Admission into a Major for Spring 2023

At the end of each semester several hundred students finish the primary core and find out their major. For some, it is the major they thought they wanted when they came to us. For others it is a major they came to love after they arrived and for still others it is the major they have come to realize offers them the best chance at their success.

This semester, 650 students were admitted into a major within the Bachelors of Business Administration. (The BS in Economics does not require the college core and those students are not counted in these numbers). As has been true for some time, Integrated Business is the most common major in the college, closely followed by Finance. The admission numbers for each major in Spring 2023 are provided in the table below..

MajorStudents Admitted% of Total
Integrated Business21032.3
Real Estate182.7
Spring 2023 Admission in to Majors

The cumulative data since we began the process of selection admission into the majors is provided below. 8307 students have entered a major over this period. Integrated Buiness and Finance are again the most common majors. An examination of the year by year data (not provided below) suggests these two majors are becoming even more common— this last semester they account for 56.7% of all new majors.

MajorStudents% of Total
Integrated Business257631.0
Real Estate2302.8
Total 8307100
Admission into majors since Fall 2018

Congratulations to all our new majors. Well done. Now, start working on graduating with a good job in hand.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Last week, my significant other told me she had the pleasure of being the welcoming speaker at a local spelling bee. Not having written a spelling bee speech before, she asked for my assistance. Come to think of it, I might have offered my assistance without her asking.

Anyway, I penned the following… I envisioned it being read like a Dr. Suess book..

This gal can spell
She can spell success
And do it under duress
This gal can spell
She can ask to use the word in a sentence
And do it with presence
This gal can spell
She can spell smart
And do it with heart
This gal can spell
She can spell dare
and do it with flair
This gal can spell
But she don’t spell defeat
when its time to compete
This gal can spell
Let’s get ready to spell
It’s going to be swell

I swelled with pride over my little effort. The look on her face told me she was less than impressed with my little poem. Feeling underappreciated and a little smug I said: “Why don’t use ask Chat GPT?” She did….

Good evening everyone,

It is my honor to welcome you to this spelling bee, which aims to promote literacy and celebrate the beauty of the English language.

Before we begin, I would like to take a moment to emphasize the importance of literacy in our daily lives. Literacy is a fundamental skill that opens doors to countless opportunities, and it is essential for personal growth and development. This spelling bee not only highlights the importance of literacy but also provides an exciting opportunity for all of us to test our skills and showcase our knowledge of the English language.

I want to wish all of our participants the best of luck, and I encourage you to enjoy this experience, learn from it, and most importantly, have fun. Let us celebrate literacy, language, and the joy of learning together. Thank you.

I was more than impressed, I was afraid, very afraid. I still think my poem has more personality, but I’m not sure Chat GPT won’t beat that soon too…. I also wondered if this little speech should be credited to some actual spelling bee speech writer… hmm

Charging On

Friday is graduation. It is both a happy and sad time for us. Graduation is, of course, the goal when students enter UCF, and we are happy when our students cross that hurdle. Sad because we will miss the students who have helped to make the college an engaging place over the past few years. Chief among that group are our student ambassadors — the students who help me manage the culture of engagement we have developed here in the college. This semester three ambassadors are graduating: Taylor Griffin, Michelle Prudent and Luke Shanks.

Taylor’s future seems to lie in Marketing. She has a couple of job offers and hopes to pick one soon. Taylor has really appreciated the friendships she has made with other Ambassadors and loved working on big events like the Hall of Fame and The New Frontier. She has lots of plans for the future including travel, giving back to her community and landing a big time job in Marketing with a company or university.

Michelle also seems to be headed to a position in marketing.  Michelle had an internship as a Marketing Specialist at Amazon the past two summers and has spent a semester abroad in Seoul. She’s great example of “doing the things” to get to the one. Michelle is mulling over offers and mentions the Hall of Fame as a highlight in her time with the Ambassadors.

I know Luke best because he worked in the Dean’s office, had on a number of leadership positions with the Ambassadors and took advantage of every opportunity to recruit mentors and build his professional network.  Luke is a sponge when it comes to learning.  He likes it so much he has forgotten the importance of GETTING A JOB so that he can pay for that pilot license he wants to get.

This collection of Ambassadors lived through the Pandemic and had to grapple with how to support our culture of engagement while connecting with students largely through Zoom.  It wasn’t always easy,  I admired their tenacity and creativity.  These characteristics will serve them well in whatever challenges lie ahead. 

My graduating Ambassadors should also know that their job for us isn’t over. You are and shall always be UCF College of Business Ambassadors. Go do great things, tell others about us and come back to tell the students who follow you how they too can differentiate themselves while they are here and learn to live their dreams.  See you back here soon.

In the meantime….

Charge On!

The Lions?

Understand that I have been a Detroit Lion fan my whole life. You are born into this, nobody would voluntarily choose this misery. The Lions have never won in my lifetime. They have been rebuilding since 1957. So when Keith Harrison told me the Lions had taken on a UCF flavor, I didn’t know whether to send congrats or sympathy. So, I decided to wait until after the traditional Thanksgiving Day game. True to form, the Lions almost won. This is what they do — they huddle up and figure out a way to almost win.

