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Toppel Career Center walk in advising Hours:
Begin Monday, August 25, Monday - Thursday, 10:00am-4:30pm.
 
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Kevin Diemar

Kevin Diemar

Title/Employer:
CEO/President, Unity Jets

Why did you choose UM?

After working for 4 years, I was looking for a program where I could take my real world experience and combine it with a best in class education. The University of Miami's MBA program had a great reputation and many accomplished graduates. The decision to pursue my MBA from the U was an easy one and one I am proud of every day!

How did your education at UM help prepare you for what you are doing today? Please share your current career information and professional achievements. What do you love about your work and your field?

Not just my education, but my overall experience at UM prepared me for my position today. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge on process ( Dr. Gitlow ) that I continue to use daily both at Unity Jets and in my personal life. Also my interactions with an international student body provided great exposure and visibility to the new worldwide landscape. After working for industry giant NetJets/Marquis Jet for over 6 years, I had the confidence to journey out on my own and start Unity Jets. Now in our 4th years, our model has proven to be successful as we continue to see significant growth year over year. I love the relationships with our clients, and take great pride in providing them with a great trip, whether for business or pleasure.

What advice do you have for UM alumni and students interested in pursuing your profession or industry?

Become an expert in something, and then become the best in your expertise. Many people are good at a number of things, but when you are great you will attract clients and differentiate yourself from your competition.

Andrew J. Gladstone Donaldson (referred as A.J.)

Andrew J. Gladstone Donaldson

Title/Employer:
President & CEO of United Mentors, LLC

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current job/employer:
I graduated from the University of Miami with a dual Engineering degree while participating on our proud Division I football team as a linebacker turned bone-crushing fullback. I came into U.M. as a well-rounded student-athlete. Classically trained in piano from the age of 3; an aspiring jazz saxophonist; Excelled in sports like football, track, etc.; Not to mention participating in enough community services to which my transcript is as long and wide as my current 6 foot 225 pound frame. Before I completed my degree, it became very clear I would NOT use it on my career path. As crazy as not utilizing a well over $100,000 degree was, it is more moving the reason why; my story. I have dedicated the rest of my life to making sure children do not feel the level of neglect I did as a transitioning freshman. Our company mission is to develop complete, result-based solutions to support the needs of children in any community.         

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
Audio-Electrical Engineer

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
The tremendous growth of my company (higher demand than supply) caused for us to need a source for recruiting part-time tutors and interns. What better place than my home, The U!

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful? Currently HireACane.com but we’ve yet to take full advantage to ALL the resources at our disposal. That will change VERY SOON.   

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career?  
Don’t let ANYONE put you in a box! With where the economy is today, being an entrepreneur is the only real “job security” that exists. The employee quadrant should be a means to an end; not THE END!

Elizabeth Tauben

Elizabeth TaubenTitle/Employer Management Trainee at Norwegian Cruise Line

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current job/employer.
I am from St. Louis, MO, where I lived until I began my undergraduate career at the University of Miami in 2008. While studying at U.M., I was a cheerleader for one year, and was also able to study abroad three times – two semesters in London and Milan, and a Winter Break Student Ambassador trip to Abruzzo, Italy. After graduating, I went on to graduate business school in a unique three continent program, where I spent one year studying international business all over the world. I then returned to Miami to seek employment, where Norwegian Cruise Line hired me as a Management Trainee. For the next year, I will work in every major department of the company for six-week rotations, as well as six weeks of training on a cruise ship. At the end of the program, I will be placed in a position in one of the departments that I enjoyed working in the most.

