Student Spotlight: Griffith Anderson

Senior Griffith "Griff" Anderson is an Economics major with a minor in Business from Orlando, FL. As a four year member and seasoned pitcher of the Gyrene's Baseball team, Griff has always sought to succeed on the baseball field and in the classroom. He loves to travel with friends, his Boxer, Buddy, and describes himself as hard worker with an easy-going attitude. He is family oriented, driven, and desires to be the best version of himself. We were able to sit down with Griff and ask him a few questions about life as a student-athlete.

Hey, Griff! Tell us why you chose Economics as your major.

I chose my major because I really enjoy Economics, as it relates to the real motives that drive people and therefore the rest of the world. Economics happen in our daily lives but not often do we think about the underlying reasons why things happen the way they do. In addition, Economics in general is more of a quantitative field which is important for the line of work I want to get into. 

What are your plans after graduation?

Right after graduation, I'm traveling all over Europe with a good friend of mine, which should be a lot of fun. We are going to Spain, France, England, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Italy, and Greece! 

My buddy and I have been planning on doing a trip like this for a while, so we could go and see the things we've always wanted to before our lives get too hectic and we never get the chance.

What I plan on doing once I get back from traveling is to get into a private equity firm and then hopefully one day run a firm of my own. 

What do you like most about traveling? Do you have a favorite country?

I think what I like most is the culture. When you go to a different place and learn about how they live their lives and how different it is from ours, it is the coolest thing.

My favorite place I’ve ever been to so far is Costa Rica, because of its beautiful landscape and rich culture.


On a more professional note, what is a private equity firm and why are you interested in working for one?

A private equity firm is a company who invests and provides financing for other companies by either purchasing the company or owning a stake in the company. Each private equity firm typically has a preferred method of investing that they specialize in.

I've always been interested in finance and believe that working at a PE firm would allow me to further my interests in the most engaging and exciting way possible.

How are you getting closer to your goal of working for a private equity firm?

Currently, I'm doing an Internship with Macke Financial here in Ave. However, I've also done internships with Trinity Trading Group and RhinoShield Gulf South in the past.

 What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

The best piece of advice I have ever received was from my Dad who told me, "work like you're being over paid and good things will happen."

How is the "student-athlete" life? How do you balance classes, practice, homework, games, and travel?

The best way for me to balance being a student and an athlete is to really stay on top of my day and to plan it out.

It's amazing how much wasted time you realize you've spent in a day when you sit down and write down all that you have done and the time you've spent. If you organize your day from start to finish with allotted time slots, you can get more done than what you thought possible.

Tell us what it's like to be a part of AMU's Baseball team. What's your favorite memory?

Baseball at AMU has been great! I have a lot of good memories, but my favorite has to be when we went to Webber International University to watch a football game and compete in different event against their baseball team. 

Why did you choose Ave?

I came to Ave for baseball and great academics. I also chose to come here because it is relatively close to home, so I can see my family often. 

What was your most rewarding college experience?

My most rewarding college experience has to be my impending graduation. To finish four years of college is quite an accomplishment in my book!

Where does your motivation come from, both athletically and academically?

Life is about constant self improvement and becoming the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. So for me, the desire to become the best I can be is what drives me.

In light of your motivation to strive for the best version of yourself, how have your goals and dreams changed throughout your life? 

The only way my goals and dreams have changed throughout my life is that they've only gotten bigger. The older I have gotten the more I have realized you can truly accomplish anything you want.

Right now, my goal is to become a successful business owner in the future and hopefully run a private equity company of my own.


10 Awesome Companies Hiring Right Now

The mosquitos are back… you know what that means? It’s that time of the year again! Time for everyone to panic and start whipping out job applications faster than they can say graduation, right?

Wrong! No need to panic, because the Office of Career Services has got your back. On February 23rd, from 11:30-1:30pm, we will be hosting the Career and Internship Expo, featuring 35 awesome companies from the Naples area and beyond.

We have compiled a list of the ones you should be on the lookout for and have highlighted why we are such big fans. Be sure to bring a few copies of your resume and your best conversation starters. We can’t wait to see you there! 


Gartner Inc.: Gartner is a favorite of our graduates for a reason! Not only are they the world's leading research and advisory company, but they are a member of the S&P 500. They equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. In addition to the amazing things that they are doing within their business, their passion for their employees is evident. Linked In has rated Gartner one of the top 50 companies to work for, and on Glassdoor, it was voted “Employee’s Choice” 2013-2017. 

Hertz: Hertz’s GLOBAL headquarters is right here in Estero! How cool is that?! As #296 on the Fortune 500 List, you have the opportunity become a part of their team. If think of Hertz and you are envisioning sitting behind a desk and renting out cars, think again. A job at Hertz could entail anything from Branch Management to Accounting. Because the headquarters are right here, you have a chance to be a part of their Global Management program if you play your cards right! 

