The Gator Corporate Connection

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, September 11
    Professional Development Day 2015
    Gainesville Hilton
  • Thursday & Friday, Oct. 8th and 9th
    Gator Graduate Career Fair
    Touchdown Terrace Hilton

Executive & Professional MBA Programs at the University of Florida - Another Recruitment Solution for Employers

With over 900 students enrolled, the Executive and Professional MBA Programs at UF provide employers with a much larger talent pool from which to source talent. “While these programs present students with a flexible format in which to meet their professional and personal lifestyle needs, our students take on the same academic courses and are exposed to the same world- class professors as those in our Full-Time MBA Program, all while being rewarded with the benefits of having a degree from a nationally recognized program.” says Craig W. Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services

Often times job openings can occur throughout the year that are not anticipated or planned for in advance. Since our Professional MBA students are working full-time and have two graduation dates throughout the year, their ability to change companies and careers can happen at any time, providing you a source of talent that you may have otherwise overlooked.

A growing number of these students are seeking career changes or looking for ways in which to grow their careers at their current companies. “The demand for our services from our Professional MBA students has steadily increased over the past two years. As a result, we made a strategic decision to hire a dedicated career coach to work with these students on a daily basis and provide them with additional value as part of their overall experience with us.” says Craig Petrus.

Michelle Bloom-Lugo

In the past year, Michelle Bloom-Lugo, Associate Director, Career Services at the Hough Graduate School of Business, spent time benchmarking, designing, and creating the structure for GBCS to support our Professional MBA students. “We have about 900 students who go through these programs each year,” Bloom-Lugo says, “And we provide support for all who seek to engage with GBCS. Students have access to resume development tools and career coaching services aimed at helping them take on new roles, or accelerating their careers within the companies they work for.”

“Some potential employers who could benefit from the talent that this program represents think that the majority of students going through the Professional programs may have too much experience for the positions they are interested in filling, but it’s a mixed bag of talent. We have some going through the program that just recently obtained an undergraduate degrees in 2014, and others who have been out in the workforce for several years. There are also some at the executive levels. We have some great students going through this program, and they are just as capable as those going through the Full-Time MBA Program.”

Bloom-Lugo notes that she gets a lot of personal satisfaction from working with our Professional MBA students. “I would choose this group any day, because they have given a lot of thought about their careers, and they ask a lot of great questions. You get a candidate that’s a bit more mature, knows something about career paths and what they should look like, and are taking a look at how they develop a strategy that fits and aligns with their personal goals.” She points out that since a number of her students are career changers, and her job is to help them craft that strategy in terms of how they transition. “I try to teach them how to research their audience (potential employers), understand what’s important to them, and how to connect the dots. I also help them identify their strengths, as well as what they are missing, and figure out how to fill in the gaps. The last piece is putting the summary of their experiences together, and helping them articulate why they are a good candidate for a specific position.” Sometimes, they already have the experience for a particular type of role, she points out, but the resumes they start out with may not reflect that. “The first step is probably the most important one – helping them put their stories down on paper. Then they have to do their research and figure out how to build a bridge. I am kind of like a broker. I am helping them pull it together, and they are piecing it together. What we provide here at GBCS is assistance to candidates in figuring out what their unique journey is going to be, and which services we offer that will help them reach their goal.”

Some of the tools students have access to are very tactical, such as putting together a resume – the most important tool in the tool chest. Others are more ‘artful’, such as learning how to network with potential employers and Alumni through networking events, activities such as Professional Development Day, Information Sessions and other events. “Our job is to present them with all the possibilities and opportunities that they didn’t know existed,” Bloom-Lugo states.

Bloom-Lugo is also responsible for career services support provided to our UF MBA Alumni. In many cases, individuals in this group who are looking for new career opportunities may have been out of their MBA program for quite some time, and are ready for that ‘next step.’ This group often includes more seasoned candidates, as well as graduates of the Executive MBA Program., which average 10-12 years of experience or more.

“From a career services perspective, it is important that our corporate clients know they have a wide range of talent acquisition options in working with us,” said Petrus. “Our Professional and Alumni talent pool provides an opportunity for employers to recruit all year long, not just in the fall, during the more traditional university hiring period. In addition, our UF MBA Alumni have the ability to access our job postings at any time, and attend recruiting events such as Company Information Sessions and career fairs. This is another great resource that GBCS provides for employers, and it’s a great opportunity for our clients to build their talent pipeline all year long.”

The University of Florida’s Executive and Professional MBA Programs include one-year and two-year options, along with our highly ranked Online MBA Program. Our on-campus programs are located in both Gainesville, Florida and Sunrise, Florida, which caters to those South Florida students who seek to obtain their MBA degree from the University of Florida.

GBCS Annual Professional Development Day - Seeking Panelists for Functional/Industry Groups

GBCS Professional Development Day is a one-of-a-kind branding opportunity for companies who wish to increase their awareness in the eyes of our Hough Graduate School of Business students. This day-long event, which plays a big role in helping our students prepare for the fall recruiting season, also provides a unique environment for employers and corporate executives to forge relationships with students and share valuable career information about their industries and job functions.