It is incredibly hard to win a job in the NFL, whether it be on the playing field or the front office. This is reason enough to celebrate these achievements. I can only hope for their sake that this influx of UCFers will help change the culture in Detroit. If these guys can help the Lions win, they can help anyone win. Charge on, guys. Hope to see you at a Superbowl sometime soon. Frankly, I will settle for a playoff game win.

You can read more about Mike Hughes, Andre’ George  and Ademi Smith by clicking here.

Podcast: Was Innovation in the Pandemic Really a Thing?

Did the pandemic spark a flurry of innovation or was everyone too busy bingeing Tiger King and Zooming to endless happy hours to launch new businesses and products?

Listen in to the latest episode of the Is This Really A Thing? podcast as I talk to UCF’s entrepreneurial in-house experts Cameron Ford, founding director of our Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership; CarolAnn Dykes Logue from the UCF Business Incubation Program; and resident entrepreneur in the college Michael Pape. We also caught up with UCF alum Caroline Castille, who is the CEO of Clickable Impact, a company that helps startups grow and scale. Listen Now

The Invitational is Friday!

This is the one time in your life when employers are going to come in large numbers looking for you.  We bring them straight to campus.  Eighty of them will be here to meet you this Friday, Sept. 23, when we host The Invitational: An Event for Internships, Externships & Jobs at The Venue. This invite-only College of Business career fair features jobs, internships, co-ops and volunteer opportunities and is open to select business students. This Invitational is shaping up to be our biggest yet, so don’t miss out on your chance to meet employers and make valuable career connections.

Many students who have attended past Invitationals have landed internships and then gone on to get full-time opportunities with some of the area’s top employers.

The college provides a lot of opportunities for students to get out of their comfort zones, build their networks, expand their horizons and gain career experience. The Invitational just might be the most important one of all.

If you want more advice on how to make The Invitational your thing, check out our podcast by clicking here:

I look forward to seeing you there.

So You Fancy Yourself an Entrepreneur

Perhaps the biggest change in business schools and universities generally over the last 20 years is how many students want to be entrepreneurs. When I went to school, I didn’t know a single person who wanted to do this. In fact, college was a choice not to do this. It was seen as the best way to get yourself a nice safe professional career working for a big company with good pay and lifetime benefits.

Things change. I have no doubt that the internet has something to do with this as the barriers to entry in many businesses and industries have been greatly reduced by technological innovation.

Schools like ours have responded by offering many courses, co-curricular activities and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Thursday, the Center For Entrepreneurial Leadership hosts Startup Fest in the student union. The event showcases UCF student startups, campus resources, and community partners that help students connect to entrepreneurial mentors, money, and credentials. It is open to any student on campus. Whether you are a freelancer, side-hustler, innovator, or future founder, Cameron Ford and his team look forward to sharing the resources and opportunities available to help ALL UCF students learn entrepreneurial skills and achieve career success.

No need to RSVP. Come as you are. You can learn more about the event by clicking here.

Made in Detroit

I try to go to Michigan every Labor Day weekend. This year I had three good reasons to do it. I’m only going to focus on two here. One was about the future, the other was about remembering the past. I grew up in Upper Michigan. My parents were working-class people. My mom was a bookkeeper by day and a caterer by night. My dad painted houses. They managed to put enough money together to send me to the University of Michigan. I was the first person in my family to go to college.

The U.P. was a great place to be a kid, but I was made in Detroit. Southeastern Michigan from Ann Arbor to Detroit transformed me. I go to remember where I came from and what I can do for my students. The University of Michigan showed me worlds I didn’t know existed, helped me make good choices about my life and gave me a serious lesson in the importance of greatness. Being pretty good or kind of good, wasn’t good enough there… not for the faculty, not for the students, not for the football team. It still isn’t. Every game at the Big House starts with a proclamation that you are on the campus of the best public university in the world. It’s an arguable point, but it’s one everyone there believes. Belief makes it so in Ann Arbor.

College also gave me the opportunity to explore Detroit and study its people. Detroit is a lesson in resiliency. The working-class people of that city won World War Two. They were the arsenal of democracy, and by 1950, they had the richest city in America. What followed was a series of storms: the race riots of 1967, the Japanese car invasion, the gas crisis, the flight of auto production and people from the city, and urban decay to name just a few. By the early 21st Century, Detroit hit rock bottom.

Throughout it all, the city maintained its sense of working-class purpose. It built a Renaissance Center in the middle of the city, hunkered down and waited for a few of its favorite families (The Fords, Illitches and Gilberts) and an influx of young entrepreneurs to invest in its revival. Walking the streets of downtown Detroit this weekend gave me a sense that the city is coming back strong and the people there couldn’t be more proud. It reminded me about the power of hope.

College is great. It gave me a life I wouldn’t otherwise have had. But it is a different life, not a better life than my parents had. The working people of America built this place. We live in their world, and they gave us the opportunity to dream big by providing for all of us. We still need them today. College isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of things that need to be done and plenty of paths to a rewarding life. Today it’s good to remember, we were all made in Detroit.

