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"Road to Industry" programs give Rutgers students an edge in competitive job markets

Lauren Kelly participated in the University’s “Road to Wall Street” program during her time at the Rutgers. She graduated last year with a degree in finance and mathematics from Rutgers Business School. – Photo by

Finding work after college is a common difficulty graduating seniors face every year. Rutgers Career Services offers several programs that help students chart a path after college. 

The office currently offers two programs — the Road to Communication and Media program and the Road to Wall Street program, according to the Career Services website.

The former helps students break into the tough world of media while the latter focuses on the business world. These programs offer a wealth of development for students in their career fields, according to the website. 

“Mentoring relationships and strong networking skills matter greatly for bridging the gap between college and career," said Toi Tyson, associate director for Alumni-Student Engagement. "Though we all know it, students can sometimes struggle with making those connections. These programs provide the structure and support for students to succeed. It’s only the industry focus that differs for the two programs, but the goals remain the same.” 

Students enrolled in these programs find it much easier to build connections with people in their field. By working with Rutgers alumni, they improve their "soft skills," such as emotional intelligence and better people skills. 

Tyson said that working with mentors helps students network in ways they would only be able to do later in their career. Approximately 50 sophomores are chosen to join the program every year. 

Alumni advisors help students piece together resumes, prepare for interviews and network. When it comes to working on Wall Street, finding a mentor can help navigate the ins-and-outs of the industry, she said.

Michael Nehring, a current mentor for the Road to Wall Street program, was once a student enrolled in the program. 

“I walked out of the course with new friends, a larger network and a better understanding of Wall Street," Nehring said. "This professional development program gave me the greater degree of specialization that I was looking for out of my undergraduate education.”

Nehring said the program gave him a leg up in his industry, helping him secure an internship during his junior year and subsequently a full-time job going into his senior year. The program helped him acquire the knowledge to compete with students from top 10 business programs across the nation.

Kevin Cuskley, program director of the Road to Wall Street program, said it is designed to give students that competitive edge.

“The Road to Wall Street Program was the first of a series of initiatives launched by University Career Services (UCS) ... designed to provide students with the necessary competitive advantage as they pursue 'front-office' careers on Wall Street,” Cuskley said. 

Students — specifically rising sophomores — from any major are encouraged to apply to the program. The program requires a minimum 3.3 GPA. It also interviews approximately 80 out of 150 students who apply to the program, Cuskley said.

These programs fall under a larger category of related programs called Road to Industry Programs, according to the Career Services website. Road to Industry Programs are quickly expanding as they branch into different career clusters like education, public policy and governmental jobs.

"Rutgers alumni provide a critical resource for Road to Wall Street participants and are often involved with the candidate selection process at RU for their respective firms," according to the program's website.

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