Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick

Poets & Quants includes Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick seniors in 100 Best & Brightest

Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick seniors Christina Kallinosis and Kaelyn Patel were included among the nation’s Best & Brightest business majors in an annual feature published by Poets & Quants.

Writer Jeff Schmitt summed up an unimaginable culmination of the Class of 2020’s undergraduate experience and described a collective resiliency among the graduates that is certain to drive Johnson and Pina and others past the crushing disappointment of their final semester and into a future that still holds their hopes and dreams.

The introduction and following profiles of Johnson and Pina originally appeared in the 2020 Best & Brightest feature published by Poets & Quants.

The Class of 2020 won’t enjoy their ‘moment’ this spring. Come May, these business majors won’t bask in the applause after collecting their degrees. There won’t be grand speeches or impromptu hugs. For them, this spring will be a lost semester with so much left undone.

Seems fitting. After all, the senior class was born into a world at war and grew up amid a financial collapse. Now, they watch as a pandemic sweeps away their opportunities. After every upheaval, some people step up to drive recovery and restoration. Make no mistake: this class will be the one who rise to these demands. After all, they have been wrestling with adversity from the beginning. They will be the catalysts who inspire action, the innovators who unleash talent, and the dreamers who scrap their vision into reality. They may miss the pomp and circumstance, but their best moments have yet to come.

Christina Kallinosis

Fun fact about yourself: I hiked to the top of Mount Olympus in Greece.

Hometown: Rahway, New Jersey

High School: Union County Magnet High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Modern Greek Studies

Concentration: Real Estate

Favorite Business Course: Real Estate Finance

Where have you interned during your college career?

Summer 2018 – Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) – Jersey City, NJ – Third-Party Risk Management Analyst

Summer 2019 – Bank of America – New York, NY – Securitized Products Summer Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? Bank of America – Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities Analyst.

Rutgers Business School senior Christina Kallinosis

What company do you admire the most? A company I admire is Bank of America where I will be going back to work full-time after graduation. I really love the culture there and the dedication the company has to advance diversity in the workplace and how committed it is about giving back through its corporate social responsibility program.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor is Morris Davis. I took my first real estate class with Professor Davis not at all interested in real estate. I learned a lot in that class, including a passion for real estate I was not aware I had. Everything I learned in Real Estate Finance prepared me for my internship at Bank of America and helped me in deciding that commercial real estate was the right group for me.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? My favorite part about Rutgers Business School is the free snacks they give out in the afternoon in the lounge. It really helps me power through my day.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? It is really important to remember this applies in most cases: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My biggest piece of advice would be to learn how to network with people early in your college career and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being able to strike up a conversation and find common interests with people is a good skill that can land you in a position you never thought you could be in, but you won’t be able to get there if you’re too shy to talk to anyone in the first place.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I learned that wherever you end up working in corporate America, it is imperative to your survival to understand how that place runs. Know who to talk with to get what you need done.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my resourcefulness and ability to always find additional ways to fund my education. There is always some scholarship I randomly find, apply to and win.

Which classmate do you most admire? I most admire Julian Fonsenca, a close friend of mine. I admire his ability to always find the silver lining, even in the dimmest situations, and his positive attitude towards life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my dad for showing me throughout his life that hard work overcomes all else and that I can achieve anything I motivate myself to do no matter where I started from in life.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • Being important enough that people stalk my LinkedIn before meeting me.
  • Becoming my own boss.

What are your hobbies?

Going to raves/music festivals; exploring new countries with my designated travel buddy; obsessively watching new shows on Netflix until I am caught up and have to find a different show, and forcing myself to go to the gym so I don’t torture myself later for not going.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Office of Career Management Marketing & Operations Intern
  • Delta Sigma Pi – Co-Ed Professional Business Fraternity – Vice President of Pledge Education, Recruitment Committee, Community Service Committee
  • Women BUILD – Corporate Relations Chair, Peer Mentor
  • Rutgers Road to Wall Street – Participated in selective financial modeling class and program designed to prepare students for Wall Street interviews and internships
  • Hellenic Cultural Association – Vice President
  • Rutgers Business School 75th Anniversary Scholarship, Rutgers Center for Real Estate Scholarship
  • Dean’s List – Fall 2016 – Spring 2019

What made Christina such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Christina has always been extremely involved at Rutgers Business School. As a freshman, she joined the team at the Office of Career Management (career services for business school students), working as an intern and learning the ins-and-outs of events, and adding her own style and ideas throughout her four years.

