Monte Gehrtz

From the US Air Force to the UF Master of International Business

Monte Gehrtz is a current student in the Master of International Business (MIB) program and U.S. Air Force veteran. Read on to learn more about Gehrtz, his time in the military and why he chose the MIB program.

Q: Tell us about your background.

Gehrtz: “I went to undergraduate for management at North Dakota State University. I grew up in New Rockford, North Dakota and joined the Air Force right after high school. I had been a Gator sports fan since I was a young kid so always wanted to be a Gator as well.

Q: Why did you join the MIB program?

Gehrtz: “I joined the MIB program to increase my understanding of international business and to expand my network to a different region of the U.S. UF has a great reputation so having a degree from UF increases my attractiveness in business opportunities that come may come up in the future.”

Q: What do you enjoy the most in the MIB program?

Gehrtz: “The GIE in Brazil was the highlight thus far, having the opportunity to travel to a country and represent the University of Florida was a neat experience. I look forward to the next two trips with UF.”

Monte Gehrtz with two friends at Ben Hill Griffen Stadium during a Florida football game.

Q: What advice do you have for undergraduate students who are thinking of doing the MIB program?

Gehrtz: “Any work experience makes the program more relatable. If anyone has the desire to start a company, the MIB program is a great time to do so because you can take advantage to apply what you’re learning during the program to the company in real time with access to professors that specialize in every aspect of business.”

Q: What internships and other activities you participate in as a student?

Gehrtz: “I have worked fulltime for my financial advising firm as well as starting a project management company, Patriot Project Management. I have obtained my Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business designation for that company as well, giving me the opportunity to bid on set-aside government contracts for the SDVOSB designation.”

Q: Tell us about your service in the military.

Gehrtz: “As a cop in the Air Force, I had the unique position of being an 18-year-old required to enforce the laws on my peers and people higher ranking than me, forcing me to grow up quick. I spent half of my time active duty deployed or training to deploy. Deployments started out high intensity and by month 6 or 7 we seemed to be grouchy old-timers that were annoyed by the mortar attacks interrupting the daily routine. My time spent in the Air Guard was much more relaxed, with annual training across all the Pacific, spending time in Toyko, Hawaii, Alaska, and Okinawa.”

Q: Tell us 3 cool things about you.

Gehrtz: “I’ve never broken a bone. I ran two half marathons with no practice and finished. I provided security for the President of the United States.”