VanessaWilliamsforWPStudying in America’s 14th largest media market and living close to national and international firms was one of the main reasons Vanessa Williams chose to attend USF. The 21-year-old Allentown, Pa. native planned for internships to be part of her educational experience from day one.

Williams has spent three consecutive semesters as an intern with Raymond James, an investment banking, asset management, and financial services holding company. Today, she works with the marketing research and competitive intelligence team where she designs surveys, analyzes data, and presents her findings. In the two prior internships, she worked on social media campaigns, helped with search engine optimization efforts, and reworked a contact database used to distribute the company’s publications.

Williams believes that what elevates a student from “good” to “outstanding” is selfless service and leadership. Williams, who holds a black belt in karate, has served as a children’s martial arts instructor. A certified student leader through USF and a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Williams also worked on a community service project for Habitat for Humanity as a Raymond James intern.

In addition, she was community service chair member of Circle K International, a role that led her to volunteer at Trinity Café, an organization that serves meals to the needy, and Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, an environmental service agency.