If you’re looking to join a general business club at NJIT, Business Masterminds is the one for you! The club meets through monthly discussion meetings, workshops and professional panel speaking and networking events. These usually include guest speakers, competitions, field trips and more, generally scattered throughout the semester.
Business Masterminds benefits and supports the undergraduate and graduate student community by introducing and educating them on practical skills applied to and in the different aspects of business across various sectors and disciplines. Regardless of your major, the club offers exposure to soft skills that are business-related, such as entrepreneurship, design thinking, networking, personal finance, leadership, innovation, marketing yourself and more.
Along with learning technical business terms and ideas, the club encourages its members to apply what they learn to their respective career paths. Business Masterminds promotes all majors to increase their business acumen, as it will have a meaningful impact on the way they navigate through their various professions.
iXperience, Ripplematch and Promazo are the three club partners that provide resources to its members. In addition, there are several speakers and connections supporting the club through events and are always looking to help the members of Business Masterminds.
One such event took place on Oct. 13; the club held a panel discussion called, “Where are they now?”, which featured five NJIT alumni. Priya Vin, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, and Alana Dudley, President of Young Alumni Association helped Business Masterminds president Shana Dominique find and bring alumni to the panel. “I wanted to make sure the panel was diverse, and [Vin and Dudley] did a great job with making sure that it was,” Dominique said.
Awais Qazi, one of the panelists, is a high school geometry teacher who graduated from NJIT in 2017 as a business major. “I found it odd that the school would select a simple geometry teacher to serve on [this] panel,” he mentioned. “Despite my title not being eye-catching, they recognized that the experience I had at NJIT and afterwards might be beneficial to current students and they included me because of that.”
Qazi emphasized the impact of being involved on campus and building extracurricular skills to make the most out of one’s experience at NJIT. “The staff is extremely supportive, so if you bring your best ideas, the staff will help you see them through and turn them into an event,” he said.
Project manager Erik Murrell graduated in 2011 as an industrial engineering major, and he stated that “a large portion of your success will be [due to] networking,” and involving yourself on campus will allow you to make those connections.
Vatsal Shah, a principal engineer, is a three-time civil engineering graduate of NJIT, in 2008, 2009 and 2014. “Saying, ‘yes,’ matters a lot because it exposes you to a lot of things you would initially be uncomfortable with, and being uncomfortable is when you grow the most,” he explained. He has been a part of the Alumni Association for almost 13 years, and the phrase, “It’s who you know, not what you know,” has been ingrained in his mind when it comes to explaining his and other alumni’s successes.
He encourages students to take part in events like the alumni panel; it helps students make meaningful connections with people who have gone through the same college.
Similarly, Dudley stated that, “the phrase, ‘It’s not always what you know, but who you know,’ holds true throughout all levels of one’s career.” Currently a senior investment analyst and a 2017 mathematics of finance and actuarial sciences graduate, she was more than happy to collaborate with Business Masterminds for the second year in a row to make this happen for students.
Dominique said, “The reason why we wanted to bring back alumni, especially young alumni, is so that the students can see that they don’t have to worry about life after college and it’s more reassuring to hear that from someone who has gone through the process already.”
“I owe my success greatly to NJIT, and the least I can do is come back and connect with students in hopes to convey a real perspective of life after college,” said Merna Cirillo, a senior manager and 2011 NJIT graduate as a chemical engineering major.
Qazi said that “The networking component was incredible at the end because it gave us an opportunity to hear what students’ individual interests were, and we were able to have more long form conversations that got closer to helping and providing them with specific solutions.”
Dudley added, “I think I can speak for all on this panel when I say that if there’s anything we can do to help, we would!”
Business Masterminds provided students the opportunity to interact and connect with a valuable alumni panel that included Qazi, Murrell, Shah, Cirillo and Dudley. The club plans to hold an event in November about project management; feel free to reach out to the club through its Instagram account, @njit_masterminds, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information!