Weekend Professional MBA Class of 2022 students Veronica Perez, Jason Roegner, Darline Stinfil and William Lee.
Members of the UF MBA Weekend Professional Class of 2022, from left, Veronica Perez Herrera, Jason Roegner, Darline Stinfil and William Lee.

Meet the Weekend Professional MBA Class of 2022

The Warrington College of Business is proud to welcome its latest class to the UF MBA Weekend Professional program. We invite you to meet some of the Class of 2022 by learning more about who they are, what they do, why they chose UF MBA, what they hope to get out of the program and more. Read on to meet a few members of the UF MBA Weekend Professional Class of 2022!

Why did you choose to pursue your MBA at UF?

Nikolas Shaughnessy

Nikolas Shaughnessy

“I want to join the leadership team in my department or health care management in another company. Specifically, I chose UF because a mentor went through the program and talked about how much UF MBA helped him not only professionally but personally as well. Also, I love the campus and enjoy spending time in Gainesville.” – Nikolas Shaughnessy | Pharmacist | Department of Defense |Undergraduate institution: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“After working in South Florida for several years, I was ready to advance my career and further my business education with the strongest and most renowned program in the state. I applied to the UF MBA program for the school’s reputation in the business community, strong and vast alumni association, and to help me obtain the tools I knew I would need to make a career pivot.” – Patrick Murray | S. Events Manager | OMEGA Watches, Swatch Group U.S. | Undergraduate institution: Wake Forest University

“I wanted a top-notch program that I could attend in person, while still being able to work for my current employer.” – Everett Kennedy | Everett Kennedy | Senior Supervisor, Network Planning Engineer | L3Harris Technologies | Undergraduate institution: Purdue University

Jean El Khoury

Jean El Khoury

“Location, reputation, career opportunity.” – Jean El Khoury | Sales Manager | Dillard’s | Undergraduate institution: Saint Joseph University of Beirut

“The UF MBA program attracted me due to its unique applicability to today’s high-tech business environment. The range of courses offered will give me the skills needed to manage the complexity that comes from a more AI-driven world and explore how AI technology can be used to create revenue and generate business opportunities. The marriage of a traditional MBA course and one focused more on business analytics and information science will give me an edge as an executive and prepare me to be a tech entrepreneur in the future. There is a high demand for business professionals who can serve as a link between analytical talent and practical solutions to an organization’s challenges. This is precisely the role that I expect to fill, and the UF MBA program is ideal for these goals. Additionally, the flexibility of the weekend program offers students the chance to simultaneously further their education and career, which will allow me to get an education without sacrificing my career progress.” – Soumyajit Sarkar | Associate Architect | Virtusa Corp. | Undergraduate institution: Visvesvaraya Technological University | Graduate institution: University of South Florida

What do you hope to get out of your UF MBA experience?

“In addition to the academic aspect of business school, I would love to expand my professional network with like-minded professionals across other industries.” – Khaled Elrodesly | Senior Engineer | Collins Aerospace | Undergraduate institution: Ain Shams University

Rachel Hiar

Rachel Hiar

“I hope to become a more well-rounded, tenacious leader, while enhancing my analytical and decision-making skills.” – Rachel Hiar | Senior Business Intelligence Analyst | PwC | Undergraduate institution: Florida State University

“Much of the success I’ve had in my professional career is attributed to my time in undergrad at UF. So, in my MBA journey I want enrich to my business acumen, professional development and professional network.” – Darline Stinfil | Senior Compliance Officer | JPMorgan Chase | Undergraduate institution: University of Florida

“I hope to learn the principles necessary to start and lead my own company.” – Aaron Marohl | Product Engineer – Special Projects | Nautique Boat Company | Undergraduate institution: University of Minnesota

“I hope to build my tool set to become more of a complete player since I work in finance and majored in journalism in undergrad. I look forward to building relationships and using the experiences and knowledge from this program to propel the next 30 years of my professional career.” – William Lee | VP of Capital Markets | CommonGood Capital | Undergraduate institution: University of Florida

“A stronger and more fruitful network. I also hope to further develop my business acumen in the hopes of running my own business.” – Sebastian Vergara | Business Development Representative | ai | Undergraduate institution: University of Central Florida

What are you most looking forward to as a UF MBA student?

