Prioritizing a Degree

After 25 years of working in the field of civil engineering, Ray Piacente (BSBA ’17) has built strong leadership skills, learned how to manage a team, and developed robust communication abilities. However, there was something missing from his background that would help him further advance his skills and career opportunities. A college degree.

Piacente officially became a graduate of the Heavener School of Business’s online BSBA program in December 2017.

“I was really impressed with the online program [at UF],” he said. “Everything was accessible and easy. With the online program, you can continue to work in your current profession and further advance your career.”

Thanks to his experience in the Heavener School of Business, Piacente feels even more equipped to lead his team as part of his position at Stantec, a global design and consulting company. In his role as a senior project manager, Piacente leads a team of individuals who are tasked with designing land development projects. His team oversees projects ranging from residential to retail and office spaces, and works with clients from the beginning stages of surveying land to certifying the final development after construction is complete.

“In my position, we handle a lot of the business side of things,” he said. “Everything from managing teams, people, clients, contracts, accounts and budgets. Everything that I learned at UF is important to what I can implement in the real world.”

Piacente’s reason for completing his college degree at UF is more than just for career advancement, though.

“I want to be a role model for my kids,” he said.