USF Sarasota-Manatee launches student-alumni tours

Jay Riley, director of alumni affairs.

Jay Riley, director of alumni affairs.

SARASOTA, Fla. (June 4, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Business students will get an opportunity to mingle with alumni and learn about government, the broadcasting business and recreation-centered development projects.

A new initiative, the Alumni Summer Tour is set to kick off 8:15 a.m. Friday at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Eleven business students will board a van to travel downtown to meet USFSM alum Jeff Maultsby, director of Sarasota County’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Additional stops include WWSB Channel 7 and Suncoast Nature Aquatic Center Associates, operators of Nathan Benderson Park.

At each location, the students will meet with alumni and learn about operations at their respective facilities. Between stops, USFSM’s alumni association will pay for lunch at the Tandoor Indian restaurant, co-owned by USFSM alum Sheena Maini.

Jay Riley, director of alumni affairs, said the tour’s intent is to offer students a behind-the-scenes glimpse of various career options.

“This not only gives them a chance to learn and explore possible career choices, but it also gives them an opportunity to network,” Riley said. “They’ll get a chance to network and get to know these alums.”

The summer tour is the first of two.

Next Friday, writing and English students from the College of Arts & Sciences will make stops at the Manatee Education Foundation, the Bradenton Herald and Sarasota Magazine. Riley said the groups were kept small – no more than a dozen each – so the students and alumni could more comfortably talk and exchange questions and answers.

Jim Curran, dean of the College of Business, embraced the tour idea when brought to him by Riley.

“It shows the students what some alumni are doing and exposes them to possible careers they might not otherwise ever learn about,” he said. “It also involves the alumni with current students and most alumni enjoy sharing their expertise because they fully understand where these students are now.

“I think this is a great idea,” he said.