The Business Leader Development Program (BLDP), a signature program at Rutgers School of Business–Camden (RSBC), is designed to prepare high-achieving business students to lead their organizations as socially responsible professionals. Over time, numerous aspects of the program that were unique to the BLDP upon inception, such as corporate visits, mentorship, guest speakers, case competitions, and skills training, have been extended to all RSBC students. The time is, therefore, right for RSBC to re-envision the program and identify new ways to develop those students who are ready to expand their boundaries and leadership capacity.
Over this past academic year, Dr. Yuliya Strizhakova, Director of BLDP and Associate Professor of Marketing, collaborated with BLDP students, alumni, and corporate partners to assess and develop a new vision for the program. In partnership with the Honors College at Rutgers-Camden, RBSC is looking to enhance the leadership and professional aspects of the program. Supported by five faculty members representing different functions at RSBC, Dr. Strizhakova has been redesigning the program to:
- Better prepare our students to be transformative future leaders.
- Realign the program goals to incorporate shifts in business skills and capabilities.
- Develop impactful experiential learning opportunities that develop strong analytical skills while enhancing the cohort experience.
Even as our BLDP program is being re-envisioned, the current BLDP students have continued to positively impact our campus and community. This past winter, they organized a toy drive for the Total Experience Foundation, a community fund in South New Jersey that provides families facing financial insecurity with much needed food, supplies, and other necessities. BLDP students collected over $1,000 worth of toys that helped brighten the holiday season for many local children. They participated in and placed high in several case competitions, including Global Marketing Management Association Case competition and the L’Oréal Brandstorm competition. Importantly, BLDP students continue to serve as peer mentors and lead student organizations at Rutgers–Camden.
Through executive shadow visits at partner organizations, such as Seer Interactive, Bancroft, Alloy Silverstein, and Merck, BLDP students experienced first-hand the integration of various business functions to support smooth organizational operations. They also engaged with South New Jersey business professionals at our semi-annual Business Outlook event, which Rutgers–Camden hosts in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. And, as always, our annual BLDP alumni get-together tradition at Victor’s facilitated a valuable networking event.
The business community consistently appreciates the professionalism, engagement, and critical thinking mindset of our BLDP students. Dr. Strizhakova is confident that with the re-envisioning of the BLDP, our business partners, “will see even more positive changes that these new business leaders will bring to their organizations and communities.”