Being both a first-generation American as well as first-generation college student, Francesca Arrigoni knows what it means to be self-sufficient. Understanding that she was limited in her initial resources, she decided she was going to investigate almost every professional development program offered by USF and the Muma College of Business. Through her grit and hard work, Arrigoni took advantage of every opportunity presented to her, one of the first ones being in the Corporate Mentor Program, where she was paired with a regional business leader and learned what it takes to be successful — beyond the technical skills.
Arrigoni has held numerous leadership roles in the American Marketing Association. From director of social impact to vice president of technology to treasurer, she continues to show growth. In these roles she helped facilitate the organization’s ranking as a Top 20 International Collegiate Chapter and obtainment of the Collegiate Website Award at the 2018 international conference.
With a craving to learn and a willingness to take on new challenges, Arrigoni sought out and was accepted into a study abroad internship in Italy as well as one in Switzerland. As an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, she was involved in the Embassy’s everyday affairs, interacted with Swiss businesses interested in foreign investments, and acted as a direct representative of the United States when arranging visits with political officials.
As one of only nine students selected for the rigorous two-semester Applied Securities Analysis course, Arrigoni oversaw the $600,000 USF Student Managed Investment Fund, allowing her to showcase her skills by pitching stock analysis and projections to a panel of 25 professional investors.
William Atterbury knows that determination and hard work leads to future choices and opportunities.
Determination led him to obtain an undergraduate degree in finance followed by a pursuit of a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, all while serving in a leadership role with USF’s football team.The offensive guard was three-year starter for the Bulls and eventually served as team captain. Balancing a 40-plus-hour practice schedule with a loaded academic schedule takes dedication and strict time-management skills. Even with this schedule, Atterbury frequently travels to elementary schools and attends events hosted by USF Athletics to promote athletics to kids. He also meets with high school football teams to talk about his experience and challenges in pursuing football in college.
Hard work led Atterbury to two exceptional internships. He interned alongside a financial advisor at Westshore Financial, where he learned about the financial planning industry, sat in on client meetings and attended job training seminars. Atterbury later served as an intern with Dais Analytic Corporation. There, he worked with both the finance department and the research and development department. He conducted in-depth research into a new product line and organized a marketing strategy for the product line. With his exceptional communication skills, Atterbury also created a marketing pitch for various manufacturers, proving that he has a willingness to take on new challenges and succeed in doing so.
Now, a full two months before graduation, Atterbury has a choice to make. He has been offered a full-time position with Fortune 500 insurance firm Western & Southern, pending 215 licensure. Two football teams have also reached out to him to talk about potential opportunities in the NFL.
Struggle doesn’t define a person; triumph does. Brittanie Bakken took her hardships and turned them into lessons, using them to strengthen her character. Growing up in a financially insecure household, she knew that attending college wasn’t going to be easy. Nevertheless, her perseverance and dedication to her goals allowed her to triumph.
She participated in a dual-enrollment program in high school and earned an associate’s degree in leadership development from Valencia Community College. She was the first dual-enrollment student to have ever been accepted into the school’s Seneff Honors College, paving the way for future high school students. In this program, Bakken was frequently on the dean’s list and was quickly accepted into Phi Beta Kappa, all while accumulating around 200 hours of volunteer service.
At USF, Bakken has jumped right into student life. She has been involved in a variety of campus organizations, including Women in Business Society, the American Marketing Association, USF Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals student roundtable, Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society, the National Society of Leadership and Success and Phi Sigma Theta National Honors Society. Due to her strong work ethic and professional growth, Bakken was awarded both the Francis Elvidge Memorial Scholarship and the Joel Reedy Memorial Scholarship. This aid helped her to become the first college graduate in her family to graduate debt-free.
Bakken is in her final semester of graduate school. She serves as the senior marketing chair for the USF Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals student roundtable. She also works as graduate teaching assistant for Principles of Management. She will earn an MBA in May.
At age five, he got his first tennis racket. At age ten, he won his first national championship. As an international student athlete, Igor Bampa Schattan followed his love for tennis to the United States to pursue a degree in finance with a concentration in asset management.
His undergraduate career began at Lee University, a small liberal arts campus located in Cleveland, Tennessee. At LU, Schattan helped organize and run a tennis summer camp for 200 children with disabilities, a role that put on full display the lack of opportunities for children who are disabled. This challenged him to find innovative ways to teach the game to enthusiastic young athletes.
After two years at LU, Schattan transferred to USF. Soon, he found himself teaching his peers about business and professional development through the game of tennis. As a Corporate Mentor Program participant, he met with his program coordinator and USF’s director of tennis to propose a tennis workshop for fellow students in the program. With nearly 20 attendees in the fall, he is excited to expand the project in the spring semester.
The networking that the Corporate Mentor Program provided led him to an internship opportunity at Franklin Templeton and the mentoring helped him become a more well-rounded business student.
Schattan was one of the students in the Student Managed Investment Fund in fall 2019. Through the program, he learned to make smart investment decisions and gained hands-on experience that will help him achieve his goals of working in investment banking or private wealth management.
While Raymond Cordova knew he wanted to go to college, he had no idea what he wanted to be or what major to declare. He started out in USF’s Zimmerman Advertising Program, though family members suggested he study accounting since he had an aptitude with numbers. Neither was a fit.
