Brendan Fritz grew up around real estate. He spent many summers working at his father’s construction company. Those early experiences led to Fritz’s interest in real estate and the tangible aspects of the home building process. In high school, his internship with a real estate developer introduced him to the commercial side of the industry.
During the summer of 2020, Fritz landed an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers in its public accounting group, an experience that allowed him to learn about another career option. However, he found himself drawn back to real estate, with an interest in exploring the investing side. Fritz will be interning with Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Acquisitions team in Dallas, TX in the summer of 2021.
Fritz is the captain and president of the Men’s Lacrosse Club at USF. He also serves as the chair of the USF Sports Club Council, overseeing 40 sports clubs and allocating nearly $300,000 among the clubs. Fritz is also an active member of the Corporate Mentor Program and Delta Sigma Pi. Fritz is the executive vice president of the Student Finance Association, and President of the Real Estate Society. As president of the Real Estate Society, Fritz organizes virtual events and workshops with local real estate companies for the 500 members in the organization. Additionally Fritz coaches youth lacrosse in the Tampa Bay area.
Fritz’s academics speak for themselves, with a 3.88 GPA, Fritz has been on the dean’s list and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.
Autumnsarah Foster-Pagett has always wanted to pursue a career in sports and entertainment and now she is fulfilling her dream. Growing up in the inner city of New York, sports has always been her outlet.
“As the first person in my family to pursue a master’s degree, I have continuously put myself in a position to develop professionally, while being sure to leave an impact in all aspects of my work,” she says.
Foster-Pagett will graduate in May with an MBA and master’s degree in sport and entertainment management.
While still in high school, she researched the business side of sport and all that went into talent marketing, developing partnerships and the planning of major events. Consequently, furthering her education at an institution with renowned academics and sports teams was vital in picking her college of choice. From her freshman to senior year at the University of Connecticut, she served as a student manager for the prestigious UConn women’s basketball team, which was an eye-opening experience.
Foster-Pagett has used that experience to propel her at USF, where she served as graduate assistant and interned as the concierge manager at Yacht Village during Super Bowl LV. She has previous internship experience with the Brooklyn Nets — twice, where she helped develop plans to strengthen partnerships through premium events and as a diversity and inclusion assistant. She was also an assistant for the 2020 U.S. Open Tennis Championships. All this experience has strengthened her desire to work in the sport and entertainment industry.
It wasn’t that long ago when Amanda Ortiz joined USF, eager to begin her journey to become a doctor. It would be a beautiful future saving lives. But she soon decided that this was not her dream career. A change was about to happen.
“After two semesters of immersing myself in subjects that I didn’t enjoy, I felt at the end of my first year that something had to change,” she says.
A social, creative and competitive person, Ortiz began looking at business and one of her first courses, Introduction to Marketing, changed her life. She soon switched majors.
She immersed herself in USF’s student life and service opportunities, serving as a first-year orientation leader, a resident assistant and vice president of Delta Gamma. She was inducted into the Order of the Golden Brahman during her junior year, serving in these positions while simultaneously holding four internships, one of which was with Bristol Myers Squibb. On top of her on-campus involvement and internships, Ortiz worked a part-time position off-campus. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in psychology and now is enrolled in the MBA program, from which she expects to graduate in December. She is a participant in the USF Women and Leadership Initiative and participates in the Muma College of Business Corporate Mentor Program.
Ortiz currently works as a marketing account executive at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, where she leads the marketing strategy for three internal departments, and manages adviser recruitment social media, email and direct mail campaigns.
Gabriela Arias Zamora is a sophomore at USF, on track to graduate early. The bilingual honoree, who has a 3.98 grade point average, holds the title of USF Foundation Latino Scholar, 2019 John B. Brannan Legacy Scholar, and Bright Futures Medallion Scholar.
Arias served as an intern for Legacy Wealth Partners after her first year at USF amid the pandemic. Her experience sparked an interest in pursuing the next opportunity. She was admitted to a national conference hosted by JPMorgan Chase, one exclusively for Hispanic students. There, she was able to network and the experience and says the connections made led her to apply to its 2021 internship program. This summer she will work in a full-time as a corporate analyst intern at JPMorgan.
