Scholarships for Business Students Pay Major Dividends

Thirty percent of Montclair State students are the first generation in their family to attend college and many come from middle class families without significant disposable income, requiring them to work while attending college. Scholarships make a huge impact in our students’ lives and help them to realize their dreams. For the students in the School of Business (SBUS), scholarships can help them become tomorrow’s business leaders.  

Dean Brent Chrite has made experiential learning and practical, real-world experience a priority for the School. Internships provide them the hands-on experience to prepare them for the business world. Scholarships give students the ability to dedicate more time to studies and practical learning experiences like internships. Below are testimonials from students in the School of Business. They reflect the importance of scholarship support to both their educational and professional careers. These students have successfully transitioned into the workforce as a result of hard work and scholarships provided by donors like you. 

Neda Bavrlic ’12 was an accounting major in the School of Business and graduated summa cum laude. Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzogovina, she first came to the U.S. at 21 as an au pair, with the goal of attending college. Neda spent two years in community college and became interested in accounting. She transferred to Montclair State University for her final two years of college. Several Accounting and Finance professors had great impact on her, including Frank Aquilino, Irene Douma, Steve Markoff, and Seddik Meziani.

Neda was awarded a New Jersey Society of CPAs scholarship in 2011. She successfully completed two tax internships while working and continuing to be an au pair. In the spring of 2011, Neda was recruited on campus for the Deloitte Summer Mentor Program. That summer, she was offered a full-time job after graduation. She has been employed with Deloitte & Touche, LLP as an external auditor since September 2012, and is working toward her CPA license. 
“There were several different reasons why I chose to come to Montclair State. The most important factor was the quality of education that Montclair State University offered to its business administration students. As an international student working my way through college, I also sought a school that would provide me with a competitive education at an affordable price. I was especially pleased with the SBUS career fair and networking events for accounting students, which opened up many opportunities for my fellow classmates and me. It was a great learning experience because I felt well prepared to take on practical learning. Applying my classroom work to the outside world gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I knew I was on the right career path. I love what I do now, and this job makes all of my hard work in school well worth it.” -Neda Bavrlic ’12

Michelle Cartagena ’11 was accepted to Montclair State with a full-tuition scholarship as a recipient of the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar Award. During her four years at Montclair she also was awarded additional scholarships, including a four-year scholarship from the North Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce. She also received the Dr. Irene Douma Accounting Scholarship during her senior year, which helped pay for books and other college essentials. She made the Dean’s List during multiple semesters and graduated from Montclair State magna cum laude. Michelle was also an active member of the Montclair State community, involved in the Unified Asian American Student Organization, becoming president of the organization during her junior and senior years.  She was a student representative for the President’s Commission for Affirmative Action and Diversity and a member of the Accounting Society.

“College is expensive for many families, and for most, financial assistance from the government is not available. Scholarships provide students from various socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to pursue a college education and to develop the skills necessary to create success in our lives. Thanks to my scholarships, my family and I were able to be financially worry-free throughout my college career. I obtained an internship at Friedman LLP, and after interning at the firm for almost two years, I was offered a full-time staff associate position the fall of my senior year. In May 2011, I graduated with honors, a full-time professional position, an amazing Montclair State University experience, and most importantly, no student debt. I am grateful for the generous contributions of donors who have invested in me and my future. I am now beginning my second year at Friedman LLP as an Experienced Staff Associate and plan to continue my career in public accounting.” -Michelle Cartagena ’11

With a joint Finance and Accounting degree, Francesco “Frank” Colombo ’12 was the first in his family to pursue a college education, working part-time to attend college on a full-time basis.  He was a member of the first Montclair State School of Business team to compete in the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge, where the team reached the Final Four of the competition. He passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Examination upon graduation, and is currently working at Deloitte & Touche LLP as an Audit Assistant in the Financial Service Industry – Private Equity Practice.

“At the beginning of my college career, I endured a very difficult learning curve. However, as time progressed I began to excel due to academic scholarships. I was able to work fewer hours and allocate more time toward my passions for accounting and finance. I received three scholarships based on my academic achievement from the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants–Bergen County Chapter, BASF, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Scholarship. These scholarships helped me balance a part-time job, a full-time college schedule, and extra-curricular activities, such as my role as a consultant for the Financial Management & Economics Society. I gained practical, real-world experience to complement my theoretical classroom work with internships at Wells Fargo Advisors KPMG LLP, and Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., and a mentorship program at Deloitte & Touche LLP. The scholarships provided amazing opportunities to work at such prestigious companies.” -Francesco “Frank” Colombo ’12

Drew Heimlich ’12 graduated with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance, entering the workforce with the CPA exam behind him—his vision set on a career in financial services consulting. Prior to graduating, Drew was part of the first Montclair State team to compete in the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute Research Challenge, where the team reached the Final Four of the competition. He now works in New York in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young’s Financial Services Office.

“My acceptance letter from Montclair State included an extremely generous four-year scholarship, and I received two other scholarships as a result of academic achievement: one from the New Jersey Society of CPAs, and the other from Montclair State’s Honors Program. This scholarship support allowed me to pursue an internship following my sophomore year as an analyst at a private equity firm. This unpaid internship resulted in being hired with pay for the remainder of my college career. For the summer following my junior year, I secured a second internship with Ernst & Young’s New York Advisory practice, working with structured financial products and gaining business travel experience.  I was able to leverage many of the skills I learned as I returned to the private equity firm for the remainder of college. This allowed me to take on new projects and responsibilities—developing project scopes, training interns and managing the operations of those projects. I left Montclair State with nominal debt, significant work experience and a job offer.  The scholarship support I received was invaluable.” -Drew Heimlich ’12

Agita Jaber ’13 is an Accounting major in the School of Business who completed her studies in January 2013. Originally from Riga, Latvia, Agita speaks several languages, including Latvian, Russian, German, and English. As part of her Intermediate Accounting classwork, she and several classmates were required to develop and present a new strategy for emergent business to the accounting firm Wiss & Company. Agita won first place for her contribution, receiving a $500 prize, as well as an internship at the firm.

Agita is an active member of the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to receiving the Dr. Irene Douma Accounting Scholarship, she also received the Katie Broad Memorial Scholarship. Upon graduation, Agita will spend several months preparing for the CPA exam. She will join Deloitte in fall 2013.

“I was honored to receive the Dr. Irene Douma Accounting Scholarship. Dr. Douma is my mentor, advisor, and the reason that I am an accounting major. I started as a finance major, but after taking a managerial accounting class with Professor Douma I was so inspired that I decided to change my major to accounting.  Due to the fact that I am paying for school on my own, scholarship support is critical. The scholarship has enabled me to concentrate on school and be more involved with networking and extracurricular activities offered by SBUS. My scholarship is a confirmation that my hard work and commitment are valued. It has inspired me to do even better.” -Agita Jaber ’13

Donor support for scholarships has helped these students get a head start in the workplace.  To make an immediate impact in students’ lives, make a scholarship gift today.  For more information on supporting the School of Business, contact Anne M. Murray at 973-655-3129 or