Fortunately, Cordova discovered the U.S. Air Force ROTC. Though Cordova had no military background, the program appealed to him. He liked the leadership training concept. He liked the idea of service. He liked the idea of rising to meet challenges. Cordova says that field training was physically and intellectually challenging. It was overwhelming and stressful and it tested one’s ability to lead in demanding training scenarios.
It was a whole new world. Cordova was all in.
Cordova received the Commander’s Leadership Scholarship, a full scholarship awarded to two cadets in his first year (with the understanding of military service upon graduation). He moved into the ROTC living-learning community and served as a resident assistant for two years, planning events, dealing with crises, enabling student success.
Cordova was awarded the George Washington Purple Heart Leadership medal (a national leadership award given annually for displaying exemplary leadership). He received the AFROTC achievement award and the AFROTC academic honors award. Cordova also received a Military Order of the World Wars bronze medal, which recognizes those who embody the characteristics of an honorable cadet.
Now a deputy operations commander, Cordova says he discovered that the skills needed for success in the ROTC program are the same skills marketing sales leaders need. His immediate career goal is to obtain a commission as a second lieutenant. He was selected to fly remotely piloted aircraft.
Google Emily Dachs’ name and a few things become apparent: She is passionate about the Tampa Bay Lightning, she loves USF and she has been preparing herself for a career with the National Hockey League since, well, forever.
Before enrolling in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, Dachs earned two USF undergraduate degrees, one in mass communications with a public relations concentration and one in marketing with an emphasis on sport and entertainment management. She had six internships under her belt before graduation, including stints as a PR/communications intern for the Hillsborough County Bar Association, as a marketing director for the HOT band (where she also played the baritone) and as a communications intern for the business school.
Additionally, Dachs worked for the USF Ice Bulls hockey team, handling social media and graphic design, and held a job in digital marketing with Color Clutch, a local small business. That company was sold and her supervisor moved on to a new role at Hanlon Acoustical Ceilings. She brought Dachs along with her to the fast-growing company, tasking Dachs with marketing strategy. Few things speak louder about a supervisor’s trust in one’s abilities.
Now a first-year graduate student in USF’s dual-degree MBA and MS in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, Dachs still works part-time at the ceiling company. She is a member of Women in Sport & Entertainment Tampa Bay, a group that focuses on the professional development of women in the male-dominated industry. And she is still working toward her dream of a corporate career with the NHL.
Derisma joined the U.S. Army as a high school senior. There, he spent four years in an infantry unit learning about land reconnaissance, battlefield communication and teamwork in times of exceptional stress. Despite the rigorous physical training and demanding schedule, Derisma started his college career at about the same time, completing two years of college while on active duty. He slept less than four hours a night for two years but says his diligence paid off as his grades never slipped during that time. He currently has a 3.43 GPA.
He says his motivation for excellence comes from being raised in an immigrant family. He also says the military taught him lessons he is now using as co-president of the USF Real Estate Society, a student organization with 400 members. Derisma helped arrange corporate tours, brought in guest speakers and led meetings. He believes real estate is critical to the overall economy, and also complex – which coupled with what he calls a “low-yield economic environment” for fixed-income investors – can lead to an oversupply in the property markets as investors search for higher yield. He says students need to learn as much as they can from their classes while also gleaning insight from experienced professionals.
Though Derisma is no longer an infantryman, he is still working while attending school. He is a commercial real estate development analyst, working full-time and learning different methodologies regarding the real estate investment process, municipality regulatory process, financial modeling,
Derisma plans to pursue a master’s degree next. He has already been accepted into schools such as Georgetown University, New York University and the University of California, Berkeley.
Timothy Ernest is a servant leader who is an honor student in two colleges, a student researcher, a teaching assistant and an active community volunteer. He aspires to be a physician, so he became a Certified Nursing Assistant while pursuing a degree in biomedical sciences, conducting research and shadowing doctors. He believes that doctors must also understand business, so he decided to pursue a second degree in marketing.
As an undergraduate research assistant in the Natural Products Discovery Lab, Ernest worked for a team dedicated to lead generation for new medicines. He worked alongside faculty on several biomedical research projects. He has submitted a handful of papers for publication in the Permanente Journal.
Ernest also served as a research assistant at Shriners Hospital for Children, scientific research conducting scientific research related to quality improvement. He was able to present his findings related to service barriers to the hospital’s leadership team and will present his work with pediatric outpatient clinic appointments at the Academy of Health’s conference in June.
On campus, Ernest landed a spot on a student advisory board for College of Arts & Sciences, serves as a GloBull Ambassador and has served as the campus president for Relay for Life, a fundraising event that honors cancer survivors and provides an avenue to remember loved ones who died from cancer.
An Eagle Scout who calls community service “cherished opportunities,” Ernest has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, the Humane Society and Moffitt Cancer Center. The cancer center named him its Student Volunteer of the Year in 2019. Ernest says that such service helped him see what effective, compassionate medicine looks like.
For many, immigrating to the United States to start a new life and attend college in the United States is a remarkable dream. Maria Lorena Morales Ferrebus has made it a reality.
She had to learn English first. She did. Challenging herself through dual enrollment and AP courses during her senior year after moving to America just two years prior, she graduated high school with straight As. Proving dreams come true with discipline, courage and determination, Morales received several USF and community scholarships.
A resident assistant, Columbia Restaurant flamenco dancer, Corporate Mentor Program participant and climate activist, Morales will soon graduate with a degree in business analytics and information systems and a minor in environmental policy.
