Jazz Naglee and Eduard Tora Bueno
Jazz Naglee and Eduard Tora Bueno.

UF MBA students get a ‘JumpStart’ on their career and internship search, overcoming COVID-19 obstacles

The undeniable impact of COVID-19 has forced many changes throughout the world. While these changes have required people to adapt to a new, virtual norm, it hasn’t dampened their drive to be successful as they take on new challenges.  

Take UF MBA students Jazz Naglee and Eduard Tora Bueno, for example. Both are joining the UF MBA Full-Time Two-Year program this August, and even though they haven’t yet started their classes, they are already well on their way to career success by taking advantage of a partnership between the Warrington College of Business and the JumpStart Advisory Group.

JumpStart, which specializes in developing highly-skilled, diverse individuals for today’s competitive job market as well as connects diverse students with employers, began its partnership with Warrington last year after taking note of the college’s impressive undergraduate and graduate students.

“I wanted to get involved in the JumpStart program because it seemed like a perfect opportunity to get an early start on the summer internship recruitment process, and to learn more about the career path I’m interested in,” Naglee (MBA ’22) said.

With an interest in brand management and marketing, Naglee participated in JumpStart’s virtual Path to Brand Management event. Even with the event moving from in-person to online due to COVID-19, Naglee said she gained a comprehensive picture of the brand management field, including what a day in the life of a brand manager looks like, what to expect during the interview and recruitment process and even insights from company case study presentations.

“I was pleasantly surprised with how well the virtual experience worked for delivering the content,” she said. “Attendees had the chance to ask questions in the chat feature, which was nice because more questions were able to be asked and answered than would have been possible in-person.”

While Naglee noted challenges with a virtual event, especially the limited one-on-one interactions and networking opportunities with companies and other attendees, she was able to connect with a company she was interested in learning more about outside of the event.

“I was selected for an informal ‘coffee chat’ interview with one of the participating companies,” she said. “Although interviews were only 15-minutes each, I feel I made strong enough connections that I could reach out to either interviewer in the future.”

For Tora Bueno (MBA ’22), coming from a non-business background to the UF MBA program, JumpStart was an opportunity to dive into different areas of business and see what piqued his interest.

“I figured it was a really good learning opportunity in terms of companies that I may be interested in applying to as well as the fields they operate in, like finance, consulting and brand,” he said.

In addition to learning more about the various roles in these fields from the participating companies, Tora Bueno was able to get a feel for the company culture of each, giving him a clearer idea of if the company was a good fit for him or not. 

“The virtual program experience allowed for me to be able to attend more meetings than I think I could have if it was in person,” he said. “It also gave more flexibility towards the work I had to do outside of JumpStart.”

Tora Bueno echoed Naglee’s challenges of a virtual event, but wasn’t deterred from continuing to utilize JumpStart’s resources going forward.

“I would definitely go to another event and recommend JumpStart in general,” he said. “They were very well organized even with the unexpected events of COVID. They also provided me with a lot more information on each field and each company attending, which helped me get started on the recruiting process in general.”