Jacob Orlick

Accounting student honored with award for commitment to ethics

Jake Orlick is the 2020-2021 recipient of the Virginia Maurer Business Ethics Student of the Year award. He is the fifth recipient of this prestigious award.

The Virginia Maurer Business Ethics Student of the Year award honors students in the Warrington College of Business who have demonstrated a commitment to the role of ethics in business, as evidenced through academic excellence, leadership, personal integrity and civic engagement.

“It is a great honor to be chosen for this award!” Orlick said. “I am very humbled and grateful. Having the pleasure of knowing many of the prior recipients, it is truly a privilege to be included amongst them.”

Orlick will graduate with his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2022. Upon graduating from UF, he plans to attend law school. During his time at Warrington, Orlick has competed in five ethics case competitions, including placing first in the CFA Societies of Florida Ethics Challenge, third in the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition, fourth in the Milgard Invitational Case Competition on Social Responsibility and fifth in the Southeast Regional Ethics Bowl.

“In my 25 years at the University of Florida, Jake is among the top five students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching and mentoring,” said Dr. Brian Ray, Director of the Poe Business Ethics Center and Senior Lecturer of Leadership and Ethics. “The COVID pandemic presented many challenges for Warrington’s Ethics Case Competition Team. Jake provided a steady hand of leadership as well as inspiring words of motivation for his teammates during times of uncertainty. 

Dr. Ray added, “The pandemic meant that all of this year’s ethics case competitions were held virtually. Jake ensured that his teammates were set-up for success as they navigated these uncharted waters. Warrington’s Ethic Case Team once again had multiple top-three finishes due to Jake’s leadership! Beyond his exemplary performance as the team’s captain, Jake’s future in business and law are quite promising. His work ethic, intellectual talent, and courageous approach to ethical issues is a rare combination that bodes well for his future endeavors.”

In addition to his involvement with the Ethics Case Competition Team, Orlick is a Lombardi Scholar, member of the Student Conduct Committee, and previously served as a Student Fellow at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and as a member of the Florida Leadership Academy. He is currently conducting research on the ethical and legal issues of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) with an accounting professor for his honors thesis. Outside of his involvement at UF, Orlick volunteers at a non-profit law center for veterans and has been conducting interviews for the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project since 2016.

Orlick’s interest in ethics stemmed from the values he learned from his parents and grew after meeting Dr. Ray.

“Since I was very young, my parents have instilled in me the importance of always telling the truth and doing the right thing,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have met Dr. Ray prior to enrolling in the University of Florida, when I was a senior in high school. After I met Dr. Ray, I knew I wanted to learn from him and study business ethics.

“The Business Ethics Case Competition Team was the perfect way to combine my interest in business ethics with my love of public speaking. Words cannot express how thankful I am to have Dr. Ray as a mentor. He is a great role model who practices ethical leadership every day and cares deeply about each of his students. Business ethics is more than just a mission statement or a code of values; it is about how you treat people with respect, dignity and fairness. Studying business ethics helps me practice the skills that are essential in business fields, my future career in law, and in all aspects of life.”

Virginia Maurer is the founding director of the Poe Business Ethics Center and served as a Professor of Business Law and Legal Studies. With over 35 years of distinguished research and teaching at the University of Florida, Professor Maurer also served as a visiting faculty member at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world such as Cambridge University, the Helsinki School of Economics and Business, the University of Michigan, and the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies at the University of London.