UCF Alumnus Encourages Higher Ed

MarkPerez HeadshotMark Perez, ’04, ’07, says his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from UCF have been essential to his career. From its influential faculty to its countless opportunities, UCF has played a major role in his professional development.

Perez learned the significance of higher education while at UCF and carried that lesson to his current role as admissions manager at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. There he oversees undergraduate programs as the lead admissions representative; managing recruitment, enrollment and admission processes.

“I love getting to work with students of all backgrounds, getting to know them and helping them figure out their academic future,” explained Perez.

Before working with Rollins College, Perez served as a volunteer manager with the Community Food & Outreach Center in Orlando. There he administered the volunteer programming and recruitment in support of the organization’s mission to help fight the cycle of poverty.

And while pursuing his master’s in political science at UCF, Perez worked as the public affairs coordinator for the UCF Global Perspectives office. It was during his time at UCF Perez explained he learned important lessons for the future.

Perez shared advice for UCF students: “Take the initiative. Don’t wait to be told what or how to do something. Figure it out yourself, and if you make a mistake, learn and move on. You get what you earn, not what you feel you deserve.”

Perez shared more on his experience at UCF and career in his spotlight responses below.

Why did you choose to attend UCF?

It was the proximity of the school at first. But, I emailed the Political Science Department Chair at the time, Dr. Bledsoe, to ask him a bit more about the program and he was incredibly responsive and helpful.

How has your UCF degree helped you in your career?

A degree from UCF means a lot in the Central Florida community because UCF is a household name and a major player. It provided me the ability to think critically and strategically, as well as become better organized, all of which is essential to any successful career. My major was political science, which requires a lot of reading and writing, something I truly enjoy, and that has definitely helped me in every job I’ve had since graduation.

Have you stayed involved with UCF since graduation? If so, how?

I follow our sports teams pretty closely, and am excited to see what the UCF Football team under new leadership brings to the field this fall.

What is your best UCF memory?

I loved all of the wonderful debates and conversations we would get into in my classes. I miss that the most, especially during election years!

What is your most memorable experience on the job?

In my previous position as Volunteer Manager at a local nonprofit: helping to organize 300 volunteers for a large group volunteer project where we totally transformed the interior of our facility. It was an extremely long and tiring, yet satisfying day!

What piece of advice would you give to current students as well as UCF alumni?

Network; put yourself out there. Things aren’t going to just fall in your lap. A lot of success is not just built on what you know, but who you know. That may not be ideal, but it is reality. 

Perez answered some more responses in our 30-second lightning round of the interview.

Do you have any special/hidden talents?

I can play the guitar and bass guitar. I was in a mildly successful local ambient rock band called Kingsbury, and we had a lot of fun touring the east coast!

How do you manage stress?

I play a MilSim (military simulation) game that is hyper-realistic and replicates an actual unit from the Marines. It’s highly organized and structured, which I like. When I have time, of course.

What has been your most life-changing experience?

Becoming a father last August. They say it changes your life and perspective on life. Sounds cliché, but it is 100% accurate.

Comments are closed.