Arias plans to attend law school to become a criminal defense attorney. Her passion to serve the community is a result of the responsibility she has carried from a young age. At just six years old Arias was the only one in her family who knew English enough to serve as a translator for her parents as they opened their first bank account, among various other tasks over the years. Zamora takes the knowledge she learns in classes as a corporate finance major and continues to teach her family financial literacy.
Outside the classroom, Arias is a lead mentor for the invitation-only Bulls Business Community, meeting with ten first-year students regularly. She also has an executive position in Phi Chi Theta professional fraternity.
Katelyn Payne strives to put her best foot forward in everything she does – literally and figuratively. The business advertising and supply chain management double-major has been an Irish dancer for 14 years, a hobby that has helped her in areas where she doesn’t wear her dance shoes.
Payne says that performing as a dancer requires hours of practice, learning new skills, and displaying confidence when on stage. Being a leader at USF requires the same dedication and habits.
She embodies determination as a resident assistant for the Zimmerman Advertising Program Living-Learning Community, a teaching assistant, and a mentor for business living-learning community students. Payne’s role as a community creator on campus inspired her to add a minor in leadership studies. Payne is set to graduate as a King O’Neal Scholar, which recognizes undergraduate students who earn a degree with a 4.0 final grade point average.
In a competition through Ad Club, Payne was tasked with creating a campaign for
Vote.org targeting GenZ, encouraging students to vote by mail. Her team received a
Judges’ Choice award and an Audience Choice award, recognizing their creative and
Payne is also a student in the Business Honors Program, where she led a service
project during her first semester at USF. She and her peers worked with families at Mort
Elementary, a local Title I school, where she additionally tutored students in math and
Pankti Mehta is a senior finance major with a minor in computer science. Her diverse range of skills include research in Neuro-Machine Interaction along with Big Data Analytics and a publication in CSCW ’19 through the Association for Computing Machinery. Along with academic and research success, Mehta has a passion for leadership.
Mehta first discovered her leadership abilities through her role as an International Student Orientation Leader. In that role Mehta led a group of 15 international students from across the world as they made their transition to life at USF. Mehta feels strongly about committing to the community, she volunteers on the Student Government Advisory Board, the Stampede of Service, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal, Hindu Student Council, JPMorgan Code for Good Hackathon, and Society of Women Engineers – Expo Committee.
Mehta worked in a group of four women to uncover statistics about waste produced in the dining halls on campus and sought out to improve numbers by proposing sustainability initiatives.
Despite the time commitment that these extra-curriculars require, Mehta has managed to maintain an impressive GPA as a member of the USF Honors College, as well as receiving a Global Citizen Award, Peace Corps Prep Award, Computing Research Association- Women Grace Hopper Celebration Research Scholar, Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholarship, and the USF Directors Award.
Mehta has accepted a full-time offer to serve as a corporate analyst from JPMorgan, a job that includes opportunities to participant in a two-year rotational program that will prepare her for a management position.
For Robert Schuster, every day is game day. That’s because the alumnus, who is also a student in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management program earning an MBA and an MS in Sport and Entertainment, has been preparing himself for a business career in the sports industry.
His first step into the proverbial arena came with a marketing internship at NuBoard Media Group, where he helps with sponsorship sales and fan-centric promotions for professional, college, and minor league sports teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Cavaliers and Tampa Bay Lightning. During breaks, Schuster served as a GameDay Operations Assistant for Football University, a program that helps showcase young talent. And when the SuperBowl was held in Tampa this year, Schuster served as a captain for the community ambassador committee.
Now, as a graduate student, Schuster works part-time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, staffing the organization’s Ford F-150 Hall of Fame Club and supporting the member relations team. He also works part-time at OrangeTheory Fitness, serving in a sales and member relations role.
On campus, he is president of the Sports and Entertainment Management Association. His current activities are impressive but being involved in many organizations, often in leadership roles, is not new to Schuster. As an undergraduate student, Schuster served as an sports marketing intern for USF Athletics, handling a myriad of gameday promotions and fan-interaction tasks. He was also a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity. He was named Mentor of the Year for the Bulls Business Community in 2017.
