Selling UF MBA’s new South Florida home

UF MBA alumnus Mike Ciadella played an integral role in UF MBA finding its new Miramar facility

The UF MBA Weekend Professional program in South Florida provided Mike Ciadella with the financial education to change his career from advertising technology sales to commercial real estate.

Two years after graduating, Ciadella was using his knowledge to benefit the program. UF MBA opened its new facility in Miramar in 2019, and Ciadella (MBA ’17) and his team at Cushman & Wakefield sold the property that now houses the new South Florida MBA campus.

“It was very unique to be involved in this sale because most of the time we don’t have personal experience with any of the tenants in the property we’re selling,” Ciadella said. “Though I never attended class at this new location, my experience afforded me with the ability to explain how the university uses this space since it’s atypical for a standard office tenant. Most investors I spoke with were unaware that the University of Florida had a South Florida location and thought it sounded like a great program.”

Ciadella earned a bachelor’s in telecommunications from UF and moved to New York City in 2011 to begin a career as a client service specialist with the digital measurement company Comscore. He later worked his way up to senior sales manager while working on his MBA, but just as he was finishing the program, Ciadella left to join Cushman & Wakefield. He started with the company as an analyst and was later promoted to an Associate Broker.  

He enrolled in the UF MBA program with his eyes set on a career change to commercial real estate. He loved UF and his undergraduate experience but moving back to Gainesville or commuting once a month weren’t feasible. After relocating to South Florida, the UF MBA Weekend Professional program in South Florida offered the best opportunity to reach all of his goals.

“I knew the education component at UF would be top-notch but the ability to network with other professionals in South Florida and be exposed to all of the various different companies and opportunities in South Florida – that was really what motivated me to choose this program over a purely online experience,” Ciadella said.

The experience exceeded his expectations. Ciadella raved about the education he received, but the overall value of the program was about much more than that. He also built a strong network with local professionals from many backgrounds and benefitted from the real-world strategies that were taught in the classroom. But ultimately, the program was a chance for Ciadella to prepare for a career shift.

“The ultimate point of an MBA program is either to get a new job or get a promotion at your current job,” Ciadella said. “I can tell you without a doubt that the only reason I was considered for my current position was because of the UF MBA and the prestige it has throughout South Florida. I’d like to think I’m a great case study because I didn’t have a finance background, so getting my MBA at UF was paramount to me changing careers and getting a position in investment sales with Cushman & Wakefield. The education, skills and networking I received as part of the South Florida MBA program was greatly beneficial for me.”