When we made the transition from a traditional academic advising center to the Office of Professional Development, we went looking for career coaches. We wanted to hire people who had current experience helping employers find talent to staff their companies. In short, we wanted people who had “Street Cred” — Professionals who could share this first-hand knowledge with our incoming juniors as we challenge students to make their own career management a priority as soon as they enter the College. To underscore the importance of keeping their knowledge current, we told our new coaches that we didn’t want them to stay with us too long. Instead we hoped that they would use this new experience as a stepping stone to their next opportunity, perhaps with a company or as a disciple who could help another school start down the same path as us. We thought that our coaches should exhibit the same proactive career management qualities that we seek to instill in our 8000 students.
So, it should come as no surprise that they listened to us. This week, Kelly Bogey is moving on. Kelly is a graduate of the college. She is the very first alum I met after arriving at UCF. She came to us from WilsonHCG where she helped companies develop and implement their talent acquisition strategies. Kelly has worked primarily with our accounting students and created our very popular #UCFBizChat Twitter chats that give students the opportunity to get quick advice from thought leaders in the career management field. She will be taking these experiences to Grant Thornton where she will recruit students from a number of universities including UCF. So even though she will not be with the college anymore, Kelly will still be helping our students launch their professional careers. Her last day with us is Wednesday.
If you are one of the many students Kelly has helped along the way, send her a thank you note. If you are one of the few skeptical students who told her (or another career coach) that you didn’t think you needed this form of help, you probably shouldn’t apply to Grant Thornton. If you are Mitch Less, you are smiling, knowing your firm just made a terrific hire with a lot of insider information about where talent lies at your alma mater.
We expect great things from you Kelly. Please visit early and often. To repeat what Dr. Hitt told you at graduation: You are now and will forever be, a UCF Knight. Charge On, girl.