A group of about 15 people, including students and alumni, pose for a photo in the Omani desert while holding a UF MBA and University of Florida flag.

Bill and Carol Moss: Personal connections facilitate learning opportunities

When Carol Moss (MBA ’87) first enrolled in the University of Florida’s MBA program, she didn’t quite know what she was getting into. As a nurse taking classes while working full time at Shands Hospital, she realized that there was plenty to learn in the program.

“I came from a medical family and knew nothing about business,” she said. “So, when I started in the program, it was like they were speaking Greek.”

With diligence and guidance from her professors, Carol was able to gain traction in her business studies and realized the strength of the combination of a BSN coupled with an MBA. 

Bill Moss (BSBA ’83, MBA ’87), on the other hand, already had an undergraduate business degree from the University of Florida under his belt and was pursuing his MBA in order to prepare for a larger role in the corporate business world outside of the state.

Bill and Carol Moss wearing University of Florida shirts in front of a desert background in Oman Married in 1990, the Mosses have supported each other’s career paths as they continued to grow into more senior roles, in the oil industry for Bill and the health and medical insurance industries for Carol. Job opportunities also led to multiple moves around the U.S. including to Louisiana, Illinois, Texas and California. Each move was welcomed as an opportunity to explore the country, make new friends and experience new adventures.

Around 2008, Bill was offered an opportunity to move into a new role that would lend his expertise to a $5 billion project that his company was leading. This time, though, it would be close to 8,500 miles across the world, on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, in the country of Oman. 

Carol and Bill had discussed an international assignment along the way and were excited by the opportunity to move to the Middle East. Taking their teenagers out of their schools and social circles was a huge step and changed them and the family in unexpected and wonderful ways.

It didn’t take long after the Moss family moved to Oman that Carol was recruited by the country’s largest hospital as VP of Nursing. While Carol thought she had already reached the pinnacle of her career, after joining the Royal Hospital, she found herself and her leadership skills tested like never before. Working to improve the hospital operation while also respecting the local culture was quite a challenge.

In Bill’s role as CFO at OxyOman, his responsibilities and challenges continued to grow and eventually included Chairing the Contracts Committee and advising Information Technology on the Oracle implementation for the region. Both Carol and Bill also faced unique challenges when working during the Arab Spring that swept across the peninsula in 2010.

After several years in Oman, and subsequent moves to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Mosses had built significant reputations for excellence in their respective careers.

After returning to the United States, the Mosses focused on their desire to give back to the University of Florida and worked with the Warrington College of Business to join the UF Foundation National Board. They also worked with Warrington to share their time and talent with students in the University of Florida’s MBA program during local roundtables and campus visits.   

A group of students pose in front of a mosque in Oman while doing the Gator Chomp. After connecting with Warrington’s development and the UF Foundation offices about how they could get even more involved, the Mosses learned about the MBA program’s Global Immersion Experience (GIE). The course includes a consulting project and a 7-to-10-day experience abroad. With their strong connections to the Middle East, Bill and Carol offered their assistance in leading a trip to Oman for the GIE. They identified three real-world projects that the students could engage with as well as created an itinerary for students and UF leaders to meet with various Omani business and government leaders.   There were also activities that would bring the students into the local culture and history.

Ten students in the UF MBA Executive and Online programs joined the Mosses, along with Warrington Dean Saby Mitra and Assistant Dean and UF MBA Director John Gresley, for the trip of a lifetime in early 2023.

“The quality of the students was just fantastic,” Bill noted. “They were highly accomplished in their careers and were completely vested in what was going on in Oman and in their projects.”

Carol added, “Watching the students succeed in their projects was the most impactful part of the trip. To see them realize the tangible changes they could make with their projects, that was special.”

For Bill and Carol, sharing their time, talent and connections with students from their alma mater has been very rewarding. The opportunity to lead the trip was uniquely suited to their personal experience overseas.

“Everyone knows everyone in Oman,” Bill said. “It’s all about networking, so we were able to use our connections to the students’ advantage.”

“I believe that time and talent alumni offer are very valuable to the students as they move toward graduation consider their careers,” Carol added. “Alumni should be encouraged to think about how to get involved and realize there are so many ways to contribute – both big and small. There’s more that we can all do to support the students.”