Morales’ devotion to the environment began after witnessing the effects of oil spills on her hometown, Maracaibo, Venezuela. At USF, she has found her passion and learned how she can make a difference advocating for the planet while encouraging people to take climate action. In the past year, she has traveled to Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee to lobby for environmental concerns. She has also attended conferences addressing sustainability, carbon pricing, climate action and climate policy. Notably, she has been an invited panel speaker for two conferences.
One of her proudest accomplishments at USF is her founding of the Climate Action Coalition, a student organization with 88 active members that has hosted lobbying trips, professional speaker series and environmental awareness campaigns. Ultimately, Morales’ objectives is the building of sustainable, resilient grids for communities with the capability of reducing CO2 emissions and increasing quality of life.
A senior majoring in finance with a minor in economics, Cristiano Fernandes Filho is a tutor at the USF Academic Success Center, helping others succeed in often-dreaded economics, finance and statistics courses. He says the chance to help his peers was challenging and rewarding.
That experience gave Fernandes a taste of service and student involvement. He wanted more.
Fernandes joined the USF Brazilian Student Association aiming to connect with fellow Brazilian students and help others excel academically and grow professionally. In his first semester with the association, Fernandes helped plan and organize the first Brazil-Florida Student Conference, an event that joined students from Florida universities with guest speakers to discuss the importance of entrepreneurship, health, and professional development. His important contributions to the conference were such that, just one month later, Fernandes was elected the president of the largest Brazilian student organization in the country.
The following summer, Fernandes completed an internship with Citi on its financial planning and analysis team. This fast-paced, dynamic environment demanded critical thinking and excellent communication skills, qualities he perfected with the Brazilian Student Association. After his internship, Fernandes joined the USF Student Managed Investment Fund. As one of nine student analysts co-managing the fund, he has pitched stocks to Raymond James portfolio managers, USF leaders and board members from the USF Foundation. Fernandes has discovered a cornucopia of resources to give back to his community while developing academic and professional skills. He will graduate as one of a handful of students to receive the CFA Program Student Scholarship. Fernandes will sit for the CFA Level I exam in June.
When a high school teacher made fun of 15-year-old Maria Ghulam for not knowing what the word “essay” meant, Ghulam was angry. The Saudi Arabian native had just transferred from an all Arabic school to an international one where everything was taught in English and she hated being ridiculed. That experience, combined with her commitment to family and beyond-her-years maturity, led Ghulam to set some goals: to own property, to become an entrepreneur and to be part of the community.
At a young age, Ghulam wanted to be independent and though young, she loved the idea of owning real estate. To her, owning property meant a secure and stable future for herself and her family. She is working toward that goal.
Ghulam has a wide variety of cultural experiences. She has studied abroad and learned several languages. While fluent in English and Arabic, Ghulam also has working proficiency in Korean and Japanese. She used this knowledge to give back to the community by teaching English to refugees and helping students in the Japanese Club practice their Japanese language skills. Ghulam has also helped with fundraisers and assisted a nonprofit organization, Tampa City Ballet, by coordinating events and upgrading its branding and social media strategies.
Ghulam graduated from USF with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Currently, she has a 4.0 GPA in pursuit of a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, which she plans to use one day in her own business. She works as a graduate assistant for marketing capstone courses, an outreach agent at the Florida Blue Health Care Innovation Competition and holds leadership roles with the USF Entrepreneurship Society and Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization.
When INTO USF awarded Anuar Khamzin a full scholarship to USF, the expectation was that he would do well here. But no one expected that he would graduate as a King O’Neal Scholar, a designation given to those who earn a bachelor’s degree with a 4.0 GPA throughout the undergraduate career.
Now an MBA student who works full-time while attending classes at night, Khamzin aims to graduate from the MBA program with the same GPA.
While in school, he participated in three competitive corporate internships in four years. He served as a supply chain analyst at Weldon Industries, a management trainee at FedEx Freight and a global procurement market intelligence intern at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He mastered sought-after technical skills and software programs along the way, becoming proficient in Excel, SAP, Ariba, Sharepoint, Tableau and Watson. He has achieved Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, SCPro and CPSD certifications, too. After graduation, Bristol-Myers Squibb offered him a job as a global procurement specialist. Now he manages a six-person procure-to-pay operations team.
Khamzin also conducts different types of research related to global supply chain management and sustainability, which, he says, motivates him to wake up every morning.
As an undergraduate, Khamzin was president of the Kazakhstan Student Association, sponsorship chair of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, and a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He improved his public speaking skills through Toastmasters. He played on USF’s club soccer team and participated in six consecutive Stampede of Service events.
A native of Kazakhstan, Khamzin speaks five languages: English, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek. In his spare time, he enjoys putting his private pilot license to use.
At thirteen, Luiza Marques founded “H-eLO Unite to Transform,” a campaign to better the living conditions of homeless citizens in Sao Paulo, Brazil, aiming to brighten some of her fellow Brazilians’ futures. A strong secondary education was the key to her success and she was drawn to USF’s commitment to transforming students into engaged citizens leading enriched lives in dynamic global markets.
USF’s Brazilian Student Association provided growth opportunities. During her first semester, she became the vice president of the association, where she organized several events. She was selected to become a member of Global BRASA, an organization with more than 7,000 members and 90 association organizations worldwide. She organized U.S. national conferences hosting more than 500 students from every state and abroad and raised money for scholarships for low-income Brazilian students pursuing an education abroad.