Lukas Oest came from Germany when he was 16 years old and learned quickly what it is like to change cultures. Over the past eight years – the majority of which he has spent at USF as an undergraduate and now a master’s degree in marketing candidate – Oest came to understand the importance of relationships and serving the institution that gives him the opportunity for an education.
“Sometimes,” he says, “we as individuals are impacted for decades through the relationships we develop, the resources we expose ourselves to, the causes we decide to invest our energy in, and the organizations that help us frame our ambitions.”
Now a graduate student, Oest earned a USF bachelor’s degree in marketing, graduating cum laude, in May 2019. Oest was named the spring 2019 Outstanding Graduate on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus, where the then-undergraduate student was recognized in the 2019 Believe in Bulls publication.
Today, Oest is pursuing a master’s degree in marketing, focusing on digital marketing analytics. He serves as a graduate assistant but that is not his first job.
He worked in the marketing department at Florida Worldwide Citrus in Bradenton between 2019 and 2020, supporting the company’s marketing efforts and developing a branding strategy. There, he assisted in establishing business relationships with Germany, a key target market.
As a grad student, Oest remains involved on campus. He is a member of the Order of the Golden Brahman, the USF American Marketing Association and he participates in the Graduate Mentorship Program.
Ines Montano came to USF from Guatemala to major in finance with minors in marketing and Italian studies.
Montano was selected to join the Zimmerman Advertising Program as a freshman, and she later served as a mentor for the group. She has also served as the vice president of the Advertising Club for the past two years. As vice president, Montano played an essential role in hosting the first career fair in the Zimmerman School of Mass Communications and Advertising. When the pandemic hit, the fair was initially canceled. Montano took the initiative to try again, this time in a virtual format.
In addition to her participation in clubs, Montano holds two part-time jobs on campus. She works as the marketing director for the Center for Student Involvement as well as working as a tutor for student-athletes. Montano is a Certified Peer tutor and is constantly looking to expand her professional skills by attending workshops and training. In her role as marketing director, Montano launched a project that would allow the Center for Student Involvement to analyze the USF student body and use the information to create strategic marketing strategies. Montano was also heavily involved in implementing a marketing campaign that increased student engagement on social media by 52 percent.
Montano will graduate in the fall of 2021 with hopes to continue her education with a master’s degree in Italy. Montano speaks English, Spanish, and Italian and is also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
Jeffery Arama dreamed about going to school in the United States since he was 15 years old. He is an international student from Cannes, located in Southeast France, one who will have an American finance degree in just a few weeks.
Arama is an active member of the Corporate Mentorship Program, the Student Investment Club, and the Finance Club. Arama has also worked as a Teaching Assistant under Professor Stephen Lappano.
Arama has participate in internship or other development programs with JPMorgan, Société General (Paris), and Citi Group and has been the recipient of scholarships including the Simone and Raymond Miklos Endowed Scholarship, the James R. Longstreet Endowed Memorial Scholarship in Finance, and the USF Accounting Honors Award.
In addition to his involvement at USF, Arama volunteers as a financial advisor and coordinator for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. That role includes assisting in organizing private events to raise money along with developing financial projects.
After graduation in May, Arama, who speaks English, French, Spanish, and some Portuguese, he will spend the summer in Chile working as a financial equity analyst for Singular, a Hedge Fund focused on Asset Management.
Arama won’t be there long as he plans to return to USF to earn a master’s degre in finance and he has already secured a graduate teaching assistant position. Along with his coursework and teaching roles, Arama will be preparing for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA I) certification. Arama plans to pursue a career in investment banking after that.
When Mackenzie Lamm first arrived at USF, she made a vow to herself: to grow as a business professional and make a meaningful impact.
She entered USF as a member of the invitation-only Bulls Business Community, sharing both living and classroom spaces with other first-year business students. The program enhanced professionalism and networking through etiquette dinners and corporate tours. Through this initiative, she found her voice and today, is involved in HerCampus, an organization for women, by women. She is the junior editor for a team of 20 women and has written seven articles herself.
