NIck Tharp sits in a large logo for GDIT

How this public relations major benefitted from a business education in the Master of Science in Management program

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Nick Tharp (MSM ’19) graduated from the University of Florida’s Master of Science in Management (MSM) program in fall 2019 and is currently working for one of the world’s largest defense contractors, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT).

Like most people having been born and raised in Florida and nearby states, I always dreamt of attending the University of Florida. What I did not expect was the amount of personnel and professional opportunities and growth the university could provide me. The University of Florida Warrington College of Business is not just a school where one solely takes classes, but is an establishment that can introduce you to new goals and teaches you how to best pursue them. Once starting at the Warrington College of Business, I was quickly introduced to opportunities of career development, business knowledge and personal growth. During my time there I completed a wide array of business courses that developed a truly concrete basis for my career. Completing rigorous courses in finance, accounting, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, and countless others, has provided me the skills to be feel prepared and take on new challenges.

Once my graduate internships began slowing down and graduation was fast approaching, it was time to put my hard work and newly acquired knowledge to the test. Being able to have a career service advisor and numerous faculty members guide you through the constantly shifting job market was one of the most valuable tools. This graduate program provides guidance through rigorous courses and academic classes, but also extends support when applying to jobs, juggling interviews, and negotiating benefits and salaries.

What I value most is something that is always talked about when attending the University of Florida and that is the “Gator Nation.” Post-graduation, I moved just outside of Washington, D.C. and joined the GDIT Proposal Support team as a Subcontract Administrator Associate. The size and strength of the Gator Nation was blaringly obvious to me after graduation. I now work for a team that is guided by a UF Master of International Business alumnus, Tim Feldman. Running into any fellow Gator outside of the state of Florida is exciting and luckily not hard to do, but what is even more exciting is seeing a fellow alumnus show strong leadership and guidance to over 50 professionals across the nation for the company and division that I now work in.

It is truly rewarding to see the hard work of achieving a master’s degree pay off.  Seeing my newly developed business skills and knowledge being used in my daily work has made a tremendous difference. The true cherry on top is being able to work for a large company, such as GDIT and be surrounded by individuals who promote personal and professional development. Working with people who operate as a unified team and promote one another’s success is something most can only dream of. For me it is a daily reality and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful for what the Warrington College of Business’ network has assisted with in my career and am excited to one day be able to do the same for it. For now though, here is to continuing to work hard and take on new challenges in this new step of my career and life!