During her sophomore year, she became involved in the Rutgers Road to Wall Street program. Road to Wall Street is a competitive program that only allows 50 of the top applicants to participate in a seminar series and financial modeling class that prepares them for the rigorous interview processes to obtain an internship on Wall Street. Christina also interviewed and attained a position in Rutgers Business School’s Women BUILD program. There, she completed a certificate in Women’s Business Leadership and served as the corporate relations committee chair for the annual Leadership Summit, an event that brings in prominent female figures in the business world for a day full of panel discussions and networking.

More recently, Christina has become extremely involved in the Rutgers Center for Real Estate by pursuing a concentration in real estate. She discovered a passion for real estate after taking a real estate finance course and interning at Bank of America’s securitized products groups.

Christina continues to expand her knowledge of the industry, finishing her last courses to complete the minor and has received many scholarships from the center. She will graduate this May and move to New York City where she will be returning to Bank of America in their commercial real estate securitized products group."

-Eugene Gentile. director, Office of Career Management

Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick

"Make no mistake: this class will be the one who rise to these demands. After all, they have been wrestling with adversity from the beginning. They will be the catalysts who inspire action, the innovators who unleash talent, and the dreamers who scrap their vision into reality."

Kaelyn Patel

Fun fact about yourself: I attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where I was an active duty member of the United States Navy.

Hometown: South Brunswick, New Jersey

High School: Rutgers Preparatory School – Somerset, New Jersey

Major: Business Analytics and Information Technology

Minor: Concentration in Global Business

Favorite Business Course: Global Management and Strategy

Rutgers Business School senior Kaelyn PatelWhere have you interned during your college career?

  • Cisco Systems: New York, New York – Technical Sales Engineer Intern in the Early in University Internship Program
  • Cisco Systems: San Jose, California – Field Sales Engineer Intern in the Global Sales Internship Program

Where will you be working after graduation? Cisco Systems: Raleigh, North Carolina – Associate Sales Engineer in the Cisco Sales Associate Program (CSAP)

What company do you admire the most? I admire Cisco Systems the most because the solutions and architectures that the company has pioneered are changing the world for the better. Cisco not only helps companies make money and save money by mitigating risk, it also helps people around the world enhance their quality of life. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of every sale and action taken on by Cisco, and the company is making a positive impact on the world every day by connecting the unconnected.

Who is your favorite professor? Professor Marvin Helgeson was my favorite professor at Rutgers because I genuinely looked forward to going to his class every Monday night and seeing the smile on his face. He had so much passion and excitement to teach the class and it made me even more interested in the subject matter. His real world experience and stories that he would share made him extremely credible and relatable to all of the students. He made me love to learn this subject.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The network of friends that I was able to build at Rutgers Business School completely changed my college experience. I met some of my best friends in classes, and I loved the collaborative environment, while still being competitive, and feeling really special to belong to such a close knit and elite school at Rutgers.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned from studying business is that the most important thing to remember is to act ethically and with integrity. Customers, coworkers, and shareholders will always value this first-and-foremost. It is of the utmost importance in today’s age to always be transparent and honest and law-abiding.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Something that surprised me about majoring in business was how much technology has taken over the business curriculum. Every course I took had some element of technology or software that was incorporated to better prepare us for the tech-driven business environment of the present and future. I chose the Business Analytics and Information Technology major at the Rutgers Business School because I always wanted to put myself at the intersection of business and technology. I quickly learned that the Rutgers Business School core curriculum actually incorporates technology in all of the classes and majors, which I found surprising, and extremely rewarding.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? There were a lot of people in my life that didn’t believe I would complete boot camp, also known as Plebe Summer, at the United States Naval Academy. For a lot of my senior year of high school, I believed them. I didn’t know completely what I was signing up for and I wasn’t sure if I was mentally or physically strong enough to get through it. I prepared as much as possible, but I think Plebe Summer is something you can never fully prepare yourself for. The long days, blazing heat, physical strain, and mental hardship that you undergo during Plebe Summer is truly meant to break you down as a civilian and then build you back up as a future Naval officer. My privileged and “easy” life beforehand had a lot of people doubting my ability to get through it. Finishing Plebe Summer and officially joining the Brigade of Midshipman at USNA is my proudest achievement. It was the hardest, longest, and most exhausting 6 weeks of my life, but I came out alive in the end and I am a better person because of it. I know now that if I could get through that, I am capable of anything I set my mind to doing. I proved everyone wrong, including myself, and this experience and achievement is something I will always carry with me.

