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Seton Hall center puts focus on leadership development

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Andrew Hustick, Seton Hall University senior.
Andrew Hustick, Seton Hall University senior.

Seton Hall University senior Andrew Hustick has seen some quick rewards from his work in the Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development.

A native of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Hustick earned admission into the program as a freshman and secured a job as a financial analyst at investment firm BlackRock upon his graduation later this year.

Hustick credits his mentorships with business professionals in the leadership program for contributing to his success. Last summer, he interned with BlackRock as an analyst.

“One of the core values is helping students learn the soft skills necessary to form relationships,” said Hustick, a business administration major with finance and IT focuses. “Communicating is the biggest part of the program. We learn to be confident and comfortable with people in a hiring position. I would say the program itself is not focused on the technical skills but our ability to work with teams and network effectively.”

Hustick was the top Gerald P. Buccino scholar, for which he earned $7,500 annually during his four years at Seton Hall. But developing a mentorship with Buccino, he said, was more valuable than the money. 

“Dr. Buccino helped guide me through the process of college and finding my career,” Hustick said.

The Center for Leadership Development at the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall earned a No. 1 ranking in February in the LEAD Awards sponsored by HR.com. And, the Buccino Center was named the No. 1 Certificate Program with Emphasis on Leadership/Organizational Development.

"We learn to be confident and comfortable with people in a hiring position. I would say the program itself is not focused on the technical skills but our ability to work with teams and network effectively."

Andrew Hustick, Seton Hall University senior

Michael Reuter, director of the Buccino Center and a professor of business at Seton Hall, said the center is getting a return on its investment through increased interest in the school.

“The program develops highly talented and skilled men and women future leaders with strong analytical and problem-solving skills; a holistic, global mindset; visionary thinking; and a passion and purpose in life in being value-added in serving businesses and their people to move them from what is to what can be,” Reuter said. “They are already challenged and trained by senior executives to be prepared for the world of digital disruption and transformation.”

The students benefit from training with business leaders, and Seton Hall capitalizes by attracting highly qualified students, he said. 

The leadership program’s business focus differentiates it from other leadership programs, Reuter said, in that students are confronting tasks that they will face in the business profession.

“I give them wings and they take off and fly,” he said. “These guys and ladies are about mentoring and coaching students for four years. They develop personal relationships. They get learning from these executives. These students handle themselves with professionals. They will face these people in business and are asked ‘How would you handle this?’ Four years later, people are grabbing [to hire] them. It is exciting. We are preparing future student leaders for business.”

Seton Hall freshmen must score at least 1300 on the SAT and earn a high school grade point average of 3.7 to be considered for acceptance into the program.

“You can be as smart as a whip. But you need to interact with people,” Reuter said.  “We ask who your role models are. It is more than writing a paper. Anyone can write a great paper. They go through a tough interview. If they are not dressed properly, next. We look for people who are exciting and who have a purpose in life. If they do not know what our program is about, next.”

Out of 246 applicants last year, 46 were offered admittance into the program, Reuter said, and 28 enrolled in the program.

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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