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school? 
Major at UM for my Bachelor's: International Studies Minors: Spanish, Italian and Political Science Master's Degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, Antwerp Management School in Belgium and Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar India called Three Continent Master of Global Management

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
As I completed my master’s degree at Fordham, I decided I would prefer to move back to Miami rather than stay in New York.  I put a lot of effort into utilizing the connections available to me as a University of Miami graduate.  Shortly before returning to Miami in August, I started applying to jobs primarily through HireACane.  I also attended Tuesday With Toppel networking events and the Fall Career Expo. I found all of these resources very helpful in finding a job and received various interviews and three job offers, all through Toppel Career Center activities and job postings.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful? (if applicable)
I found HireACane very useful, and found my current job on their job posting list. However, I believe the most helpful resources were networking events where students/alumni could meet employers face to face.  After attending Tuesdays with Toppel events, I consistently made connections with employers.  The Fall Career Expo was also enormously helpful, and I was able to collect various business cards, company brochures, scheduled interviews, and ultimately received job offers from companies we met there.  The company information sessions were also really interesting for me.

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career? 
I never had success finding a good job until I made career searching a top priority of mine, almost as if it was my job.  I also have found that it is much easier to advance in the application and interview process if you are permanently stationed in the city where you are applying for jobs. In my experience, many employers were apprehensive to interview candidates from out of the state for entry-level positions.

Chase Hamann

Title/Employer: Business Development Analyst / City of Coral Gables

Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
I recently started working for the City of Coral Gables Economic Sustainability Department as a Business Development Analyst. This position is exciting and is a great fit for my interests and personal background. One day I'll be meeting with international diplomats and prominent business leaders, and the next day I'll be helping locally with Coral Gables Gallery Night or attending ribbon cuttings to welcome businesses to our city. It is a fun, rewarding job with a lot of unique tasks. I started at UM in 2006. I loved the international environment and the amazing facilities from the start. I eventually decided to study abroad in the Spring of 2009 in Granada, Spain for a semester. I graduated in December of 2009 as an honors student. After, I chose that continuing education would be the right path, I packed up and moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a master’s degree. This helped me acquire a very strong level of French and a strong understanding of different cultures. I also had an internship experience in strategic business planning in Liechtenstein. After graduating with my master’s degree, I immediately started my current job with the City of Coral Gables. It's funny to think that I went overseas to then return to back to Coral Gables for my first position.

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
While at UM I double majored in Public Relations and Spanish and earned a minor in Marketing. I then received a master’s degree from the University of Geneva in International Relations and Political Science, which I did primarily in French. I graduated Summa Cum Laude in both my bachelor and master programs.

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
While I was at UM, I started early on trying to form relationships with some of my favorite professors. I would speak with them and ask their advice on various topics, and this proved very useful. I was recommended for activities such as being an Orientation Advisor, a peer mentor for School of Communication underclassmen, and a peer mentor for study abroad students at UM. I was never certain that something beneficial would come from these activities, but it did. I formed a great relationship with great professors, especially my thesis advisor in the School of Communication. The career advice I received from this professor was invaluable, and it is the reason I am where I currently am today.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
I attended the Toppel Career Fair my junior and senior years, and I ended up having a few interviews as a result. While I ultimately chose to pursue graduate school, this was great practice for interviews later down the road. I also attended the resume and cover letter writing workshops and used walk-in advising to have my documents critiqued. Another useful resource was using the HireACane account to get ideas of positions that appealed to me. Utilizing HireACane was a great way to start identifying relevant positions that I found interesting. I would recommend to students to begin their search earlier rather than later!

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career
One of my professors at UM once told me that the best plumber will be successful. While I didn't especially want to be a plumber, I understood the message: If you do what you love and become an expert at it, you will find success.

Yi Tao

Title/Employer: Chinese Translation Coordinator, Miami HEAT

Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
I work for the 2012 NBA Champion Miami HEAT as a Chinese Translation Coordinator. My responsibilities include managing the official Chinese website HEAT.com/CHINA, organizing media production and overseeing the online marketing for the Chinese market.

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
I graduated with a Master of Arts in Public Relations from the School of Communication in May 2011.

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
I actually started planning my career as soon as I came to UM for my Master's degree. I began utilizing the Toppel Career Center to learn about career development and also attended many of the Launch Pad programs whenever possible to harness my entrepreneurial spirit. My internship with the Miami HEAT began during my second year of my program and after graduating, I was hired on as a full-time staff member.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
I took advantage of the variety of lectures and networking events available to me as a graduate student. Many of the programs events are useful at all stages of an internship and career search. The programs also addressed different types of needs a student may have. The Toppel Career Center was definitely beneficial for my career development and the cultivation of my personality.

