The Gator Corporate Connection

The Hough Graduate School of Business 2014 Fall Recruiting Season Kicks Off September 5th with Professional Development Day

Professional Development Day, an all-day event hosted by Graduate Business Career Services (GBCS) to promote career development for students at Hough, will take place on Sept. 5th at the Gainesville Hilton.

More than 43 companies participated in this event last year, which features keynote workshops delivered by corporate executives, industry and job function panel breakout sessions featuring numerous corporate executives, and a networking lunch. Our breakout sessions this year will include Corporate Finance; Management Consulting; Marketing, Sales & Account Management; Information Technology; Real Estate; Human Resources; Entrepreneurship; and Supply Chain & Logistics/Operations. PDD provides an excellent opportunity for our graduate business students to learn more about various career paths, gain industry knowledge, and hear real-time, personal success stories from those corporate executives in attendance.

2014 Fall Recruiting Season

Professional Development Day also provides a great opportunity for students to put into action some of the skills they have learned in developmental workshops – such as practicing their :30-second elevator pitches, and professional networking. At the same time, the venue allows employers to get an “early look” at our graduate business talent from UF through informal networking who very well may be future hiring prospects.

New to this year's Professional Development Day is a presenting sponsor for this year's event. GBCS has recently signed on Mondelēz International, the food and beverage conglomerate which acquired the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc.

“Mondelez has become a very strong recruiting partner of GBCS over the past couple of years and has made a significant impact in the lives of our current students and alumni of the College,” said Craig W. Petrus, Director of GBCS. “Ken Earp, Regional Director of Retail for Mondelez, and his team have committed many hours of their time working with and recruiting our students, providing an overall career and professional development experience that has been nothing short of exceptional. We look forward to partnering with Team Mondelez for this year's Professional Development Day and hosting another great event for our students.”

Professional Development Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00pm on September 5th at the Hilton, located at 4075 SW 33 Place, Gainesville. If you and/or other executives from your company are interested in giving back to our students by participating in one of our industry or job function breakout sessions or would like to learn more about our sponsorship opportunities for this event (ranging from $1,000 to $2,500), please contact GBCS to explore your options.

Key Elements of a Comprehensive On-Campus Recruiting Program

As the upswing in the economy continues, employers are finding it harder and harder to get ahead of the curve in hiring the best and brightest professional talent from campuses around the country. The competition for recruiting off campus has increased significantly over the past couple of years and employers are having to work harder at building their brand on campus, along with differentiating themselves and their career opportunities. Aside from trying to build upon a brand an employer has established on campus, employers also find themselves competing against a large contingent of Fortune 500 companies that may never show up on campus, but have big presence at the national career expos for MBA's and other graduate business student talent. “These career fairs are starting to be scheduled earlier and earlier in the school year, so our advice to employers who really want to create a solid partnership with GBCS is to plan ahead, interview early in the game, and make offers as quickly as possible,” said Ana Romero, Senior Associate Director of Career Services for GBCS. Since Romero manages all special events for GBCS, she plays a pivotal role in helping employers create a presence at Hough Hall. “There are several things an employer should do in order to stay ahead of the competition, as that company's name recognition and branding greatly affects the level of interest and response of students who may submit their resume for consideration with that organization,” Romero says. The following are some suggestions for employers who want to be proactive in creating a recruiting presence at the Hough Graduate School of Business:

Career Development Seminars: Seminars presented by your company with emphasis on career skill building as seen through the lens of your organization is a great way to not only “give back” to our students, but also a great way to continue to increase your companies brand awareness on campus. These seminars, which are presented by your company representatives, will provide insight and wisdom which will assist our students in their job search. Topics can include “Interview Survivor”, “Social Media Branding”, and “Dress for Success”, or feel free to create your own! A Spring and Fall series is held yearly.

Exclusive Meet & Greets: A “Meet & Greet” is a career-fair-style event that allows an employer to meet exclusively with our graduate business students in a more informal and one-on-one style format. No other employers are present.

Information Sessions: GBCS encourages companies to conduct on or off-campus corporate presentations to market their full-time and summer internship opportunities to our students. Following these presentations, companies have the opportunity to network informally with students, and then follow-up to schedule interviews.

