My name is Jessica Modrak and I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Business Management and a Leadership minor. At UF, I registered for a six special topics entrepreneurship classes that were guest taught by Martin Schaffel, the founder of AVI-SPL. In these classes, I learned elements of the complete business cycle by reflecting on his past mistakes and lost opportunities. He taught about the importance of finding the right mentor(s), delegating responsibilities, when and how to hire, seizing opportunities, showing leadership by example, solving complex business problems and much more. Inspired by an idea pitched in one of Marty’s classes, some fellow students and I started the Empty Bottle Club which hosted regular monthly gatherings of entrepreneurs, students, professors, and community leaders to network, share ideas, and connect with each other.
During my time at the University of Florida, I received a Global Leadership and Change certificate for my participation in the Challenge 2050 project. The mission of this project was to equip undergraduate learners with the competencies, behaviors, and attitudes for solving global complex problems through interdisciplinary experiences and application. Through my involvement, I built a case study that strived to resolve a transportation public safety crisis that UF is currently experiencing. My passion for this project inspired me to write a job proposal that I presented to a local scooter dealership, New Scooters 4 Less (NS4L), on how I could add value to their organization while tackling the safety crisis head on. I worked for NS4L in Gainesville for about 9 months as a Manager of Operations where I evolved into a role that demanded management of projects, communication channels, and strategic planning. I juggled a multitude of priorities that include supporting all phases of project management, problem solving customer complaints, and setting daily team direction. I have hands on experience managing relationships with team members, executing company initiatives, and analyzing data to formulate short- and long-term strategic plans.
I swam competitively for a decade growing up and have been playing water polo at the high school, collegiate, and master’s level for the past 8 years. My leadership roles on the UF women’s club water polo team taught me the value of supporting others to achieve sustained competitive excellence. Our team has continued to grow in numbers, strength, and talent and in my senior year, we were the first team ever to win a National Championship title from the east coast of the U.S. After college, I coached a group of middle and high school athletes with the Gator Water Polo club as a Swim Coach. My involvement in the sport developed my leadership skills, ability to collaborate on a team, gave me strong communication skills, challenged my need to strategically plan, and gave me self- discipline. Upon leaving NS4L, I was offered a Business Consulting Analyst position at the US Olympic Committee. Unfortunately, my role was eliminated due to companywide budget cuts brought on by the Olympic postponement and COVID-19, however the experience and skills I gained within this role were ever valuable and have given me new insight as to what I want to be doing next. During my time, I served as an internal consulting analyst for all departments within the organization to utilize as a resource by leading projects that would benefit the company’s overall efficiency, effectiveness, and athlete experience. I treated my coworkers as clients and was challenged to produce the best deliverable for their specific needs.
I am currently seeking new opportunities within the entrepreneurship world here in the Tampa area. I have a versatile skill set that would help to take any project, event, or business to the next level. I have initiative, persistence, strong people skills, creativity, and passion. I am seeking a career in project management, consulting, and event planning. I have exceptional customer service experience and am incredibly sociable and personable. I look forward to the opportunity to get connected to the Synapse team more, and hope that you can help me find a new opportunity that would grow me both personally and professionally.