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Business Leader Development Program (BLDP)

Breaking News:

Spring 2015 BLDP Seminar: “Leadership in the Financial Services Sector” with Professor Karin Peterson LaBarge

Applications are still open and accepted on a rolling basis.

About the Seminar: In our study we shall explore the topic of leadership and will investigate several parallel themes:

•What are important prerequisites for advancement to a leadership post?
•Was Steve Wozniak a leader? An individual contributor? Must leaders have direct reports?
•Is ‘manager’ synonymous with ‘leader’? What are the similarities? Differences?
•What products and services does the financial services sector offer? How might we characterize these companies? Are there leadership challenges unique to this sector?

Your success in the class will be determined by your active engagement in all of the semester’s activities. We shall host guest speakers from the financial services sector, work on small-group capstone projects, engage in class discussions, and visit Vanguard’s Malvern headquarters. Additionally, most leaders posit that, in order to motivate direct reports and to accomplish their corporate vision, you must first know yourself well. Therefore, you shall all complete various self-assessments, an exercise you will likely repeat periodically throughout your career. What is in your toolkit now? What is important to you; what do you value? What motivates you? What are your strengths, your opportunity areas? What is your timeframe and plan for addressing your most important goals?

About the Professor: Karin Peterson LaBarge, Ph.D., CFP, is a financial economist with over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and academia. Professor LaBarge is recently retired from the Vanguard Group where she worked as an investment researcher, as a portfolio analyst charged with the ongoing evaluation and reporting on Vanguard’s external portfolio managers, and as a financial planner to high-net-worth clients. She has also served as an assistant professor of finance at both Rutgers-Camden and the University of New Orleans.

Who Can Apply: Students in both the School of Business (SBC) and College of Arts and Science (CAS) are invited to
apply for enrollment in the BLDP seminar. All applicants are expected to meet both of the following selection criteria: Have sophomore standing or above and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above. A student can take the seminar without completing any of the other requirements for the BLDP. The 3 credits earned from the seminar are accepted as
a business elective for most majors
and concentrations.

Meeting Time: Friday 9:00 AM – 11:40 BSB-109

First Round Application Deadline: Ensure your spot in this unique seminar
by applying before the early registration deadline of Friday, November 7, 2014, at
5 p.m. Space in the seminar is limited to
15 - 20 students. Applications will be taken until the seminar is filled.

Click here for Application Information

New BLDP applicants: Each application must be supported by two reference letters. One of the references must be from a professor or instructor, the other from a non-relative (preferably a current or former employer or supervisor) who can attest to the applicant’s character, motivation, and/or leadership potential. All reference letters should be directed to: Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, BLDP Director, School of Business, Rutgers University,
227 Penn St., Camden, NJ 08102 at
Your application will not be considered complete until the two reference letters have been received.

Repeat seminar participants:Repeat seminar participants will be asked
to write a brief essay explaining their desire to take the additional seminar. This essay should be submitted via the BLDP online application, including your name
and anticipated date of graduation. New letters of recommendation
are NOT required.

In October 2004 the faculty of Rutgers, School of Business-Camden approved a new program, the Business Leader Development Program (BLDP) to provide enhanced leadership training, networking, and mentoring by RSBC faculty and industry business leaders.

Application submission opens each October and March via an online form. Faculty are welcome to nominate high-achieving students for BLDP membership.

Admitted students must complete a BLDP seminar during the semester following their acceptance into the program. BLDP seminars satisfy the initial requirement for members and count as a general business elective for most majors/concentrations. A BLDP seminar is offered each semester, and its topics are intended to appeal to students with diverse backgrounds, i.e., students do not need in-depth background in any particular discipline.

Seminar topics have varied from Business Success to Power Corrupted, as well as Leadership in the Financial Services Sector, and Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Proposed seminar topics for upcoming semesters are: finance (Spring 2014), marketing (Fall 2014), and accounting (Spring 2015).

Once students enroll in and/or complete a BLDP seminar, they are also members of the BLDP Community, a much larger group of high-achieving students who will have several opportunities for participating in leadership activities throughout the academic year. The BLDP Community activities include monthly Community Lunches, Chamber of Commerce activities, RSBC executive lunch series, service learning activities, and the executive shadowing program.

BLDP students may also pursue BLDP Honors designations by earning verified leadership units (click here for more information on obtaining Leadership Units).

If you need additional information, please contact Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, BLDP Director, at, call 856-225-6592, or pick up materials at BSB Office 258.

Statement of Values:

Our selection criteria and development activities are based on a belief that leaders:

  • Go beyond what is required in developing personal and intellectual capabilities.
  • Initiate or contribute substantially to programs, activities, or events that help others.
  • Serve as a model of excellence to others in their determination, drive, self-discipline, demeanor, sense of fairness, self-confidence, respect for others and highest ethical behavior.
  • Be accountable for getting things done with and through others.

Program Premise and Benefits:

The Business Leader Development Program is a customized approach through which high potential students develop the skills and habits of leadership to carry forward into their business careers.

  1. Through a seminar application process we identify leadership potential in high-caliber School of Business students
  2. By promoting the program, we create awareness of special opportunities available in the School of Business, from which each individual can select his or her preferred activities by which to excel.
  3. Through special recognition for program completion, we offer a mechanism for showcasing student’s leadership during their time at Rutgers.  With ongoing involvement of area executives and past program participants, we supply exceptional networking opportunities to facilitate career opportunities. Every seminar includes special access to business executives (the target is at least 50% of the course be comprised of executive involvement).
  4. Every seminar includes emphasis on communication and interpersonal skills.