I Think Maybe We Are Back

The pandemic taught us all a lesson in persistence and the need to adapt. My hope is that it also made us more appreciative of the power of daily interactions with friends and colleagues. I sense that after the first week of class and two enormously successful events that we have rediscovered our purpose.

Thursday night we welcomed about 100 people interested in building or expanding a partnership with the College of Business. President Cartwright, a first-time attendee at this event thanks to COVID, commented on how noisy the room was and how motivated people were to find a mutually beneficial relationship with us going forward. For our part, we put our best foot forward by featuring our students, faculty and staff. People stayed way past the 6 p.m. ending time.  The college shined.

While that event was going on, another part of the team was working at Addition Arena to get us prepared for Welcome to the Majors the next morning. The doors opened at 9 a.m., and we welcomed more than 1,500 students to the College of Business. Denise McFadden was an exceptional emcee/class instructor. Alumnus and Darden CEO Rick Cardenas gave great advice, and the students embraced the networking opportunities we provided. I could see the pride on my team’s faces as the event unfolded. They knew they had hit it out of the park, just like the good old days.

We still weren’t done. There were guests to host and FinTech students to meet and orient to the college and the expectations of the program. Those events went on flawlessly as well. 

Rituals like the events we have to start the semester are important. Done right, they add meaning to people’s experiences, provide them with new opportunities and perspectives and help them understand that they are part of something bigger than themselves. My team shook off the rust from the last couple of years and delivered big. We are incredibly lucky to have them.  Hats off to Tiffany, Erika, all the Kelli’s (however, you spell your name), Jasmin, Justin, Susan, Sarah, Justin, Darrell, the OPD team, and the Office of the Dean staff who pitched in to make sure we covered everything.   

Our culture of engagement is built on the simple idea that learning is a social activity and that the best education occurs when you get a chance to sit on a log next to someone who has something interesting to say.  Conversations ensue, people see the world differently, and good things happen.  A lot of good things happened last week. I sense it is going to be a very good year.

Welcome, now dive in

Today is the first day of the fall semester. If you are new to the college, you are not alone. We welcome more than 1800 new students to the College today along with several new faculty and staff. You’ve probably heard that we are big: more than 8200 undergraduate students, about a 1000 graduate students and 225 faculty and staff. It can be hard to stand out in such a large crowd. If you stand in the back of the room and wait to be discovered or provided the help you need, you guarantee disappointment and risk total failure. Fortune favors the bold here. Don’t miss out on accessing the many resources we have to help you succeed.

But our scale does not define your experience in the College, the shared beliefs of our faculty and staff do.  We believe that no real learning occurs inside your comfort zone; that the most defining moments happen when you get to have a conversation with someone who has something interesting to say; and that a great education expands your horizons, helps you make good choices about how to spend your one precious life, and gives you the skills and confidence to know that you can compete with anyone anywhere.  We have created a culture and set of experiences that will demand that you engage with us in the pursuit of these objectives. These things are not negotiable.  If you are not willing to sign up  for this adventure, we are not the place for you.  Frankly your life here will be miserable.  If you are willing to go down this path, the journey will transform you.

For our undergraduate students, the journey starts immediately. “Welcome to the Majors” is Friday. It is designed to introduce our newbies to the culture of the college and help them start to form a strategy for how to stand out from the crowd and “get to the one” (if you don’t know what that means you will). Welcome to the Majors is complemented by workshops run by our student Ambassadors that gives new students tips on how to best succeed in the College, including how to succeed in our core courses. The Ambassadors are part of the College’s leadership team and play an important role in shaping our culture. They will be doing several of these workshops the first two weeks of the semester in The Exchange. But don’t wait for a session, if you need an answer, find someone and ask. If they don’t have the answer they will get you in front of someone who does.

The Exchange is a place where we invite in community leaders who have interesting things to say to our students. Thanks to our friends at FAIRWINDS Credit Union,  we have a guest in the exchange almost every day.  Most days we have more than one Exchange. Many of our guests in The Exchange employ UCF interns and graduates. They are interested in identifying good talent while sharing their experiences and advice with young people like you.  At no other time in your life will you have so many potential employers coming to visit you.  Go early and often, but remember to reserve your seat before you go, there are only 120.

By October you will likely have had your first tests in your primary core classes and will need to start taking a hard look at where your interests intersect your skills and talents.  Many students come in to the College thinking they want to do something, only to change their mind mid-semester.  The Office of Professional Development can help you understand where you might best fit in.  Internships can also help. It’s why we do an Internship Invitational and Career Fest this month.  Look to get involved.

The goal of all this activity in your first seven weeks is to get you engaged outside of your comfort zone, to get you in the right major, plot an efficient course to graduation and have you develop an action plan for landing the job you want before you leave here. Denise, the Office Professional Development team, the Primary Core Faculty, the Student Ambassadors, and Justin Barwick who runs The Exchange are all here to help you make good choices as you start your time with us. And if you need some mid-course corrections, don’t we have several things planned to help you get on a new path.

Welcome to the UCF College of Business. Get your armor ready Knights. Charge On!