Recently the UF MBA Full-Time Program soared in its global rankings and U.S. public school rankings.

In the rankings that The Economist provided, the UF MBA Full-Time Program was ranked #1 in the “Open New Career Opportunities” category.  This category captures student assessment of career services, job placement success, and diversity of recruiters.  This post highlights these three key factors from an MBA student’s perspective:

1) Student Assessment of Career Services

The UF Graduate Career Services Team commits itself to the development of its MBA students.  This team provides individualized and continued coaching to its MBAs, as evidenced by personal resume critiques, mock interview practice, and professional development events.  Within my first weeks of starting the two-year program, my advisor helped me with my resume for 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.  Fast forward a year later, and that same advisor recently reached out to me and helped prepare me for a case interview at my top company of choice, which resulted in a significantly improved case performance during final round interviews.  My advisor constantly reaches out to me and facilitates my interactions with potential companies – without his encouragement and dedication, I wouldn’t be as prepared for the recruitment process.

The culmination of a small, selective MBA student body and a tight-knit, comprehensive Career Services Team develops a virtuous cycle of professional development, real-time feedback, and sustained personal growth.  All of my 35 classmates continually receive the same personal attention and support that I encounter on a daily basis.  In fact, the Career Services Team has refined my resume, interview, and networking abilities to a level that allows me to serve as a Career Coach and assist other graduate business students during their recruitment process.  The Career Services Team empowers its students to serve others, which further perpetuates the virtuous cycle and results in overwhelmingly positive student assessments of the team.

The number of activities, and the quality of the activities, that the team orchestrates for its MBA students separates the UF MBA Full-Time Program from other comparable programs.  For instance, the UF MBA Program prepares its students for large-scale career fairs, like NBMBAA, by holding a “mock” career fair where first-year students can practice their elevator pitches and follow-up dialogue with second-year students returning from their internships.  The second years act as recruiters from their respective companies of internment.  Now with the simulated experience of a recruiter, I can better relate to how recruiters think and perceive responses to behavioral questions.  With this understanding, I am able to better accommodate my approach to conversations with recruiters and optimize my time with them.

Student engagement and receptivity, as evidenced by the student assessment component of the category ranking, demonstrates the shared purpose and focus that the Team transfers to its MBAs, and vice versa.  The aptitude of the Team, alongside student engagement, uniquely positions UF MBAs to enhance their professional acumen and occupational prospects.

2) Job Placement Success

From my perspective, two indicators of job placement success are the quality of the employing company and the timeliness of securing employment.  The Team facilitates interactions with established companies, such as ExxonMobil, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and P&G, via information sessions, career fair attendance, and other forms of direct networking.  Many full-time UF MBAs secure internships with large companies and proceed to engage these companies after Program completion.  I myself was able to leverage information and networking sessions within the Program to secure an internship with one of these established companies.  Without the Program’s commitment to its students, I wouldn’t have been able to create that opportunity on my own.

Additionally, the Team maintains an enviable track record in the percentage of its MBA population that secures internships/full-time offers at different critical times throughout the year.  Different companies naturally hold different recruiting cycles, but given this type of volatility, the Team still successfully manages the opportunities and timeliness of offers both presented to and accepted by its MBAs.  Last year, I secured my internship before the end of October.  This year, I have yet to secure a full-time position of choice, but I’m interviewing with more companies and hold significantly more prospects than I did last year.  Although my recruitment cycle is not as early as it was previously, I’m still leveraging my network and professional opportunities to engage more companies in final round interviews to determine mutual fit and career growth.

The integration of employer quality and offer timeliness uniquely positions UF MBAs to grow their networks and explore critical opportunities for years to come.

3) Recruiter Diversity

The UF MBA Full-Time Program empowers its MBAs to engage the Program and develop themselves outside of the academic realm.  UF’s MBA Association (MBAA) is composed entirely of current UF MBAs and offers dozens of roles that drive all components of the UF MBAA, including network development, outreach, and professional development interest groups.  The UF MBAA additionally offers the opportunity to join Gator MBA Gear, a student-run organization that generates thousands of dollars annually by branding and selling UF MBA apparel.

The UF MBAA also offers multiple diversity groups that leverage eclectic cultures, experiences, and corresponding awareness activities.  The UF MBAA alone offers five specialized diversity groups: Black Business Students Association, Hispanic Business Students Association, International Business Students Association, MBA Veterans Association, and Women in Business Association.  UF MBAs actively support and engage their diversity in order to better develop one another both professionally and personally.

How do the above statements relate to recruiter diversity?  The diversity of recruiters allows the recruiting team to select a student body that represents and embraces diversity in all of its activities and interests.  The buck starts with the recruiters – they serve as the foundation that establishes the momentum of diversity throughout the Program.  I personally have had the privilege of serving on Gator MBA Gear, the MBAA Board, and a special interest club.  Recruiter diversity sets the tone for the diversity of the Program and provides insightful perspectives that contribute to the Program’s effectiveness in selecting top-tier candidates.

Recruiter diversity, in terms of skill set, culture, and perspective, uniquely positions UF MBAs to broaden their experiences and drive cross-cultural networking for years to come.

The UF MBA Full-Time Program’s #1 ranking in the “Open New Career Opportunities” category is substantiated by the quality of the Program’s Career Services Team, the quality of the Program’s employment acquisition process, and the diversity level of the Program’s recruiters, which trickles down to the diversity level of the Program’s students.  As the Program continues to develop, you can expect UF MBAs to constantly drive significant value at companies and in society for decades to come.  To learn more about the UF MBA Program, please click here.

To read more about this ranking improvement and glean insights from UF MBA thought leaders, please click here.

Written by: Kyle Crooke, Two-Year Full-Time, Class of 2018