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Alumni Spotlight

Jared Plost, MBA

Director of Business Operations, Cox Media Group

Master of Business Administration (MBA), December 2020

 

Jared Plost and a child fishing

As a working professional, what advice would you give incoming students?

You've signed up for the MBA program not because you had to, but because you had a desire to give yourself a better chance at achieving the goals you have set for yourself: personally, professionally, and/or financially. There will be times when you struggle and times when things go really smoothly, but know that when you graduate with your MBA, you will feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you powered through until the end. What worked great for me was simply being consistent with the time dedicated to my coursework and trying not to let things get too far backed up. Honestly, it was sometimes difficult to find the time and energy with having small children in addition to my work responsibilities, but staying committed (and caffeinated ) late at night fueled my success.

 

What drew you to choose the UNF program for your graduate studies?

My wife graduated with her undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNF, as had several other close friends, so I was well aware of the high quality of professors and education that UNF had to offer.

 

Biggest takeaway?

The coursework was interesting, challenging, and relevant as it applied to my role as a finance leader. However, it was the intangibles (or "soft skills") that I developed over my time in the MBA program where I found the most value, including time management, stress management and project management. Whether you are coming into the program straight from undergrad, or have been building your career for 13 years before entering the program like I had, you will develop not only a greater perspective of a business environment, but also an understanding that you can accomplish realistic and stretch goals for yourself. You will be better off in the long run than if you let this opportunity pass you by.

 

What have you been up to since graduation (Career, Life, Travels, etc)?

Since graduation this past December (2020), I've celebrated my 10 year wedding anniversary with my wife Keri, our son Colton (4) is in in his 1st year of tee-ball and 2nd year of "golf w/ dad", and daughter Shelby (1) started to walk! Professionally, I continue to work as a finance business partner to operational leaders and to develop as an "employee of choice", teammate, and leader within my organization.

 

What impact did the UNF MBA had on your career?

Completing the MBA program provided the understanding that I had the ability to dedicate myself to accomplish tasks no matter how daunting or stress-induced they may seem. The leaders in my organization recognize the effort that it took to make it through the program, and it shows them that I am determined to prioritize self-improvement. Earning the UNF MBA provides additional tools and perspective that will allow for success over the course of my entire career.

 

What impact did the UNF MBA had on your career?

Completing the MBA program provided the understanding that I had the ability to dedicate myself to accomplish tasks no matter how daunting or stress-induced they may seem. The leaders in my organization recognize the effort that it took to make it through the program, and it shows them that I am determined to prioritize self-improvement. Earning the UNF MBA provides additional tools and perspective that will allow for success over the course of my entire career.

 

What is it like for you at your current position? What do you love about your work?

My role in operational finance is unique in that I have the ability to understand and support all aspects of an organization, not just finance: sales, marketing, engineering, etc. In order for me to be a successful strategic business partner, and part of what I love about my job, is that I have to have a solid understanding of the operations of the organization. Cross-functional collaboration, network-building and simply asking questions are all necessary aspects of my role to lead to a successful career, and are what I greatly enjoy doing.

 

What drives you?

I have this built-in drive to continually seek out self-improvement, whether it's to better myself as a father, husband, employee or teammate. Motivation from others will only get you so far; it is self-motivation that will take you across the finish line for whatever you seek out to accomplish.