UF MBA Full-Time students sit on picnic tables at a local brewery

Community support leads to success for this UF MBA Full-Time student

Amanda Ladner

Amanda Ladner

By Amanda Ladner, MBA ’19

After working in corporate retail as a buyer for three years, I decided I wanted to make a career change. After a few months of intense job searching, I realized how challenging it could be to make a big career pivot without prior experience in a particular position or industry. This realization led me to my decision to pursue a Master of Business Administration, both to build upon my current skills and to use the resources of a prestigious program to assist me in a career change.

I was looking for an MBA program at a top-ranked school with small class sizes where I could have a personalized experience and to truly transform myself personally and professionally. The UF MBA Full-Time program gave me all of that and more. I had the opportunity to be fully invested in classes and extracurricular activities on and off campus. Additionally, I was able grow my network and gain close relationships with likeminded individuals who had similar goals and aspirations to me. And, honestly, who doesn’t want to re-live their college experience after working an 8-5 for a few years?

When I came into the UF MBA program, I knew that my cohort and classes would be small and intimate, but I had no idea how personalized my experience at UF would be. The program sets you up for both personal and professional success. The Business Career Services (BCS) team works with you one-on-one to evaluate your career goals and works alongside of you every step of your job search. I met with Jason Rife, Director of Graduate Business Career Services, within my first few weeks in the program to go through my specific goals and what exactly I was looking for in both a career and a company. After this, I sat through a one-on-one mock interview with Jason where I received specific and actionable feedback to help develop my interview skills. I was put in contact with alumni that were working at my target companies so I could get a feel for the company and job I was applying for. Then, I attended career fairs and company info sessions, and was able to set up additional one-on-one meetings with Jason to go over my progress and tackle some challenges I was facing. Throughout my entire job search, the BCS team was there to answer all of my questions and help me in any way they could.

In addition to a personalized career experience, being a part of such a small cohort (18 in my one-year, full-time program cohort) and just under 90 total full-time students, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to form valuable and close bonds with those around me. In the first few months alone, our cohort took a trip to Ginnie Springs for the Fourth of July, spent a week on the water in a house we rented on Anna Maria Island and have dinner together at the end of each module. For the first two months in the program, I had class with the same 17 people and spent all of my time with them, whether it was studying or getting together for a little stress relief. It was eye opening how close we all got in such a short period of time. Everyone is in this together and they show it through their constant engagement and encouragement through your process. While I was going through my interview processes with different companies, members of my cohort would reach out to me to offer me help in preparing for interviews and wanted to be updated with my progress. Although MBAs are known to be a bit competitive, when it comes to our career search and professional success, everyone is truly on the same team.

Our connections have become so tight that even when I tore my ACL while playing intramural soccer with some of my fellow MBAs, my teammates jumped at the first opportunity to help me and offered to drive me to a walk-in clinic. Over the next few weeks, due to my mobility challenge, I had countless people reaching out to me to lend a helping hand. Apart from this, every day in the hallways or in class, I had at least one person ask about my progress and check on me. Having this support was so encouraging and helpful through my recovery process and it wasn’t just the members in my own cohort, it was really the entire MBA community.

Being accepted into UF’s MBA program was life changing for me. I am on the way to changing the course of my career path, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone involved with the UF MBA program. The program has been tailored to me and my goals and aspirations. I have felt valued and important throughout my time in classes, during my specific job search and in my professional development. I have formed life-long relationships and have learned so much over just the first five months in the program.

If you’re looking for a way to grow your career or make a big change and you want an individualized approach to doing so, UF MBA is a perfect fit. You’ll make life-long friends, work one-on-one with the most amazing teams in the industry and hopefully land your dream job upon graduation!

Interested in transforming your career with an MBA? Request information about the UF MBA program today.