Marques received the LAC Scholarship and the Scott Taylor Endowed Scholarship. Professors quickly noted her abilities. A business calculus professor encouraged her to become a peer leader and tutor. She accepted the challenge. Further, Marques is a Corporate Mentor Program participant, working with Danielle Tarasen of Raymond James Financial.
Fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and English, Marques jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in China. Immersing herself in a new culture taught her how to be flexible and resilient in intercultural situations that she expects to face in her global business career.
Marques spent the summer of 2018 interning at BTG Pactual, the largest investment bank in Latin America. This summer, she will join A.B. InBev, the world’s largest brewer, as an intern.
When Renata Gomes Martins spoke at the college’s scholarship luncheon, the Brazilian native described what it was like to head to America solo, in high school, in order to get an American education. Her story was not one of tragedy, loss or sadness. It was one of perseverance, hard work and determination.
Martins shared what it was like to navigate cumbersome processes to get the United States and what it was like to be a student-athlete at a boarding school while also mastering English and taking honors classes. She described what it was like to earn an honors degree and, then, later, an associate’s degree from Lake-Sumter State College, both thanks to athletics scholarships.
At USF, the global business major was awarded an academic scholarship and currently has a 4.0 GPA — earned while supporting herself financially. She worked part-time at the Small Business Development Center and, before that, as a sales intern at Florida Golf.
Thanks to scholarships, Martins has also been able to study abroad twice, travelling to Europe and to Africa. The experiences clearly align with her global view and spurred Martins to get involved in the Global Citizens Project, and she eventually served as president of the group. She later cofounded the Global Business Society and helped bring the inaugural World Without Waste Sustain-A-Bull Challenge, supported by Coca-Cola, to campus, giving students a chance to pitch sustainable business ideas to the firm’s leaders.
Martins also finished near the top in several professional development programs, such as Selling With the Bulls and the Elevator Pitch Competition. It is no surprise that she has received a full-time job offer from Cintas several months prior to graduation.
If there’s one word to describe Madison Masterson, it’s resilience. Masterson didn’t just attend college, she excelled.
She was dealt a difficult hand in life, having to leave her high school to attend hospital-homebound schooling due to epilepsy. Attending college was a far-away dream until she spent a summer studying at Harvard University. There, she decided, she would strive for higher education despite the challenges her disability would cause.
Masterson will graduate in May, with a degree in marketing as well as five internships and two jobs under her belt. She’s had experience ranging from management to social media to design, and she continues to push herself to learn more. She has already earned seven certifications and plans to expand her skill set even further before graduation.
Aside from her academics and professional development, she has also been heavily involved on campus as a leader in Student Government, Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Sigma Pi. She also founded one of USF’s largest organizations, Bulls Against Bullying. During her four years as president, the organization grew from 10 members to several hundred. She took on numerous tasks, planning events, budgeting and marketing, all while working and being a student. It’s clear how passionate Masterson is about the topic of bullying by the fact that she is currently writing a research-based thesis on how marketing can be utilized to prevent and reduce bullying.
She is passionate about community service, too. She has volunteered for five different non-profit organizations and Masterson dreams of opening her own non-profit in the future, aiming to increase awareness of the impact of bullying and change community behaviors.
Born into a family of teachers, Ayse Ongan always knew she wanted to continue the family tradition. Raised in Turkey and fluent in Turkish and English, Ongan credits her father for her academic ambition. She will graduate this summer with a 3.93 grade point average.
On campus, Ongan is in the Judy Genshaft Honors College and serves on the Honors College Student Council. She is also on the volunteer committee, which allows her to pursue her love for event planning and working with others. Ongan has planned events with Relay for Life, Making Strides for Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society. Further, she is a philanthropy and fundraising committee member in Phi Chi Theta, a professional business fraternity. Her experience on the Honors College Student Council and in Phi Chi Theta have allowed her to develop and practice the professional leadership skills needed to succeed in the industry while meeting others who are interested in a future career in finance. Ongan is also active in the Women in Business Society and the Student Finance Association.
While serving in several organizations, Ongan finds time to fuel her passion for teaching as she tutors peers in algebra, economics and statistics.
In 2019, Ongan returned to Turkey, the country she left as a young girl, as a financial professional. She interned at Ernst & Young and helped audit the factoring department of a large private Turkish bank while translating financial tables.
This summer, Ongan will begin the master’s degree program in finance at Vanderbilt University. Ultimately, she aspires to become a professor, following her father’s footsteps in sharing her knowledge with others and helping them learn.
A native of El Salvador, Parada graduated with an undergraduate business degree in 2017, cum laude, earning these honors while racking up an impressive list of extracurricular activities. Now Parada aims to earn a second USF degree — an MBA, with honors.
When Parada first arrived at USF, he joined the Latin American Student Association but found it to be somewhat insular. It did not collaborate with other multicultural organizations. Parada thought the organization was missing opportunities. A firm believer in inclusion, Parada proposed opportunities for several multicultural clubs to collaborate. He coordinated the inaugural Noche Latina during Hispanic Heritage Month and worked with other organizations to create the Mr. & Ms. Latinx contest. Parada went on to become president of LASA and soon the group became a de facto umbrella organization for several multicultural clubs. Under his leadership, the association received USF’s Outstanding Organizational Collaboration Award.
