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Tula Sayalkham

Why did you decide to go to business school?
When I came to the U.S. from Mongolia fifteen years ago, I was a single mother and my daughter was very young. I started working in the insurance field. I have an undergraduate degree from Russia, but I dreamed of getting an American degree.

When my daughter started looking at colleges, my own dream of a degree came back. I received a post card from Rutgers, inviting me to attend an information session. It was only 10 minutes from my place. So I went and listened to how the classes were structured and how the program was run. My daughter would be leaving for college, so I applied to Rutgers School of Business. The next thing you know, I got in, and the rest is history.

What was it like going back to school?
I started the PMBA program while my daughter was in her last year of high school. It felt different going to school mid career, when you’re mature. You approach studying from a different angle. You are eager to learn, not just to pass the exam and get a degree. My approach was to apply my learning to my work.

What did you hope to achieve by getting the PMBA degree?
I wanted to grow and reach my full potential in my work, and bring the same feeling of value to my clients.

How were you able to apply what you learned at Rutgers to your work?
I work in voluntary benefits and executive benefits at Mercer, which is a health and benefits firm. I work with HR staff and bring solutions to clients. In our Marketing class, I learned how to use data to make decisions holistically. The Project Management class taught me how to strategically plan things around the workflow.

Will you stay in touch with classmates?
We created such a great relationships within the cohort, and we would often get together and meet to do homework. It was great, because we were all going through the same thing. I plan to stay in touch with classmates, and we have a What’sApp group list to make that happen.

What did you sacrifice to get this degree?
Weekends. I also gave up watching TV or reading books not related to the MBA program. Sometimes it was hard, but if you work smart and manage your time, it is a manageable program.

Are you happy you went to Rutgers School of Business – Camden?
I feel proud that I went to Rutgers. I proudly wear all my Rutgers gear and get excited when I see others wearing it. You hear, “Oh, you went to Rutgers?” and then a conversation starts.

Any advice for others who are considering the PMBA program at Rutgers?
I would encourage them to go. I would tell them, “You can do it.” It’s very manageable and you have great faculty members and cohorts who will help you along the way. At the beginning, the Dean said the program will change the way you think. It happened to me. Knowledge changes the way you think.

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BLDP Shadowing Days Application

After being notified of a match, students are responsible for providing personal information to the matched executive (e.g., current resume and cover letter with information on career ambitions). The information on this application is for internal use only, for us to match you as well as possible with and executive from among our alumni database.

BLDP Application

The Fall 2021 Application is now open! 

Priority will be given to applications received by Friday, April 2, 2021. Applications are accepted until all seats are filled. Space is limited, so apply early!

The seminar application process is our gateway for entry into the program. Upon acceptance into BLDP, students will be emailed their acceptance letter plus a special permission number allowing registration for the BLDP seminar.


Seminar applications are solicited each semester and require the following:

  1. Completed application form (at the bottom of this page),
  2. Personal essay
  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation (one academic; one other)

Rutgers-Camden students are invited to apply to apply for enrollment in the BLDP seminar. All applicants are expected to meet both of the following selection criteria:  (1) have sophomore standing or above and (2) have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above. First-semester transfer students will be evaluated based on their GPA earned at Rutgers. Students who fail to meet these admission criteria may still be allowed to apply for (and possibly enroll in) the BLDP seminar, but they will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The director balances evaluations to make final decisions on people accepted for the seminar (up to a maximum of 15-20 each semester).

Students who are admitted to the BDLP are required to adopt the BLDP Code of Conduct. A signed contract is required from each student.

Students may count activities toward “leadership units” that were initiated prior to taking a seminar, as long as those activities occured primarily during their enrollment in their academic program.

Application for Admission to BLDP Seminar

Applications for the BLDP Seminar will be ongoing until class is filled.

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  • Provide evidence of leadership initiative while enrolled in school by listing all school-based organizations and activities in which you have held a leadership role while a student.

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  • Provide a list of community or volunteer activities in which you engaged in a leadership role.

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  • Essay

  • Please write a short essay between 150 to 350 words, in which you discuss the reasons why your application should be considered for the Business Leader Development Program, including what you hope to gain from the program and what you can contribute.

  • Additional Submission Instructions

  • For your application to be complete, this form and TWO REFERENCE LETTERS must be on file in the Student Experience Center. Ideally, you should receive one letter from an academic source (e.g., a former or current instructor), and one from a business source (e.g., a former employer - even if for a part-time or volunteer position). Your letter writers should be mail them directly to: Dan Rosenthal, Student Experience Officer, Rutgers University, School of Business, 227 Penn Street, Camden, NJ 08102 or email the letters to daniel.rosenthal@rutgers.edu.

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    Thank you.

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