Hilton Naples: After four years in Florida, the magic of where we live may have faded, but Naples, FL is one of the top 10 vacation destinations in the U.S! The Hilton of Naples seeks to provide guests with a positive, memorable experience that results from a workplace that supports, empowers and facilitates the growth and happiness of every employee. The positions within the workplace are diverse and varied and are suitable for those graduating with a variety of majors from communications to finance. 

PhysAssist Scribes: PhysAssist is a Medical Scribe company, and their goal to help people by helping people! They do this by offering Medical Scribe positions to pre-health students so that they can work in the hospital with a clinical team and gain valuable clinical experience. As a result, the physicians have the added benefit of having someone help them with the documentation throughout their shift. Win-win! PhysAssist has the industry leading training program that prepares their scribes to be confident and ready to go on their own once they have completed it. They strive to make the scribing experience possible for college students, and never schedule their scribes during class times, and work to protect their scribe’s desired part time or full-time schedules. 

Diocese of Venice: If you are looking for a career in ministry, theology, or education in sunny SWFL, look no further than the Diocese of Venice! The mission of their education system is to develop the whole student to prepare them for their next journey in their educational career using innovative technology with our focus on service and centered on Christ. What better way to use your God-given talents than to bring the children of our Diocese closer to Jesus? 

Naples Zoo: The mission of the Naples Zoo is to inspire people of all ages to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and our natural world. Nationally accredited as both zoo and botanical garden, Naples Zoo plays host to over 360,000 guests a year, creating truly memorable experiences through diverse educational presentations, guided cruises, special animal encounters and more. As a natural crossroads for families, biologists, and educators, Naples Zoo plays a critical role in nurturing appreciation for the natural world by providing an educational nature experience for people of all ages. The unique combination of lush, tropical flora and exotic animal habitats creates a beautifully inspiring backdrop for visitors to connect with nature and to enhance their understanding of wildlife and the habitats in which wild animals live. Their staff is made up of paid employees, interns and volunteers who all help support their mission, whether it is providing stellar service to guests or ensuring all the medical needs of the animals in their care are met. 

David Lawrence Center: Based in Southwest Florida, the David Lawrence Center is a not-for-profit, leading provider of behavioral health solutions dedicated to inspiring and creating life-changing wellness for every individual. The Center provides innovative, comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, residential and community based prevention and treatment services for children and adults who experience mental health, emotional, psychological and substance abuse challenges. Their mission is restoring and rebuilding lives by providing compassionate, advanced, and exceptional mental health, substance abuse, and integrated healthcare solutions, available to all. The vision of the David Lawrence Center is to lead the way in transformational care so every individual can achieve what is possible. 

Conservancy of Southwest Florida: The work of saving our environment started in 1964 when plans were revealed to build a road through Rookery Bay, crossing Gordon Pass and into the Ten Thousand Islands. A small group of citizens became concerned, involved, and politically active mobilizing grassroots efforts to prevent the project. As a result, the road was never built. Rookery Bay and its inhabitants were saved and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida was founded. Since then, the conservancy has expanded their scope across the five counties in Southwest Florida: Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Hendry and Glades. They maximize the combined forces of environmental policy, advocacy, research, education and wildlife rehabilitation to protect southwest Florida’s natural treasures --- our water, our land and our wildlife. 

Primerica: Calling all business and finance majors! Primerica trains business leaders to be able to help middle income families become debt-free, properly protected and plan for financial independence. Under their guidance, students will be able to become fully licensed in life insurance and securities and begin to develop their own business. 

Prudent Financial Planning: Prudent Financial Planning is a fee-only financial planning firm that puts the client’s interests first. They specialize in College Planning and Retirement Planning. Their mission to help put an end to the student loan crisis which now stands at more than $1.3 Trillion. They help families take the emotion out of the equation and create a pro-active strategy. The company is fairly young at this point but is growing rapidly. They are currently seeking a candidate with strong business and interpersonal skills who is highly interested in pursuing either a CFP, CFA, or CPA designation. Strong marketing and social media skills recommended.

The History Degree, and What You Can Do With It


“I see that your degree is in history.” The interviewer glanced over my resume again. “To be honest, this position seems like it is in an entirely different field of work. Tell me what makes you qualified for this position.”


The blunt question came from the interviewer looking to hire a Career Advancement Specialist (Career Developer) for one of Minnesota’s largest nonprofit organizations. I was shortly out of college, looking to transition from teaching at a childcare center to a position supporting out-of-work parents in their search for sustainable careers (part of the TANF program). I did not have any paid work experience teaching a job skills class, co-managing a caseload of over 300 clients, or interacting with potential employers to connect them with job seekers—all of which were everyday activities for the position. How to convince the interviewer that I was a good fit for the position? The answer to the question, I told the interviewer, lay in the transferable skills gained from my degree.