Parada served as a student assistant for USF’s Center for Leadership Civic Engagement and was named 2018 Student Assistant of the Year. He helped the Association of Future Professionals in Business Management grow by 100 members. And he is in his second term as president of LASA.
Outside of campus, Parada took on a sales job at American Freight/Sears Outlet. Parada was recognized as “Best of Outlet” for three consecutive months as he brought in 600 new leasing accounts. He briefly served as acting manager, filling in for a to-be-hired leadership post. He now works as a supervisor there, working full-time while pursuing the MBA in the evenings.
Raj Patel lives in two worlds: business and medicine. At USF, Patel has risen to leadership roles in just about everything he undertakes.
As an undergraduate, Patel served as a two-term senator of the College of Arts and Sciences, representing more than 17,000 students. He was later elected as president of the Students of India Association, USF’s largest multicultural organization. Through SIA, Patel worked closely with USF World to provide airport pickups and temporary housing for international students.
Patel has helped start many successful student organizations and was inducted into the CAS Dean’s Student Leadership Society. By serving in some of the most influential roles at USF, Patel has advocated for a better student life by addressing student needs while bridging the gap between students and administration. In 2018, Patel graduated summa cum laude from USF with a bachelor’s in biomedical sciences and was lauded at graduation by then-USF President Judy Genshaft.
But he didn’t stop there.
Patel returned to USF to pursue an MBA in Health Care Management, where he is now in his final semester. He continues to develop future leaders as president of The Order of the Golden Brahman, an exclusive organization uniting campus leaders to serve the USF community for a lifetime. Patel has also been passionately involved with clinical and biomedical engineering research. He is a published author in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at local, regional, and national conferences. In 2019, he received The Florida High Tech Corridor Student Research Award.
Equipped with strong business acumen and a heart to serve, he begins medical school this summer. He aims to become a physician-leader.
Courtney Powers is a triple-threat: smart, kind and industrious. And she is one of three kids from a family that bleeds green and gold. So much so, in fact, that the USF Alumni Association named them “Family of the Year” in 2018.
She earned her undergraduate degree in management with honors. And she currently has a 4.0 GPA in the MBA program, earning these grades while working full-time and volunteering in the community.
Powers has a servant’s heart and can often be found helping out behind the scenes at events on campus, such as the Young University Summit, an Open House for potential freshmen and the USF Presidential Investiture Reception. At each of these events, she served as an informal ambassador for the college. She also helps tutor student-athletes.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Powers rose from an intern to a full-time associate on the Big Four firm’s Idea2Innovation team. Due to her strong critical thinking skills and willingness to learn, Powers was able to travel to Boston to represent her team in conducting usability testing for an internal tool that would be rolled out to 50,000 employees nationwide. Though it was new to her, Powers quickly picked up the skills necessary for user interface and user experience design.
PwC leaders know how to spot talent and Powers was recently chosen to be a member of an enablement team which is a cross-functional team focused on tackling and delivering on Controller Operations opportunities through automation. She was also tasked with coordinating and planning the PwC stage at the Synapse Summit in Tampa.
As a second-semester junior, Tyler Schulman has found out how to become a big fish in a large pond. Double majoring in finance with a concentration in asset management and personal financial planning, Schulman has maintained a 3.92 GPA while accomplishing many of the goals he set for himself as a freshman.
However, his academic dedication surpasses his GPA.
Schulman is the founding president of the Zeta Rho chapter of Phi Chi Theta at USF, an organization that has grown to over 60 members and has remained successful in multiple professional development and philanthropic efforts since September 2018. In their first year, the chapter raised more than $2,000 for the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life while coordinating development workshops and arranging corporate visits to Raymond James and Tech Data. Schulman has also volunteered at Metropolitan Ministries, Feeding Tampa Bay and Habitat for Humanity with the Zeta Rho chapter.
On campus, Schulman is a student in the Judy Genshaft Honors College and the Business Honors Program. In 2019, he was recognized as the Business Honors Ethical Scholars Award recipient, an award sponsored by the dean and awarded to one exceptional business honors student annually. This award is one of the most prestigious awards for business honors students, recognizing academic excellence, leadership, ethical accomplishments and societal achievements.
Professionally, Schulman has completed two internships at well-respected financial service firms, Morgan Stanley and Raymond James Financial. He has landed a third internship at JPMorgan Chase and will work as a wealth management analyst in its private banking sector this summer. After graduation, Schulman plans to obtain both his CFA and CFP designations while pursuing a career in wealth management.
Passionate for ensuring universal success, business honors student Jessica Senatus is determined to consistently put her best foot forward and blaze trails for others. One of the first women in her family to attend college, Senatus has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her undergraduate career thus far and she aims to have the same when she graduates in 2021. Senatus competed in USF’s annual Elevator Competition as a freshman and earned second place out of 200 students.
She is a USF Student Government senator for the Muma College of Business, serving the student body by working on the Senate Policy Committee, Activity and Service Fee Recommendation Committee, Finance Committee and the Grants Committee. She has authored memorials commemorating the lives of USF students to be presented before their families and encourages students to continue paying their service forward to the USF community. Through her senate work, Senatus has learned the importance of working with others — despite not seeing eye-to-eye on issues — the value of fairness and impartiality and the joy of supporting the values she holds close to her heart.
