Master of Science in Management alumnus shares advice on building success after collegeReading Time: 3 minutes
Scott Kujak (MSM ’16) is a territory sales executive at Beckman-Coulter, a biotechnology company that develops, manufactures, and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical testing. Scott grew up in New Port Richey, Florida and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Texas Christian University before he graduated from the Master of Science in Management (MSM) program at UF in 2016. He lives in Austin, Texas, and is the two-time defending Golden Gloves Heavyweight Boxing Champion of Austin. In 2017, Scott created the podcast “Underdog,” a platform that contains stories of amputees, war heroes, famous athletes, former drug addicts, entrepreneurs, victims of abuse and more. The common thread woven through every story is each guest’s decision to fight back against adversity through courageous methods, patient reflection and wise perspective.
Ten stories from the first 40 episodes of the podcast were compiled into the book, “Underdog – True Stories of Overcoming Adversity”. If you are new to Underdog, or a regular fan, this book is the best form of encouragement and success in the face of hardship and pain. Kujak’s source of inspiration was Phil Taylor, his friend and college football teammate. Phil passed away in September 2018 after a two year battle with colon cancer, but his legacy lives on. Kujak hopes to carry on the same fighting spirit as Phil and his other guests in the podcast, in the community, his career, in his relationships and in his life. You can read more about Kujak on his website.
We spoke with Kujak about how his MSM experience helped shape the success he’s had in his career and life after college:
Q: What did you gain from the MSM experience?
Kujak: “My MSM experience gave me the foundation of business knowledge and skills to give me the opportunity to pursue an executive sales position with the company I work for now, and to become successful in my role. My one-year pit stop to learn business in the MSM program after I earned my undergraduate science degree, and before I started my career, was absolutely necessary for me to become a medical device salesman. In addition, even though the year was short, I met many fellow students and faculty that became my friends for life.”
Q: What advice do you have for our MSM graduates?
Kujak: “The courses that you attend during this program contain subject material that will apply to your career throughout life. Most of the business tools that I learned during the MSM program apply to my career more than the four years I spent studying biology and chemistry. So, don’t skip class or approach class casually. Be like a sponge and soak up all that you can.
In addition, spend as much time as you can with Ana Romero and her team in the Business Career Services office. They will make you a stellar candidate on paper and in person. If you wait until a month or two before graduation, then it is too late. Utilize their resources and expertise from the moment you begin the program.”
Q: Anything else you want to share?
Kujak: “Always do your homework on the companies that plan to attend career fair events or other workshops and follow through. Beckman-Coulter was the last company I visited at the career fair on my list, and I almost forwent a walk to their booth because my aching feet and legs were tired from visiting with dozens of others of companies at their booths. I am sure glad that I listened to the wisdom in my conscience rather than the depletion of the physical energy in my body. If I didn’t follow through on all opportunities or left every stone unturned due to tiredness, then I would not have received an employment opportunity with a top medical device company, trained at the world headquarters in Southern California for seven months with free living expenses, grown into a successful business professional who has exceeded quota, grown my network with individuals in the biotechnology industry across the country, and been living in Austin, Texas creating a life of my design due to the income compensation I receive from Beckman-Coulter. Go Gators!”