Job Postings: You can proactively seek out our Hough Graduate School of Business candidates for your Leadership Development Programs or direct hire positions than to post the position online through our internal job board and career services portal, CareerConnection (powered by Symplicity). We can assist you through this process by either issuing you a username and password and you can do it yourself; or, if you are too busy, we would be happy to do it for you. Resumes can be sent to you automatically, as students apply, or we can bundle and send them to you all at once, after the closing date. For detailed instructions on how to get started on visit CareerConnection today.

Professional Development Day: This is a full day dedicated to career development of students, including keynote career workshops and job function breakout sessions delivered by corporate executives. This is GBCS' biggest event of the year and a “can't miss” for employers who wish to get in front of our students.

Gator Graduate Career Fair and Interview Day: The Gator Graduate Career Fair and Interview Day are held each fall semester, and provide a tremendous opportunity to meet with and interview many of our talented graduate business students over a two day period. For companies wishing to fill internship opportunities as well as full-time positions, it is a great way to meet your talent acquisition goals. Graduate Business students from the University of Florida's MBA, Information Systems and Operations Management (ISOM), Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management, and International Business programs will attend this recruiting event.

Football Tailgate Party: What better way to promote your company brand than at a Gator Home Football Game during the fall 2014 season? Here you can informally network and have fun with students. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about those you might be interested in pursuing, as you begin to access the 'intangibles' – those elements that tell you more about whether or not the person might be a good 'cultural fit' for your organization.

Just in Time Hiring Event: This career fair, held every spring, is a combined event with several other universities in the state that will provide you with an opportunity to complete your hiring goals for the year by allowing you to capture soon-to-be graduates for your “immediate” hire positions, or our first-year students who are seeking summer internships.

Fall Recruiting Time Line at Hough Hall

The following is a step-by-step monthly guide which will assist you in planning for a successful recruiting season at the Hough Graduate School of Business:


  1. Research and finalize your fall on-campus recruitment (OCR) visit date with our office, develop specifications for your job openings, and if you haven't already done so, sign up in CareerConnection, GBCS' online job portal.
  2. Schedule dates with our office to conduct on-campus Information Sessions.
  3. Contact student professional organization leaders regarding sponsorship/speakers for meetings. For a complete list of Hough student clubs and organizations, call 352-273-3262, or email your inquiry to (weida.tucker at
  4. Sign your company up for the GBCS Gator Graduate Career Fair taking place on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014.


  1. Attend our annual GBCS Professional Development Day taking place on September 5th.
  2. Begin posting your full-time jobs and summer internships into CareerConnection.
  3. Execute those campus events you signed up for to build your brand and increase visibility among students.


  1. Attend the Gator Graduate Career Fair on October 2nd. This year, it is one day after the CRC Showcase!
  2. Conduct your OCR schedule (on-campus interviews).
  3. Schedule on-site interviews at your company for those “hot candidates” you either interviewed on campus or met at the GBCS Gator Graduate Career Fair.


  1. Continue on-site interviews.
  2. Extend offers for your LDP, full-time and summer internship roles to those students who you feel are a great fit for your organization.
  3. Sign up for our “Just-in-Time” Career Fair which will be held in February.
  4. Continue to post your summer internship positions in CareerConnection for those openings which you haven't already filled.


  1. Schedule spring mini job fair at Hough Hall to support your projected direct-hire needs in the spring.

January – February

  1. Host an evening mini-job fair or Corporate Information Session at Hough Hall, followed by on-campus interviews the next day; or, on-site interviews at your company headquarters.
  2. Post your direct-hire jobs that will be filled in the spring. This is the best time to tap into this particular talent pool. Once students disperse after graduation, they are difficult to reach)!

March - April

  1. Make offers for your remaining full-time and summer internship positions to be filled in the spring (Plan on a mid-May to June start date).


  1. Review recruiting results with GBCS staff, and begin planning for the next school year.
  2. Begin planning for the kick-off of the next recruiting season.
  3. Check off Professional Development Day and the Gator Graduate Career Fair on your agenda for next year!

Student Associations - Stay Connected with Students All Year Long

Although career fairs present great opportunities for employers to meet students, you can stay connected with our students all year long by becoming involved with some of the student organizations and associations here at Hough.

