Vladimir Charles

UF MBA students see success at NBMBAA through preparation and support

UF MBA students and staff traveled to Detroit for the 40thAnnual National Black MBA Association Conference & Exposition. Full-Time student Vladimir Charles reflects on his experience.

By Vladimir Charles, UF MBA ‘20

To characterize my feelings as we got closer to the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) conference in Detroit, Michigan as nervous would be a gross understatement. Deciding to pursue my MBA full-time is one of the biggest decisions I have made in my life and less than two months into the program I would be selling my worth to prospective companies for an internship experience many months away. Two things kept me grounded throughout the whole experience: preparation and my UF MBA family.

I can honestly say that there are no better cheerleaders than Jason Rife and his Graduate Business Career Services (BCS) team. From even before setting foot on campus, Jason had been prepping us for the internship search with a focus on being ready for NBMBAA. From elevator pitches to the perfect resume to conducting company research, we were ready to be gladiators in Detroit. “You will be more prepared than anyone else out there,” Jason said. Truer words never spoken. This phrase stuck with me as I walked the employer area, spoke to potential employers and interviewed. When I hit the floor on day one and spoke to my first company, all of our training kicked in. I was not perfect by any means, but as the day went on it became increasingly clear that I was there and I was ready.

The heart of my experience was my UF MBA family, including the cohorts across all the program formats. You would be hard pressed to find any other school with a presence anywhere near UF MBA. We even had second year student career coaches attend just for support. I cannot count how many times my fellow classmates, even students I had just met, and the BCS team went out of their way to check in and see how things were going. This kind of care really helped me make it through the two eight hour long days, evening mixers and interviews.

My NBMBAA experience was exceptionally successful. As I reflect on my time in Detroit, I am extraordinarily thankful for the investment that Jason and the BCS team made in us. I am fortunate to be looking at several opportunities for next summer and excited for my growth through the program leading up to the summer. It is clear why UF MBA has a record of success at NBMBAA, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.

There is something truly special about the UF MBA program that only we experience. To future UF MBAs, trust the process. The past UF MBAs, thank you for continuing to elevate the program’s reputation. To my current UF MBAs, I am grateful to be on this journey with you. Transformation guaranteed is a promise.