Why We Do Welcome to the Majors

When someone becomes part of something that is different from what they have experienced, it is a good idea to mark this change with an event that signifies their movement into unfamiliar terrain and helps them better understand what will be expected of them going forward.

This is why we do Welcome to the Majors. The College of Business is different than what students have experienced to this point in their education. How different depends a bit on where they are coming from, but one way it is different for every new student is the importance we place on “doing” here. Up until this point, you have probably thought that school was about acquiring knowledge and seeking to “be” something– an accountant, finance major, etc., Success required you to sit and learn– meaning passively consuming lectures and correctly repeating what you were taught on exams.

The basic message of Welcome to the Majors is to let you know that you have entered a different experience where that strategy won’t be enough to succeed. The College of Business is a professional school. We believe the ultimate purpose of business education isn’t knowledge, but action. Don’t misunderstand. Knowledge is important. But if you don’t learn to do things with that knowledge, it’s not very useful. In short, knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success. In our College, you must do. This starts at Welcome to the Majors where we encourage you to think about what you want to do in your career rather than what you want to be, it continues in our core courses where we ask you to work in teams to solve real world problems and in our professional development courses where you need to invest time in getting out of your comfort zone and do things that will help you develop your professional network. We want you to leave us with a reputation for doing that gets you a great job offer before graduation.

All of this will require a change in your mindset. Welcome to the Majors is just the start of that process. It will introduce you to the many opportunities you have in the college to embrace doing, connect with amazing people and get to where you want to go. But you need to come ready to dive in. Fortune favors the bold.

Five Predictions for 2019

Because I just didn’t have the time to come up with 10 predictions this year…

1. UCF plays Alabama on Jan. 19: After UCF beats LSU and Bama downs Clemson, there is just too much money left on the table not to have the last two unbeaten CFB teams square off. No, it won’t happen, but UCF will beat LSU, and the cries for an expanded playoff will get louder. Much louder.

2. Integrated Business will have the best placement rate of any major in the college: Thanks in part to a very strong group of dedicated advisory board members and faculty who believe in this program, it’s already No. 2 behind Accounting in employability. Honestly, I don’t think it will surpass Accounting, but I do think we have shown that the concept works, that employers want students with these skill sets and that the Master’s version of this program, which starts Fall 2019, will draw a lot of undergraduate non-business students wanting to invest in their career readiness.

3. Blockchain develops a killer app that takes it mainstream: I stole this prediction from somewhere and frankly I’m not sure exactly what it means, but everybody knows you’re product sells more with the right branded app. Dr. Eric Boyd told us so at our last Dean’s Speaker Series this fall. Sean Snaith will give you his take on the economy for 2019 at the next Dean’s Speaker Series on Friday, Jan. 25. Click here to register.

4. Our Professional Sales Program will win another national championship: We already have two rings. This year’s group of students had a very strong fall. They just seem poised to win that third title. Besides, Dr. Bill Steiger is the Nick Saban of sales coaches. Frankly, every student in the college should have a sales course even the accountants, because as Bill says, “Everybody is in sales.”

5. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” will get a remake this year: Our 2019 College of Business Hall of Fame will be so successful that Hollywood will decide to do a remake — Lily Collins stars. OK, that prediction is a little bold, but my Tiffany works best with big goals and she usually exceeds her target. You can help her out by joining us Feb. 12 at Rosen Shingle Creek. Register by clicking here. (I told you everyone is in sales, even me.)

Happy New Year. Go Knights. Charge On!

How many students got into their major for Spring

A total of 585 BSBA students matriculated into their major of choice for Spring 2019.

    Integrated Business 160
    Finance 155
    Accounting 96
    Marketing 72
    Management 53
    Economics. 32
    Real Estate. 17

These numbers don’t reflect about 100 students who, over the next few weeks, will gain admittance into a different major than they had hoped. These 585 students were designated pre-majors at the beginning of the Fall semester. The pattern has become pretty standard over the past few years with Integrated Business and Finance having the most students and Real Estate and Economics the fewest.

Congratulations to all of these students. Happy Holidays and Charge On into your major in 2019!

