Bulls Blitz to expand beyond RayJay

Bulls Blitz may not only be a way of getting to football games at Raymond James Stadium if a new program, created by Student Government (SG), is launched this semester.

“Bulls Blitz to Student Success” is a program that would give students the opportunity to visit businesses in the Tampa Bay area as a networking opportunity.

Locations for visits would vary to reach students across all colleges at the university, and approximately 20-25 students would participate in each trip.

“We already do the Bulls Blitz to Raymond James,” Nia Jackson, a senior majoring in sociology and secretary for Student Success said. “(The program would) actually take that Bulls Blitz to go out into the community and go out into businesses, meeting professionals and having a little networking with them.”

The program, Jackson said, will be a good networking opportunity for students, who many times only get exposure with businesses in the Tampa Bay area when they visit campus for career fairs and other events.

“Say you’re a mass communications major and we’re going to Bay News 9,” Jackson said. “We’d take a Bull Runner, 20 to 25 students, and we’d maybe meet with a copy writer and anchor and a reporter. So basically they get the ins-and-outs on how to get in this field and what (students) should be doing in college to be prepared.”

The program is a new initiative, and has not yet been given A&S funding, student body President William Warmke, said. A major cost of this program, Jackson said, would be the expenses of using a Bull Runner bus as transportation for up to three hours per trip.

“That’s something Student Government wants to do, is provide an experience outside the classroom,” Warmke said. “What the (program) is going to do is to engage our local Tampa Bay community partners and kind of build those networking connections and relationships, and get people in the workforce and let them see what their degrees do, and see what it’s like in action.”

A survey was launched last week by SG about the pilot program to gather feedback from students to see if they would utilize the program and what businesses students are interested in visiting.

Though Jackson said she hasn’t had many responses yet, the feedback she has received has been helpful.

“I want to know where your dream job in Tampa would be at, so I know to contact these people,” Jackson said. “I’m not everyone’s major. I do research on my own, and people are writing down what they would like and being very detailed, so I love the responses that I’ve got so far.”

Jackson said she thinks the program is necessary because it gives students an opportunity to explore what their majors mean for careers outside of a university setting.

“So many people get to their junior or senior year and have not had one internship yet,” Jackson said. “Or they don’t know what the inside of these types of companies they want to work for look like.”

Jackson said she plans to meet with the Undergraduate Studies coordinator in each of the colleges at USF, to get feedback on what businesses to target that may be beneficial for students to network with.

While the program is in the “trial and error” stages, Jackson said she hopes the program’s first trip will take place in November.