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Executive Summary

About the Heavener School of Business

The Heavener School of Business is the undergraduate division of the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. Heavener is one of the nation’s top-ranked undergraduate public business schools, offering bachelor’s degrees in Finance, General Business, Management, Information Systems & Operations Management, and Marketing to more than 4,500 students. Accounting undergraduates earn their bachelor’s degrees through the Fisher School of Accounting.

Heavener’s simple formula of combining talented undergraduate business students with renowned scholars and innovative academic and professional initiatives creates one of the nation’s most extraordinary business education environments.

From the Associate Dean

The Heavener School of Business went through a challenging year in 2020, as I know each of you did as well. Whether personally or professionally, we all faced trials in a year that stretched us in ways we could have not imagined. While we are all eager to turn the page and put this difficult year behind us, at Heavener, we continue to chart our bold path forward while embracing the lessons we’ve learned.

As you’ll read in the rest of this report, many of our plans shifted in 2020. We pivoted to find new ways for our students to remain connected to us and each other while in a virtual environment.

Because of these lessons learned, we know we are heading into the future stronger and more focused on our mission than ever before – to deliver transformation in the lives of the students we are entrusted to serve.

Thank you for all you are doing to further business education, inspire students and change lives for the better. Your work matters, and I’m thankful for our partnership.

Heavener earns No. 1 ranking

Heavener’s online business bachelor’s degree ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report. It was the outlet’s first year ranking online business bachelor’s degree programs.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Heavener School No. 14 among publics in its 2021 Best Undergraduate Business Programs. Heavener continues to be the highest-ranking undergraduate business program in the state of Florida, the No. 1 ranked state for higher education.

The University of Florida also continued to climb the list, coming in as the No. 6 public school in the country.

By the numbers

Student population served in 2020:

6,029
  • Majors: 7
  • Minors: 6
  • Degrees conferred: 1,232

Students enrolled by major


  • Finance (1563)
  • General Business (1383)
  • Online Business (1303)
  • Marketing (835)
  • Management (513)
  • Information Systems (432)

Degrees Conferred


  • General Business (297)
  • Finance (270)
  • Marketing (231)
  • Online Business (182)
  • Information Systems (131)
  • Management (121)

Minors Awarded


  • Business (251)
  • Real Estate (107)
  • Retail (57)
  • Entrepreneurship (44)
  • Selling (17)
  • Information Systems (5)
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Academic Rigor

Prioritizing the student experience

Being a Heavener student inspires creativity. It helps our students solve problems and innovate to find a unique solution. That’s exactly what happened when the world moved online during the pandemic. Heavener still created ways for virtual connections to be made while ensuring the growth of all students in a difficult time.

Two students with masks in a Zoom meeting shown on a laptop

Prioritizing AI and business analytics

The University of Florida is incorporating AI and analytics across many of its colleges, and the Heavener School is on the front line of this bold step forward. The School has added a required course in Business Analytics and AI to its business core, ensuring all students are equipped with critical, highly sought-after analytical skills.

Instead of creating AI and analytics courses only for interested students, Heavener decided to make AI and analytics a cornerstone of its educational experience. By adding it to the core curriculum, the Heavener School has given AI and analytics the same emphasis as subject areas like accounting, finance, information systems, management and marketing.

“These are game changing skills which will enable our graduates to truly stand out and thrive in their careers,” Associate Dean and Director of the Heavener School Alex Sevilla said. “We wanted to provide this competency development to all of our students, regardless of major or the career they will pursue.”

The Heavener School has already started plans to build more AI and analytics projects and simulations into its existing courses. New elective courses in AI and analytics will also be added to each degree major to provide specific, tailored analytics skill development. The increased focus will also impact career services, as Heavener graduates will have a deep set of skills to help them secure top jobs from leading companies.

“We want to give our students a toolkit to use throughout their time at UF and well into their careers,” Sevilla said. “AI and analytics will be prioritized in a number of classes so that our students can put these skills into practice regularly. Not only will this help them land a terrific job at graduation, it will allow them to thrive once they get there.”

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A sudden shift to online

The COVID-19 pandemic created a unique situation for business schools around the world, forcing schools to innovate and lean on their strengths to survive. The Heavener School was no different.

The backbone of a strong online education was already in place at the Warrington College of Business. Warrington has long been a pioneer in online education, creating one of the first online MBA programs in the world in 1999. As online learning expanded through the college, the Heavener School continued to benefit and stood strong when the world shifted online. With the help of Warrington’s Teaching and Learning Center, Heavener faculty remained flexible and learned how to create engaging online course experiences.

Student engagement also remained a priority, and Heavener was able to lean on its new Gator Ready app to track and encourage virtual student involvement. Student organizations, leadership development programs, career presentations and advising appointments all pivoted to digital platforms to ensure student engagement and skill development continued to thrive. In the process, students also developed new skills related to organizing, planning, communicating and influencing in online environments. Their skill development and resiliency to adopt these sudden changes will also serve to help them launch their post-UF careers with confidence.

