Ty-Lynn Johnson (second row, fifth from left) and Neidelyn Pina (front, center) with their B-STAR classmates in 2016.

Rutgers Business School-Newark seniors named among 100 Best & Brightest business majors

Ty-Lynn Johnson and Neidelyn Pina, graduating seniors at Rutgers Business School-Newark, 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.

Ty-Lynn Johnson

Fun fact about yourself: My first trip outside of the U.S. took place during my sophomore year when I traveled to Japan on a cultural immersion program sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since then, I have visited four other countries, Israel, Spain, Portugal, and Ecuador.

Hometown: Newark, New Jersey

High School: Paramus Catholic Regional High School

Major: Finance

Minor: Social Justice (Honors Living-Learning Community)

Favorite Business Course: Advanced Corporate Finance

Where have you interned during your college career? 

  • BlackRock – Princeton, NJ, Summer Analyst
  • KPMG – New York, NY, Corporate Management Intern
  • City Hall of Newark – Newark, NJ, Student Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? BlackRock – New York, NY, analyst.

Rutgers Business School senior Ty-Lynn Johnson

What company do you admire the most?  “I admire BlackRock the most because of the commitment and transparency they have with their employees. During my summer internship, I could not pinpoint any particular unpleasant experience; I truly believe that the vision of Larry Fink and the four core principles that the firm emphasizes permeates throughout the entire firm.”

Who is your favorite professor? “My favorite professor is Lisa Kaplowitz. I now have the pleasure of being her teacher’s assistant for a second year and have taken both of her courses (Corporate Finance and Advanced Corporate Finance). Professor Kaplowitz does an exceptional job of bringing both academic theory and practical experience from the industry to her classes. As a former investment banker and treasurer, you receive real-world examples of situations she encountered throughout her career. Outside of the classroom, the care she has for her students is reflected in the career advice, mentorship, and time she offers. She played a significant role in my college experience, and I know things would be much different if I had not met Professor Kaplowitz.”

What did you enjoy most about your business school? “I truly enjoyed the family feel of Rutgers Business School. From classmates and peers to the faculty and professors, everyone wants you to succeed. The spirit of RBS shines through organization leaders and alumni who I have come in contact with who dedicate hours to giving back to Rutgers students.”

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? “The advice I can give someone looking to major in a business-related field would be to have an open mind. Each class you take will offer so much knowledge about different aspects of business that you need to have an open mind to learn and engage in business classes actively. Careers in business also are very dynamic, so if you have an open mind, you will be able to better adapt to various situations you face while interning or working full time.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? “Understanding how business and the knowledge obtained through a major in business play a vital role in our society surprised me the most. I am fortunate to have friends and contacts across many different studies. When speaking with these colleagues, I can always relate one aspect of business to their fields. Business is a universal language that many people have a grasp on even if it does not relate to their field of study.”

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? “I am most proud of not only obtaining an internship and full-time job at BlackRock, but also being selected as a BlackRock Founders Scholar, a title only 11 of the 450+ interns globally receive. I am proud of this because, given my underprivileged background as an African American trying to find a place in Corporate America, I never thought I would have the opportunity to work for the number one global asset manager in the world. I believe landing this job allowed me to realize my full potential as a college student and will allow me to encourage others to accomplish their biggest dreams and goals.”

Which classmate do you most admire? “The classmate I admire the most would be Emanuel Marques. I had the pleasure of taking a majority of the courses in my finance major with Emanuel and even worked on multiple group projects with him. Most recently, we completed an independent study looking at the lack of representation of women in asset management careers. We are expecting a feature in the book releasing in 2021. No matter what class we were in together, Emanuel’s level of dedication and knowledge of finance always impressed me. I knew taking courses with him would always challenge me to be a better student, and I learned a lot from hearing his perspectives as well. Starting as classmates, I can say we are terrific friends now, and I am excited to see his career develop at Goldman Sachs. Finally, Emanuel and I now spend a good deal of time helping underclassmen pursue careers in front-office finance jobs through our recruiting roles with the Road to Wall Street Program.”

Who would you most want to thank for your success? (Choose one person and explain why. “I thank my Dad most for my success. Without him, I would not understand how to work hard. Growing up in Newark, things were not always great. There were no “gifts” in my household; anything that my brother, sister, and I got we earned, whether it was through good grades, chores, or playing well in basketball games. I used to spend time off from school at my dad’s job. Nearby stood the Funplex amusement center, before my brother and I could go, we had to ticket 100 boxes of shoes. This example is one of the many ways that my dad made us earn something we wanted. Without my work ethic and persistence, I would not have been able to enjoy much of the success that I do now as I approach graduation.”

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

  • Obtain a seat on the Board of a Fortune 500 company
  • Start a basketball program that is also a non-profit organization

What are your hobbies?