GBCS is currently seeking representatives from companies who are interested in taking part in this fall kick-off event who are willing to serve on industry panels such as Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Corporate Finance, Information Technology, Marketing, Real Estate, and Supply Chain & Logistics. Slots are currently open for participants on all of our panels, but they will be filled on a first-come, first- served basis. If you are interested, please call Weida Tucker at 352-273-3262 or Craig W. Petrus 352-273-2263 for more information.

"With over 325 Hough Graduate School of Business students in attendance, this is a great branding event for employers to showcase themselves" said Craig W. Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services. "This event provides our visiting executives the opportunity to talk about such career topics as the current state of the economy and how it is effecting their company or industry. They can also address, competition in today’s marketplace, share professional development advice, provide insight to students about how to effectively market themselves in a given industry. “The ultimate goal here is to help our students establish a career in their field of choice, and this event is just one of many avenues that will help them explore the possibilities” Petrus said.

GBCS offers several sponsorship opportunities available for Professional Development Day. They include the following:

Platinum $5,000 – only (1) sponsor
  • Naming rights to the event
  • Naming rights to one (1) Function/Industry Breakout Room at Professional Development Day
  • Speaker spotlight – 45 minute presentation
  • Company logo on all promotional materials and goody bags
  • One (1) Table at Resource Avenue
  • Free Career fair and interview day registration
Gold $2,500 – only (2) sponsors
  • Naming rights to the Professional Development Day Lunch Session including promotional advertising
  • Sponsor Spotlight at the lunch – 30 minute presentation each
  • Promotional items handed out to students during lunch
  • Free Career fair and interview day registration
Silver $1,000 – (9) sponsors
  • Naming rights to one (1) Function/Industry Breakout Room at Professional Development Day
  • Free Career fair and interview day registration

If your company has a potential interest in any of these sponsorships, please contact us as soon as possible!

Alumni Keep Us Going

Are you a Hough Graduate School of Business alumni and wondered how you might make a difference in the lives of our students who have come through UF’s programs after you? While financial donations are always welcome, there are a number of ways that you can contribute to the College outside of the traditional channels you might normally have thought of. Here are some great ideas on how you can give back!

Recruiting Activities

  • Refer potential candidates to your Master Program Admissions Office
  • Attend UF Alumni networking events in your region
  • Consider serving on one of our Hough Graduate School of Business’ Advisory Boards (MBA; ISOM; MSRE)
  • Help facilitate Corporate Site Visits for our students to visit your company to hear from your executive team and see what really happens on a daily basis at your place of operation
  • Volunteer to do "Informational Interviews" for those students who are interested in learning more about your function and/or industry
  • Host a "Day in the Life" shadowing experience for a student at your company
  • Be a "champion" for the Hough Graduate School of Business by suggesting that your Human Resources Department and hiring managers post their jobs with us
  • Attend and take part in events such as Professional Development Day and the Gator Graduate Career Fair

If you would like to know more about the possibilities, feel free to reach out to Weida Tucker, Associate Director of Corporate Relations, at 352-273-3262 or Craig Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services, at 352-273-3263.

UF MBA claims third consecutive SEC case competition

UF MBA at the Hough Graduate School of Business won the 2015 Southeastern Conference (SEC) MBA Case Competition on Saturday at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business. Read the full story on our Warrington Newsroom.

Hough Graduate School of Business - Resume Books are Available!

Are you interested in hiring recent graduates for career opportunities that your company currently has open? If so, GBCS can easily put together a candidate resume book and email it to you in no time at all! By letting us know what your hiring needs are and the types of candidates that best fit the profile you are seeking, we can include only those candidate that match what you are looking for, saving you time and resources along the way. Our graduates represent the following Hough Graduate School of Business Programs:

Keep in mind, since graduation has already taken place and many students have already accepted full-time jobs or internships, our talent pool may be limited. However, it only takes one perfect match for the position you are seeking to fill, and we may have just the right candidate.

Contact us at (GBCSO-Info at, or call 352-273-3265 for further information and we will custom tailor your resume book.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our programs, services, and events, or are interested in hosting or participating in any of the events sponsored by the Graduate Business Career Services Office, please email (weida.tucker at Weida Tucker, Associate Director of Corporate Relations and editor of this publication, or call her at 352-273-3262. You may also contact Craig W. Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services, via email (craig.petrus at

About this Publication

We are proud to bring you the Gator Corporate Connection, a publication produced by Graduate Business Career Services (GBCS) at the Hough Graduate School of Business. GBCS is separate and apart from the Career Resource Center (CRC), which provides career services to support the entire student population at the University of Florida. Our goal is to keep you informed about the programs and services that specifically support our graduate business students, and provide a venue for you to create a corporate presence here at the Hough Graduate School of Business. We are always interested in developing new recruitment partnerships with companies that are seeking graduate business talent to fill positions for their Leadership Development Programs, direct hire, full-time positions, or internship roles.


College Info

Warrington College of Business
BRY 100
PO Box 117150
Gainesville, FL 32611-7150
Phone: 352.392.2397
Fax: 352.392.2086

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