Nethra Jayaprakash

Student credits Rutgers for encouraging her drive and grit

After four years at Rutgers Business School, Nethra Jayaprakash knows the importance of making connections and recognizing opportunities, skills she will use for her Wall Street career after graduating.

“Rutgers Business School gives you the tools to be successful, but you have to put in the work yourself,” said Jayaprakash, a senior. “They really encourage the self-drive and grit that you are going to need to succeed in places like Wall Street.”

After receiving a Rutgers Presidential Scholarship, Jayaprakash knew she wanted a business degree for its versatility. She decided to double major in finance and political science, with a minor in Critical Intelligence Studies. Adding studies outside of finance allowed her to learn about world politics.

As a freshman, Jayaprakash said yes to everything, including the Bender Trust Stock Pitch Competition. Her team didn’t win, but Jayaprakash scored something else: clarity that she wanted a career on Wall Street in sales and trading. “I wouldn’t have even known that existed as a career, that early. I figured out what I wanted to do by December of my freshman year,” said the 22-year-old who grew up in Edison and graduated from J.P. Stevens High School.

By the end of her freshman year, Jayaprakash was accepted into the Road to Wall Street Program. She credits the program with teaching her financial technical skills and how to network and navigate the recruiting process. “The Road to Wall Street Program takes a process that is enormously stressful, and time-consuming, and makes it manageable. The support is invaluable,” she said.

With the help of the program, Jayaprakash landed an analyst internship at UBS for the summers of 2021 and 2022. That experience led to a full-time job with UBS after she graduates in May. She will be a global markets analyst working on outperformance swaps as part of the bank’s two-year Graduate Talent Program.

Jayaprakash dove into other activities too, including Women Business Undergraduates in Leadership Development (BUILD) Program and the Women in Business organization. She also served as a mentor and co-vice president of the Honors College Ally Program. Through all her on-campus activities, Jayaprakash mentored about a dozen students. “Once I was the person asking the questions," she said, "so I feel it’s really rewarding to be the one giving back to students now."

See Poets & Quants annual 100 Best and Brightest Business Majors. Jayaprakash is listed among them.

“The Road to Wall Street Program takes a process that is enormously stressful, and time-consuming, and makes it manageable. The support is invaluable.”

Joseph Shatz, an assistant professor of professional practice in finance and economics, commended Jayaprakash for mentoring so many students and being so involved at Rutgers.

“Nethra has the extraordinary capacity to be involved in so many extracurricular activities and positions of leadership while still maintaining academic excellence as one of the top students in her class,” Shatz said. “(She) takes great pride in the enormous amount of time and effort that she spends giving back to Rutgers and the broader community.”

Jayaprakash developed a passion for traveling after spending the spring of her junior year in Prague. She plans to backpack around Africa and Europe with friends this summer before starting her UBS job. The trip is for fun, but it also might help her in the workplace too. “Travel has opened my eyes to so many different perspectives. It’s been very pivotal for me,” she said. “It has made me more in tune with myself and given me perspective that will be invaluable before starting a high-stress career.”

- Sharon Waters 

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