When Alberto Padron (EMBA ’09) was working on his master’s degree in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU), he thoroughly enjoyed his classmates in the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) group.
“From that first getting-to-know-each-other event in the Florida Keys, all through our intense collaboration, it was a great group,” Padron said. “I wanted to keep those relationships going, even after graduation.”
He has found a way.
For the FIU Panthers 2009 football season, Padron encouraged his fellow students to get season tickets, and then he hosted a tailgate party for them in the stadium parking lot before each of the five home games.
He’s repeating the tradition this season, starting with the September 11th opener against Rutgers University.
“There’s music, great international food and a chance to stay connected,” he said. “Sure, there’s networking, as we get caught up on our lives. But fun takes precedence.”
Of the 32 in Padron’s EMBA group, 22 bought 2009 season’s tickets and attended the tailgate events. People buy tickets as singles, couples and families. Padron reported that response to this year’s season is going very well.
The director of integrated marketing at Zubi Advertising, Padron has long been a Panthers fan.
“But tailgating and going to the games isn’t just for die-hard fans,” he said.
As a result of his efforts, Padron is now on a member of the FIU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Opportunities abound for other alumni groups.
“I’m proud that it’s us from the business college who began this idea at FIU,” Padron said, “and I hope it catches on with other groups.”
“Athletics is one of the great ways to stay connected with the university,” said Michelle R. Joubert (MBA ’10), assistant director of alumni relations for the college. “Alberto’s way to bring together other EMBA graduates for tailgating and football is an inventive and fun plan, and should inspire other alums.”
“It’s cool to continue the camaraderie,” Padron said.