A resident of the invitation-only Bulls Business Community and part of the Business Honors Program, Senatus has worked on service projects for Habitat for Humanity. As a child, Habitat for Humanity extended its helping hand to her own family and Senatus was honored to repay them by helping create welcome home gifts for families to receive during their home dedications. This serves as a reminder of how much Habitat for Humanity’s work had radically transformed her own life.
Even though she won’t earn her bachelor’s degree until 2022, Salvadoran student Adriana Steiner has already done more than many graduate students.
Pursuing a major in global business and a certificate in visualization and design, Steiner has been a three-time dean’s list recipient and was granted the Burman Family Scholarship from the Muma College of Business during the 2019-20 academic year.
Despite the time it takes to achieve academic excellence, she had an itch to give back. She began working as an involvement consultant at the Center for Student Involvement and was quickly promoted. Today, she serves as vice president of involvement for the Campus Activities Board. These positions have given her the chance to provide meaningful and transformational experiences for USF students while leading event planners, staff members and volunteers. She is also the professional development chair for the National Scholars Collegiate Society, responsible for leading students towards realizing and achieving their career goals. Steiner develops workshops, creates content for social media and executes professional development activities for members. In the business school, she is a member of the Women in Business and Society, an organization that has allowed her to enhance business skills, learn from guest speakers and develop her professional network.
Next year, Steiner will participate in a summer study abroad program. This opportunity will allow her to pursue career development and cultural growth along with gaining experience in the professional world. She’s looking forward to expanding her knowledge, developing as an individual and acquiring vast cultural insights.
Few students understand perseverance like Taylor Torres. Torres’ grandparents, both Cuban immigrants, dreamed of seeing their granddaughter become the first person in the family to earn a college degree. Torres worked diligently and earned full college scholarships. She lost both grandparents shortly before she headed to college but she made a commitment to herself that she wouldn’t stop working toward their shared goal.
Just a few weeks into her studies, Torres learned her father was ill. His health and time at home with family became her top priority. She maintained involvement in school and continued excelling in coursework. As her father recovered and as she headed into her first finals week, she learned of a dear friend’s sucicide.
Despite the stress, the self-described “fearlessly unstoppable” student persevered. She remained focused on her big picture goal,which is to land a job where such drive and determination is required. That’s why she chose to major in marketing and sales. She is an excellent student, evidenced by her 3.96 GPA. And she is a highly engaged campus leader. She has served in leadership roles for the USF Professional Sales Club; she is now the club’s vice president. She participated in the Selling with the Bulls competition, taking first place in two segments, second in another and landing near the top in two additional categories. Torres was the first USF student to make it to the semi-finals at the Northeastern Intercollegiate Sales Competition. Beyond campus, Torres served as a sales intern at Cintas Corporation, worked as a marketing coordinator for a local dance school, handled operations tasks at an insurance company and participated in Domino’s Australia’s international internship program.
Transfer student Nikki Weinkauf wasted no time getting involved at USF. She joined Delta Sigma Pi and soon found herself serving as vice president of operations for the business fraternity. She enrolled in the GloBull Ambassador program and was the recipient of USF’s Global Citizens Award. She connected with the Peace Corps and recently finished its Prep Certification program.
Weinkauf also launched the Golden Bulls Dance Team and now oversees two dance teams while handling the group’s finances and its competition schedule. USF recently won first place at the regional level of the National Dance Alliance competition.
Outside of campus, Weinkauf volunteers 16 hours a week at Big Cat Rescue, serving as “keeper” at the animal sanctuary. She also spends every Monday at Ronald McDonald House, working as a development intern.
Weinkauf traveled to the Dominican Republic during a break from classes and volunteered at an orphanage where some of her extended family works. When a student team from the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement headed to Puerto Rico, Weinkauf joined in and worked at a local coffee farm and helped clear landsides in the El Yunque rainforest. She received the President’s Volunteer Award as a result of service while studying abroad.
While she shares her time freely, she maintains a 3.93 GPA while working on professional development. She was a purchasing intern at Aptar, an operations management intern at the Yuengling Center, which led to a guest services supervisor job, and a service and technology strategy intern at New York Life Insurance, where she supported strategic communications and helped with change management projects.
Honduran native Jacobo Zacapa never felt the urge to emigrate. However, in 2016, he realized his limited ability to advance academically in his homeland. Zacapa made the decision to move to the United States to complete his college career.
At USF, Zacapa was awarded the USF International Scholarship due to his academic merit and has renewed the scholarship yearly by meeting academic performance requirements. This year, he received the Raymond James Employee Endowed Scholarship in Business. Zacapa thought he had reached his academic pinnacle. To his surprise, he was later invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma, an exclusive invitation offered only to the top ten percent of the graduating class.
A first-generation college student, Zacapa joined the Corporate Mentor Program, which has helped him develop professionally, offering interviewing skills and resume critiques as well as corporate tours and networking events.
On campus, Zacapa has worked alongside the dean and faculty of the Muma College of Business as a front desk and financial management student assistant. He felt he could do more. In 2018 and 2019, Zacapa returned to Honduras to work as an administrative assistant at INVERCOSA, SA de CV, a grocery and candy import firm. In 2019, he interned at Dinant Corporation, one of the largest Honduran manufacturing companies. With Dinant, Zacapa had the opportunity to work as a cost analyst intern, trusted with reconciling more than $300,000 worth of materials used per day.
Zacapa remains humble through volunteerism. The seven-time dean’s list scholar participates in USF’s Stampede of Service and is currently volunteering at Junior Achievement. Despite his accomplishments, he believes there is nothing more rewarding than making people smile.
