From A Ghost-Busting Alum

If you listen to our podcast, you know that ghosting is a thing. It happens even when employers want to offer someone a job. Dean Caravelis, Founder and CEO of Bleezoo is a UCF College of Business Alum who heard our ghosting podcast and sent me a link to his LinkedIn post on the subject.

This morning I was talking to a friend of mine about a major pet peeve that we both have in common: people that go dark.

If you’ve worked long enough you have run into these professionals.

All of the sudden, they stop communication and fall off the deep end. Even after plentiful and engaging communications.

I get it, everyone gets in the weeds on occasion but sending a short authentic message is a professional courtesy that everyone, young and old, should learn to adapt.

Even if the message is, “I’m really in the weeds, can we pick this convo back up in the Fall?” or “Things have shifted over here and we’re not a good fit. Truly appreciate your efforts”

It’s one thing to ignore/disregard incessant 1-way cookie cutter cold sales communications (Hello LinkedIn!), it’s a different thing when you are actively engaged in an exchange with a human being.

Regardless of the circumstance, send a short note. Don’t go dark.

Heck, you likely have had a boss like that, too. You ask them something that they don’t want to answer so they pretend the e-mail doesn’t exist. (Which is why asking in person is much better).

Hey you, don’t be THAT boss.

Be direct, even if the answer is, “I don’t have an answer”

Be authentic. Be direct. This is the best thing for your reputation.

What? Not a subscriber to our podcast? You can fix that by clicking here and signing up with your favorite podcast app. We have scheduled 10 episodes for the Fall. Two new episodes will drop soon.

Want to hear more from our guest blogger? Well he just happens to be in the Exchange Monday…

A Big Thanks To Our Friends At BB&T

Hurricane Florence cut short my visit to North Carolina last week. I had planned to visit a number of companies involved in FinTech to see what they were doing and better understand the types of skills students need to compete in this space. This effort is all part of a plan to launch a Masters in FinTech in partnership with The College of Engineering and Computer Science in the Fall of 2020.

We did manage to spend Tuesday however with our friends at BB&T. They have been big supporters of the college’s ethics program and our Alumni Hall of Fame for many years. Scott Keith, their Central Florida Regional President, sits on my advisory board and set up a day for us at their corporate office in Winston-Salem that included some time with their company President, talent acquisition and development folks, and the people who work in risk management, FinTech and Cryptocurrencies. They gave us terrific insights into what our students will need to succeed in this space.

What struck me most about the visit was how similar BB&T’s culture is to ours. We both stress getting out of your comfort zones, data-driven ethical decision-making, teamwork, a growth mindset and constant professional development. If you embrace our culture of engagement in the college, you will like the culture at BB&T.

The one disappointment I had was that we didn’t get to visit their Leadership Institute. We had to make a flight and avoid the hurricane. I have experienced one of their programs before, but hadn’t seen their facility. It would also have been a chance to visit one of our former Ambassadors, Kevin Ortiz, who is a student leadership fellow there and a member of their early career program. Fortunately, I’ll get to go back to go to attend their week-long leadership program soon.

Thanks again Scott and the whole team at BB&T for spending so much time with us. Hopefully, you all safely weathered the storm and I’m sure those BB&T generator trucks have helped many people in a time of need. I am especially grateful and proud of our partnership with you and look forward to seeing many more UCF College of Business alums doing great things for your organization soon.

Is This Really A Thing?

It’s my job to think about what the college should look like five and 10 years from now and make sure we get there. This is tough. As Bill Gates famously noted, people tend to overestimate the amount of change that will happen in the next two years and underestimate the amount of change that will happen in the next 10 years.

I come across new ideas and phenomena almost every day: Esports, Triple Entry Bookkeeping, Bitcoin, Millennials, Urban Chickens, Ghosting…My mind is constantly thinking — Is this stuff business people need to know about or is it just hype?  You can start finding out today. Over the Fall semester, we will bring you 10 episodes, each about 15 minutes in length.

It’s a new way for us to extend the culture of engagement in the College to our alumni and community at large. Many episodes feature UCF faculty, alums, board members and students. While the topics are serious, we hope to make you laugh a little along the way and leave you with a new way to think about the topic at hand.

You can help us make the show a hit by going to your favorite podcast platform and subscribing. Or you can sign up by clicking here.

It’s a great way to support the College and look smart at work, school or the dinner table.

An Investment in Our Future

Earlier tonight I had the honor of attending a reception at Vince ’95 and Joyce ’98 Virga’s South Florida home where they announced a long-term commitment of $10.25 million to UCF that will benefit the College of Business and UCF Athletics. Their gift—the single largest alumni gift in the university’s history— is a blended commitment of estate and current-use resources that will support national championship programs in both the College of Business and UCF Athletics. Their commitment put the college well over our IGNITE Campaign goal – so it was big night for us!

Vince and Joyce, who are leaders in the high-end information technology staffing field, told us they were inspired by UCF’s culture of innovation and the national accomplishments of the PSP program. Although their degrees are in journalism and psychology, they are excited to support the College of Business and the unique program that is providing amazing opportunities for students while impacting businesses around the world. This gift is the largest in PSP history and will have an immediate impact on the program. As longtime Knights fans, they also directed a portion of the gift to benefit the Football Excellence Fund, which helps student-athletes continue to compete at the highest level, and the Director’s Fund, which supports the priorities of UCF Athletics.

Vince and Joyce are great role models not only for our students but also our alums who may be looking for ways to get involved and give back. We are very grateful to Vince and Joyce and look forward to seeing them around the college.

Charge On!

The EXCHANGE Kicks off Tuesday..

If you are new to the College and went to Welcome to the Majors, you have probably figured out that we do things a little differently here than elsewhere on campus.  We don’t just expect you to learn, we expect you to do.  We expect  you to do, because we think it is the best way for you to learn.  Getting lectured at is way over-rated…. that’s what your parents did to you when they were mad at you.  Did you learn much from that?  Now, think of situations where you were handed something and told to just do it… on the field, auditorium, workplace or summer camp.  Think about what you learned then…

This is why we expect you got get outside your comfort zone, interact with people who are different from you, have meaningful conversations and  do.  We also hope you will use these opportunities to build your professional network now so you can use that network to get the job you want BEFORE you graduate.

One of the best resources we have in the college to help you achieve this goal is the Exchange. Over the past two years, we have had more than 45,000 chairs filled by students who have had meaningful conversations with more than 350 guests in the Exchange.  They come to talk with students about their careers, job opportunities, professional success and failures, ways to connect with important people or resources and how to prepare for what lies ahead.   Think about this.  This is the only time in your life you will not have to seek out  advice from a potential employer, mentor, alum or thought leader.  We bring them directly to you. Several a week in fact. I know of no other school that does this everyday in a space devoted just for this.

The College of Business isn’t a place or set of buildings– it is an experience.  One that should shape how you view the world, how you prepare for your future and what you choose to do.  Dive in.  Visit the Exchange.  Have a conversation, learn something unique and then go out and do.