Giancarlo Ricard

Giancarlo Ricard

“Career services, leading industry professors, and Gator football!” – Kristopher Valas | Product Owner | Loxley Services | Undergraduate institution: University of Central Florida

“I am looking forward to the experiential learning facet of the program. I am excited to increase my skillset by learning from others.” – Giancarlo Ricard | Associate Attorney | Debski & Associates, P.A. | Undergraduate institution: Florida State University

“I’m looking forward to working with classmates that have different backgrounds than myself. It’s always interesting to me to learn how people within different career background think about a problem, and how they get to that solution. I think learning to think critically from a different point of view can be a valuable asset when I’m learning to become a leader.” – Everett Kennedy

Russell Williams

Russell Williams

“Accomplishing my goals as a Gator and making some new friends along the way.” – Russell Williams | Director of Recruiting | Power Design Inc. | Undergraduate institution: University of South Florida

“I’m really looking forward to connecting with my cohort and creating memories in Gainesville. Education happens just as much outside of the classroom as much as inside, so I’m looking forward to learning more from them.” – Jason Roegner | Consumer Investments Team Manager | Merrill | Undergraduate institution: Carthage College

“Being a part of a strong community of like-minded individuals.” – Gilbert Pierola III | SEO/SEM Analyst | Crystal Clear Digital Marketing | Undergraduate institution: University of Central Florida

Any advice on how to get accepted into the UF MBA program?

Patrick Murray

Patrick Murray

“The best advice I can give is for candidates to get connected with the school. Whether it’s networking with current students and recent alumni or staying in touch with the admissions department, the connections you make and interest you show in the program can only help your chances of being accepted.” – Patrick Murray

“This may sound cliche – but my best advice for how to get accepted into the UF MBA Program is to be your authentic self. Particularly when you’re writing to convey your personal and professional experiences it’s easier to describe those experiences when you’re expressing yourself authentically.” – Darline Stinfil

“Take your time to see which program type is right for you e.g., full time, online, or weekend professional. Contact the admissions staff; they are very helpful and will go out of their way to help you make an informed decision. Also, make sure you spend the right amount of time on your essays. The essays can make the difference to a ‘yes’ decision.” – Giancarlo Ricard

What professional accomplishments have you earned?

“I won an Alumni Award from Florida Polytechnic University.” – Veronica Perez Herrera | Construction Inspector | Polk County | Undergraduate institution: Florida Polytechnic University

“For a recent assignment, I estimated I verified over 350,000 prescriptions in my career. The number is irrelevant, but it is a personal reminder of how a little work every day over a long period adds up and the experience becomes invaluable. I’ve made minor mistakes along the way but learned quite a bit in 7 years as a pharmacist.” – Nikolas Shughnessy

Soumyajit Sarkar

Soumyajit Sarkar

“In my professional life, I have often earned recognition from management and clients for my efforts. When working at Wipro, for example, I achieved the Feather in Cap Award along with multiple notes of appreciation from the clients I worked with. I view such achievements as confirmation of my hard work, and I will continue striving to earn distinction in the next stage of my education.” – Soumyajit Sarkar

“From 2018 to 2020, I was the lead Operation Support Systems (OSS) Engineer for the Futuristic Telecommunication of India (FTII) program. This is a $141 Million contract to modernize India’s Air Traffic Management Communications Infrastructure. This modernization will upgrade 91 sites across the country of India which will provide availability and increased performance to the sites throughout the region. I was responsible for the design, integration, and implementation of the software solutions to monitor the equipment within the network to make flying safer, and more reliable within the country of India.” – Everett Kennedy

“As a leader in the Securities Industry, the SEC requires that my associates have their Series 7 and 66. In 2020, I was challenged in helping to improve our division’s Series 7 passage rate while we all transitioned to a work from home posture. By updating processes and creating new resources for our studiers to leverage, I was able to help our division achieve a passage rate 18% higher than the national average.” – Jason Roegner

“I recently raised over $15M in private social impact investments.” – William Lee

What personal accomplishments are you proud of?

“I bought a Peloton, and I am very consistent on the bike and eating healthy.” – Veronica Perez Herrera

“I’m a high school dropout and worked hard to finally make it to my MBA. Education is a huge priority for me, and I’m grateful to be where I am. One of my biggest accomplishments was putting myself through a GED, Junior College and Bachelor’s.” – Kristopher Valas

Everett Kennedy

Everett Kennedy

“During the COVID-19 lockdown I spent my time acquiring three professional certifications. Splunk Certified Admin, Cisco Certified DevNet Associate, and BMC Remedy ARServer Administrator. Acquiring these certifications helped me learn best practices I wasn’t familiar with and validate my current skillset.” – Everett Kennedy

“I am very pleased with how accounting is going so far. My undergraduate university used accounting as a weed-out class for the business school, and I did very poorly. The resources we have at UF are helping me understand the subject significantly better this time.” – Patrick Murray

“I earned the Eagle Scout rank as a Boy Scout. An honor less than 4% of Boy Scouts achieve.” – William Lee

“As a graduate student of Business Analytics and Information Systems at the University of South Florida, I was awarded membership in Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 126 as well as receiving High Scholastic Achievement from the International Society Beta Gamma Sigma. Receiving invitations to these elite and prestigious organizations was a great honor and served to verify the hard work that I put into my education.” – Soumyajit Sarkar