Categorized | Publisher's Letter

Getting the Super (Near Graduate) on Your Team

ABM-Vol5i9-coverBy now you are on page 4. You have already seen the cover featuring the best business students Jacksonville University has to offer, all who are set to graduate within the next 18 months. I want to describe how this idea came to fruition.

For me, a personal point of irritation has been that, all too often, local students perceive Jacksonville as a temporary stop on their personal journey. The misperception was that real opportunities lie elsewhere, in bigger markets such as Atlanta. As soon as graduation day came, students were packing their bags and saying “so long, Jacksonville!”

Of course, I am speaking in generalities and not all students at Jacksonville University or the University of North Florida believe this. Collectively, however, we probably could be doing a much better job engaging the students that our universities have worked so hard to recruit and educate. After all, both JU and UNF have very high standards. Smart kids are coming here.

It’s a fact that every organization needs new talent. Recently, I spent some time with William Koch, managing partner at Northwestern Mutual, to learn about his recruiting process. His company is probably the best we have seen in how they recruit, assess, and train new talent. They have a great model that other organizations can learn from. We explain this in more detail on page 6.

Larger companies, like Lender Processing Services and CSX, figured out how to find young Jacksonville-bred talent long ago. They have structured programs for new graduates and interns. You can be sure that they have their eye on the top students at all of our area universities.

Smaller companies, however, may lag behind in understanding what institutions like JU can do for them. For example, graduate students and faculty have done research projects for the benefit of local businesses. Dean Don Capener and his team are looking for opportunities to meet with business owners to learn how they might better serve local businesses, regardless of their size. I am sure that the collective brainpower from the Davis College of Business will help drive many businesses forward and create internship-like opportunities for some bright, enterprising young students in the process.

Campus photo 1With this as the background, we approached JU asking if we could make near graduation students the “stars of this show” and put them on the cover. The idea was extremely well received.

So, after a few orientation sessions, professional headshot photos, and LinkedIn training, we present you with the top talent issue. It’s our hope that the effort produces conversations, job offers, and introductions. Please use the LinkedIn link as the catalyst to reach out to these top performers.

Congratulations to these exceptional performers. We hope you go on to long, fulfilling, and prosperous careers in our community.

Until next time,
Brian Barquilla

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