Here's a list of student organizations you can get involved with any time of the year, as they are always seeking corporate partners to participate in career development programing and events:

  • Association of Information Systems (AIS)
  • Big Data Analytics Club
  • Consulting Club
  • Finance Club
  • Food and Wine Club
  • Gator Fit
  • International Club
  • Marketing Club
  • Sports Business Club

Associations such as AIS, and the Marketing and Finance Clubs, are always looking for speakers for their monthly meetings. In addition, the clubs also provide an avenue for informal recruitment. “Throughout the semester, AIS provides opportunities for recruiters from various companies to present information sessions tailored specifically to our members, and to talk about employment opportunities, and the culture and environment of the company.” said April Dai, President of the association. “In addition, we hold special events, such as our Corporate Mixer that's held the night before Career Showcase, which will be September 29th this year.”

Perhaps you or someone from your company would like to speak at a monthly meeting, host a networking reception, or sponsor a Case Competition. Student organizations are a great way to develop personal connections with our students that you can keep going all year long. Want to learn more? Contact Weida Tucker, Associate Director of Corporate Relations, at (weida.tucker at

Get Involved

Whether you're part of the Gator Nation or not, it's no secret that the University of Florida is the number one university in the state, and was ranked No. 14 among the nation's “Top Public Schools” by U.S. News & World Report last year. In addition, the Hough Graduate School of Business was ranked #41 among “Best Business Schools” and the UF MBA Program has consistently been recognized as one of the nation's “Top U.S. Public MBA Programs”. With such a well-earned reputation, it's no wonder Gators are in high demand when companies begin looking for top professional talent.

If you are interested in hiring Graduate Business Gators and supporting career services initiatives at the Hough Graduate School of Business - whether it to be serving as an informal mentor, working with a committee or advisory board, or taking part in professional development activities, feel free to reach out to GBCS. “Taking advantage of the many different recruiting channels that GBCS offers has been invaluable to our recruiting efforts on campus”, says Erica Nowak, a recruiter for the Walt Disney Company's campus recruitment team in Orlando. “We have found that engaging with students outside the typical career fair offers a better opportunity to build relationships with students and find high quality candidates for our open positions.”

If you would like discuss creative ways that you can get involved with GBCS, feel free to reach out to either of the following: Craig W. Petrus (craig.petrus at, Director of Graduate Business Career Services, or Weida Tucker (weida.tucker at, Associate Director of Corporate Relations.

Mark Your Calendars!

  • Professional Development Day
    Friday, September 5th - Gainesville Hilton
    8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Gator Graduate Career Fair
    Thursday, October 2nd - Touchdown Terrace
    3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Career Fair Interview Day
    Friday, October 3rd - Hough Hall
    8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Alumni events & Corporate Friends

  • Get Connected – Industry Network
    Friday, Sept. 12th, 7:30 PM,
    Hough Hall, Gainesville
  • Get Connected – Industry Network
    Wednesday., Sept. 17th
    Atlanta – Time and Place TBD

If you are interested in any of these events, please call 352-273-3262 for more information.

Alumni Spotlight

2014 Fall Recruiting Season

Jen Carr, Sr. Manager, Resort Sales & Marketing
Universal Orlando Resort

Based upon her educational background, you might say Jen Carr is a 'Seasoned Gator'. Jen holds two degrees from the University of Florida – an undergraduate degree from the Warrington College of Business Administration with a concentration in Economics and Mass Communications, and an MBA, which she obtained in 2008. Carr has been an active member of the UF MBA Advisory Board for nearly five years and is currently the Senior Manager, Resort Sales & Marketing at Universal Orlando Resort. “My experience while in the actual program was such a rewarding one that upon graduation, I didn't want to lose touch with the MBA Program, and when I was approached about the opportunity to be a part of the Advisory Board, I jumped at the chance.” UF MBA Advisory Board Members engage with students at the Hough Graduate School of Business by supporting career services in numerous ways, whether through one-on-one mentoring, job shadowing, providing introductions for students that assist them in their job search, hosting corporate site visits, or identifying internship opportunities within their companies. “On several occasions, Jen has personally made referrals that have resulted in job opportunities for our students,” said Craig W. Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services. “The online application process can be daunting at times,” Petrus says. “However, nothing beats a personal referral, and having advocates like Jen is invaluable.”

“This is my way to give back and stay active in the UF MBA community, while extending my network with other alumni, fellow board members, and students,” Carr said. “Being an advisory board member allows me to act as an extension of the UF MBA Program through advocacy, recruiting, and mentoring in a way that fosters future opportunities for others in our community. Possibilities like these make being associated with a world-class program like the UF MBA Program such an honor.”

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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