Although Mary Babcock’s studies focus on the numbers-heavy arena of accounting, the second-year business student will use that knowledge to pursue her passion: serving others. Babcock, whose ultimate goal is to start a nonprofit in South America to promote business development and education, has pursued international opportunities during her time at USF. She studied abroad in Slovakia during the summer of 2012, learning how international businesses operate, and traveled to Guatemala over spring break to work with a non-profit educating impoverished children. She plans to join the Peace Corps after graduation in the organization’s business division.
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Since middle school, Evan Burroughs planned to attend another Florida university. But USF’s Bulls Business Community – an invitation-only program where like-minded high achieving freshmen live and study together – caused him to change direction. He credits the BBC with setting him on a path that led him to discover his interests and plan his future career as an equity research professional.
He discovered the field, in part, because of the BBC’s corporate tours, study abroad opportunities that emphasized data analysis, and opportunities for students to interact with financial services industry leaders. Later, as part of the rigorous Applied Securities Analysis course, he had a chance to apply classroom theory with real-world application as part of a team managing $260,000 in the exclusive Student Managed Investment Fund. In the program, he elected to help write an investment policy statement for Metropolitan Ministries to help the non-profit counter the effects of donation seasonality.
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The child of a father who worked abroad, Isabel Carta and her family moved every few years, giving her an appreciation for various cultures and countries. Carta has focused her college experience on developing skills that will allow her to succeed in global business.
She is pursuing a double major in finance and international business with a double minor in economics and German to allow her to have her own international career. Carta is on her way to achieving that goal with a finance internship in Germany beginning in August, and held a previous finance internship in El Salvador. She currently holds an apprenticeship with fundraising organization RuffaloCODY, and has raised $140,000 for USF Telefund, the highest amount among current staff members.
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Yogesh Chatulani has worked to identify business problems and address them, even while still a USF student.
As vice president of Enactus, a nonprofit organization at USF, Chatulani and other members of the organization saw that there was a need among USF students for professional attire at career fairs. Chatulani now serves as project leader for Suit-A-Bull, which collects donated suits and lends them to USF students free of charge. This semester alone, Suit-A-Bull has served 74 students. He also volunteered as an AmeriCorps tutor for two years, helping to improve the reading levels of more than 40 disadvantaged elementary school students.
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Although Kayla Chesanek works a fifty-hour week as an intern for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Storm, the third year student is on track to graduate a year early with two majors and service to her fellow students under her belt.
Chesanek co-founded Autism Speaks U at USF, one of only two Autism Speaks chapters in Florida, in 2012 while working two off-campus jobs. She implemented three new events on campus and was able to increase membership by 25 percent in four months. Chesanek coordinated the first annual “Light It Up Blue”event for World Autism Awareness Day. The group handed out 500 blue balloons, changed the spotlight colors of the Marshall Student Center to blue, and alsochanged the SunTrust Bank building in Downtown Tampa to blue in order to create autism awareness. She is also a member of the International Business Board, Phi Sigma Theta Honor Society, Phi Alpha Delta, and Women in Business.
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Kristina Crane takes USF’s messages about excelling in the classroom, embracing diversity, the value of studying abroad and the importance of serving as an intern seriously. Crane’s 3.96 GPA has earned her a regular spot on the Dean’s List and the USF Honors College student is a two-time intern. She didn’t just take the easy route, though. Her second internship was located halfway around the world.
She spent nearly three months as an intern at China’s Qingdao Tourism Bureau last summer. There, she helped with various projects and was able to observe, first-hand, how relationship building skills and business practices differ across cultures. Locally, Crane served as a legislative intern for Tampa City Councilman Lisa Montelione, where she helped prepare events, spoke with constituents, and provided administrative assistance.
Continue reading “Kristina Crane, International Business”
A first-generation student at USF and a participant in the Corporate Mentor Program, Diana Devitt is on-track to graduate in four years with her degree in marketing.During the last four years, Devitt has participated in three internships while holding a part-time job in customer service at Publix. She currently works as a marketing intern at two companies: Jannus Live and Rent King.
Devitt says that growing up with a sibling with disabilities required her to take on more responsibilities than many of her peers but, she says, this opportunity helped her become more compassionate toward others, helped her understand the importance of being adaptable in difficult situations, and helped foster her passion for community service .
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Oscar Garcia credits his family with helping him understand the Spanish concept of “ponte chispa” — if you don’t want to struggle, you have to wake up and get moving.
