For most MBAs, business school was a time of transformation. Some entered as scientists, engineers, and military officers – only to emerge as brand managers, finance officers, and entrepreneurs. Others fretted over finance courses and public speaking – and then won banking case competitions. And that’s the whole point of business school. It is a time for students to play with new ideas, stretch their limits, and discover their voice and purpose.
And this transformative element is the driving force at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business. At Warrington, this commitment to transformation runs far deeper than helping students change careers. It starts with an experience geared towards developing versatile, inventive, and polished graduates who possess a team mentality and a global outlook. To do this, Warrington relies on a personalized approach where students enjoy the resources of a large university and the support and camaraderie inherent to a small cohort.
TRANSFORMATION AT THE HEART OF THE WARRINGTON MBA
“The brand promise of UF MBA is Transformation Guaranteed,” writes Lexie Cegelski, Warrington’s 2016 class President and soon-to-be member of Anheuser Busch In-Bev’s procurement team. “It sounds bold, but I have seen it myself as a student – with the size of our program you can’t disappear in the crowd. UF MBA provides an incredible, top-tier level experience – from academics and case competitions, to student involvement and career development – that requires students to step up to a challenge where they will learn, grow, and transform.”
And the past year has already been life-changing for many first years. Kate O’Hara spent her career in the background as an analyst in the CIA. At Warrington, she stepped forward and won the “Best Presenter” award at the SEC MBA Case Competition. Brad deBorde, an engineer by trade, adjusted how he approached issues thanks to the “widened perspective” of his classmates’ diverse experiences. And Jason Stuber, a practicing attorney, learned to better tell his story to land his dream summer internship with KPMG.
“Coming from a non-traditional background,” Stuber tells Poets&Quants, “I was not always certain how my skills translated to the positions I was seeking. Through a combination of coursework, career services, and networking events here at UF, I have developed my story around my strengths and my interview and networking skills have improved dramatically.”
DIVERSE CLASS EARNING INTERNSHIPS FROM TOP BRANDS
From biotech managers to submarine officers, the 2017 Class brings an array of perspectives to Hough Hall. And this diversity is one of the class’ hallmarks, says Alex Sevilla, Assistant Dean and Director of UF MBA Programs. “The professional diversity of this class makes it one of the most unique in my 13 years leading this program. We’ve always been able to attract first-rate talent from the finance, marketing and operations fields, but the infusion of passionate professionals from engineering, medicine, media, consulting, non-profit, and the startup scene—as well as the U.S. military—creates a vibrant atmosphere that is exciting to be around.”
And the class is already gaining notoriety outside Gainesville, Sevilla adds. “It is also exciting to watch as these students have secured internships all over the country with companies like Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch InBev, Pfizer, Delta, and Johnson & Johnson. We’re very proud of the transformational nature of the UF MBA program but are still amazed each year with the speed at which those transformations take place.”
Overall, the class includes 31 students from a pool of 366 applications. The class includes 10 women, with another 10 representing U.S. minorities and another three hailing from overseas. Academically, they bring an average GMAT of 681 to Warrington, with a median of 690 (and a range between 580-740). The class also averaged a 3.4 GPA as undergrads, with the class coming from a near equal mix of undergraduate business, math and science, engineering, and humanities. Professionally, they boast four years of work experience. What’s more, they come from all sectors, including financial services (17%), consumer goods (13%), government (13%), education (9%), and pharmaceuticals (9%).
Statistically, the school’s trajectory is going up. Notably, the 2015 Class posted a 95.7% placement rate within three months of graduation – among the highest percentages in the nation. Not to mention, UF MBA graduates averaged $109,000 to start – up $14,000 from the previous year – a testament to both the school’s reputation and its pervasive global network, which numbers 9,000 MBAs and over 400,000 “Gator Nation” alumni worldwide.