Transferable skills are skills/talents/abilities which can be taken from one position to be used at another position. Unlike job-specific skills, which may only apply to one particular field or position, transferable skills are like versatile tools in a toolbox which can be widely utilized in just about any field one chooses. Often (though not always) these transferable skills can swing the balance of a resume, cover letter, or interview in the job seeker’s favor—even if they have not done this particular job before.


In my personal experience, when people would hear that I was pursuing a major in history, they would assume that I would teach History in an elementary/secondary school setting. But, sitting in front of the computer, internet searching and networking my way through hundreds of job postings, I realized that I was interested in exploring different ways to apply my degree. When I started looking at the skills required for different positions, I realized that a history major—and the transferable skills gained from the degree—is a fantastic asset in the job market.


In the case of the position I was interviewing for, I did not have any job-specific experience working for a non-profit or any organization specializing in social work. My relevant “experience” lay almost solely in the transferable skills which I had gained from my classes as a history major at Ave Maria University. For example, the two main components of Junior Research Seminar—primary/secondary source research and presentation in front of peers—provided me with practical skills highly applicable in the workforce. By being taught to do careful research, I was learning the skills to work carefully and confidentially with client data. The presentation and seminar experience gained from Junior Research Seminar, Historiography, and the History Senior Seminar (Thesis) was invaluable in demonstrating my familiarity with speaking in front of groups and leading discussions. The short reports required weekly for the American West in Film class and other elective history classes utilized skills similar  to those required by the reports and “client success stories” that the Career Developer would have to submit. Thus, while my major appeared to be in an “entirely different field” from the job for which I was applying, my history degree gave me the transferable skills to be a close match for the job I was seeking.


I was offered the position of Career Developer less than 24 hours after the initial interview. I am confident that it was largely due to the experience I gained as a history major at Ave Maria University. While I have now transitioned into a new career, I continue to volunteer with the organization on a weekly basis.


I would encourage any history major—or really anyone who is interested in studying the liberal arts—to look carefully at the many ways in which their studies provide those transferrable skills essential in the workforce. Specifically mention them in cover letters and interviews! The history major, like a degree in many of the liberal arts, is incredibly versatile and “work-force friendly” for anyone looking to pursue a job after college.


Rebekah Thomas graduated summa cum laude from Ave Maria University in 2014, and was class salutatorian and recipient of the History Department Award. She recently completed ghostwriting the memoir of former dentist and New York Giants player, Dr. Edgar H. Lechner (A North Dakota Farm Boy Finds His Way, published by Lilja Press). In addition to writing, Ms. Thomas enjoys working on digital transcription projects, assisting others with their career searches, and hunting for old books. She volunteers with RESOURCE Inc, a Minnesota nonprofit serving over 18,000 people who are experiencing barriers to education, employment and wellness. Ms. Thomas currently resides in the Twin Cities area with her husband, fellow AMU graduate Anthony Thomas, and their son.


The Hidden Job Market


It’s getting to the end of January now, and seniors are going to be looking for jobs very intently.

Obviously, websites like,,, and many more will be very good places to start looking for jobs.

But what if I told you there were jobs that you’ll never find on any of those listings? In fact, most jobs that get filled are never actually publicly posted.

That’s right, there’s a hidden job market.

These jobs are jobs that aren’t advertised in the typical ways. Companies aren’t posting listings to fill them. Instead, they’re waiting for referrals or to hire internally.

So. How do you get into these jobs?

The first thing you can do to get into this hidden job market is pretty simple.
Networking. Companies may be willing to hire at career fairs, where they want to see what quality college students look like. They may be waiting for one of their employees to make a recommendation, because nobody knows what the job is like the way someone who already works there does. If you know someone in the industry, ask them if there are any openings available. Essentially, you are just trying to find where those openings are so you can get your foot in the door and have the extra boost in your application through a referral.

Another option is a little bit harder than simply networking, and yet, at the same time, is even easier. Reach out to companies that interest you. If you want to work for Amazon, but they don’t have any job listings available, visit the office, make a phone call, send a letter.

Do something to show that you’re interested in working for them. If they have the opportunity available, volunteer with the company. It gives you a chance to see what the company is like, meet some of the employees, and show that you’re interested in the company.

There’s a third part that can help with this as well.
Stand out. Show that you are a unique individual with skills and abilities that any company would find indispensable. Take the leadership role in the club. Take the time to volunteer around town. Put a little extra effort in your classes to graduate with some sort of honor.

Having all of these little things on a resume can really add up and make you stand out from the crowd. At your current job, exceed expectations. Be the kind of person that will get noticed. Your goal in the hidden job market is to get someone to say, “hey, my friend would be perfect for this position! Let me see if they’re interested.”

The hidden job market is by no means easy to tap into. You really need to put yourself out there, to really want the job you’re searching for. It might take a lot of time to find it, but if you keep reaching out and making contacts, you’ll discover that it really is out there.