Among the many hands I shook last Saturday were two that left the stage and went straight to the airport. They were headed to Europe together to backpack for a few weeks and meet the locals. No they are not rich kids or slackers. These two guys already had jobs lined up before they graduated. They were just taking a few weeks to continue to do what they had already done while at UCF: Enjoy their first mover advantage.
Both of these guys got after it early and often. Anthony had internships at Aon Hewitt and Verizon. He rose to be president of our FMA student chapter and after meeting someone from Bloomberg in a New York bar and telling them what we were doing at UCF, got an invitation for the entire FMA group to tour their offices. Anthony also got his classmates to take the BAT exam and generated lots of buzz for our CFA track. Would it surprise you to learn this landed him a finance job in NYC? For his part, Dionte interned at Florida Hospital and Siemens. He also found the time to undertake research on the correlation between dementia and falls in long-term care facilities as part of the RAMP program at UCF. Dionte talked his way into becoming a College of Business Student Ambassador (where he joined Anthony) even though he was a healthcare administration major. He showed so much charm and swagger as a student with a business minor that we just adopted him. He took all these experiences and landed a spot in the Commercial Leadership Program with GE Healthcare.
So while far too many of Saturday’s graduates are still trying to figure out “what’s next”, Dionte and Anthony have already set their futures in motion. They used their time at UCF to get to their “one” and are continuing to dive into new experiences that are outside of their comfort zones so that they can do stuff like this:
As my Aussie friends would say: good on you, mates. Life is cumulative and your fast starts have you two well in the lead. I plan on sharing your travels with the 800 or so students I’ll greet at our summer version of “Welcome to the Majors” this Friday. You may have graduated, but you continue to be great ambassadors for the culture of engagement we are creating in the college. Thanks for giving me two great examples of the value of getting off to a quick start.