside of his comfort zone to become more confident and effective. He said, “The experiences and skills I gained from RBGA will transfer into my professional life.”

Bellinghausen enjoyed increasing student engagement, seeing others learn about opportunities, and trying something new. During Rutgers Welcome Week at the beginning of last fall, he organized the business involvement fair with thirty student organizations sponsored by eight companies and the Office of Career Management. Over 1,000 new and returning students met with club and company representatives and mingled with fellow students at the event.

“Over the years, I’ve repeatedly heard, ‘You are why I’m in this organization. You were passionate about it, so I tried it,’” Bellinghausen said.

Rutgers Welcome Week business involvement fair.
Over 1,000 new and returning students participated in the business involvement fair.

Another gratifying part of Bellinghausen’s leadership journey has been serving on the Rutgers University Student Assembly Allocations Board, where registered student groups submit budget applications. The Allocations Board contributes to students giving back to their communities through guest speakers, raising awareness about a related issue, presentations about the work of organization members, etc. and must be readily available to all Rutgers University students, regardless of club membership or other identifying factors. “It is very gratifying to see students create and host events that were important to them, go on trips, hear from guest speakers, raise awareness and grow support for a cause,” he said.

Graduating this May with a major in Business Analytics & Information Technology and a minor in Political Science, Bellinghausen will bring all he learned in the classroom and through extracurricular leadership activities to bear as he begins his professional career with Prudential Financial. 

Read Jonathan Bellinghausen’s profile in Poets & Quants 2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jonathan Bellinghausen.

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