Back in the early 80s when I was attending UF, I had gotten very active in campus activities. I had done everything from being an RA, to President of a couple of honoraries, student senator, an executive in my fraternity, and a variety of other related leadership roles - and was recognized as a Hall of Fame member in my (84/85 AY) graduating class. As a finance major from the business school, I never expected upon graduating that I would ever pursue an academic career, or became a global leader in a couple of fields (business intelligence analysis and corporate public affairs management) that I hadn't actually studied at UF. But I have long recognized that the student leadership experience I gained in multiple opportunities at UF served this proud Gator effectively throughout my career and still are beneficial.
I went on to get a PhD in Business, became a national award-winning full business professor in my mid-30s, dean and MBA program director of a couple of business schools, and was elected president of two national and an international professor association. I have lived in 4 countries and have now authored/edited 13 books - a few of which are translated into dozens of different languages and serve as components of the bodies of knowledge that professionals around the globe need to learn to gain certification in several fields. Though I don't recommend anybody go into writing books for financial reasons (note: the vast majority of authors do it for the love of their subject/topics as opposed to their love of profits), I'm already working on my next book on an emerging topic of my research and consulting practice that I'm passionate about and which I hope helps professionals and organizations to achieve greater success.
Those UF student leadership experience opportunities I was engaged in were, and are, priceless. I hope that current Gators, including my own son (a 3UF) receive the same (or even better?) outstanding academic education and myriad of student leadership experiences that I did. I am only one, small example of how Gators can and do make a dramatic, and beneficial difference for others, wherever and in whatever we may end up practicing. When all of us are focused on it together, we can do amazing things for the #GatorGood.
Very motivating to read your story. I was just talking to some of my peers about the cultural differences between the education system here in China, where I am studying abroad, and ours back in the States, and we were discussing the Gator Good campaign. Thank you for sharing! Go Gators!