Pedro Gonzalez joined the Haslam College of Business as the director of career management for graduate and executive education this past May.
“A big priority for me is integrating and standardizing our professional development services for all GEE students, particularly the full-time MBA and MS in Business Analytics students,” Gonzalez says. “On a strategic level, I promote all Haslam business talent directly with employers, deepening and strengthening employer partnerships across key industries.”
Prior to joining the University of Tennessee, Gonzalez served as director of employer relations at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. His professional background encompasses a breadth of experiences, including time in Silicon Valley as well as at a top consulting firm in NYC. Gonzalez held leadership positions at the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at Drexel University, but says that there is something special about UT.
“I love the scenic setting and the laid-back but vibrant city of Knoxville,” he says. “My colleagues are incredibly friendly, and there is a very strong ‘get things done’ attitude evident among students.”
Gonzalez has a passion for setting students up for successful business careers and building relationships with employers. In addition to hosting organizations on campus and sending them resume books, Gonzalez’s office works with students to help polish their soft skills.
“Communications, leadership, and adaptability are some of the competencies cited by top employers as desirable among their MBA hires,” he says. “My office works on coaching students on strengthening these competencies through workshops and career planning sessions.”
Gonzalez notes that all of these opportunities are compounded with the help of private support and alumni involvement with the career management process. The importance of relationships with key employers and alumni is paramount.
“My 15 years of experience in the career services and talent management profession has taught me that alumni contribute significantly to my employer engagement success,” Gonzalez says. “I rely on relationships to keep the Haslam College of Business visible with employers. Sometimes the relationship is with an early career alum or an executive or influential alum who I connect to a student for networking purposes.”
Gonzalez is excited about the potential for growth and continued success of the college and its students.
“My desire is to help them see bigger things for their careers after Haslam,” he says. “I want [our students] to go as far as their ambitions can take them.”