Nandini Agarwal is a year away from graduation and already she is making her mark not only here at USF, but around the world. She has worked to better the lives of women in her native country, India. As a freshman, she took on an undergraduate research project titled “Impediments to Indian Women’s Financial Literacy and Participation.” She traveled to India where she interned at the Center for Social Research, a women’s rights organization, in the summer.
Though she’s not yet 20 years old, Agarwal is getting ready to graduate in August 2020. She remembers being just 4 when her mother told her the moon had no light of its own, but that it was the sun that gave light to the moon. She has likened herself and USF to that analogy. USF is the sun, and she is the moon that reflects the light imbibed here.
She is a USF Provost Scholar and Honors College student who is a candidate for a dual degree in accounting and finance. She also is the recipient of the coveted 2018 Golden Bull Award and the Genshaft/Greenbaum International Honors Study Scholarship. She traveled to London with the USF in London program where she was awarded the Greatest Academic Achievement.
She came to the United States when she was 15 and has blossomed in her college career. She serves on the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Student Advisory Board and is the vice president of the Business Honors Service Association. This summer, she will be interning with Goldman Sachs in New York City.
Sofia Tejera Moran’s life over the past four years has been a period of personal growth and enlightenment. Coming from her home country of Venezuela, she has blossomed into a confident, ambitious young woman who is ready to make her mark in whatever path she chooses. She has interned overseas and here, mastered the tools of marketing, including software and social media, and is ready for the next chapter in her life to open up.
Tejera Moran is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing and business administration. She has maintained a grade-point average of 3.94 and has been named to the Dean’s List on multiple occasions. She has taken part in the Marketing Mentorship Program and was the recipient of the Global Citizens Scholarship in 2016, which allowed her to travel to Florence, Italy, to study for a semester as part of the study-abroad program.
She currently is an intern with the Muma College of Business Communications and Marketing Department, where she assists in graphic design, writing and event planning. She also served as an intern for Russel Reynolds Associates in Zurich, Switzerland, a personnel-search company that has offices around the world. There, she helped research candidates for different companies and prepare client presentations.
She currently is the marketing director for the Plan Pais Conference, an annual event that is held in different cities (this year in Tampa) to draw awareness to the social, political and economic upheaval in Venezuela. In that role, Tejera Moran is charged with creating a marketing plan with promotional strategies to encourage participation in the conference, expected to draw 300 attendees.
Frances Rice’s athletic career has held many lessons for her academic life and for what lies beyond after graduation. She has learned teamwork and how to be a leader; that perseverance and comradery can be just as important as personal achievement. She is a scholarship pole vaulter and high jumper for the USF track and field team who practices up to 20 hours a week when not competing at meets and spends 15 hours a week in the classroom.
Rice is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing and a minor in mass communications. She has participated in the Marketing Mentor Program and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the USF Athletics Department Honor Roll and has been named to the Dean’s List on several occasions.
She worked as an intern with Macy’s Credit and Customer Service Center where she created reports for software program usage, presented report findings to directors and managers and prepared training materials for new software launches. She also interned with Bell Athletics where she served as a camp counselor at the elite pole vaulting training facility in Arkansas. There, she oversaw 15 campers training to be college athletes.
Off campus, Rice has volunteered at Paralympic Sports of Tampa Bay, interacting with children of all ages. She also traveled to Haiti twice on mission trips to small villages of Duverger and Danndan, working at Haiti180’s mission school, medical clinic, elderly home and orphanage and delivering much needed supplies to villagers.
Karina Rao has risen to leadership roles in just about everything she undertakes. And now, she is poised to enter the real world of business to do the same thing. She already has been accepted into a full-time position with Raymond James Financial as part of the investment giant’s Accelerated Development Program in the marketing department.
Rao is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in international business. She has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average both overall and in her major. At the end of her freshman year, she took a position in the USF Honors College as a marketing student assistant. She continues to work there now as a communications and marketing intern. She edits the weekly newsletter, directs, edits and produces video productions to promote faculty, international trips and other Honors College initiatives; updates the college’s website, does interviews, writes stories and shoots photographs for the annual report.
She also served as a marketing development intern at Raymond James Financial last year, a position that found her tracking consumer behavior, assessing diversity in the company and its competitors’ marketing materials and managing projects designed to communicate and collaborate with clients. She also wrote bios of associates who were recipients of the Award of Service Excellence. She currently serves as the company’s campus recruiter.
She entered USF with the intent of honing her leadership skills and making meaningful connections and she has accomplished these goals and much more. She helped create the Global Citizens Club and became its marketing coordinator. She served as public relations coordinator for the Asian Students in America club and was the vice president of memberships for Toastmasters.
Shaquille Kent is ready to head into his future. He already has a job upon graduation at Deloitte, a major accounting and consulting firm, but he also hopes to continue giving back to the community by providing access to education through a scholarship that will provide financial support along with mentorship opportunities to help students realize their dreams just as he did.
He is set to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in marketing with a concentration in supply chain management. He is minoring in business analytics and information systems. He has accomplished so much while here at USF.
He was elected USF student body vice president in 2017, helping shape the university’s policies as they relate to the student body over the past two years. As vice president, he oversees Bulls Radio, Computer Services and the Safe Team. He also served as liaison between the USF Alumni Association and the student body and was the sole student representative on the USF presidential search committee for the university’s seventh president to replace Judy Genshaft. Along the way, he was chosen to be a USF student ambassador, a role in which he helped host events for the university and participated in community service programs.