The Heavener School is excited to capitalize on the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to innovate, develop and advance to best prepare our students for an ever-changing future.

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Career Development

Built Different

As hiring changes around the world, Heavener students were still able to earn jobs with some of the most impactful companies in the world. Heavener created new, virtual ways for students and recruiters to connect, ensuring there was no barrier to keep our students from accepting their full-time jobs.

Graphic depicting a virtual meeting on a laptop with a UF coffee mug next to it
  • Accenture
  • ALDI
  • Amazon
  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Bain
  • Bank of America
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Capital One
  • Citigroup
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Convergence Consulting Group
  • Deloitte Consulting
  • E&J Gallo
  • Enterprise Holdings
  • Ernst & Young
  • Fisher Investments
  • Gartner
  • General Electric
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • Honeywell
  • IBM
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Kellogg
  • KPMG
  • L3Harris
  • Lockheed Martin
  • McKinsey & Co.
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Oracle
  • PepsiCo
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Protiviti Consulting
  • PwC
  • Raymond James
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
  • RSM
  • Truist
  • Truist Securities
  • Target
  • UBS
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Wells Fargo Securities

Heavener students get jobs

73% of students secure a first destination (full-time job or graduate school)

Median Starting Salary of our Undergraduate Business Students:

$64,000

Veronica Rivera highlights increased focus on consulting

When Veronica Rivera considered her career path, she was always drawn to consulting. She saw it as the perfect blend of her personality, as a creative who can also be analytical and process data trends and patterns.

This April, she will graduate with a degree in finance and minor in retail, and she will begin her career at Boston Consulting Group as an Associate Consultant. Rivera is one of many Heavener students exploring the consulting industry as an increasing amount of consulting firms strengthen their recruiting presence on the Heavener campus.

“At my core, I am a very curious person, and the nature of consulting will allow me to be a student, even after I graduate of course,” Rivera said.

The recruiting process with Boston Consulting Group took two years. It involved many hours of case preparation per week, and it provided honest feedback that Rivera was able to take to heart. Through it all, she was able to lean on friends and advisors who provided support and encouragement.

In her role as Associate Consultant, Rivera will be staffed on projects that last anywhere from 10 weeks to six months.

“Each project will bring new trials and tribulations, but they will give me an opportunity to learn about a new industry,” Rivera said. “I’ll also be working with new teams on each of the projects, so it will give me a chance to work with and learn from people with unique backgrounds.”

It’s a task she’s prepared to handle because of her time at Heavener. After showing up on campus as a freshman without a set plan for the future, Rivera took advantage of the school’s resources and found her passion through programs like Career & Leadership Programs. Resources like the Business Career Services office and CAP mentors also provided the foundation to push through the process and land her dream job.

“I’m so grateful for the resources and programs at Heavener that allowed me to be so sure of myself,” Rivera said. “I think Heavener gave me so many options to invest time in myself and that was evident in my application to BCG and other firms. My past involvement is just a testament to the feats you can achieve when you apply yourself.”

Diversity remains a Heavener priority

Business Career Services (BCS) is committed to supporting talented students from all backgrounds, cultures and identities. It also partners with national organizations, such as Seizing Every Opportunity (SEO) and Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), two national diversity nonprofits who embolden high achieving business students from marginalized communities. These organizations introduce business students to roles in finance, business, technology, real estate and more.

“Through various programming efforts in Heavener, students are understanding and leveraging their intersectional identities,” said Michelle Bloom-Lugo, Director of Undergraduate Business Career Services. “Partnerships with organizations like SEO, MLT and the Warrington Diversity Workshop series each semester provides all students with opportunities to listen and learn from each other and subject matter diversity experts. Our Business Gators continually incorporate diverse and inclusive practices that benefit their college and that will eventually benefit their future workplaces.”

Within the last year, 30 Heavener students participated in the MLT program, ranking UF as one of the top five schools in providing qualified students annually to their programs. In 2020, 90 students were accepted into SEO Edge, an interview prep program, and 38 of them received offers and 25 are SEO Success Interns working at an SEO Career Partner.

Both MLT and SEO are also actively involved in the BCS bi-annual Diversity Workshop Series held every fall and spring. Their participation in the fall Diversify Your Network event is an opportunity for these organizations to meet students on campus and foster a greater reach for their on-campus recruiting, networking sessions and workshops.

In the spring, the BCS Diversity in the Workplace workshop series brings together employers who have strong diversity initiatives and seeks to educate students on how diversity in a corporation positively impacts business decisions. Both SEO and MLT continue their recruiting efforts at this time as well. As a result, many students are invited to attend summer seminars and employer launch programs.

