UWF alum Raymond Grant: international diplomat with roots at home
Raymond Grant graduated from the University of West Florida (UWF) with a degree in economics in 1999, received a master’s of business administration in 2000 and is currently a U.S. diplomat in central Asia. He said his education at UWF positively impacted him in several ways and that he could not have done it without support from the College of Business.
Looking back upon your time at UWF and the College of Business, describe your best memory.
There were a lot of good times at UWF. If I have to choose one, I would say that my best memory was when I was a member of the Student for Free Enterprise (SIFE). We taught business classes for kids in schools. I am now working in Kyrgyzstan (located in Central Asia), and I’m happy to say that a SIFE chapter is located in this country as well.
What do you think was the most outstanding and/or unique quality about UWF and/or the College of Business?
I liked the fact that the College of Business had business professionals on its teaching staff. For example, many of the professors had experience working as business consultants before and during their employment in UWF’s College of Business.
How has your education at UWF impacted you?
I am now working for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a diplomat for the U.S. government. USAID is the U.S. government’s primary agency for performing development work in foreign countries. Basically, I help manage the budget for American development programs overseas. Every two to four years, I get to work in a new country.
My education at UWF impacted me in several ways. For example, I gained experience in business writing. Since I need to explain to USAID headquarters the status of our programs, I need to be able to write well. Also, my professors taught how to apply for a job, such as writing CVs (curriculum vitae or resume) and interviewing. This helped me out a lot.
Have you had success in your career that you could attribute to UWF?
After I graduated, I moved to Washington, D.C. to find a job in international affairs. The job market there is very competitive, so the advice that my professors gave me for applying for a job was very helpful. For example, I know how to write a CV and answer interview questions. Also, I was able to obtain a job working as a statistician partly in thanks to my statistics class at UWF.
What advice would you give students who are looking at studying one of the disciplines in the College of Business? (Accounting, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Management, MBA, IT, etc.)
The best advice that I could give them would be to join a university business club, but they shouldn’t join the business club only to make their CVs seem more impressive. Business clubs can give students an excellent opportunity to practice what they learned in class. For example, they can practice their presentation and management skills.
Why did you choose UWF over other universities?
I chose UWF because I liked the relaxed atmosphere. It was nice that there were wooded areas where students could relax and walk around between classes. Also, I am from Pensacola and liked the idea of staying near home.