Kent was chosen as a member of the Order of the Golden Brahman and served as a resident assistant. He participated in the Corporate Mentor Program and was a member of the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals. He also is a world-class paddler, having represented Trinidad and Tobago in several international Dragon Boat competitions, winning a silver medal in Hungary in 2013 and in the world championships in Tampa in 2011.
Julianne Woodard experienced a turning point in her sophomore year here at USF when she headed to San Francisco to be a customer finance intern with Genentech, a biopharma company. She was one of 400 interns chosen from a field of 30,000 and was one of the few selected from Florida. Her ability to quickly adapt helped her navigate the demanding work ahead of her and she returned to the classroom re-invigorated and eager to learn more.
Woodard is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in finance with a concentration in corporate finance. She is minoring in international studies. She has maintained a grade point average of 3.83 and is enrolled in the business honors program and is the recipient of the USF Scholars Award, the USF Foundations Award and the Honors Scholarship. She is enrolled in the Business Honors Program.
She also has worked for New Student Connections as a peer advisor leader providing students with a safe space to discuss personal and adjustment issues and has worked as a marketing intern for the USF Athletics Department, where she assists in implementing marketing strategies to the student body through social media and other platforms. She also is a challenge-course facilitator for USF Outdoor Recreation. There, she creates innovative team building programs for groups ranging from middle school students to executives.
She has volunteered for Bulls Service Break, Camp Kesem as an outreach coordinator and is a USF Ambassador, fostering relationships between the student body and alumni. Additionally, she served as a lead mentor with the Bulls Business Community, helping manage the living/learning community of 25 first-year and 10 second-year students.
Samantha Whyte lives in two worlds: the law and accounting. She began her academic career as a criminology major and soon realized her love of the law. But a crossroads loomed ahead. After taking some accounting courses, she became conflicted. But now, she’s getting ready to graduate in May 2020 with dual degrees: criminology and accounting.
Maintaining a 3.93 grade-point average while taking a diverse and full course load would seem to be enough. But in her first year at USF, she was elected senator in student government and went on to be re-elected two more times. As part of her senatorial duties, she was appointed to the Senate Executive Board as vice chair of the ethics committee. That involved looking into matters involving student activities and services fees, and cases of misconduct.
She also served on the grants committee, the policy committee and relations committee. As part of her work on the grants committee, she received the Legislative Legend Award, given to a senator who has exceeded the job description by creating and executing initiatives.
Whyte is president of the Bulls Bar Association, an organization she has been a member of for two years; secretary of the USF Criminology Club and member of the Chi-Omega fraternity, the Accounting Society as well as serving as an Honors College orientation mentor.
Outside of her responsibilities on campus, she has volunteered at Fraud Doctor as a research assistant and volunteered with animals at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. She also has participated in the annual Stampede of Service.
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.
Mariam Raza’s grandfather owned a business in Pakistan and that inspired her to study finance, but once she began taking courses at USF, the world opened up for her, offering so much more to enrich her life. She was elected senator by Muma College of Business students last year and continues in her role of representation in student government by participating in internal committees and helping to allocate the money towards student organizations and addressing student concerns.
Raza is expected to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in finance and a minor in business analytics and information systems. She is part of the Provost’s Scholars Program and the Business Honors Program and the USF Honors College and is researching and writing her thesis: “The Current and Future Implications of Money Laundering on the Individual and the Government.” Her thesis advisor said she is the first student he has worked with who is working toward getting the article published.
Raza has interned with Citi where she reviewed and assessed the risks of third-party on-boarding processes and she served as an accounting clerk at the Muma College of Business, reconciling payroll accounts and budgets. She was also the environmental awareness and animal welfare chair for Service Fellows in the Center of Leadership and Civic Engagement. In this role, Raza led volunteer trips twice a month to encourage service within the community. She also mentored freshmen as part of the Bulls Business Community and is the community outreach chair of USF’s BuildOn program.
Off-campus, Raza volunteered as an assistant with the Pasco County Library, served as a summer science camp counselor with the Museum of Science and Industry and, with Radiant Hands, distributed donations to Syrian refugees.
Thomas McLaughlin II, with a year to go before he graduates, already has put on full display his leadership capabilities. From his involvement with the USF Lecture Series, to his work with the USF Center for Student Involvement, along with being named to the Dean’s List every semester since he came here, McLaughlin has proven his commitment to academic achievement and community enrichment.
McLaughlin is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in business analytics and information systems and a minor in finance. He previously served as the vice president of marketing for the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity, of which he is a founding member. He also helped the Sun Blaze Elementary Parent-Teacher Association in Orlando develop a website and member database.
He previously served as executive director of the University Lecture Series whose guests have included Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, Winston Duke, from “Black Panther,” and “Me Too” movement founder Tarana Burke. In this role, he allocates a budget of $200,000 plus speaker budgets for the series. He served as a mentor with the Bulls Business Community, assisting freshmen as they adjust to university life.
As a volunteer, McLaughlin has been involved with the Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, and worked with 100 students to host an overnight fundraising event at an Orlando high school. In 2015, he traveled to Haiti, where he planted trees in Haitian villages as part of the Mission of Hope project, as well as tutoring children in a Haitian primary school.