Two weeks ago, Julian Hidalgo won our failure competition. I thought you might be interested in seeing the type of letter of recommendation I provide for the winner. It helps explains why we hold this event each semester. Congratulations again to Julian and everyone who had the courage to participate in the event…
December 15, 2014
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of Julian Hidalgo who recently won the College of Business’ Failure Competition. This contest is a signature event in the college designed to de-stigmatize failure and promote risk-taking by sharing stories of professional setbacks and the lessons learned from such experiences. It is a virtual competition where every participant must get out of their comfort zone by posting their story on-line for all to see.
In Fall 2014, Julian competed with over 800 of his fellow students who were all enrolled in our Capstone Course. He was selected by his instructor as the winner of his section then selected as one of three finalists by me. Finalists were asked to videotape their stories and the winner was ultimately selected by an on-line vote of more than 2200 College of Business students, staff and alumni.
I cannot speak for the voters, but I chose Julian’s entry because it told a compelling story about the importance of persistence from a first generation college student who didn’t let his background or early disappointments prevent him from realizing his dream. We have many first generation college students at UCF. Most of them are not born with silver spoons in their mouths. Many struggle to get here and sometimes have to work multiple jobs just to get the opportunity to attend the University. Julian took on several challenges along the road to get here and used those challenges as motivation to succeed. He has gone on to accomplish many great things at UCF. If you are considering him for a position with your organization, I would encourage you to interview him and let him tell his story to you in his own words.
Dr. Paul Jarley