Which classmate do you most admire? Rutgers Business School senior Paige Nardella is the person I most admire at the business school. She has overcome a lot of hardship in her life and works hard every single day to achieve all that she is. She always puts others first and is the most selfless person I have ever met. I know I can always rely on her for help with school or in my personal life. Paige puts in a lot of hours of work to be the best she can be and is always ready to participate in class and ask the questions others are too timid to ask. Her charisma and kind heart will carry her far in life, and she will be an asset to whatever company she will work for after graduation.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Christine Yannuzzi, an admissions officer at Rutgers Business School, is the person I want to thank most for my success. She took me under her wing from the moment I expressed interest in transferring to Rutgers and helped me make a plan to achieve my goals every step of the way. She is my biggest supporter and advocate, and I would not have achieved everything I have without her guidance. She is my biggest cheerleader and believes in my potential sometimes even more than I do. I know I can always go to her with all of the good and the bad. She has truly been my rock through my entire experience at Rutgers.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. I would like to get my MBA from a top business school in my 20’s and graduate with the highest honors.
  2. One day, I would like to work in the C-suite of a Fortune 100 company.

What are your hobbies? I love playing sports, especially lacrosse and soccer. (I have been an athlete my entire life.) I also enjoy reading biographies and mystery novels, hanging out with my friends, traveling, and staying active.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Squad Leader at United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar
  • Member of Women’s Club Lacrosse Team
  • Ambassador for Rutgers Business School
  • Member, Beta Gamma Sigma (international business honors society)
  • Scarlet Ambassador, Rutgers University Undergraduate Admissions
  • Mentor, Women in Business program
  • Published author, United Nations Aim2Flourish

What makes Kaelyn such an invaluable member of the Class of 2020?

“I was first introduced to Kaelyn Patel in the Spring of 2017. She was transitioning out of the Naval Academy, exploring her options as a civilian, and researching which university would best suit her academic and professional goals. Kaelyn visited Rutgers Business School (RBS), and together we constructed a plan to get her to RBS without losing any momentum, time, or credits in earning her degree.

A review of Kaelyn’s Naval transcript revealed she would not be able to directly matriculate to RBS. Our plan was to have her start at Middlesex County College, complete her associate’s degree, and then transfer to RBS. She was diligent with her coursework there, earning a 4.0 GPA and induction into Phi Theta Kappa’s honor society. This was only the beginning.

Kaelyn enrolled at Rutgers and became an official Scarlet Knight in Fall 2018 declaring herself a BAIT major with a concentration in Global Business. Her acceptance to RBS, along with her incredible persistence and academic rigor, earned her an early internship for the summer of 2018 at Cisco Systems as a technical sales engineer. Kaelyn not only boasts an impressive GPA, currently a 3.82, but has also immersed herself into the culture of Rutgers and RBS. She is a Scarlet Ambassador for the University, leading campus tours, answering questions, and serving as the face of Rutgers at the University Visitor’s Center. She is also an RBS Ambassador, providing building tours, and serving on RBS student panels during information sessions. Kaelyn also plays club Lacrosse and serves as a mentor for Women Build. This past summer she earned another spot at Cisco Systems as a field sales engineer and was offered a full-time position in October 2019. Kaelyn was also inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) this fall, securing her spot as one of the top-ranked students in RBS. It has been a pleasure and an honor watching Kaelyn grow as a student and person.”

- Christine Yannuzzi, admissions officer, Office of Undergraduate Programs, Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick

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