2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Dana Skerker, Rutgers Business School (New Brunswick)

Dana Skerker

Rutgers Business School – New Brunswick

“Hard-working, ambitious, dog-loving, Excel extraordinaire, taking on life one spreadsheet at a time.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have a black belt in Taekwondo!

Hometown: Berkeley Heights, New Jersey

High School: Governor Livingston High School

Major: Supply Chain Management with a Concentration in Global Business

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Global Procurement and Sourcing Strategies

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • President of the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee
  • Peer Mentor for Rutgers Business School
  • Volunteer for Rutgers Business School Starting Your Career on the Right Foot
  • Recipient of the Rutgers Advanced Procurement Certification
  • Dean’s List
  • Featured in the 2021 Rutgers Undergraduate Research Writing Conference

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Bayer, Product Supply Co-Op (Whippany NJ)
  • Rutgers Business School Office of Career Management, Career Management Intern (New Brunswick NJ)
  • Amil Freight, Business Development Intern (Princeton NJ)

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be working at Bayer as a Product Supply Associate.

Who is your favorite business professor? My favorite business professor is Professor Terri Kurtzberg. I took Professor Kurtzberg’s negotiations class and thoroughly enjoyed her course content and teaching style. Professor Kurtzberg engaged the class and genuinely sought to improve students’ skills as negotiators and emerging business professionals. To complement course topics, she interweaved various real-life case studies, examples, and stories from her own experiences. In the class, I gained insight into preparing for and executing a negotiation and developed valuable skills I will take into the business and everyday world.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? As important as technical and quantitative skills are in business, interpersonal and communication skills are equally essential. Being a strong team player and having the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is vital to success in any business field. I have seen this reinforced inside and outside the classroom through management-related coursework and internship experiences. In this vein, while the material you learn in the classroom provides a solid foundation for building competencies, it is through those experiences outside of school that you can apply and foster your abilities.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Look for opportunities to learn, and never stop. If you are always searching for knowledge and possibilities, you can explore options you might not have even known existed. A great way to start is by learning about the resources available through your business school and university. Whether you attend a student-run club meeting or a resume-writing workshop, take advantage of opportunities hosted by your school and organizations to talk with fellow students, professors, and industry professionals.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by the vastness of opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches to business. Everything in our society is connected, and it makes sense that business systems adapt and change accordingly. I enjoy the increasing focus on opportunities to integrate business strategies with environmental awareness and sustainability, corporate social responsibility, technological automation, AI, and so many more cross-functions.

What business leader do you admire most? I admire the efforts of leaders and businesses driven by their vision of a better world and investing in their communities. A fantastic example of leadership is Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia. Chouinard’s business philosophy centers around the product, not profit, in a self-feeding cycle driven by high-quality standards, ethics, and environmental awareness.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my adaptability during my sophomore year. The pandemic interrupting my freshman year was a sudden whiplash. I learned to balance familial, academic, and extracurricular responsibilities. During this time, I took a full course load and accepted the role of president of the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee. I developed and spearheaded a new recruitment process, interviewing and onboarding new members and finding ways to engage them in the virtual environment. In a time that felt particularly isolating, I wanted to provide an opportunity for students to connect with others and contribute to the virtual campus support system. I am proud of myself for pushing through this challenging time and contributing, however small, to the wellness of my fellow students.

Which classmate do you most admire? A classmate that stands out to me is Talia Saroya. I met Talia during my freshman year at Rutgers, and we have become good friends. Talia is hard-working, dedicated, down-to-earth, and always ready to lend a helping hand. From devising study methods to developing an ideal schedule, Talia is someone I know I can turn to for reliable, well-thought-out advice. She inspires me to be the best version of myself, work hard, and take the time to enjoy life.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my parents, who have been a great source of inspiration and admiration for me. My parents have worked hard their entire lives, and my mother, as an immigrant, taught me the importance of resiliency and determination. My parents instilled in me the values of perseverance, dedication, and responsibility. They have been my number-one supporters my entire life, and their trust and optimism in me have kept me going through challenging times.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Two professional goals I have are to climb the Six Sigma belt levels and to work outside of the U.S. at some point in my career.

What are your hobbies? Playing piano, reading, kickboxing, hiking, and spending time with my dog.

What made Dana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?  

“I have known Dana since she was a freshman at Rutgers. She was initially a student in my Business Forum Class and did well in that class. She then became one of the interns with RBS-Office of Career Management, Undergraduate, New Brunswick and has been with our department since March 2020.

I have watched Dana consistently go above-and-beyond in helping our department with various

programs, and she always takes the initiative without being asked. She was instrumental in creating systems and processes for effectively handling tasks both virtually and on-site. In addition, she has trained other interns on these processes and ensures they are able to implement them.

As a supply chain major, she has maintained a strong GPA and was able to obtain a co-op with Bayer. Based on her excellent performance, the company asked her to extend her time with them, and she will be starting a full-time position with Bayer upon graduation.

Dana has also demonstrated leadership skills by mentoring others and serving as president of the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee where she oversaw events. She is always willing to help with our events and does it with diplomacy and professionalism.

Dana is a great example of a forward thinking stand out team player and leader who has been an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023 as a role model and a peer.”

Florence Herman
Career Management Specialist
RBS-Office of Career Management, Undergraduate New Brunswick


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