Sharleen Kiana So’s path through her academic career is remarkable. She and her family came here from the Philippines in 2015 and she began taking classes online only. That’s because she was working three jobs – a crew member at McDonalds, a cashier at Publix and later, a part-time teller at J.P. Morgan and Chase Bank – to make ends meet.
It wasn’t until 2018 that she had to finally come to campus to take classes face-to-face with professors and classmates. And that experience opened her eyes to the full university experience. Organizations she had no idea existed were there to join, mentors helped students, scholarships were available and studying abroad was a reality. And she took full advantage. She received scholarships that allowed her to travel to Florence, Italy, in the summer of 2018 and she has never looked back.
She now is getting ready to graduate in December 2019 with a degree in accounting with an overall 4.0 grade-point average. She is a member of the Accounting Society at USF, the Student Investment Club, the USF Chinese Students Association and she is a USF GloBull Ambassador. She speaks five languages, including Filipino, Mandarin, Hokkien, and has received a certificate for business skills and practices from Sandler Training.
This summer, she will join Carr, Riggs and Ingram, an accounting firm, as an audit intern.
Off campus, she has helped raise funds for a handful of charities, including the March of Dimes, Special Olympics and Food for Sharing.