2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Anastasia Plank, Seton Hall University (Stillman)

Anastasia Plank

Seton Hall University, Stillman School of Business

“Netflix Connoisseur. Amateur Guitarist. Book Enthusiast. Music Snob. Mentor. Mentee. Leader. Follower. Friend. Sister. Daughter.”

Fun fact about yourself: My favorite book of all time is The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Hometown: Allentown, NJ

High School: Allentown High School

Major: Accounting and Information Technology Management

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Disruption, Technology, and Law

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Activities and Roles:

  • The Stillman Mentorship Program
    • Roles: Founder and President
  • The Stillman Exchange
    • Roles: Editor-in-Chief, Trending Section Editor, Reporter
  • APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society) / ASCM (Association of Supply Chain Management)
    • Roles: President, VP of Finance, VP of C-BAR
  • Girls Who Code (College Loops)
    • Role: Founding Treasurer
  • ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America)
    • Role: Treasurer
  • Math Learning Lab
    • Role: Finite Calculus for Business Tutor
  • Housing and Residence Life
    • Role: Resident Assistant
  • Buccino Leadership Institute
    • Roles: Advisory Council Business School Representative, Field Trip Initiative Business School Representative
  • Center for Leadership Development (Business)
    • Roles: Women Mentorship Program Co-President, Alumni Mentoring Program Mentee, PirateThon Executive Board Member
  • Student Government Association:
    • Roles: Business Senator, Finance Committee Account Manager, Public Relations Committee Event Coordinator
  • Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity
    • Role: Event Host
  • Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority:
    • Role: Assistant Director of Finance
  • Institute of Internal Auditors
    • Role: Seton Hall University Student Ambassador
  • Prime Student:
    • Role: Seton Hall University Campus Manager
  • Sophomore Mentoring Program:
    • Role: Mentee
  • Colonial Bowling and Entertainment:
    • Role: Redemption Manager

Awards and Honors:

  • Dean’s List (Fall and Spring 2018-2021)
  • ASCM Connect Scholar
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • Containerization and Intermodal Institute Scholarship Recipient
  • PCOAB Scholar and Scholarship Recipient
  • NJCBAA Honor Society
  • Deloitte NextGen Leader Scholarship Recipient
  • Alpha Sigma Tau Charlotte Evans Floyd Scholarship Recipient (2019 and 2020)
  • Alpha Sigma Tau Lenore Seibel King Scholarship Recipient

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Deloitte, New York City
    • Role: Discovery Intern—Summer 2020
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York City
    • Role: Assurance Intern in Real Estate—Winter 2021
  • Deloitte, New York City
    • Role: Risk and Financial Advisory Intern in Technology Assurance—Summer 2021

Where will you be working after graduation?

  • Company: Deloitte, New York City
  • Position Title: Risk and Financial Advisory Analyst (with rotations in Controllership, M&A, Valuation, and Business Process and Controls within my first two years)

Who is your favorite professor? While many professors have influenced my academic and professional journey, my favorite has been Professor Shannon. Throughout the three courses and leadership project I completed with Professor Shannon, he has always pushed me out of my comfort zone to be the most successful version of myself. In his classes, I have been forced to think outside of the box and understand the implications of current events on future events. It was because of his Socratic teaching methods that I began to question everything, from what skills I viewed as crucial to leadership to my own career plans. Although I certainly do not know everything (and never will), Professor Shannon has prepared me for how to confront unknowns and how to confidently adapt to whatever obstacles my future will present. Not only that, but he has been a consistent source of support since my very first days of freshmen year and has put just the right amount of pressure on me to motivate me to be my best and most successful self.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? As a member of Stillman’s business leadership program, leadership has been at the heart of my undergraduate education. Since my freshmen year, I have received specialized curriculum on how to be a successful leader through business meetings, coaching, and hands-on projects. Consequently, the biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is what it means to be a leader. In my freshmen year, I believed being a leader was about being the first voice that was heard and being the most commanding presence in the room. However, I now believe leadership is about servant leadership—it’s about using your voice to help foster other people’s success and making sure people feel seen and heard.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? For any student looking to major in business-related field, I would tell them that you don’t have to be the smartest student to succeed. However, you must be the most hard-working. This means preparing and adapting to whatever is within your control, such as dressing appropriately, going out of your comfort zone to make connections, showing up early, and staying informed on business events. It’s these small things, such as mastering basic competencies and developing soft skills early on, that will get a student furthest in their career.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I’m extremely proud of everything I have accomplished during business school, but I have experienced burnout throughout my undergraduate career. I felt inward pressure to consistently reach for new leadership positions or set higher goals to achieve. However, with hindsight, I realized that I would have been just as successful if I just choose two or three endeavors to focus on. I have learned that success is not about the quantity of achievements or work, but instead the quality of them and the passion behind them. This is something I realized within my junior and senior year, and it motivated me to focus more on commitments that I was truly passionate about. So, if I could do something differently, I would start my undergraduate career by focusing only on the endeavors I was most passionate about.

