The FSU College of Business, being a part of a major public university in the south, has an extensive alumni network that spans all industries and regions. Traditionally, the college has had success in the finance industry, but lacked a centralized hub to harness the power of the network.
A successful group of alumni decided that they wanted to impart their wisdom to high achieving students in the college. They targeted students interested in pursuing careers in high finance and management consulting, as these are challenging industries with high barriers to entry.
Willow Partners started in the spring of 2015, with about 5 students showing up to weekly meetings, exchanging strategies with alumni on how to successfully land internships and full time jobs.
After initial success, and realizing that this model worked, the group decided to expand their efforts by advertising the meetings to the general public in spring of 2016. A group of seniors with industry experience instructed meetings that attracted dozens of students on a weekly basis.
The group decided to further formalize the strategy of the organization in the spring of 2017, with structured programs and closed meetings. They held an application process that accepted 12% of the students who applied. These selected students represented the best that the university had to offer.
Looking towards the future, Willow Partners will continue to consolidate the powerful alumni network mentioned, incite interest among the student body to pursue high impact careers, and ultimately augment the success that students at Florida State University have once entering the work force.