Advisory board for Career Management Services holds first meeting.

Left to right: Dawn Lazar, Elsie Florido, Barry Shiflett, and Ellie Browner

The concept of advisory boards pervades graduate programs in the College of Business Administration’s Chapman School. The formula: assemble a group of energetic business leaders with an interest in your mission and goals. Then, get their feedback on your activities and initiatives to improve what you do; create a situation in which they can benefit from the expertise of their fellow board members; and uncover ways that the college can help them fulfill their company-specific goals. The synergies that develop have consistently resulted in a positive situation for all concerned.

Recently, another entity within the college—Career Management Services (CMS)—applied the principles of an advisory board to its own organization.

“The purpose of the CMS Advisory Board is to strengthen relationships with companies seeking to recruit at Florida International University’s business school and assist them with best practice opportunities through networking,” said Barry Shiflett, CMS director.

An impressive roster of individuals representing key industries will make up the board. Many of them already have strong relationships with the college: offering internships and full-time employment; deploying employees to deliver guest lectures in classes or for student organizations; and participating in or sponsoring on-campus events, including Business Industry Night and career fairs.

“Through our participation on the college’s advisory board, we can help the university in its efforts to prepare marketable graduates.”

—Mari Espin-Sanchez (BBA ’96), corporate recruiting, human resources, Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity Cruises

Mari Espin-Sanchez

“Being involved in the advisory board benefits us because we can identify good candidates in finance, operations, statistics, accounting, and hospitality,” said Mari Espin-Sanchez (BBA ’96), corporate recruiting, human resources, Royal Caribbean International/Celebrity Cruises, whose company has had a longstanding relationship with the university. “Through our participation on the college’s advisory board, we can help the business school in its efforts to prepare marketable graduates.”

Full agenda includes introductions and case study exercise.

During an initial meeting on August 15, 2007, advisory board members met each other and the CMS staff—Shiflett, Elsie Florido, associate director; Ellie Browner (MS ’93, BBA ’79), assistant director, employer services; and Dawn Lazar (MS ’06), assistant director, undergraduate programs. Shiflett and Florido provided an overview of CMS’s history, organization, and responsibilities; gave an introduction to the web site; and set out key issues CMS faces in terms of policies, procedures, and resources, among other matters.

José de la Torre, dean, Chapman Graduate School, gave an overview of the college and some of the challenges to which board members can contribute important guidance.

“He gave a wonderful presentation and shared the college’s exceptional success,” Espin-Sanchez said. “I appreciated his energy, vision, and overview of the university and all its dynamics.”

Following lunch, participants separated into break-out groups during which they discussed CMS office policies and procedures as well as issues from the morning session. In addition, they undertook a college-related case activity.

“The exercise enabled us to get to know each other better and to provide insights into what we would like CMS to offer,” Espin-Sanchez said. “Also, I was pleased to see the potential for initiatives with other board members.”

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