MSM student Ashley Owens with Albert and Alberta doing the Gator Chomp.

How lessons in communications, project management helped this Master of Science in Management student take her career to the next level

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By Ashley Owens (BS ’15, MSM ’18)

After graduating in 2015 from the University of Florida with my bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences, I began working for the University of Florida Office of Development at UF Health. As a development coordinator, I helped raise funds for cancer research, patient care and education. I loved my job, but I wanted to take my career to the next level. After researching multiple programs, I found the Warrington College of Business Master of Science in Management (MSM) program to be the best suited for myself as a full-time university employee and someone who wanted a well-rounded education to lead me into a marketing career. In January of 2017, I returned to academics while continuing my position with the university.

The opportunities and resources given to me by the MSM program have been tremendous. The coursework, professional development seminars, networking events and extracurriculars have provided unique opportunities for me to grow as a professional. Even in my first semester, I could see the impact it had on my current position. My courses helped me become a better writer and communicator, and the technical skills taught through opportunities outside of the classroom helped me become a better project manager.

In May of 2018, I left my position in fundraising to further diversify my professional experience. Because of the dedicated support that is given to students by the Graduate Business Career Services office, I was hired as a full-time summer intern at Southeastern Grocers working on an employment branding project. With a fresh start in this position, I could see how through my experience and coursework I had become a better communicator with my teammates and executives, had greater confidence in my presentation skills during meetings, and was better able to negotiate across teams and projects, as well as with external vendors.

This past fall I was hired as a full-time intern with Driftwood Hospitality Management, working as a Management Rotation Intern at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Gainesville. I could tell how my finance and accounting courses helped me gain a greater understanding of a hotel’s budget and how strategic decisions are made. My further improved communication and project management skills helped me understand how each department works individually and in synchrony, from a managerial perspective.

As a result of the MSM program I have grown into a stronger global citizen with greater business acumen. I am graduating as a member of the international business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma as a student in the top 20 percent of my class. I have proudly accepted a Sales Associate position with Mondelez International where my learned skills of negotiation, managerial accounting, relationship management and project management will make me a strong performer. I look forward to rejoining our strong alumni network and returning to the Warrington College of Business to “pay it forward” and help other students develop themselves professionally, like alumni before myself have done.

Go Gators!


Interested in learning how a Master of Science in Management can take your career to the next level like Ashley? Request information about the MSM program to learn more.