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Nathan S. Collier Sponsors 9 Costa Rica Students

Published: Tuesday March 8, 2016

Nathan S. Collier Sponsored 9 Costa Rica Students

Nathan S. Collier in conjunction with the Warrington College of Business Administration and the Nathan S. Collier Masters of Real Estate Program at the University of Florida sponsored 9 Costa Rica students from the Business Administration Group at the University Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica during the week of February 21st to the 27th. The purpose of the cultural exchange was to offer the students a cross-disciplined introduction to the many facets of business and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Particia Lopez Estrada, a UF graduate herself, wanted to immerse the students in educational opportunities that enhanced their command of the English language and expose the students to the many possibilities available to them upon graduation. The week included two classes taught by Nathan S. Collier – Real Estate Terms 101 and Cultural Emersion, as well as a tour of local student housing and commercial real estate development projects.  The week began with a discussion on US legal systems conducted by Dean Laura Rosenbury of the UF Law School. Associate Dean and Director of the Heavener School of Business Brian Ray and Jon Cannon the Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs for the Warrington College of Business lead the students on a tour and discussion of the business school and its many programs. The students were also given the opportunity to meet with three business students to compare and contrast the educational system at UF verses their institution in Costa Rica.

The week continued with an overview of the history and expansion of the Butler Plaza, which will include an additional 725,000 square feet of destination and convenience shopping; a tour of the Alachua County Courthouse by local Judge Thomas Jaworski; an inspiring overview and excursion through the Florida Innovation Hub and UF’s Office of Technology Licensing by Jane Muir the Director. An additional highlight of the visit was a tour by Doug Brown, Deputy Executive Director and Kyle Rogers, Assistant Director of the Gator Boosters of UF athletic facilities including the O’Dome, The Swamp, Perry Field and the football and basketball practice facilities. Doug and Kyle we able to show business and sports management can be an exciting career opportunity for the right the student. Professor Eric Wild taught a class on Human Resource Management and the week ended with a presentation by Ed Jimenez the CEO of Shands Hospital. Ed introduced the students to the business of health and hospital management. The Vice President of Facilities, Brad Pollitt gave the students an overview of business and mechanics of  hospital real estate. The students were able to take a tour of Shands, including the Congenital Heart Intensive Care Unit and an offsite freestanding emergency department.

Mr. Collier would like to give a sincere thank you to all those that helped to make the week an incredible success:

Laura Rosenbury, Dean, UF Law School

Lyrissa Lidsky, Associate Dean for International Programs, UF Law School

Nathaly Rugel, Assistant for International Programs, UF Law Schools

Brian Ray, Associate Dean & Director of Heavener School of Business, UF Warrington College of Business

Jon Cannon, Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, UF Warrington College of Business

Deborah Butler and her staff, Butler Enterprises

Judge Jaworski, Judge, Alachua County Court

Jan Muir, Director, UF Innovation Hub – Office of Technology Licensing

Doug Brown, Executive Director, Gator Boosters, Inc.

Kyle Rogers, Assistant Director, Gator Boosters, Inc.

Sadie Darnell, Sherriff, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

Eric Wild, Adjunct UF Professor, President Alligator Realty

Ed Jimenez, CEO UF Health Shands Hospital

Claire Goodwin, Administrative Fellow, UF Health Shands Hospital

Brad Pollitt, Vice President of Facilities, Shands Hospital

James Alsbrook, Development Associate, The Collier Companies

Angela Tharpe, Executive Vice President, Office of the Chair, The Collier Companies

Jessica Haupt, Executive Assistant, Office of the Chair, The Collier Companies


Costa Rica Student Reflections from week:

“I am really grateful for all this week you prepared for us. It meant a lot. It opened my eyes and made me realize that business management can be combine with basically everything. I will always keep in mind your kindness and your strong will to do things in the best possible way.”

