Florida MBA Programs
International Attraction: Florida's MBA programs have worldwide appeal
MBA degree programs at Florida schools attract students from all over the world who like the diversity at the schools and opportunities to interact with local businesspeople.
Maria Gabriela Orlando McSheehy
Maria Gabriela Orlando McSheehy moved to the U.S. in 2003 from Ecuador with a university degree in hospitality management and a belief in the American dream.
Like many immigrants, she faced formidable cultural and financial challenges. McSheehy spoke no English and the only job she could find was busing tables at a restaurant.
“I told my mother when I left Ecuador that my luggage was not full of clothes; it was full of dreams,” McSheehy says.
McSheehy, now 36 and married, started a family and learned English. At the urging of her husband, she began attending community college. After she became proficient in English, McSheehy contacted Naples-based Hodges University.
“Hodges University has a great reputation in the community,” she says. “I went there thinking they were going to make me get a bachelor’s first. But when they told me I could enter their MBA program, I had tears in my eyes.
“I’m taking all my courses online, and it’s a great benefit,” she says. “I come home from work, take care of everything and then go to my books. It’s all very exhausting, but I can’t stop now.”
McSheehy is set to graduate with her MBA this spring and hopes to find a managementlevel job in the utility industry.
Paula De Carvalho Moreno
University of South Florida
Paula De Carvalho Moreno’s decision to leave her job in Brazil to attend the University of South Florida’s MBA program amounted to a homecoming of sorts.
Moreno, 38, had studied in the U.S. in the 1990s as an exchange student before returning to Brazil to work for large mining companies. Among her family members were longtime residents of Tampa and a cousin who had attended USF.
In 2015, as Brazil experienced political and financial turmoil, Moreno and her husband decided to move to the U.S.
“Last year I got married, had a daughter, and we bought a house,” says Moreno. “And it was at that time, during Brazil’s economic crisis, my husband and I got back to our dream of studying abroad.”
Moreno began researching and visiting MBA programs, mainly in Florida. She settled on USF’s Muma College of Business, and, based largely on her corporate experience in Brazil, was accepted for the fall 2016 term.
Now a full-time student, Moreno says she is focusing on a concentration in marketing and process management and plans to complete the program in 2018.
In addition to her corporate ambitions, Moreno also is considering an academic career and possibly getting a doctorate.