  • Traveling
  • Playing basketball
  • Watching NFL football
  • Exercising
  • Mentoring


Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: 

  • Basketball Player (Freshman Year Only)
  • Inaugural President, Honors Living-Learning Community Student Council
  • Chief of Corporate Events, Marketing & Management Society (MMS)
  • Teacher’s Assistant, Business Forum, Corporate Finance, Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Student Coordinator, Rutgers Business School Pre-College Enrichment Program (PREP)
  • Participant, KAKEHASHI Project (Japan)
  • Participant, Caravan for Democracy (Israel)
  • Participant, Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management Program
  • Participant, Goldman Sachs Undergraduate Camp
  • Participant, Morgan Stanley Early Insights Program
  • Participant, The Blackstone Group Diverse Leaders Program
  • Alumni/Lead Recruiter, Rutgers Road to Wall Street Program
  • Scholar, KPMG Future Diverse Leaders Program
  • Scholar, BlackRock Founders Scholarship
  • Scholar, Honors Living-Learning Community
  • Beverly P. Beill Scholar
  • Judith Fay Ross Memorial Endowed Scholar
  • International Council for Shopping Centers (ICSC) Glenn & Mary Rufrano Scholar

What made Ty-Lynn such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Ty-Lynn Johnson has emerged as an influential leader among his peers. With humble beginnings in impoverished and underserved sections of Newark, New Jersey, Ty-Lynn’s drive to make his parents proud helped him overcome both socioeconomic and environmental obstacles. Since adolescence, he has lived a life committed to serving others. As a finance major with a minor in social justice, that commitment continues to manifest itself in his contribution to Rutgers Business School and Rutgers University. Ty-Lynn matriculated to Rutgers Business School as a B-STAR student and continues in the program as a student ambassador, peer mentor, and as a student coordinator in the Pre-College Enrichment Program (RBS PREP).

In addition to strong scholarship, he has earned coveted internship opportunities and participated in more than 10 diversity leadership programs at top financial services firms. Rutgers Business School’s reputation for diversity excellence is strengthened by Ty-Lynn’s leadership locally and globally. He spent the summer of his freshman year employed at Newark City Hall assisting with special projects led by the mayor. He was also selected as one of 25 student leaders to represent Rutgers Business School and Rutgers University on a cultural immersion program in Japan.

Ty-Lynn works hard to take full advantage of every opportunity made available to him. He has served as a teacher’s assistant for courses like; Business Forum, Corporate Finance, and Advanced Corporate Finance. Even with all that he’s involved in, Ty-Lynn finds the most satisfaction in giving back to the city and the schools that have shaped him into an extraordinary leader. Ty-Lynn lead the recruitment for the Road to Wall Street program to ensure the Newark students took full advantage of the program.  He often remarks about how he plans to contribute and support Rutgers Business School and the youth of Newark post-graduation.”

- Charles A. Brown, Assistant Dean for Diversity Programs

Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick

Neidelyn Pina

Fun fact about yourself: My sophomore year of college, I was selected for a business immersion program in Japan. The program consisted of staying with a Japanese family on their farm and engaging in daily activities with them. They didn’t know any English nor I any Japanese, but we spent the entire time communicating through Google Translate and body language.

Rutgers Business School senior Neidelyn PinaHometown: Weehawken, New Jersey

High School: Weehawken High School

Major: Accounting

Minor: Real Estate

Favorite Business Course: Advanced Accounting and Women Leading in Business

Where have you interned during your college career?

Freshman Year: KPMG, Audit-Financial Services (Alternative Investments), NYC

Sophomore Year: Deloitte & Touche, Discovery Intern, NYC

Junior Year: Deloitte & Touche, Risk & Financial Advisory Intern, NYC

Where will you be working after graduation? “Post-graduation, I will be starting my career at Deloitte in the New York City office as a Risk and Financial Advisory Consultant. Specifically, in the Transformations and Restructuring group.”

What company do you admire the most? “Ellevest. I came across this company when doing research on personal finance and was shocked to find a company dedicated to closing the gender investing gap. I really admire the mission of this company and their goal of wanting to impact everyday women’s lives in a realistic way.”

Who is your favorite professor? “My favorite professor is Professor Lisa Kaplowitz. As an accounting major, I wanted to take her Corporate Finance class to dive deeper into finance after my introductory course. She made the material applicable to everyone by applying her real-world experience as an investment banker and CFO to the curriculum. She also shared career advice with us that really impacted me, and she hosted panel discussions with finance professionals during class.”

What did you enjoy most about your business school? “My classmates. Nearly every student at RBS-Newark has an indescribable level of ambition, hustle, and scrappiness that has inspired me endlessly. In addition, everyone is extremely willing to help the next person succeed. I attribute a lot of my first- and second-year success to juniors and seniors who took me under their wing and mentored me when I asked for it. The majority of students at Rutgers Business School are first-generation college students or come from underserved communities. The fact that a lot of us have had no guidance or example from our families yet accomplish amazing feats in college is a true testament to how resourceful and hard-working students at Rutgers Business School-Newark are.”

