2024 Best & Brightest Business Major: Jonathan Bellinghausen, Rutgers Business School

Jonathan Bellinghausen

Rutgers Business School – New Brunswick

“Passionate advocate for others, trying to use data to make the world a better place.”

Fun fact about yourself: “I have been elected twice to a Morris County (N.J.) political committee. Getting to vote for yourself in the primary election is a surreal experience!”

Hometown: Randolph, New Jersey

High School: Randolph High School

Major: Business Analytics & Information Technology

Minor: Political Science

Favorite Business Course: Business Policy and Strategy

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurriculars & Leadership

  • Rutgers Business Governing Association
    • President
    • Vice President
    • Parliamentarian
  • Rutgers University Student Assembly Allocations Board
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Member At-Large
  • Phi Chi Theta Professional Business Fraternity
    • Vice President of Internal Affairs
    • Director of Internal Affairs
    • Director of Community Service
  • Rutgers Business School Office of Student Support, Engagement, and Leadership
    • Mentorship Assistant
    • Peer Mentor
  • Rutgers Career Exploration and Success
    • First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) Instructor
  • President’s Student Advisory Committee
  • Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Student Advisory Committee
  • Rutgers Business School Dean’s Council
  • Rutgers Business School Council of Business Presidents


  • Cap & Skull Senior Honor Society
  • Dean’s List – all semesters

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Prudential Financial – Data Analytics & Business Systems Intern – Newark, NJ
  • Avis Budget Group – Analytics & Data Science Intern – Parsippany, NJ

Where will you be working after graduation? Prudential Financial – Global Technology Rotational Associate

Who is your favorite business professor? This decision was difficult, as I have had many excellent business professors, but my favorite is Dr. Madhavi Chakrabarty. I took her Artificial Intelligence in Marketing course, and it was very clear from the beginning how much she cared about the class. I really enjoyed how she adapted the class to current AI trends and actually encouraged us to use ChatGPT with our work. It was apparent how much she cared about her students as well. She made an effort to know all of our names and checked in throughout the semester to see how we were feeling about her class and life in general. Dr. Chakrabarty created an excellent classroom community, and I am thankful I could take her class.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I have gained from studying business is the importance of diversity. This can include diversity of thought, cultural backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, as diverse teams are more innovative and creative. Almost every day, I have worked in a team, whether it be on the job, for a club, or for a class project. Each team was different, but as a result, I had the opportunity to meet people from entirely different backgrounds, with different perspectives on the world. This really underscored the benefit of diversity, as each member brought new ideas to the table that I had not considered. Leveraging an individual’s uniqueness to bring about a new idea or decision is crucial, especially as the business world becomes more globalized.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Make sure to balance the concepts you learn in your coursework with practical application in both extracurriculars and professional experiences. College is a relatively short period, but it comes with an almost unlimited opportunity to try new things and learn what interests you. It can be easy to get caught up in studying and doing homework, but I would definitely recommend joining an organization that can help you grow as a person and as a professional. They can help a large campus feel a lot smaller and surround you with like-minded individuals to learn from and grow with. They can also provide networking opportunities to land a job or internship that will really show you the inner workings of your major or interest. Do not be afraid to say yes to something you have never done before; it may become something you love.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? What surprised me most about majoring in business is the breadth of knowledge I have received both in and out of the classroom. I do not think I had an appreciation for how wide-ranging the business world is and how almost every field has some business element. I very quickly realized how impactful it can be to view the world through a business lens and can easily see concepts I learn in my classes on social media or the news, in earnings reports, or even in press releases. I think there is also a lot more flexibility with a business degree than it might appear. Students do not have to fit a specific mold to be a business major, and they have a ton of options for career paths after graduation.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? One thing I would do differently would be to get to know my professors more. I had many amazing professors with a ton of professional expertise in their fields, and I would have loved to meet with them during office hours or one-on-one more than I did. As professors, they are typically experts in certain areas and have a wealth of knowledge about the world that could have given me some more guidance on my future career. It is great to see their passion for teaching the next generation of business leaders, and I hope that I will one day find that same feeling.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? While there are many proud moments to choose from in my college career, I am most proud of my advocacy for other students. Being involved in student government, especially in roles where funding is allocated to clubs, has allowed me to hear from and connect with hundreds of students in all majors, minors, and years. Hearing from them on a daily basis about the challenges they are facing, both personally and academically, I tried my best to offer solutions quickly became a passion. I was able to oversee the systems that allow hundreds of meetings, events, programs, and everything in between to occur, which has been an extremely gratifying experience. Watching an event proposal go from idea to fruition really gave me an appreciation for all the hard work club leaders do each semester and motivated me to ensure I do everything I can for them. Being a listening ear for students who feel they do not always have one and ensuring their needs are heard at a university level has been an opportunity to create widespread change. It has been one I have been very grateful for and, in turn, allowed me to grow into the leader I am today.

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate I have admired most is Adnan Akbar. I met Adnan during my first year at Rutgers and immediately wanted to be like him one day. I was awed by his communication skills and the way he carried himself. I did not expect him to become one of my closest friends. Despite being extremely involved and working on campus, he always made time for me, whether it be for help in a class, interview tips, or just letting me vent. I saw how much of a hard worker he was and have modeled my own grit and perseverance after his. He also helped me realize that I should not always take things so seriously. Now, as he works in a front office finance role, it has been great to see his determination and tenacity come to life professionally. I could not have asked for a better mentor but, more importantly, a friend.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I have been lucky to have an endless number of amazing people around me throughout my life, from family to friends, colleagues, and mentors, and it is not easy to pick just one person to thank for my success. One impactful person I want to thank is my younger sister, Sofia. Through thick and thin, I knew I could always rely on her to give an honest opinion, even if I did not like the answer. She is one of the first people I turn to when I have a problem, and she has helped me navigate some difficult situations. Sofia has always been one of my biggest supporters, and I know that, despite our disagreements, she will be there for me no matter what.

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

1) Work in the public sector for the government or a non-profit

2) Come back as an instructor or professor at Rutgers and teach the next generation of business leaders.

What made Jonathan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“In his role as president of the Rutgers Business Governing Association (RBGA) at Rutgers Business School, Jonathan Bellinghausen exemplifies exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication. His can-do attitude and proactive approach have consistently set him apart.

A standout achievement for Jonathan was his pivotal role in organizing the Student Involvement Fair for both the fall and spring semesters of the 2023-2024 academic year. This significant endeavor, which involved coordinating with 16 company partners and attracting over 1000 students, showcased Jonathan’s exceptional organizational skills and deep commitment to enhancing student engagement. His ability to bring together diverse stakeholders and execute impactful events speaks volumes about his leadership capabilities.

Jonathan’s positive demeanor and infectious enthusiasm have had a huge impact on those around him. He consistently approaches challenges with optimism and a readiness to lead. His contributions as president of RBGA have left an indelible mark on the Class of 2024 and his leadership will continue to inspire and shape the future of Rutgers Business School for years to come.”

Valbona Koxha
Employer Relations Manager 
RBS Office of Career Management


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