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career
When you want to achieve something, create solid plan and be brave!

Karen Shiers

Title/Employer
Merlin Entertainments Group

Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
I graduated from the UM School of Business Administration in 2011 with a degree in Marketing. While at UM, I participated in the School of Business Peer Mentor/TA program, the Wakeboard club, and Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority. I had an amazing four years during school, and at the time, could not imagine life after Miami. Fortunately, though, I got the job of my dreams, which is why I am here writing to you today, I actually found my current position through my HireACane account. I saw the posting and immediately knew that it was the job for me. Moments later an email appeared in my inbox from Toppel, and I found out that the company would be on campus. It was FATE! So, now, nearly one year later, I sit at my desk in Las Vegas, Nevada, typing this bio. I currently work for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, as a guest experience manager. In a few weeks I will be on my way back to the Sunshine State, to start work at LEGOLAND Florida. So what exactly do I do? Well, I am a Merlin Entertainments Group Graduate. Merlin is an international company that owns attractions all over the world. From New York to London; Shanghai to Australia, we own and operate brands like Madame Tussauds, Legoland, Sea Life, and the London Eye. And we are only growing. As a graduate, I am on the "fast track" to running my very own attraction one day. So, for the next one and a half years it is my job to travel the country, maybe even the world, and spend 6 months at a time at these attractions, learning everything that I can while contributing to the growth and success of the business. After that, I apply to a permanent position at the location of my choice. It has been one heck of a ride so far, and it is only getting better!

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
I received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and minors in Economics and Fine Arts.

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?

I started freshman year. I didn't want to waste any time, so I immediately got involved. I attended the fall Career Expo my freshman year. I was so intimated, but in the end, had great opportunity to give my networking skills a shot and speak with employers - something that I had never really done.

Next, I started to familiarize myself with Toppel and HireACane.com. I was always on the site browsing for positions and reviewing the provided resources. And when it came time to apply for my first ever internship, you better believe I took advantage of HireACane! I can still remember my first ever phone interview - sitting on the floor in the hallway of Walsh 6 (the quietest place that I managed to find). I then started seeking opportunities on campus to fill up my time as well as aid my in class learning. HireACane, again, was definitely a great resource for this. There were so many brand ambassador positions available. I mean, it makes sense, who would not want to have a presence on our lovely campus? I was able to secure a part time internship every single year, working for companies like Victoria's Secret, Green Monkey Yoga, and Procter and Gamble.

My senior year, I even got an internship with Pask Productions, an events company that put on events at Art Basel, the Sony Ericsson Open, and the Miami Beach Polo World Cup! My internships during the school year helped me to gain such valuable experience while also enabling me to interact with all of the students on campus. Furthermore, they taught me the crucial time management and work balance skills that continue to help me every day.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
The career fair immediately comes to mind. Like I said, I attended my first career fair during the fall of my freshman year. I remember attending as a senior and thinking back to that very first time- realizing how far I had truly come. It was crazy. I mean back then my resume was a list of activities that I took part of in high school. However, over time it grew into a diverse portfolio of experiences, skills, and activities - opportunities that I gained through my tenure at University of Miami.

Besides the fair, I would say the top three resources that Toppel provided me was HireACane website, the resume writing skills workshops, and company information sessions. First off, I was on HireACane at least once a day senior year. I used the thing more than Facebook- and that says a lot! But there was always something new popping up, and I surely did not want to miss it. I interviewed for a handful of jobs and my past two jobs actually were a direct result of applying through the site. Besides this, the info sessions were also amazingly helpful. I truly believe that the information session on Merlin Entertainments Group is the reason that I have my current job. With over 3000 applicants, the Merlin graduate program is extremely competitive. The information session was the perfect opportunity for me to make a name for myself early on, and put a face to my application and resume. I ended up meeting someone directly in HR at the session, and well, the rest is history.

Finally, I have the resume writing and critiquing workshops to thank for my resume. As a freshman, my resume consisted of a mash up of activities and interests from high school; it was disorganized and hard to read. The transformation over the years was remarkable.

