Business leadership program boasts top rank for second year

The Gerald P. Buccino ‘63 Center for Leadership Development program at the Stillman School of Business has earned first place against 499 other programs for the Leadership 500 Excellence Awards, which recognizes leadership and organizational development.

This is the program’s second consecutive year winning the award in the national competition  sponsored by, a human resources community website.

The four-year program prepares its members to become “future global leaders,” according to the Seton Hall website. Members of the program are taught to use critical thinking to address complex problems, and their leadership and teamwork abilities are honed.

“We continue to look and explore new ways to translate concepts into practice,” said Michael Reuter, the center’s director. “What that looks like is the program is truly focused on giving students experience now, four years earlier than when they get into the business world.”

Reuter said that the program sharpens its members’ critical thinking, analytical thinking, presentation ability and poise, which helps make them “quick on their feet.”

Ryan Skolnick, a sophomore marketing major, is a member of the program.

“I would honestly choose the leadership program over any Ivy League school,” Skolnick said. “You actually learn skills that are necessary to survive and thrive in the business environment outside of Seton Hall.”

Skolnick said that the program has already affected what he will do in his future because it has aided him in creating his company Aveho Inc., a language learning video game.

“I was able to discuss with many council members about my company and a few are guiding me and helping me find my seed investment,” Skolnick said. “The connections will stay with me well into my career.”

An increase in the number of applicants had been noted by Reuter, who attributed a rise in program popularity to the national recognition from last year’s Leadership 500 Awards.

Submitted program applications as of Feb. 10 total 193, the deadline submission is on March 15. This is an increase in submissions compared to the 96 total applications sent in for 2015. Out of the 96 applications sent in, only 23 were accepted, demonstrating the program’s selectivity.

“We look for the best of the best, people with that passion,” Reuter said. “Because that is in the life of a great leader.”

Luciano Cundari, a junior accounting and finance major, has been a member of the program for three years and is co-president of the Interview Initiative process.

“The interview team looks at 3 different aspects in a candidate: their GPA and SAT/ACT scores, their application, and their interview,” Cundari wrote in an email. “The interview team is looking for students that have strong academic standing, professionalism (how they present themselves, have they done homework on the program, are they well spoken, can they hold a focused discussion, etc.), uniqueness, and a ‘wow’ factor.”

Reuter said that high SAT and GPA scores are factors in whether an applicant is accepted or not, but examples of leadership and service are also important.

Skolnick said that the program was “rigorous and demanding” and that what most likely helped him get accepted into the program were instances where he was able to show his leadership skills.

“We will continue to raise expectations about professionalism, but what we have already is extremely strong,” Reuter said. “We’ll just make sure that we continue to live and heighten those values.”

Ashley Turner can be reached at

Author: Ashley Turner

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