Lamm has grown her sales skills through internships and involvement in the USF Professional Sales Club. As a business development intern at BlueGrace Logistics, she generates prospective clients and maintains about 200 interactions through cold calling and emailing. As one of 20 students selected for KnowBe4’s Sales Career Accelerator Program, Lamm was the overall winner of the objection handling competition and her dedication to coachability has secured her a sales internship over the summer. In addition, through the USF Sales Club, she was the overall winner of the Selling with the Bulls competition and is joining its E-Board as chief marketing officer.
In her work-study job at the USF Office of Veterans Success, she has approved roughly 150 veterans and dependents to receive financial benefits for schooling. She says this role is rewarding to help those who have made sacrifices for this country.
Lamm will graduate in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a concentration in sales and a minor in mass communications.
Mary Williams is a builder but she isn’t in the construction business. The finance major is building an alumni network via the USF Alumni Association – even before she graduates in May.
In 2020, Williams was selected to be part of the Order of the Golden Brahman, which aims to engage top students with alumni. The group needed a leader and she soon found herself creating a new mentorship program and fostering collaborations with groups such as the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, USF’s Counseling Center, and the Bulls2Bulls Financial Education Center. She established a Roundtable Discussion Series, too.
Williams has been involved in student-facing groups, too. She is a Tampa Campus Council member for USF Student Government, has served as a resident assistant, been the treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers, and helped with a number of activities in the Judy Genshaft Honors College.
Williams considers communication and relationship building skills as essential parts in her professional toolbox, along with hands-on learning outside the classroom. She is an intern at Spring By Citi Institutional Clients Group at Citibank, helping smaller clients often overlooked by other banks. She previously interned with JPMorgan’s Corporate Analyst Department, working in the onboarding program. She interned with Crawfish Swim School, too, handling marketing and HR projects. She also worked as an activities assistant at the Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens.
All of these skills and experiences will help her as she returns to CitiFinance as she has a full-time offer in its Financial Analyst Rotational Program.
Destiny Patterson credits mentors at the Muma College of Business’ Corporate Mentor Program with shaping her life after arriving at USF. Set to graduate in May 2021 with bachelor’s degrees in management and criminology with a GPA of 3.85, Patterson hopes to continue her education in law school. She exemplifies what it means to go beyond the classroom and on-campus activities.
Over her undergraduate years at USF, she worked with three different classes of eighth-grade students at Academy Prep, focusing on topics such as identifying personal strengths, money management, goal setting and time management. She served as the student assistant in the Corporate Mentor Program, allowing her to help other students. She joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay in her first year at USF and was paired with a 6-year-old “little sister” facing adversity, eventually forming a strong relationship with the child. When her charge moved out of state, Patterson got involved with the Guardian ad Litem program, where she advocates for children who are victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect. She still mentors children in that program today.
Closer to campus, Patterson is a member of Collegiate Leadership Tampa Bay, a selective program comprised of exceptional students from USF, the University of Tampa and St. Leo University and serves as community service chair of the National Council of Negro Women. She is the former vice president of the Pi Sigma Phi honor fraternity and served as a student member of The Washington Center, selected through a competitive interview process.
Meghana Nelluri came to USF to join the Judy Genshaft Honors College and pursue an accounting degree. It would be easy to make a joke about accounting, adding and multiplying when introducing Nelluri to a crowd because she seems to add to every goal she sets her eyes upon. And she seems to achieve her goals in less time than most.
Because of her love of learning, she decided to add a second degree to her goals. And then a minor. And then a second minor. Today, Nelluri is on track to graduate as a King O’Neal scholar (recognizing a 4.0 final undergraduate grade point average) with two bachelor’s degrees (accounting and business analytics with a concentration in cybersecurity) and two minors (economics and professional writing, rhetoric and technology). She will earn these degrees in three years to graduate as a Provost’s Scholar in 2022, at just 20 years old.
Though she is only a junior, Nelluri has already secured an internship with Deloitte, joining the Audit and Assurance group this summer.