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career
Start as early as possible! In the words of Justin Bieber, "Never Say Never" always believe in yourself. Treat every application as it is "the one." It definitely becomes tough taking the time to fill out applications, especially when no response is received, but do not get yourself down about it! In the end, know that everything happens for a reason and everything falls into place. I have a wooden sign above my mirror that I look at every day- it reads; "Don't dream your life, Live your dreams." Take that and run with it.

Matthew Friedmann

Title/Employer
Sr. Commodities Buyer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
After graduating from UM in May of 09, I began working for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. as an intern in the International Marketing department. Once my internship finished, I was hired full time as a financial analyst in the Revenue Management department, forecasting trends and demand patterns to maximize net ticket revenue yields and profitability as applied to cruise ship bookings. The strong analytical skills that I developed in my business classes at UM were paramount to my success in the RM department. In August of 2011 I was promoted to the position of Sr. Commodities Buyer within the Supply Chain Management department; buying all of the produce for all of the cruise ships in North America and the Caribbean. I chose this position because I wanted to learn a completely new set of skills and see a different side of the business. In the Revenue Management department I often worked closely with the marketing, sales, and deployment departments. In my current role I work closely with the hotel operations, culinary, and legal departments. As a commodity buyer, I am responsible for negotiating multi-million dollar contracts, performing analysis, and traveling on supplier sourcing meetings to the various departure ports.

Since I began working at Royal Caribbean, I have held several information sessions at the Toppel Career Center about Royal Caribbean and the Revenue Management Department. After these info sessions we have been able to hire a number of students from UM who have become great assets to our company. In an effort to hire more Canes, I have attended many career fairs at UM, including the one this past February. I have truly enjoyed my time at Royal Caribbean and believe that this is an excellent place to start a career for students coming out of college or graduate school.

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
I began my career development as a freshman at UM, attending career fairs to network and build a better understanding of the skills and character traits that different types of companies were seeking in candidates they were attempting to hire. Throughout college I was active in the peer counseling program, helping to mentor and develop young leaders within the School of Business.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
While in school I attended many events at the Toppel Career, such as the networking and etiquette dinners, resume critiques, mock interviews, and company info sessions. The on-campus interviews were very helpful, as well as Toppel’s career website (HireACane Account). The skills I learned at UM and at Toppel allowed me to obtain great internships during my college experience with Merrill Lynch and then with Goldman Sachs in New York.

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career
It is important to get involved with networking events at UM and build relationships with companies from the time you begin your college or graduate school career. This will enable you to learn about different industries and help you decide where you may want to work when you graduate based on the corporate cultures of different organizations. It will also give you a better understanding of the skills you may need to further develop in order to work for these organizations. It is important to have an open mind when it comes to searching for jobs, keep a positive attitude, and do not get discouraged if you do not get your dream job at first.

Carlos Enrique Guzman

Title/Employer: Regional Sales Manager - Central America, Citrix Systems

Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
I was born in Bogota - Colombia, where I lived for 14 years. In 1999 my family decided to move to Weston Florida, where I attended High School. I graduated in 2003 and began my bachelors in International Relations, graduating in 2007. In 2008, I joined the MAIA program at the University of Miami and graduated in 2010. I was recruited through On-Campus Recruiting by Citrix right before receiving my degree.

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and received a Master of Arts in International Administration (MAIA).

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
As graduation day approached, so did the anxiety about finding a job. I decided to leverage the Toppel Center to assist with critiquing my resume, attending the lectures on personal branding, and networking events such as Tuesdays with Toppel and On-Campus Recruiting. Less than two months after I had three offers from different recruiters.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
Mock interviewing - Resume Critiquing - Tuesdays with Toppel

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career
Attend as many job search training sessions as possible and select a recurring networking event such as Tuesdays with Toppel and attend consistently.
 
Toppel Career Center
 
Physical Address:
5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-5451
Fax: 305-284-3668
Mailing Address:
PO Box 249175
Coral Gables, FL 33124-5610