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.