Did you ever wonder if something is a thing?

That’s the idea behind our podcast. We explore whether an alleged trend or innovation is really a thing– something people should know about– or is just hype. If you haven’t heard it, you can listen by clicking here.

Last fall, we explored Esports, Bitcoin, Millennials, Ghosting on the Job Market, Triple Entry Accounting, The Stare Down Kid, Lean Start Up, Backyard Chickens, Fake News, Behavioral Ethics and Black Friday. What’s next? We’re not sure. So, we are seeking your help. Take a second and complete our quick poll. You can also recommend a topic, we haven’t thought about. Thanks for participating and if you like the show, give us a rating on iTunes, it helps us build awareness for the show.

<noscript><a href=”https://poll.fm/10192125″>What three topics would most interest you in a future podcast?</a></noscript>

Charge On New Knights

Every semester at UCF we send a group of newly-minted Knights into the world to do battle.   Like our student body as a whole, our Ambassadors arrive here from very different paths.  They have different expectations about what they want from a college experience and different aspirations about where they want to go.  The experience of being an Ambassador changes them and gives them a different perspective as they leave us to embrace their next challenge.  Before they go, Jennifer and I want to share some observations on the five students that are graduating Friday.

Jordan Less –  Both Jennifer and I have seen a great deal of growth with Jordan.  Things didn’t always come easy for him as a student but he persevered and has reached his goal of graduating with an Accounting degree.  Next semester he starts the MSA program.   We have no doubt that he will make a fine CPA. Jordan has a great deal of pride in the Ambassador program and believes in the culture of engagement we have here in the College.  He rose to be chair of the group this semester and has served for two years on the committee charge with recruiting the next group of Ambassadors.  During new ambassadors interviews this semester, he was asked what he likes most about the program and he said, “it’s fun, I honestly enjoy coming to each meeting and it was never a burden to serve.  This group has become my friends”.

Michael Silverman – Most student enjoy the Ambassador program because they want to make an impact. All you really need to know about Micheal, can be summed up in one story Jennifer shared with me:  During The Invitational– an event where students meet potential employers,  Micheal gave up time to network, so that he could personally escort a blind student around to meet employers.  The student received a job and is doing exceptionally well.   Michael is going into real estate and would like to be an entrepreneur…   There may be few houses to flip as he begins his journey.

Valerie Chidester – Jennifer describes Valerie as her strong and steady ambassador.  She stepped outside her comfort zone and rose to every occasion we asked of her.  Valerie is accountable, coach-able,  hard-working and committed. She will be very valuable to any team.  We can’t wait to see where she begins her career, maybe marketing, possibly recruiting.

Jane Tarasionak – Jane took over Ambassador relations and kept the morale up in the group during a challenging semester with lots of different perspectives and points of view.  Accountability is important to her and she stayed on track and remained committed to the program.  Jane brought a lot of new ideas and was always there to offer recommendations or the student perspective.  She is keeping her next move a secret for now, but I’m sure we will know soon.

Geoffrey Amankwah – He made being an international student look easy.  He was our most dapper ambassador, who was always well-dressed for any occasion.  Geoffrey made himself available to mentor students and be a guide to students who are struggling to make their way at the college. Geoffrey,  “Got to the One”  with Verizon, after doing an internships there for the past 7 months, he was offered a full time position.

As these students go their separate ways, it is my hope that each of them carry with them the key lessons of being an ambassador–that diversity of perspective and experience in groups is a strength, that leading requires you to get out of your comfort zone, that the hardest thing to do as a leader is to get people to see the value in a future they have yet to experience, that being engaged always matters and that the friends you make in college are an asset you can draw on for the rest of your life.  Lastly, don’t forget to come back and visit us.  You are, and shall always be, a UCF Knight.  Charge On.


We celebrated the end of our failure competition Friday. Congrats again to Michele Crockett for sharing her story and winning the competition.

The failure competition came about because of an interview on Mike & Mike with Gary Player, a well-known golfer. Mike Greenberg asked Player about the mindset of a champion. Player said something like this: “I would get up every morning look in the mirror and tell myself that I would make some bad shots today. And that some of those bad shots would happen when Tiger Woods was sinking a birdie and everyone was cheering.” He went on to explain that he did this because, then when the bad shots actually happened, they were no big deal. He expected them and his recovery from the bad shot was much better. I thought this was genius.

