Four students pose in front of UF Warrington campus gateway

UF MBA achieves program highs in career placement, salaries

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Students graduating in 2015 from the full-time UF MBA program at the Hough Graduate School of Business posted record performances in career placement and compensation according to Craig Petrus, Director of Graduate Business Career Services (GBCS).

The career placement rates for students at graduation (85.1%) and three months after graduation (95.7%) were among some of the best in the nation. Additionally, the starting compensation—base salary plus signing bonus—of graduates increased by $14,000 from last year to just over $109,000. These gains build on a trend of success since 2012 that has substantially outpaced the economy’s growth.

  2012 2013 2014 2015
Placement @ Graduation 63.9% 67.9% 79.6% 85.1%
Placement @ 3-Months Post-Grad 86.9% 83.0% 92.6% 95.7%
Average Salary & Signing Bonus $78,102 $84,281 $94,986 $109,171

“The combination of our incredibly talented students, world renowned faculty, and our best-in-the-business GBCS team is generating fantastic results,” said Dr. Alex Sevilla, Assistant Dean and Director of UF MBA Programs. “Our stellar placement results have been phenomenal, but the real measure of the transformative impact our career team has delivered can be seen in the overwhelming level of satisfaction we’ve seen from students and corporate recruiters alike.”

Increases in career placement and compensation have been impressive, thanks in part to the enhancements implemented by Petrus and the new talent he brought into GBCS:

Private Sector Experience: Petrus, himself a former executive recruiter, has built a team of advisors for Hough’s seven graduate programs who all have corporate recruiting or executive search backgrounds. Petrus explained, “Our mission is to connect Hough students with top-tier companies and ensure those students are adequately prepared to engage corporate recruiters. To do that well, I felt I needed a team with very specific backgrounds.”

To manage the full-time MBA students, Petrus hired Jason Rife in 2012, who at the time was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and had held prior roles with John Deere and Exxon Mobil. Having completed a full-time MBA and served on corporate recruiting teams, Rife has been able to provide students with expert coaching on how to compete for top-tier MBA roles. “All of us in GBCS have sifted through stacks of résumés, spent countless hours interviewing applicants, and partnered with hiring managers to decide who got the offer,” Rife said. “We think like recruiters and teach our students how to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field.”

Consultative Approach: Rather than just serve as a clearinghouse for job postings, GBCS operates as talent consultants to its corporate “clients.” When engaging corporate recruiters, Petrus uncovers the firm’s unique needs to ensure their messaging resonates with students. “We’ll never just hand a company a book of 100+ résumés and hope for the best,” he said. “We ask the right questions to understand their ideal student profile, corporate culture, and recruiting process, helping them find the right candidates and saving them significant time and effort.”

Expanding Corporate Partnerships & Geographic Footprint: While GBCS has strengthened ties with existing partners such as Exxon Mobil, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Procter & Gamble, they have also succeeded in establishing new relationships with global firms such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, McKinsey & Company, and Microsoft, all of which hired UF MBA graduates in 2015.

Increasingly engaging these large global firms has substantially impacted UF MBA’s geographic reach. The number of students accepting roles outside of the southern U.S. has shifted from just 29% in 2012 to 53% for the Class of 2015.

“We’re not just a regional program,” stated Dr. Sevilla. “The education our students receive from our outstanding faculty and the training they receive from GBCS allows them to compete successfully with students from the very top MBA programs for premier global opportunities.”

Seamless Partnerships Across the Program:  Career placement has become integrated into the entire UF MBA program. Both Petrus and Rife sit on the Admissions Committee, and every candidate must pass a final interview with one of them. Student Services integrates with GBCS to align students’ courses with their career goals and provide training for the school’s strategy case competition teams. “The partnership we have with Admissions and Student Services has been essential to our success,” Petrus says. “We simply could not do our jobs without them.”

Solid Indications for 2016 and Beyond: Early data for the Classes of 2016 & 2017 suggests that the strong career results show no sign of slowing. Over two-thirds of the Class of 2016 has already received at least one full-time offer, and internship offers have been extended to more than half of the Class of 2017 to date. Companies extending offers include The Boston Consulting Group, Wells Fargo, Vanguard, Ford, Coca-Cola, PWC, and A.T. Kearney.

Visit GBCS for more UF MBA career placement information.