One of the many sectors of Kean’s education options is the College of Business and Public Management (CBPM). This school’s opportunities are thorough and unique, as it not only prepares students through classes, but provides valuable resources and hands-on experiences as well.
The college is comprised of four different schools: the Global Business School, the School of Accounting and Finance, the School of Management and Marketing, and the School of Criminal Justice and Public Management. Students within these schools have the opportunity to study a selection of majors including accounting, criminal justice, finance, global business, management, marketing, and public administration.
The CBPM’s umbrella is slightly uncommon, as most business schools won’t also include areas like criminal justice and public administration. However, the college’s leadership and faculty have worked hard to create intersections and parallels between the curriculums.
Dave Farrokh, the assistant dean of the college, said that one of the main strengths of all the CBPM colleges is in their commitment to theory to practice learning, which essentially pushes students to learn their crafts through real-world training. “I think the best way to prepare the student for that is to get them an internship some kind of outside-the-classroom experience, whether it's research, internship, volunteering or anything like that,” Farrokh said.
Therefore, this college offers a very comprehensive set of experiences outside of the classroom to its students to prepare them for fields in business and public management as much as possible. These opportunities include major-specific clubs, honor societies, and a wealth of internship and advisement opportunities. "Business is an applied field and it’s not really meant to be at its core an academic discipline. It’s meant to be something that’s applied into the workplace,” Farrokh said.
Some CBPM-affiliated clubs include the Accounting Club, Global Management (MBA) Club, Global Business Club (GBC), Graduate Business Club, Business Research Society, and DECA. While open to all majors, these clubs are especially beneficial to majors from this college as they connect students to certified organizations and help students with their professional development outside of the classroom.
Additionally, students from the college can be inducted into Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Pi Alpha Alpha Public Administration Honor Society, or Mu Kappa Tau Marketing Honor Society in recognition of standout academic success. Farrokh said that although these societies are directed more at the program level than the dean level, the students who fill their ranks are a great source of pride for the CBPM.
“For our students, that usually means a lot of sacrifice. They work. They sometimes even have their own families that they’re taking care of,” Farrokh said. “It’s no small achievement to make it as an honor society student or an honor status. We’re very proud of our students for being able to juggle all of that.”
One of the many things that makes the CBPM unique is that, since 2013, it runs its own internship office with an internship director, Joanne Beiter. This office connects students with internships based off their majors so they can gain hands-on experience in their desired career fields.
Some of the places students have the opportunity to intern include Wells Fargo, Johnson and Johnson, Port Authority of NJ & NY, Brennan Center for Justice, and Michael Kors. A major player in Kean’s ability to connect with these prestigious companies was the devoted network of professional support inside and outside of the college.
“With that level of commitment and resources, we were able to go and approach companies to set up internships and work with the alumni office to find alumni who were in certain companies already to really to help us open the door. And then it’s not a matter of just contacting the companies; it’s a matter of finding the students who can fill those spots,” Farrokh said. “A lot of the work that we do is really to help students become presentable and become confident when they go on that internship interview or job interview and to represent themselves and the University well.”
Another resource integrated within the college is the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC is part of the federal U.S. Small Business Administration, which has multiple locations throughout the state of New Jersey within other schools and universities. This hub serves all people in Union County, not just Kean students, and offers counseling as well as free periodic workshops to small business owners so they can help their companies flourish.
“It tends to focus its mission on helping start-ups and new companies. Sometimes it’s just a person with an idea and getting that idea translated into a business plan and then trying to secure financing to get the company off the ground,” Farrokh said. “It falls under the College of Business and Public Management because it’s a logical place, and increasingly will be a good way for us to secure internships for students in small companies.”
The CBPM has also been working as a bridge between Kean’s Union campus and Wenzhou Kean. Farrokh said that of the approximate student population of 2,000 at Wenzhou Kean, about 75 percent is made up of business-related majors. Students from the CBPM frequently take advantage of this opportunity to study abroad in a culture where they can find common ground with similarly driven peers.
“We’re trying to make it much more of a combined school so the students feel like it’s part of really the same functioning unit, and that’s not easy to do. You’re taking students from two different cultures and the two largest economies on earth, and giving them the opportunity to study in both of those economies,” Farrokh said. “I think for everyone that participates, it really is a unique experience and it’s part of what makes Kean a unique institution at an affordable price.”
Evidently, this college is dedicated to providing students with an education that has more than one dimension. With a dynamic curriculum, extracurricular opportunities, dedicated faculty, and a global perspective, students in the CBPM are sure to leave Kean more than prepared for the workforce.