The continual career placement partnership with SEO and MLT led to a noticeable increase in opportunities for many diverse Business Gators.

Strong internship numbers

While the pandemic slowed the number of in-person internships around the world, Heavener students still made an impact.

640

students conducted internships in 2020

Average hourly wage for internship compensation

$17.35

Prioritizing Heavener students

Business Career Services Career Coaches and Career and Peer Mentors were still able to meet with students virtually during 2020. These meetings help students stay on track in the job search and increase the amount of touch points between students and the Business Career Services office.

Total Number of BCS Career Coach Student Appointments:

1,185

Total Number of Undergraduate CAP Mentor Student Appointments:

1,182
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International Studies

Going global while virtual

As international travel shut down across the world, students weren’t able to study abroad or complete in country internships. But Heavener still made a way for students to help global companies, gain more experience and expand their network with global opportunities.

Person using a laptop with a screen showing someone in a virtual meeting
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Students receive virtual intercultural experiences during a global pandemic

With international experiences stalled because of the pandemic, Heavener innovated to make sure students would still be able to experience global business.

Even with travel limitations during 2020, Heavener students were able to participate in the school’s new Global Remote Internship program. It provided Heavener students with the opportunity to intern remotely with an international company located in Europe, Asia, India, South America or Australia.

“It was imperative that our students still had access to the global business market,” said Jason Ward, Director of International Programs at Heavener. “Even if they weren’t able to be in the same physical location as global companies, they were still able to work and help them remotely.”

Internship placements are carefully arranged according to the student’s major and industry of interest. Students earn Heavener internship credit by completing a series of assignments designed to help them succeed in their placement. More than 50 students completed the program since its launch, interning in a variety of sectors and locations. Evaluation data demonstrated growth in each of the eight Career Readiness Competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

New Heavener program focuses on intercultural development

When Heavener students are able to safely return to international studies, there will be a new program in place to make sure they work more effectively and appropriately across new cultures.

The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) is a comprehensive, cross-culturally validated assessment of intercultural competence. With a Qualified IDI administrator on the team, Heavener piloted an intercultural development program in the fall 2020 semester with 18 Heavener student leaders. After taking the assessment, students participated in a group debrief where aggregate data was shared and assessed by the team. Each student then completed an individual debrief where they learned about their own level of intercultural development, how it presents in their world view, and how it impacts their relationships with others.

“We want to make sure our students are taking something tangible away from their international studies,” said Jason Ward, Director of International Programs at Heavener. “We want them to have fun and enjoy being immersed in a new culture, but we also want to make sure these experiences shape them as a business professional for the rest of their lives.”

Students were also presented with a comprehensive and individualized plan for improving their intercultural competence over time. Heavener is developing this initiative into a standalone program so it can be expanded to student leaders and study abroad students in the future.

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Leadership

Uncommon determination

Even when Heavener students couldn’t come to campus for classes, they were still making an impact. Students won awards, created their own case competitions to fill the void of lost internships, and started their own student organizations to ensure the sense of community remained even while virtual.

Students wearing masks interacting at a table with laptops and notebooks

Gator Ready helps Heavener persevere during pandemic

The Heavener School prioritized Gator Ready years ago as an app for tracking career readiness by evaluating a student’s involvement and skill development. When the COVID-19 pandemic shifted business education online, the app was a perfect way for Heavener to continue leveraging student involvement.

The app improved student accountability, encouraging them to continue attending student organization meetings, advising appointments and career presentations. It strengthened the student experience because of the strong buy in from students, as Gator Ready had 2,751 unique student users who completed 19,311 activities in the app during 2020.

“In many ways, Gator Ready was tailor made for our circumstances during the pandemic,” Associate Dean and Director Alex Sevilla said. “It helped us maintain student interest in key leadership development opportunities when all activities were forced to move online. We were able to inspire our students to remain highly engaged, and track and reward their engagement in a new and innovative way via Gator Ready.”

Gator Ready also provided a chance for first- and second-year students to get plugged into Heavener during a pandemic. Of those two classes, student adoption was 86 percent.

But even before the pandemic, Gator Ready was growing. The app allows for both tracking of leadership and career development activities and the ability to showcase skill building and competency development. This helps students clearly define their career readiness, build their self-confidence and highlight their top capabilities directly to recruiters.

“Gator Ready gave us a natural way to connect with our students in a virtual world,” said Catherine Coe, Director of Gator Ready & Data Strategy at Heavener. “We were able to track what our students were doing to ensure they stayed connected to Heavener.”

Each skill has a 1-5 ranking to show how students are targeting and developing each of eight NACE competencies. Skill competency can look the same on a resume, but through Gator Ready, students have a tangible way to quantify how their skills differ from other students.

Heavener will continue to lean on Gator Ready well beyond COVID-19 to ensure students are prepared for immediate impact in their careers.

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