Meet Warrington’s MBA Class of 2017

Laura Gonzalez Florida

Laura Gonzalez

University of Florida, Warrington College of Business

Hometown: Cali, Colombia – West Palm Beach, FL

Undergraduate School and Major: Palm Beach State College, Biotechnology and Healthcare Business Management.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Associate Scientist – Marketing Coordinator, Cytonics Corporation. President/Founder, Petite Perfect Fit, LLC.

Where will you be interning this summer? Johnson & Johnson Consumer Healthcare Group – Brand Management

What led you to choose the University of Florida for your full-time MBA?

I chose the University of Florida because of the personalized experience, strong program reputation, and career placement. Due to the small class size of the MBA program, I have been able to get to know all my classmates well, participate in almost all the activities, and receive personalized feedback not only from the professors but from the MBA staff, while adding to my personal and professional development. Also, Graduate Business Career Services for the MBA program has an exceptional group of people willing to personally work with you to help you reach your post-MBA career goals.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the program so far?

Definitely obtaining an internship with Johnson & Johnson, which was one of my goals since I started my MBA. During the first semester of the program I worked very hard with Graduate Business Career Services to find positions that matched my skills and career goals. GBCS supported me through mock interviews, resume preparation, career planning, workshops, networking events, and individual career advisement. This support allowed me to create a network, and learn how to better communicate my experiences and skills during the interview process, which led me to finally obtain an internship with one of the top healthcare companies.

What advice do you have for applicants in applying to a school, taking the GMAT, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf?

Start the process early. Do not wait until the last minute to take the GMAT and submit applications. Sometimes, some other documents are needed and it is always best to be ahead of the game. Studying for the GMAT was the most intimidating part of the application process for me, but just remember that the GMAT does not define who you are – and sometimes your essays and experience could count more than the GMAT itself. However, I recommend setting a date to take the test and practice as much as possible. In my experience, taking practice tests taught me how to better manage my time and to understand the framing of the GMAT questions.

UF MBA is looking for a cultural fit with candidates. When writing the essays, show them who you are through your experiences and how you would be able to contribute to the program. Highlight any experiences of visiting campus, or speaking to someone from the program; both show high interest in being a part of the UFMBA family. For recommendation letters, I suggest asking people who know you well and could tell more stories about interacting with you on a personal and professional level. Lastly, be prepared to answer some behavioral questions during the interview process. Be yourself and be ready to tell your story while highlighting the most important experiences that have made you who you are today.

What advice do you for students to help them thrive their first year of business school?

Take advantage of all the activities and networking events that you can attend. All the activities are created for you as a student to add to your professional development and personal growth. You will notice how much you have changed after the first year. Make friends at school and learn from their experiences. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help. We are all here to help each other through the academic and job-seeking process. Obtaining advice from people who have been in our shoes before is always better than trying to figure it out ourselves.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate?

When I was applying to get my MBA, I thought the process was going to be solely focused on professional growth. After one year of being in the program, I can honestly say that although I have grown professionally, the majority of my development has been personal. Before I graduate I want to be able to create long lasting friendships, grow my network, become a better public speaker, and help other students entering the program achieve their post-MBA goals, just like the program has helped me achieve mine.

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