Pursuing a passionReading Time: 3 minutes
Jeff Casucci always knew he wanted to pursue a career in academia, but there were often reasons to wait. The schools were always far away, the timing was never right. The list of excuses was long.
That changed during a conversation with a friend, who is a professor at a local university, one year ago. Casucci brought up his desire to pursue a doctorate and eventually work in academia, and his friend encouraged him to stop wasting time. She was also familiar with the UF DBA program and connected Casucci to the right people to learn more information.
“It was just time,” Casucci said. “It felt like the universe telling me that was the right time and place. I’ve always enjoyed the academic setting and appreciated the energy on a campus. I’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to discuss new ideas and collaborate with colleagues.”
Casucci was always aware of the academic reputations maintained by the Warrington College of Business and the University of Florida. But throughout his research and conversations with Warrington faculty, he became convinced that UF was where he needed to pursue his doctorate and begin making progress towards a career in academia.
“From a reputation perspective, when it’s a school with the gravitas of UF, you know this is going to be an educational experience and also help with your future goals,” Casucci said.
Today, Casucci recently transitioned out of his role as CFO of Titan Containers to pursue his doctorate and teach as an adjust professor. Titan Containers is a European company over 30 years old that rents shipping containers to local businesses. Casucci left TAL International, a larger shipping container rental company, to join Titan Containers and helped the company experience tremendous growth.
Titan Containers roughly doubled in size over his final five years with the company. He worked with the CEO to find strategic opportunities and allocate capital to develop new markets and expand product lines. It was a more entrepreneurial atmosphere in the smaller company that Casucci loved.
Before working at Titan Containers, Casucci graduated from the United States Military Academy and spent five years in the Army. He also served in lending roles for European banks. But no matter where he went, the desire to return to academia was always there. And in only a few short months in the UF DBA program, he has seen why the program was the perfect fit.
The program’s flexibility has allowed him to continue life as usual. After traveling often in his role at Titan Containers, the trips to Gainesville aren’t surprising to his family.
“I’ve traveled a bit with my job, so me going away for a time wasn’t inconsistent with my life in finance,” Casucci said. “I would go away from 2-3 weeks at a time internationally. UF DBA program fits easily with the cadence of my family’s expectations.”
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There are different areas of expertise in every cohort that ensure the experience is collaborative but also help students learn about new fields. It’s also collaborative outside of the classroom. Casucci and classmates have meals together while in Gainesville and further their networks through the time together.
“Everything (UF DBA) has done and been able to do is in the interest of the students,” Casucci said. “We have access to an impressive group of faculty that have really invested in the program and us as students.”