That work ethic has shaped Garcia’s time at USF. A first generation college student and a member of the Corporate Mentor Program, Garcia learned about analytics, content management systems, and online metrics through internship opportunities, and decided to create his own company focused on digital marketing to meet the local demand in those areas. He also worked with professors to network and build his client base. Garcia continues to grow his business while also focusing on maintaining a high academic standard as a full-time student.
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Many USF students struggle to find the balance between jobs, academics, and community engagement, but Chris Gryniewicz has excelled in each arena.
Gryniewicz worked for two years with Valpak of Central Florida, frequently winning monthly sales contests despite competing with veteran sales professionals. He taught himself graphic design, web design, and search engine optimization, and implemented a Customer Relationship System using knowledge he gained in USF information systems classes. After leaving Valpak to pursue finance-related internships, he interned as a valuation analyst at Crosstree Capital Partners. His peers trust him to handle large sums of money: he is the student government treasurer, helping to shape policy regarding the student government’s $15 million budget.
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In high school, Fadwa Hilili joined a cooperative education program that provided her the chance to work a few hours a week at TECO Energy. The move not only allowed her to get a glimpse into a corporate career but it also helped the academic achiever understand that mentoring and networking are as important as success in the classroom. There, she met a USF student who was transitioning from intern to full-time TECO employee. She set her sights on doing the same.
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As a first-generation student committed to service, academics, and professional achievement, Arian Howard exemplifies the term “well-rounded.”
Academic excellence is important to Howard, who has been on the Dean’s List several times, but he also strives for excellence outside of the classroom, a lesson his mentor in the Corporate Mentor program has repeatedly stressed. Paired with the COO of Raymond James Financial, Howard says that the guidance provided to him in this program has been invaluable and has helped him grow both individually and professionally.
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Huzzatun Iqra is clearly a bright student. The accounting major and USF Honors College student is an active member of the exclusive Business Honors Program and the invitation-only Bulls Business Community. Given her focus on academics, it is no surprise that she has earned a 3.99 GPA during her first two years at USF.
Iqra doesn’t simply study all the time however. She serves as a mentor for the Intercultural Student Leadership Conference and has participated in nearly every professional development program offered at the business school. Given her active involvement in BBC programs, she was named “Resident of the Year” last year and it is easy to see why she was tapped to serve as a resident assistant for the Bulls Business Community during the 2013-14 academic year.
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An accounting major and criminology minor, Jennifer Keller is getting a head start on her accounting career through a United Way program that provides free tax assistance for low income taxpayers in need of help with filing their IRS forms. As site coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Keller not only recruits and manages volunteers but participates as a preparer in the program herself, a task that, of course, requires her to be fully informed on current tax law. United Way leaders praised her maturity, dedication, and excellent customer service. The manager of the program pointed out that Keller “resolves questions by teaching other preparers how to do what needs to be done rather than simply doing it herself.” She says she loves being able to apply what she is learning in the classroom in such a meaningful way.
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Passionate about accounting, Ahad Khan decided to start a student organization for lower-level accounting students that gave them an overview of the career opportunities in accounting and provided opportunities to give back outside of the classroom.
One of Khan’s most rewarding experiences at USF has been founding the Accounting Society. He has worked with School of Accountancy Interim Director Uday Murthy to ensure the group meshes with the goals of the school, and is mentoring the younger officers to ensure that the society continues to succeed after he graduates. He is also a member of accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi.
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The year before college, Brittni Lowery’s biggest challenge was convincing her mother to let her move into the Bulls Business Community on-campus instead of living at home. Now, she credits the Bulls Business Community with being the first step that helped her take advantage of the opportunities USF offers, including internships, leadership positions, and future study abroad options.
Through the Bulls Business Community, Lowery served as a mentor to freshmen during her sophomore year, raised just under $1,000 for the American Cancer Society as the Relay for Life team co-captain, and became one of the community’s three resident assistants.
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From representing the university as Mr. USF to being a mentor to a young man, Chad Masters has worked to embody leadership values during his four years as a College of Business student.
In the community leadership practicum course he took as part of his leadership minor, Masters joined Big Brothers Big Sisters and became a mentor to his “little brother,” Jeff. Four years later, Masters continues to serve as Jeff’s big brother, and credits his title as Mr. USF 2012 to the nonprofit.
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Baseball player and business major Alejandro Mendez was drafted by the Minnesota Twins straight out of high school, but his goals extended beyond the baseball field.
As a Division I student athlete, baseball is still an integral part of Mendez’s college experience. However, he has also pursued extensive leadership, service, and professional opportunities that will help him achieve his dream after leaving college athletics: going to medical school. Since 2006, he has shadowed doctors in Orlando and Tampa, learning firsthand about what is involved in patient care. He has made both the dean’s and president’s lists continually since 2009. Mendez also worked as a research lab assistant with the Medicine for Malaria venture, working to extract compounds that could combat malaria.
