2018 Best & Brightest: Erik Rasmussen, Rutgers (New Brunswick)

Erik Rasmussen

Rutgers Business School (New Brunswick)

“I am an ambitious and outgoing individual aiming to touch many lives through my work.”

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a trained and somewhat experienced professional wrestler — yes, the WWE-type stuff.

Hometown: Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

High School: Monmouth Regional High School

Major: Supply Chain Management

Second Major: Marketing

Favorite Business Course: Global Procurement & Sourcing Strategies

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Awards/Scholarships:
    • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
    • Rutgers Academic Excellence Award
    • Beta Gamma Sigma 2017 Gold Chapter Scholarship Recipient
    • Dean’s List
  • Extracurricular Activities/Leadership Roles:
    • Orientation Leader – New Student Orientation and Family Programs
    • Resident Assistant – Rutgers Residence Life
    • Director of Corporate Planning – Beta Gamma Sigma
    • Dancer – Rutgers Dance Marathon
    • University Course Assistant – Department of Supply Chain Management
    • President of the Intern & Co-Op Association – Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Sales Intern – Altria Group (White Plains, N.Y.)
  • Campus Ambassador – Altria Group
  • Portfolio Project Management Co-Op – Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, Johnson & Johnson (Raritan, N.J.)
  • Campus Ambassador – Johnson & Johnson

Where will you be working after graduation? Merck – Merck Manufacturing Leadership Development Program.

Who is your favorite professor? Dan Klepacki. Professor Klepacki has been an enthusiastic lecturer, a great professional influence during my time at Rutgers, and has always made himself available when I needed advice. Professor Klepacki helped me to figure out the right career path and pushed me to pursue my passions. The Supply Chain Department wouldn’t be the same without him.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Rutgers Business School has a great reputation, a wonderful recently-built building, and fantastic industry connections. However, what I’ve enjoyed more than anything is the faculty, especially those within the Supply Chain Management Department. I have had the pleasure to either learn from, or work alongside, a variety of faculty who bring impressive real-world experience to their classrooms.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? If you asked me this question two years ago, I would have said how to make money and reach a market. However, now I would say my greatest lesson has been how to act ethically within a business while turning a profit in a sustainable way. Sustainability has been one topic that I have gained a great interest in during my time here, and I believe that for companies to survive in the 21st century, they will need to become more sustainable in the way they do business.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? The advice I have given many students is to feel out the different majors. Business is such a broad field, and almost anyone could find their passion or their niche in the world of business. It is crucial for younger students to not just follow a field for the money or because they were told to pursue it, they really ought to do what will make them happy.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Political Science. I always wanted to study business, however I have also always found politics fascinating.”

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? My greatest surprise has just been how vast the world of business is. When I enrolled at Rutgers, I thought I would study accounting, or maybe work in finance for one of the big banks, but I never really had a passion for that work. I had no idea what Supply Chain Management was, but the moment I learned what it was and grasped its importance in the world I realized it was what I wanted to pursue for my career.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I believe that I influenced my own decision more than anyone else in my life. I am the first college student in America in my family. From an early age I wanted to be a business person to accomplish what my parents didn’t have the opportunity to do.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of being selected to join the Merck Manufacturing Leadership Development Program (MMLDP). Over the last few years, I have gained a passion for the pharmaceutical industry and I couldn’t have a greater opportunity than joining MMLDP. Being chosen for such a prestigious program has been the culmination of all my work here at Rutgers, and I am incredibly excited for what’s to come.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? If I were dean for a day, I would create a committee to see what other concentrations could be added. At Rutgers Business School, we have some fantastic majors, and I found two that were right for me. However, some students who only pursue one major are unsure of how to supplement that major for their degree. Although we have begun this process, I believe there is room for growth and opportunities in additional concentrations.

Which classmate do you most admire? Viktoria Kovalenko. Viktoria has been an incredible influence on me during my time at Rutgers. We became friends within my first few weeks of my college career, and remain incredibly close to this day. In the past four years, Viktoria has become an American citizen, transferred into Rutgers Business School, received an internship and now a full-time offer from S&P Global, and will graduating as a double major in Accounting and Finance with 150 credits in four years. Viktoria has always inspired me to go above and beyond, and I believe we have both become better students because of our friendship.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mother. Although my mother may not have had business connections or great financial wealth to support me, she always did everything she could to support my goals and ambitions.

What would your theme song be? Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, because it’s actually my theme song when I wrestle.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? I would want to visit at least 20 different countries and hopefully one day go to space.

Favorite book: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

Favorite movie: The Dark Knight (but I prefer TV shows)

Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii (but I’ve never been there)

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include being a sports fanatic, playing video games, and the occasional cosplay for New York Comic Con

What made Eric such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“Eric Rasmussen, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, was the director of corporate planning and earned the 2017 Gold Chapter Scholarship. Eric served as the campus ambassador for Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals. He has been a University Course assistant for the Supply Chain Management Department as well as a Residence Life assistant. Eric was Rutgers University New Student Orientation Leader where he oversaw and mentored 14 groups, totaling in 171 students, throughout the orientation process. He currently holds certifications in Advanced Procurement Strategy – Rutgers University and in Sustainability Leadership. Eric has applied his academic accomplishments to help others and start on a path to career success.”

Martin Markowitz
Senior Associate Dean
Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick




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