Saturday night at Spectrum Stadium the Knights showed this same mentality. They made some bad shots in the first half. They gave up more yards than anyone had seen in a half of football. They couldn’t stop the run. They fumbled. And they were behind big. Without McKenzie, many people thought the streak had ended. They were wrong: The team did not panic in the face of adversity. They made some adjustments at halftime. They remained focused, knew what they could do and executed. They were, in a word, resilient– just like Gary Player and Michele Crockett.

So, if you are entering finals week having made a few bad shots this semester, take a lesson from your favorite football team.. Bad shots happen to everyone. Remain focused. Make some halftime adjustments in your game plan. Have confidence in what you can do and execute.

Who Won our Fall 2018 Failure Competition

Poll closes at 5 pm.


Failure Finalist 3: Tommy Pastor

In high school, I knew UCF was my dream school. I applied, and thankfully I was accepted. I was then also invited to join the LEAD Scholars Academy and the Burnett Honors College.

I decided to not commit to joining the Burnett Honors College, but I did decide to accept a position as a member in the LEAD Scholars Academy.

From this opportunity, many others came up. I applied, and each one lead to success.

I applied to be a part of the SGA Student Government Leadership Council (SGLC) and was accepted and later moved into the Executive Leadership Council where I worked with executive officers on different initiatives and events. When I was in this program, there was a position as Relay for Life Captain that my 60 peers within the program unanimously voted for me to serve as.

I applied to be a Resident Assistant and Orientation Team Leader. I was told from the start, that I couldn’t do both, but I was determined and was offered both positions and accepted both.

All of these successes made me feel very determined and eager to do more. I decided to run for an executive position in SGA, which ended up being my first “no” or failure at UCF, and the first big failure in my life really. I then decided to possibly go through the Orientation Team process again as a Student Orientation Coordinator, but also was not given the position, resulting in another “failure”, or so I thought.

Confused, lost, and losing motivation, I didn’t know what to do to keep me engaged and busy. But then one day, I saw a flyer that has already changed my life so much.

I was on Facebook, which I try to stay away from and not spend too much time on, but an online flyer caught my eye.

It was for recruitment events for a business professional fraternity, which I have come to know and love as, Delta Sigma Pi.

I went to my first recruitment event, which was an info session about the fraternity. I told my fellow friend and RA coworker about it and he came too. In that moment, I decided I had made the right choice because the speakers were warm and welcoming and talked about many opportunities that the fraternity had for professional development and more.

I came out to every recruitment event afterward, and convinced another friend to come out as well, and truly enjoyed talking with the brothers and faculty initiates I had met through the process.

Little would I know then that I would be given a bid to pledge for the fraternity. Not only that, but I would become the pledge class president of the Epsilon Theta pledge class.

On top of that, I would grow so close with 20 other students in the College of Business that had been selected to pledge the fraternity. I would be given a big that was always there for me and supported me throughout the entire process, and be placed in a family/brotherhood that truly cared and inspired me to always strive to be the best version of myself.

During recruitment I had many friends at UCF, but not many in the college of business. Deciding to pledge this fraternity connected me with many incredible students in the college of business.

I was also given the opportunity to interview faculty and get to know professors that I will be having in my future courses.

I learned how to network and become more professional in a variety of ways. I revamped my LinkedIn and began renovating my resume and elevator pitch.

My eyes were opened. I had finally found a permanent niche here at UCF that felt like home, with people that feel like family. I had found some of my now best friends who support me and are literally the types of friends I had always dreamed of.

The lesson that can be learned from my story, can be summed up by its title “Failure Leads to a Better Future”. That’s right. Something that feels like a failure in the moment, can lead to a path that was much better for yourself than you could have ever imagined. Remember to learn from failures, and stay focused and determined that the best is yet to come. Some of the greatest leaders and successful people that come to our minds endured many failures to get where they were, and now I can see why. You gain more from failure than you will ever gain from any success.