Leadership is an important pillar of the educational experience at Warrington.

Students gain leadership lessons and skills through the curriculum, and they are exposed to multiple organizations and activities outside the classroom to further their leadership capabilities before graduating.

The process of becoming a leader is even more powerful when graduates take what they’ve learned into the workforce as young leaders in their industry.

SETH MOLLITT, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS ENABLEMENT, GE HEALTHCARE

Leading a team at 31 years old as the Director of Business Enablement for GE Healthcare comes with challenges for Seth Mollitt. With only one member of his five-person team younger than him, Mollitt (BSBA ’08) made it a priority to establish his credibility with older employees by creating a collaborative environment where intellectual curiosity is encouraged.

Even if Mollitt is leaning one way about a decision, the collaboration can sometimes lead to changing his mind as the team talks through problems and thinks critically about the company’s direction.

“There are always challenges of credibility if people don’t know you,” Mollitt said. “They see you in a leadership role and are skeptical, wondering if you’re qualified. It’s important to demonstrate that it’s not about age, it’s about leading based on my experience.”

His experience played an important role in the promotion to Director of Business Enablement. Seven years into working in finance and consulting for GE, he wanted a new challenge in a different industry. The general manager of the consulting department was moving into a new position and wanted Mollitt to follow as the Director of Business Enablement because of his critical thinking skills and ability to work through problems.

For Mollitt, those skills were grown during his time as an undergraduate student at the Warrington College of Business. While participating in Florida Leadership Academy and multiple case competitions, he learned how to think through problems and make the best decision.

“My time at Warrington has been foundational to what I’ve been able to do at GE,” Mollitt said. “It was a great foundation for being successful.”

Time in Florida Leadership Academy allowed him to grow. Mollitt learned from industry influencers about what leadership looked like in the business world. It fostered his intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn from the knowledge of others.

Case competitions are where he was able to see his knowledge applied. Through the class that prepares students for the competitions, students learn about the best approach to problem solving and how to make it work as a team with differing opinions.

“That was big for consulting and my current role,” Mollitt said. “It’s thinking through problems and coming to a solution. But the case competitions also help you decide the best way to effectively communicate your solution.”

BERGEN DAVELL, PRODUCT MANAGER, MAPQUEST

Bergen Davell discovered her passion for leadership while teaching Warrington’s First Year Florida class.

When she was a freshman, the class provided direction. Later in her college experience, she was able to help provide that direction for first-year students. Today, she’s passionate about accommodating new employees at MapQuest, where she works as a Product Manager. That role as a leader is an important characteristic she developed at Warrington.

“The class was a big part of my experience,” Davell said. “A lot of classes in someone’s first year are remote and you can hide behind a computer screen if you want. Getting people together to collaborate and learn how to navigate UF as a business student is important. It molds your college path from there.”

Davell, 28, quickly learned how unimportant age is at MapQuest. She works with professionals younger and older than her to further the online product, which receives desktop and mobile traffic from 35 million people per month.

The best way, according to Davell, for a young professional to move into a leadership role is simple. It’s all about passion.

“People notice passion and hard work,” Davell said. “I started in a product role and assumed roles that were undefined. We also function as a startup and that mentality has been a fresh perspective for me. Age doesn’t matter. We work hard and rally as a team behind the product.”

It’s the interaction with employees that was the driving force behind Davell taking a position with MapQuest. Previously working remotely as a mobile product manager for ADT Pulse, ADT’s home automation platform, she missed being around people and collaborating on projects. Getting back into an office and working with MapQuest’s 130+ employee team has energized her career.

TAREN BACHMANN, SR. PLANNING MANAGER OF MERCHANDISING, TARGET CORP.

Target Corp. gives employees opportunities to move around the company if they prove successful, and that’s how Taren Bachmann moved into her role as Senior Planning Manager. After taking a job with the company as a business analyst when she graduated from Warrington, Bachmann worked in other positions leading seasonal strategy and bakeware strategy.

She now manages a team of business analysts – the same role she started in with the company out of college – that focuses on sporting goods. Leading a team for a corporation with over 11,000 employees can be a challenge, especially at 29 years old, but Bachmann learned early that the key is to earn the trust of her employees.

“I’m a very nice person, but you still have to hold your team accountable,” Bachmann said. “It’s about building trust. The younger you are, you have to establish credibility and gain the respect of your team. They have to see you as someone they can rely on.”

The leadership component isn’t limited to Bachmann’s team. She is often working with nationally-known sporting goods companies, sharing Target’s strategy for the upcoming season. She works with leaders from other companies who could have significantly more experience than her time at Target.

“That’s difficult, but it’s about being prepared and making sure you have your ducks in a row to answer questions,” Bachmann said. “If you prove that you know what you’re talking about, people start listening despite your age.”

Bachmann flourished as a leader during her time at Warrington.

She credits her freshman year for developing her work ethic. With classes offering an in-person or online viewing, she forced herself to become a self-starter and that continued throughout her college career. Bachmann later served as the vice president of the Minority Business Society and the president of Savant Leadership Honorary, all setting her up for leadership responsibilities in her current position.