Rutgers University is not a Forbes Under 30 partner, and yet Forbes selected SC&I’s Peter Ruiz ’20 as a Forbes Under 30 Scholar, one of only 1,000 students chosen in the United States for this honor. The Under 30 Scholars are invited to attend the prestigious Forbes Under 30 Summit being held this year in Detroit, Michigan, from October 27 – 30.
Ruiz, who is double-majoring in Information Technology and Informatics (ITI) at SC&I, as well as Human Resource Management, and minoring in Business Administration, said, “I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to going to the Summit at the end of this month. I really hope to make new connections and get some insight on the work it takes to run a company. Getting to hear the stories from these successful individuals first hand will make a big impact and I am just so excited to get a chance to go. I think the biggest benefit of attending the summit will be the networking that we will get a chance to do. We will get the chance to network with so many different students as well as start-ups. I think it is a great opportunity for anyone trying to gain connections because you never know – maybe someone can find their own Sergey Brin and create the next Google.”
According to the Forbes Under 30 website, the Forbes Under 30 Scholar Summit is “The world’s greatest event for young leaders, founders, investors and creators. The 2019 Forbes Under 30 Summit is more an immersive experience than a static conference: a private music festival, A-list speakers, investor speed-pitching, industry-focused field trips, a legendary pub crawl, a world-famous food festival and a powerful day of community service. This October the future captains of technology, entertainment, finance, fashion, food and philanthropy are gathering in one place.”
Ruiz explained he applied on the off-chance he would earn a spot. “The students chosen are juniors, seniors, and graduate students in tech and business from underrepresented backgrounds. Over the summer I saw some of the people I was connected to get chosen for this and it made me curious, so I did some searching and found the Program Coordinator at Forbes email and decided to reach out to him. He then sent me a link to apply. I applied back in summer and didn't hear back until late September, so I was a bit surprised as I thought they had already picked everyone.”
Ruiz explained that his studies have helped prepare him for this opportunity. “Having both majors and minor have made me very well-rounded when it comes to my studies. My main focus when coming to school was to try and make myself as marketable as possible for the job market upon graduation. The best part is that I am currently an HRIS (human resource information system) intern at Panasonic which gives me the opportunity to work with both of the majors I have studied.
“I originally came into school trying to do Computer Science like most other IT majors (got a B in Computer Science and just wasn’t as interested in programming as I thought I would be). I changed over to IT because I knew I wanted to work within the Tech industry. I did a minor in business as well, to be well rounded and know the basics, but I felt like I wasn’t being challenged enough which led me to pick up HR as a second major and ended up loving it.”
The speakers at this year’s summit include Serena Williams, athlete and CEO of Serena Ventures, Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Sean Rad, founder of Tinder, and Kevin Durant, NBA All-Star and Cofounder and Partner of Thirty-Five Ventures, among many other speakers.
“The speaker I am most interested in hearing,” Ruiz said, “would probably be Kevin Durant because I am a huge basketball fan and have been following him since his days in OKC. I also look forward to hearing from Anthony Casalena, the Founder and CEO of SquareSpace. I hope to be an entrepreneur one day so hearing their stories would give me insight. I am unsure if we will be able to meet them but sure will try.”
Following graduation from Rutgers in the spring of 2020, Ruiz will spend a month traveling in Europe. He is also currently applying to rotational programs in hopes of doing that two to three years and later returning for an MBA with a concentration in Strategy. He explained he eventually would like to be the CHRO of a tech company, so he hopes to work his way up.
Explaining what he enjoys the most about Rutgers, Ruiz said, “What I love most about Rutgers would probably be the friendships I have made. I have met so many wonderful people here my past five years that I will never forget. The SC&I class that really was helpful and inspiring would be the Management of Technological Organizations class I took with Kristen Luciani. I thought she was a great professor and this class was really what inspired me into wanting to start my own company one day.”
Ruiz’s advice to students interested in applying for Forbes 30 under 30? “The only advice I have for students interested in applying is to just reach out. Rutgers is not one of the schools they are partnered with yet I was still chosen. Sometimes you just have to go out of your way if you really want something. What’s the worst that can happen?”