The Gator Corporate Connection

Internship Recruiting Heats Up at Hough Hall

The fall recruiting season may be over, but internship recruiting for graduate business students is still in full swing here at the Hough Graduate School of Business. “Internships are a tremendous value to both companies who need the additional help during the summer months and our students who seek 'real world' corporate experience in their chosen career path” says Craig W. Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services. "Statistics have proven that employees have a higher retention rate when interns join a company that they have already gained experience with through an internship program.

“At the Hough Graduate School of Business, (HGSB), we have students with a wide range of skills, and many of them, such as our MBA's, have several years of experience that they can bring to the workplace. In internships, they can be used for specific, high-level assignments that a company may not have the capacity on staff to do,” Petrus said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, although banks and consulting firms have long channeled interns into full-time roles, companies in other industries are increasingly tapping into summer graduate business talent when they are ready to make permanent hires, and some are extending offers and signing candidates nearly a year ahead of their start date.

In the past couple of years, Hough Graduate School of Business students have completed internships at global companies like AT&T, Darden, Exxon Mobil, Jabil, IBM, Intel, J&J, and Wells Fargo. However, many of our students have also done internships with smaller companies, and worked in roles that were specifically targeted to the expertise that a particular student could bring to a special project the company wanted to launch. Tribridge Consulting, a Tampa-based technology firm that has roughly 600 employees, recruits an average of 30 students each year for its internship programs from nine different schools, including the University of Florida. “We've had some stellar students from UF and the MS-ISOM Program, who we've seen make a difference on special projects from day one, and they've made solid contributions to our business.” said Doug Blitzer, Senior Director, Talent Strategy and Development.

“Internships allow students the opportunity to bridge the gap between their academics with real life corporate experience,” said Petrus. A well-designed internship program is a win-win for both the student and the company, and can yield value for years to come. “We consult with and assist companies in developing a robust internship program. Any company can experience the benefits from such talent, whether it's a Fortune 500 company, or a small business with just a few employees. We share best practices, and help them give structure to their program in a way that makes it a meaningful experience for all involved.”

UF MBA Alumni Connection

Clayton Blackwell, UF MBA 2010

Clayton Blackwell, a 2010 graduate from UF's Two-Year Traditional MBA Program who is now a Senior Cost Analyst with Procter & Gamble, is now helping create opportunities for fellow Gator grads by assisting P&G with its college recruitment efforts at UF. After UF was identified as a top school for commercial P&G recruiting, Blackwell, who was one of the first UF MBA graduates hired at P&G in recent years, was appointed to help spearhead the company's recruiting efforts on the commercial business side. Last fall, P&G attended career fairs at UF, including the Gator Graduate Career Fair sponsored by the Hough Graduate School of Business. The P&G team interviewed graduate business students for a number of roles in Finance, Global Business Services, Information and Decision Solutions and Marketing that are expected to be filled this summer.

“We want to build strong relationships with the career services offices here on campus, and create relationships with student groups and associations as well. At most, we can only physically be on campus twice a year—one week in the fall, and one week in the spring. Students are our best advocates; they are on campus all year long. A great experience shared from one student to another is better than anything I can ever relay to a potential recruit myself. Our goal is to build a group of advocates that will help P&G increase its presence here on campus.”

Make a Contribution to GBCS' Video Library

Is your company interested in attracting Graduate Business student talent from the HGSB? You might consider making your company video available to our students. Perhaps you have a unique presentation that you would like to share that is geared toward new-recruits, such as a presentation by your executives which showcases career opportunities and the culture of your organization in a way that is seldom seen by the public. And if you don't already have a video that you'd like to share, perhaps you would be interested in partnering with our office to assist your efforts in creating a recruiting video that specifically targets our students from the HGSB. Please contact us for more information on how you can create a lasting recruiting message to students and alumni of the HGSB.

Resume Books or Resume Drop – Designed just for you!

Are you interested in building your company's talent pipeline and would like to review the resumes of students from the Hough Graduate School of Business? GBCS can put together a PDF resume book and email it to you with fairly short notice. Just let us know what your talent needs are, the types of candidates that best fit the profile you are looking for (years of experience, skills, etc.), and we can customize a resume book especially for your organization, and provide you with resume books from all of our programs. Contact us at (GBCSO-Info at, or call 352-273-3265 for further information, and we will custom tailor your resume package.

Corporate Spotlight – Mondelēz International

Ken Earp speaks to students at Professional Development Day session.

While most companies were severely impacted by the recession of 2008/2009 when employment was at an all-time low throughout the country, some companies made the most of it, using it as a time to build. “That year, my guess is that 15% of the companies that had committed to UF's Career Showcase didn't show up. They had already booked in advance, but they didn't want to spend more money sending their recruitment team to campus”, said Ken Earp, formerly of Kraft, now Regional Director of Retail at Mondelēz International. Launched as a new company in 2012, Mondelēz acquired the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc. “We came in, and we began developing broader, deeper relationships at UF, and that's when we began our relationship with Hough.”

In a tough economy, when fewer people are hired and those that are employed have more responsibilities placed upon them, hiring the right people takes on a greater level of importance. Earp said his company used this time to develop deeper relationships at UF, and launched a stronger branding campaign through both traditional and non-traditional channels to source talent. “While we do general recruitment of undergrads at UF, we have focused a lot of efforts on developing our name recognition here at the Hough Graduate School of Business.” Earp pointed out that most of their talent is drawn from two populations of students at Hough—those from the Master of Science in Management (MSM) and Master of International Business (MIB) Programs.

Earp knows first-hand the value of developing relationships with students early-on in their academic calendar, who started out working for Nabisco as a summer intern while at Old Dominion University, and has been with the company for 26 years (Nabisco became part of Kraft in 2001). While recruiting is not his primary role, “We all here have a passion for finding and developing leaders, and we have cultivated a strong relationship here at Hough, working closely with Ana (Romero), that has continued to provide us with top talent for our sales programs year after year.” The company started out posting jobs on GBCS' internal job board, CareerConnection, and interviewing students on campus. However, that relationship has come full circle, as Mondelēz takes part in numerous events and programs sponsored by the Graduate Business Career Services Office, including Professional Development Day, the Gator Graduate Career Fair, Information Sessions, and various professional development workshops for students. “My boss, Doug Shierling (Regional Vice President), has been tremendously supportive of our involvement on campus, allowing us to create a stronger presence with a larger team when we show up on campus. He also supports our strategic college recruitment initiatives, allowing us to make offers way in advance of the spring for full-time hires and interns.”

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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