Which academic, extracurricular, or personal achievement are you most proud of? The achievement that I am most proud of during my undergraduate education is creating the first ever peer to peer mentorship program within the Stillman School of Business—the Stillman Mentorship Program—under the guidance of Associate Dean Lorenzet. The mission of the Stillman Mentorship Program (SMP) is to create meaningful relationships between Stillman upperclassmen (sophomores/juniors/seniors) and incoming Stillman students (freshmen/transfers).

Mentors and mentees are paired based on commonalties such as personal interests, majors, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, peer mentors assist incoming Stillman students with their transition into college and the business world. The program serves to provide value to both mentors and mentees through monthly activities, engaging workshops, and professional development. The first semester focuses mainly on professional development and the second semester focuses on academic planning.

I began the planning of this program in my sophomore year and launched the program during my junior year. There were over 170 student participants in its inaugural year. During my senior year, I formed an executive board for the second year of the program, which was launched with over 180 student participants. During fall of 2021, the program received official recognition as a university-affiliated student organization. It has been extremely rewarding for me to watch the program come to fruition and to see the countless number of students the program has been able to positively affect. I have witnessed freshmen land amazing internships, decide on their majors, create excellent resumes, and take complete control of their four-year university plan. These accomplishments make all the hard work, effort, and time that went into the creation of the program completely worth it.

Which classmate do you most admire? If I had to choose one classmate that I most admire, it would be Amy Chin. From the first day I met Amy Chin, I knew that she was going to be successful at anything she set her mind to. Whether it’s a personal, academic, or professional goal, Amy is deliberate and careful in her planning to achieve it. Amy Chin can make the most daunting mountains look like ant hills with how fiercely and confidently she confronts any challenge that places itself in her path. Not only that, but I have seen Amy greatly grow and develop throughout her undergraduate career to become a stronger teammate, leader, and person.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I first must acknowledge my family and all the support that they have provided to me during my undergraduate career. However, if I had to choose one person to thank for my success, I would choose Mike Reuter, the director of my business leadership program. Mike instilled into me a high degree of integrity, empathy, and diligence. Additionally, through example, he showed me what it meant to be a servant leader and how to be a more thoughtful leader by understanding someone’s point of view. During my most developmental years as a young leader, he consistently made the time to meet with me, mentor me, and advise me about my future career, academics, and tough leadership situations. Mike taught me that kindness and understanding will get me further as a person and leader than micromanaging and pressure. He is greatly responsible for the success I have achieved so far in my undergraduate career and the success I will continue to achieve in my professional career.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • I want to pass all four CPA exams before I begin my full-time employment in August.
  • I want to introduce myself to the CEO of my company (eventually).

What are your hobbies? Some of my hobbies include writing poetry, playing guitar, watching Netflix (or any other streaming service), spending time with friends and family, trying new recipes, and going to the gym.

What made Anna such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Anastasia “Anna” Plank is special for several reasons. Some are what you would expect from an extremely high performing student (bright, determined, motivated, etc.).  The Stillman School is fortunate to have many students who fit that profile. For me though, what makes Anna so special is that she was interested in making an enduring contribution to Seton Hall and to our current and future students. She wanted to contribute something that would carry on after she graduated and would help students for years to come. What she managed to build in the Stillman Mentorship Program is truly remarkable.  Not only has the program been a huge success, with hundreds of mentors and mentees participating, but the fact that her focus was on creating something that’s primary purpose is to help other people tells you everything you need to know about Anna. Further, it has been built in such a way that it will continue even after she graduates. It’s a rare trait, especially in such a young person, to be so invested in the success of others. It’s something that never comes for some people and for others comes with time and maturation.  It’s the type of thing often found in great leaders, especially great servant leaders. I am so proud of Anna and what she has accomplished.  I’m even more proud of who she is as a person.  It brings me joy to think of the impact she will have on other people in her career and throughout her life. She has been such a pleasure to work with and despite the high expectations I have for her, she has exceeded them time and time again. It’s hard for me to imagine someone more worthy of this recognition than Anna.”

Steven Lorenzet
Ph.D., Associate Dean and Associate Professor

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