Many might assume that this level of academic commitment would mean she has no time for leadership development or extracurricular activities. That’s not the case. Nelluri has served as a resident assistant, co-chaired the events committee for the Judy Genshaft Honors College Student Council and will continue as vice-president next year. She acted as student liaison in the Provost’s Scholars Program and volunteers at three non-profits: the Humane Society, Resilience, Inc. and Allen’s Home of Hope. She is also a mentor in organizations on and off campus.
A USF administrator called Spencer McCloskey an unselfishly reliable servant leader, lauding McCloskey for his work as a Student Government leader. Another praised the business analytics and information systems major for his negotiation skills as well as his critical thinking skills, his work ethic and his overall dedication to the university. One even rated McCloskey among the top students she has worked with – ever. That’s high praise.
Much of McCloskey’s service began with Student Government. He has served as a Tampa Campus Governor and he chaired the Campus Allocation Funding Committee, which allocates almost $18 million to student organizations campuswide. He was part of a team that developed a Diversity Council for SG as well as a team that worked to improve transparency and communications inside and outside of SG. But his service doesn’t stop there. McCloskey is a member of the USF Alumni Association’s Order of the Golden Brahman and serves as USF Ambassador. In 2019, he served as an Orientation Team Leader.
McCloskey is preparing to serve his country, too, as he is part of USF’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He is preparing for a career in the Air Force. Aside from his ROTC work, McCloskey taken advantage of business programs that will help advance his USAF career. The business analytics and information systems major is pursuing a minor in cybersecurity and has earned a Tableau Citizen Data Scientist certificate as well as an edX Certificate for SQL for Data Science.
A faculty member called Paula Souto Stefani detail-oriented, intelligent and ambitious when writing a reference letter for the dual major with a 3.9 GPA. Those adjectives could describe many students, the faculty member said, but what stands out is that Souto Stefani approached her management professor asking to conduct a research inquiry that looked at workplace wellness. Souto Stefani completed a literature review and sought to understand the role of leadership support and its impact on COVID-19 front-line healthcare workers. After that initial research, she networked with other faculty in the USF Taneja College of Pharmacy and soon submitted a $25,000 grant to continue the research. While the grant was not warded, she will present her initial findings at USF’s Undergraduate Research Conference. She envisions sharing findings with hospital administrators, too, to guide their actions related to employee care and well-being.
That curiosity, combined with her helpful and driven attitude, is part of what makes this international student stand out. Souto Stefani is also a volunteer for Feeding Tampa Bay, where she serves as a student ambassador and she helps with hands-on packing/sorting. Souto Stefani volunteers for the Hillsborough Education Foundation, helping in a teachers-only. Her resume also includes service as a fundraiser for A Seed Changes the World Project in her native Brazil and as a baker whose bake sale raised money for Doctors Without Borders.
Souto Stefani is part of a trio of students who are working on a startup, ShopSmart, as part of the USF Student Incubator Program. They are developing an app to help support sustainable businesses while addressing health concerns
Growing up in Belize, international student Sujie Chen knew it would be challenging to build a career with the lack of refined employment laws in her country. She believes that Belize has the potential to grow, especially with its future leaders, but lacks the support to develop its human resources. She wants to become a competitive asset in the workforce, so she moved abroad to pursue her degrees at USF.
When she first arrived at USF, she quickly became a research assistant and an undergraduate lab manager working with faculty within the same year. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2018 and began working with JPMorgan Chase and Co. There, she was quickly acknowledged for her work ethics and performance. Chen is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Management at USF with a 4.0 GPA. She joined USF’s Graduate Mentorship Program where she proactively networked with leadership and global management Consulting professionals. She is often praised for being coachable, organized, and an eager learner – which she is currently exploring and completing a Data Analytics Certification by IBM. She is now working as the student director at the Student Innovation Incubator at USF Connect, where she mentors students in entrepreneurship and business development.
In addition to her professional and educational achievements, Chen is passionate about service in her community – whether it be home in Belize or locally in Tampa. It was a no-brainer for her to continue that service while at USF. She’s done cleanups, donation drives, even volunteering her time to spend with the elders in the Tampa Bay community. Chen has joined JPMorgan Chase’s GoodWorks Program to access even more volunteer opportunities. Her favorite volunteer experiences have been at the American Cancer Society.
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.