Have information will travel: College reaches out to local businesses through new information initiative.

Jennifer Vasquez (MA ’06)

Innovative undergraduate and graduate programs with schedules tailored for working professionals. Online courses, degrees, and certificates. Executive and professional programs that provide a quick refresher or advanced work in an array of skill sets. The College of Business Administration has all this and much more.

Jennifer Vasquez (MA ’06), manager, marketing and community outreach, has hit the road to let human resources (HR) departments and employees at major corporations in South Florida know more through “corporate information sessions.”

“Many companies provide tuition assistance to their employees so they can finish undergraduate degrees or go back and get a graduate degree,” said Vasquez, who took on the newly created position in the marketing and recruiting office three months ago and who sympathizes with the challenges working professionals face: it took her three years to complete her graduate work as she juggled courses and work. “We want them to be aware of the many options the college offers.”

Sessions involve logical two-step process.

She begins with HR personnel—usually vice presidents or directors.

“They are the individuals who know the company’s benefits package and can determine which of our programs might be appropriate for their employees,” she said. “They also are well aware of how educational enrichment pays off for the companies as employees increase their knowledge or skills.”

After assessing the interest of the HR department, Vasquez is likely to schedule another session during which she stations herself at a strategic site in the company, talking to employees during their breaks.

“I spend about four hours at the larger corporations—such as Carnival Cruise Lines—providing one-on-one information to those who stop by,” she said. “I also leave materials with the HR departments that they can share with people who missed me or with new hires.”

For some employees, accelerated undergraduate programs—such as the BBA+ program, with its Weekend and Sunrise options—or the college’s many online programs offer the chance to complete a bachelor’s degree. Those with undergraduate degrees in hand express interest in the numerous graduate programs that have weekend or evening sessions and are delivered at convenient locations, including the Downtown Center or in Pembroke Pines. Still others want to know more about Executive and Professional Education (EPE).

“EPE programs enable professionals to take courses across a range of business areas, from HR to project management; get certificates without needing to take the GMAT or GREs; and accomplish the work in a matter of days,” Vasquez said. “In some instances, when a large number of people from one company elect to take an EPE course, Robert Garcia (EMBA ’97), director of EPE, may work out a special rate for them and/or deliver the program on site.”

Presentations open door for expanded college-corporate relationships.

Vasquez already has made the corporate information presentations at seven companies, with at least five more in the pipeline. With an initial goal of “increasing awareness of the college and its programs for working professionals,” she has an additional purpose.

“We are building relationships with these companies,” she said. “I often see alumni at the events who express interest in the college and I can direct them to the right resources to learn more. In addition, companies as a whole learn more about us and the potential for partnering with us in a variety of mutually beneficial ways.”

To fulfill this part of her mission, she works closely with the college’s offices of corporate relations and alumni and external relations.

Vasquez invites people interested in learning more about the corporate information sessions to contact her at 305-348-0148 or Jennifer.Vasquez@business.fiu.edu.

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