Student's graduation plans stay on course with help from Finish Line Fund

The Finish Line Fund made a big difference to RBS-Newark senior Nouman Ijaz. “I can now graduate and start working,” he said. Support Rutgers Business School's Finish Line Fund on Giving Day, March 24.

During his time at Rutgers, senior Nouman Ijaz learned some important things that weren’t part of his classroom studies.

He realized he had a stronger interest in business than biology and an ambitious entrepreneurial streak. He also learned more about gratitude.

At the end of his sophomore year, Ijaz transferred to Rutgers Business School from the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark. He plunged into new studies in Management Information Systems and took on jobs with the Office of Information Technology Systems and the Lerner Center. Both jobs helped him earn money to pay for his Rutgers classes.

When the COVID Outbreak closed Rutgers University last March, Ijaz said his hours were cut. “It was a difficult time,” he said. He had a good grade point average but no safety net to help him come up with enough money to cover his tuition bill for the fall semester.

Nouman Ijaz
RBS-Newark senior Nouman Ijaz

His option turned out to be Dean Lei’s Finish Line Fund, which helped him to cover the majority of the bill for the semester. Before he received help from The Finish Line Fund, Ijaz said he thought he would have to quit school, find a job and then return to finish his degree.

The Finish Line Fund was created by Rutgers Business School Dean Lei Lei in 2016 as a way to help students who encountered financial hardships as they approached graduation.

Remember to support Rutgers Business School students on Giving Day, March 24, 2021. Donate to the Finish Line Fund for RBS-New Brunswick students. Donate here to support the Finish Line Fund for students attending RBS-Newark.

“It made a big difference,” Ijaz said of the help he received from RBS. “I can now graduate and start working.” He is scheduled to graduate in May.

Rob Kurland, senior associate dean of undergraduate programs at Rutgers Business School-Newark, said financial obstacles in the last semesters of college can derail a student’s plans and dreams.

“When a student faces a financial hardship close to graduation, it can put their degree and their future in jeopardy,” Kurland said. “The Finish Line Fund is an enormous resource to ensure that deserving students successfully complete their college education.”

The Finish Line Fund is sustained with Giving Day donations. This year, Giving Day is Wednesday, March 24. Make your gift count, designate it for the Finish Line Fund at Rutgers Business School.

Ijaz said he hopes to find a full-time job as a project manager in data analytics. Eventually, he wants to operate an e-commerce business like a friend who is doing well running a similar company of his own. “Entrepreneurship is my passion,” he said.

 “One of the most fulfilling things about coming to Rutgers,” Ijaz said, “is that I always felt welcome and supported.”

- Susan Todd

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