UCF Office of Professional Development





“I think it’s astounding one professor can cause so much attention and generate disruption from one assignment.  So cool.”

Yea, me too!


A Textbook Case of Ethics

A former colleague of mine who taught business ethics once explained her class to me this way; law is about the difference between right and wrong, ethics is about the difference between right and “that ain’t right.”  Made perfect sense to me.


Employers will list ethical behavior as one of the most highly desired traits sought in new hires.  Or any hires, for that matter.  No one really steps up and says they want low ethics.  Therefore, employers want employees who can discern between what is just right, and what is legal but probably not the right thing to do.  They will prefer employees who choose the right thing to do.  Even when their culture or management practices push associates to take questionable sales actions to meet quotas or earn bonuses.

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Do You Have What It Takes to Generalist?

stevengerrardYou can learn a lot by watching football. Not the one we play here on plastic grass with helmets and shoulder pads.  I mean the game the rest of the world calls football.


This weekend I was lamenting yet another poor showing by the club I follow, Liverpool. Dean Jarley also happens to be a Liverpool fan.  Since misery loves company, I immediately texted him after our loss to Hull City.  One of his observations was that maybe we weren’t tall enough.  Good point.


One of the things I love about the game that the world calls football is its inclusiveness. You don’t have to be seven feet tall or 300 pounds.  Kids and adults play around the world with a patch of ground and a tattered ball.  Lionel Messi, the current, “best there ever was” is actually an inch shorter than me.

Continue reading “Do You Have What It Takes to Generalist?”

Alternative Skills

Dean Jarley is a prolific blogger.  One of my favorites that he did over a year ago was about LinkedIn.  He was tired of people “endorsing” him for skills he didn’t have or didn’t need.  PowerPoint was his example.  I’m not going to comment on his mastery of PowerPoint, but I will say that college Deans really don’t need it as a top skill.


Before I get too deep, understand…I think LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools available to job seekers and business people, when used appropriately!  Emphasis on the word “appropriately”…

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Why the Costume?

I work in UCFs College of Business. My job is to facilitate a series of classes that don’t just prepare our undergrads for a job search, but prod them into action so they actually HAVE A JOB when they graduate.

The hardest part of my job is the result of the size of our college. With almost 8500 undergrads in our college and me teaching a series of classes that are required for all of them, my enrollments can get pretty big.  This semester I have a total of 4200 students with over 1200 of them in the introductory first class.  Stats tell us that three-quarters of the students in that class are in their first semester at UCF, coming here as transfers and mostly from our partner state colleges.  A place where they enjoyed small classes and individual attention.

Not much individual attention when you have 1199 classmates. And it’s the same in their other classes.  Marketing. Management.  Finance.  All of our survey classes are huge.  That’s what happens when you’re one of the largest universities in the nation.  So what do you do when you don’t want that size to overshadow the experience?

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Are you Really “Owning” It?

Every semester I get a slew of students who tell me, after making a mistake in my class, that they take responsibility / ownership of their mistake.  Most then ask me, what “we” can do about it.


I didn’t miss the deadline.  I didn’t do poorly on the quiz.  I didn’t miss my appointment, or fail to make one.  But none of that matters.  Truth is “we” CAN’T do anything about it.

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The Lesson of the Beast


I have a framed record on my wall. Iron Maiden, Number of the Beast.  Most people don’t comment on it.  Every now and then a student will just say, Yea!  I’m guess those that don’t like it keep it to themselves.  But it’s there for a reason…

My son framed it for me after we saw them live. On the surface it was one of those great father / son moments.  Getting to share a piece of my youth with my kid.  But it sparked a really cool conversation that continues to resonate with me.

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No One Cares About Your Underwear Either!

“So, what’s your major?”

College students will conjure an answer to this question millions of times in the 3, 4, or 5+ years that they are in school. Parents.  Advisors.  Classmates.  Faculty.  Creepy dudes at quarter beer night.  They all want to know.  Why?  Well, best as I can tell, because that’s what we’ve always asked.

See, when a student indicates that they are interested in and/or capable of post-high school study, forces descend upon that poor soul to convince them that the most critical decision they have to make is what to major in. Wars shall be waged.  Civilizations built and destroyed.  The entire space time continuum rests upon the satisfactory answer to what courses you will take in school.

Continue reading “No One Cares About Your Underwear Either!”

So You Say You Want A Revolution?

Development: The process of developing or being developed

So, if you don’t know my feelings on definitions like the one above, I’ll lay it out for you; smart people don’t define a word using another form of that word. It’s like describing water as being “watery.”  UGH!!  So I looked up “develop” and got, “To grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.”  Cool.  So a better definition of development might be, “The process of growing and becoming more mature, advanced, and elaborate.”  Synonyms include, evolution, growth, maturation, expansion, and enlargement.

Why does this matter? Because I teach “professional development” classes and recently got a comment:  If I were to start a petition to get rid of these GEB classes, or at least make them optional, would anybody join me? I haven’t gotten anything out of them, they take time away from my study and work time, they cost money, and they lower my GPA because the quizzes are misleading. Just venting frustration but these courses are unfair.

Continue reading “So You Say You Want A Revolution?”

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