Steinhoff_WP (Erikas pick)One of the most important aspects of college life is what students do beyond the classroom, particularly as it relates to self discovery. That is especially true for economics major Carl “Trey” Steinhoff.  At USF, he began to discover new disciplines. He connected with people who thought differently.  He enjoyed challenging discourses that caused him to rethink his position on hot topics. He joined Free Thinkers at USF, a society that promotes reason and understanding through dialogue. Soon, he found himself exploring the arts and learning to paint.  He joined a student organization that aims to educate people about renewable energy sources. He began to play intramural athletics.

It might sound as if Steinhoff was “trying to find himself” — and perhaps he was. It all came together when he took a creativity and innovation course. He realized he could blend the foundational knowledge that start-ups need with the arts and a free thinkers mindset. He connected with faculty who explained what it takes to turn creative ideas into scalable ventures.

Steinhoff, a graphics intern for Tampa Bay Wave, a business incubator, participated in case competitions in the business school (his team took second in 2014 won in 2015). He also took part in the Start-Up Weekend competition, where contestants have three days to build and pitch a company to venture capitalists, coming in second.

Because of these experiences, Steinhoff founded USF’s Entrepreneurship Club to connect students with area entrepreneurs. These experiences also led to a job offer prior to graduation. He plans to work in Citi’s Anti-Money Laundering Unit.