“I am thankful for letting me understand a business that does not really have a huge role in my country (real state), for teaching me that life does not really have any meaning because people create their own and because I will never forget that no matter where and how you start, if you work really hard and keep chasing after your dreams and goals, you will make it. Thank you very much for this amazing experience.”

“I am extremely grateful with you and your family for your time, generosity, and kindness. You put together the perfect itinerary for us.  All the activities were organized according to our likes and needs. You told us in the Cultural Immersion activity that we have to find what is meaningful in our lives and look for our passion. I am going to apply those aspects in my live. Your experience as a successful businessman is an inspiration for me to never give up. We could not have done any of this without your help. I am going to be grateful forever.”

“And from now on, when finding my passion there will always be in my mind that the best we can be, we must be. This experience has definitely marked my way towards building my future. I sincerely thank you for the opportunity of letting us be your guests.”

“I am thankful because without your help and everything you and your staff have done for us this would not have been possible at all. I learned that corporate culture has to be built day by day with actions not just words. I take with me the fact that here in Gainesville you use money wisely and when you use it to develop projects, you see it as an investment not as a cost for you or your company.”

“To start, I am very very thankful that you allowed us to stay in one of your houses. I know that is something that not everyone would do for a completely unknown group of people and it is something I am really grateful for. Also for making a space for us in your agenda for a whole week, allowing us to meet most of your workforce, and giving us the opportunity to take one of the classes with them, which was pretty interesting in fact. It really amazed me and made me see why you are one of the biggest real estate developers in the country, and it is your attitude with your employees. I completely liked it and I think that is how someone that wants to be seen as a leader should do: empower their employees, make them feel part of the business, and that is something that I am taking with me. I also want to have my own business and I have always thought that is the way a person should treat their employees to reach every goal that the company sets. Summarizing, thank you for absolutely everything you have done in this trip, especially for the class with Eric Wild, he really made me realize that it does not matter anything else when it comes to your dream job, if you want it you do whatever it takes to get there. Thank you so much.”

“Mr. Collier I would like to thank you for everything. It has been amazing. Thanks for all the logistic and the different opportunities that you gave us. For me, it has been a new experience, especially in terms of business. I have learned things that I could not learn in my country because they do not happen there. I will always take with me the Collier’s Manifesto especially this part “We believe that the best we can be, we must be.” If we want to have the best gifts in our life, we MUST do the best that we can. Again thanks for giving us some of your knowledge!”

“First of all I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH.  This experience would not have been possible without your help. This experience was awesome because I learned about businesses in other country with a lot of different regulations. Something that caught my attention was that you say “we need to have a balance in life and do what really we like”. That phrase I am going to apply in my life. You, your family, and your company are amazing. This field trip changed my point of view if my life. You opened my mind and I am very thankful for that. Also I like “the best we can be, we must be” that is amazing and I think all the people need to apply it in their lives.“

“Dear Mr. Collier I am really grateful to you for allowed me to know you, your family, and your companies, also for sharing with me your knowledge. These days I was in your house, I learned a lot about real estate and the University of Florida, which is an amazing university. That things are going to help me to grow personal and professionally. But what I really learned about you is that with attitude and hard work I can make possible the impossible. For all this, I just want to say you thank you very much! Blessings for you and your family.”

“I am very thankful for the opportunity as a future professional but also as a person. It has been an extremely great experience. Thank you very much for all the hospitality and extremely good attention that you have given us. It has means a lot for me, especially because this is my very first time in US and it would not be possible for me without the help of people like you. I will always remember that. I have learned a lot of rewarding lessons that have impacted my life. Your teachings about how to deal with business and be successful has opened my eyes into a bigger perspective. Now, I have all this great information and pictures in my mind of to do things in the correct way. I really admire you for all the passion and excellence you have showed in everything you do. I will carry all this in my heart forever. I hope I can become a more successful person in life through experiences like this that are really priceless. Thank you very much Mr. Collier!”

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