Today it was announced I’m leaving The Agency at the University of Florida.
For the past 4–1/2 years I had the distinct honor of leading and building a new kind of strategic communication agency, one led by professionals and staffed by what has grown to become a team of 120 of the best and brightest students at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. In the years since it was founded, on Feb. 24, 2015, nearly 500 students participated in various roles, learning the agency business as they were led and mentored by a suite of five professionals and a digital advisor.
Student team members work hard with the understanding they will be rewarded with enhanced career opportunities following graduation. Job placement has exceeded 90 percent for the past two years as the industry has come to recognize the unique pipeline of talent coming out of The Agency.
The concept of building a business inside an academic environment brings with it challenges I did not anticipate. While we achieved revenues of $400,000, balancing the financial pressures with an immersive learning environment was not an easy undertaking. I’m sure new leadership will bring new ideas.
I’m grateful to my colleagues, Bob Norberg, director of strategy and research; Jim Harrison, creative director; Katie Le, business manager; Mark Rottensteiner, business development coordinator, Eric Poirier, part-time professional digital advisor, and the hundreds of student team members who have diligently helped build The Agency. I am also thankful for the many clients, donors, UF alums, and industry leaders for their faith in us.
I am honored to have had this opportunity to help shape tomorrow’s advertising and public relations leaders.
Now I’m off to explore new opportunities.