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? “The biggest lesson I learned from studying business is that every function is essential for a business to succeed. I’ve taken introductory classes in all business functions and know the importance they all have.”

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? “Relationships in business are everything! Learning how to work and connect well with others is a vital skill and should be developed as early as possible. This can be learned through getting involved in clubs and working on a team to put an event together. Getting involved in different organizations that will require you to network a lot, and actually paying attention to different people’s working styles during team projects.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? “I’ve found it surprising how encompassing business is. You need to know a little Economics, Calculus, English, and Statistics. Business is really based on the foundation of all these and applies them in practical ways. I was surprised to actually use a lot of the knowledge I learned in these basic classes in my advanced business courses.”

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? “I’m really proud of being the previous president of Rutgers Undergraduate Women in Business. I’m a commuter, so being the president of such a large club made me feel like I accomplished my goal of commuting and also being extremely involved. I learned a lot about my leadership style, how I work well with others, how to resolve conflict and plan events with major companies. I think it was one of my biggest learning opportunities in college.”

Which classmate do you most admire? “One of my closest friends and classmates, Ivona Timothe. She came to the U.S. from Croatia on her own as an au pair and financed her way through community college and then transferred to Rutgers Business School. In our accounting classes, she was by far one of the smartest students in the class. I admire her ambition, her resilience, and her work ethic. She’s going to start her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and I know she will be taking the accounting world by storm!”

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Mi Mami y mi Mama! They’re basically one person! They both raised me and were the first examples of strong women in my life. They instilled in me the belief that I can accomplish all my goals through hard work and dedication. Throughout my college years, they made sure I never had to worry about ANYTHING else other than studying and supported me emotionally as well. I would not be able to accomplish anything without them. I owe them the world.”

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? “The first is to obtain both my CPA and eventually my CFA. They are both extremely hard exams, so I believe the discipline that it will take to obtain these certifications will allow me to grow personally and professionally. Another item on my professional bucket list is to obtain a C-Level position at a top company, preferably in Finance or Strategy and focusing on Latin America.”

What are your hobbies? “I’m obsessed with learning more about different cultures. I do this through traveling which is my favorite hobby. During college, I’ve visited 13 new countries and I love exploring different local cuisines and customs of each country. I also love learning about personal finance and real estate. I watch Dave Ramsey videos on repeat when I’m home. Since my family is Dominican, I love dancing and listening to Dominican music. I also love watching YouTube videos on fashion, nutrition, and fitness.”

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Rutgers Undergraduate Women in Business, President
  • Dean’s List, Every Semester
  • Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Fellow
  • America Needs You, Fellow
  • Summer Venture in Management, Harvard Business School
  • Chicago Booth’s Women Connect Conference
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Scholar
  • Business Student Transition at Rutgers (B-STAR)
  • Kakehashi Program, Cultural Immersion Program in Japan
  • Caravan for Democracy, Student Leadership Trip to Israel
  • Accounting Honors Program
  • Business Forum, Teaching Assistant
  • Women Build, Member & 2019 Panel Moderator
  • TeamUp, Participant
  • Forte Foundation, Rutgers University Student Ambassador
  • LUPE Fund, Scholarship Recipient
  • Nordstrom Scholarship Recipient
  • Judith Fay Ross Scholarship Recipient
  • Beverly P. Biel Scholarship Recipient
  • ICSC Real Estate Foundation Scholarship Recipient
  • Robert Half, ALPFA Scholarship Recipient
  • Google BOLD Immersion Program
  • Goldman Sachs Women’s Leadership Camp
  • Citi Early ID Hispanic Mentorship Program
  • Morgan Stanley Early Insights Program

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

“Neidelyn Pena was raised by strong women as her role models. Her “abuela” (grandmother) and her mom. She is the first in her family to attend and graduate from college. Neidelyn came to Rutgers Business School through the B-STAR (Business Student Transition at Rutgers Program). She has contributed to Rutgers Business School through her participation and leadership in the Women BUILD program, and by serving as president of Rutgers Undergraduate Women in Business (RUWIB), where she was recognized both by the Office of Career Management (OCM) and the Office of Student Life (OSL) for outstanding leadership. Neidelyn exudes a quiet confidence and has excelled in programs like America Needs You, Managing Leaders for Tomorrow (MLT) program, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) and the Forte Foundation. In everything, Neidelyn leaves an impact. She is not afraid of hard work and has demonstrated strong leadership traits not only to benefit herself but for the benefit of others. I am proud of Neidelyn and believe that she will always remember to give back to RBS – Newark because she is grateful for all the opportunities she received. Neidelyn has accepted a full-time opportunity with Deloitte for Fall 2021. She is currently in the running for a Fulbright Scholarship.”

- Wanda Mendez, Assistant Dean and Director of the Office of Career Management, Rutgers Business School-Newark

Read the entire list of 100 Best & Brightest business majors.



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