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Red Bull uses its “gives you wings” slogan to reference the energy boost that the drink provides consumers, but in Yanin Nanakorn’s case, Red Bull helped her career take flight. As part of an 11-person student team charged with creating a sampling program for the energy drink, she discovered she got charged up when she saw marketing programs take off. She also discovered that she loved client-side marketing and the strategizing that came with it.
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George Papadeas has excelled as a leader during his four years at USF, culminating in his position as the second most powerful student leader on USF’s campus. As student body vice president, Papadeas helps create and oversee a $15 million budget and hires the student government staff, among other duties. He has worked with the Center for Student Involvement Hiring Committee, the Technology Fee Advisory Council, and the TEDxUSF Planning Committee. Additionally, he advocates for students as one of two students serving on the board of directors for the USF Alumni Association.
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In his quest to earn the Boy Scouts of America’s Eagle Scout ranking, Charles Poliseno learned how to design and implement projects, solicit supplies, and recruit volunteers. He says the experience taught him that leadership is not simply telling others what to do; it is, rather, the ability to undertake a movement and get others to follow.
Poliseno says this lesson has been reinforced during his tenure at USF, particularly through the College of Business Corporate Mentor Program. In this program, he is paired with a business leader who has demonstrated a sincere desire to help him go beyond the classroom to learn about successful business practices.
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Krystyn Ramdial’s résumé lists all of the honors one would expect of students on the 25 Under 25 roster. Given her 3.98 GPA, she has earned a spot on the Dean’s List multiple times and has received several merit scholarships. She has participated in research projects alongside university faculty. She has studied abroad twice and has participated in countless community service projects. She is a member of the Honors College Student Council and tutors her fellow students. The recipient of USF’s prestigious Golden Bull award in 2012, presented to just 20 students university-wide each year, Ramdial is clearly an impressive young leader.
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Tyler Rehm isn’t content with only exceeding in a few areas.
Consider his academic track record: Rehm is an Honors College student, triple-majoring in Management Information Systems, Finance, and Economics, planning to graduate on-time in 2014.
Even in language and international travel: he is competent in Spanish and Italian, and is studying Russian and Hindi hoping to learn those languages as well. He has also studied abroad in Florence with the Business Honors Program and plans to go to India this summer on scholarship with the ISDS Infosys program and Israel in May with the National Intelligence Analysis Program.
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Jessica Richardson started taking courses at USF in high school toward a biomedical science major. The Plant City High salutatorian had always known she wanted to be a doctor, but as she took the calculus and physics classes required for the pre-med track, she realized she needed more knowledge to truly understand the business of being a doctor.
Richardson added two additional majors in marketing and management. Scheduled to graduate in May, Richardson has a 4.0 business GPA and a 3.97 overall GPA, never receiving a grade lower than an A-.
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Cassandra Sanchez believes that the most rewarding gifts are those that you have given to others. She says her parents helped her learn, as early as kindergarten, that one person can improve the lives of many.
A 13-year member of the Girl Scouts, Sanchez participated in projects as varied as grocery shopping for the elderly to fundraising drives for local agencies. With her parents, she spent holidays at a rescue mission. As a teenager, she worked alongside the sheriff’s office to coordinate prevention programs that aimed to reduce impaired driving incidents.
While her thirst for community service may have developed in her hometown, it certainly wasn’t quenched there. As a USF student, she is also a leader in USF’s Voto Latino program. This past November, she helped to encourage her peers to become informed on the election and register to vote. She served as a trained volunteer for United Way’s HandsOn Tampa program. She also served as an office volunteer at Habitat for Humanity. There, she found mentors amongst the agency’s leadership team and was soon offered an internship in the non-profit’s accounting office.
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It can be daunting to juggle a calendar full of work, school, and family responsibilities. Adding social and community service work to the mix often overwhelms people.
That isn’t the case for Melissa Stewart. Stewart knew in middle school that her family lacked the financial means to attend college, so, as a freshman, she applied for – and won – a Take Stock in Children scholarship. Earning this scholarship required that she make excellent academic progress throughout high school. Stewart took this obligation seriously, graduating in the top 5 percent of her class. She soon received USF’s highest scholarship for incoming freshmen.
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In summer 2011, Shalicia Torbert was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to intern with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, in an eight-week program. Her contributions to the nation’s defense agency didn’t end there. She did so well in the program that she was chosen to work at the United States Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, where she works part-time as a paid intern with a government clearance. Continue reading “Shalicia Torbert, General Business Administration”