Syed Muneeb Ahmed took a 22-hour flight from United Arab Emirates to come to the U.S. without family or friends. He was 17, shy and culture-shocked. He would take the stairs in his dorm, up and down seven floors just to avoid elevator chit-chat. All that has changed.
Over the past four years, he has worked as a door-to-door salesman, an actor and a leader of international students. He founded and captained the Raging Bulls soccer team, presented mobile apps to business experts, joined a choir and has done everything an introvert would never do. Personal and professional development, he says, comes through adversity and overcoming fear.
As the first person in his family to go to college in the U.S., Ahmed will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in business analytics and information systems, with a concentration in cybersecurity. He already has a job offer from Apple and is involved in Product Management at Rentersbay.com. He received a scholarship to attend the Make School’s summer coding academy in San Francisco last year, and he was selected as one of the 10 students from USF to attend the Florida International Leadership Conference this year.
Last year, Ahmed won the Elevator Pitch Competition for the first time, beating 150 other business students. Since then, he has gone on to compete and win in two other pitch competitions. In competitions alone, Ahmed has won over $5,000. He has also been awarded the H. Wayne Huizenga Endowed scholarship in entrepreneurship. Ahmed sees himself on a never-ending journey, solving problems through tech and innovation and having a positive impact on people’s lives.
Bisma Balouch is the first in her family to get an education abroad as she hopes to build a successful career and make her family in Pakistan proud. Balouch believes that being part of the community is essential for personal and professional growth. Her involvement with Bulls Service Break is among the best memories she has at USF. She says that experience opened her eyes to the importance of selfless community work and helping other people less fortunate.
Balouch has an overall GPA of 3.7 and will graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business analytics and information systems. Working with the USF Center for Civic and Leadership Engagement, she dedicates herself to raising awareness about social issues and injustices through education, service and cultural exchange while empowering students to become catalysts for positive social change.
She currently serves as a Trip Educator for the Minority Empowerment and Refugee Rights Trip, which works with the Friends of Refugees organization in Atlanta. She coordinates all educational aspects of the trip and she engages students in critical conversations about minority and refugee populations. She continues to engage in opportunities that allow her to build leadership skills through service to others.
She is member of the Muma College of Business Corporate Mentor Program and is the treasurer for Enactus at USF, where she evaluates financial decisions and documents purchase request forms. She manages to do all these things and keep her grades up while working 20 hours a week at a restaurant on campus.
A native of Pakistan, Balouch hopes to achieve her dream of bridging the educational gender gap in her country.
Pamela Bulu knows she has a different way of thinking when it comes to business. Though she possesses an interest in art, she doesn’t see much direct application in her business education. She does, however utilize the way the arts makes her visualize and explain data, and therein lies the uniqueness of her personality. She has settled on the idea that there is an important connection between the arts and her business analytics and information systems major.
Bulu will graduate in May with a concentration in cybersecurity. She is a member of the Bulls Business Network and the Muma College of Business Leadership Program. At Research Day 2018, Bulu won the best public health poster. Being a full-time student with a part-time job can be stressful, but her grades have not suffered. She has an overall 4.0 GPA even with the extra challenges of taking high-level departmental electives.
She also is a Provost Scholar, a program that recognizes students who enter USF directly from high school with 18 or more college credits. The program allows Bulu to graduate a year ahead of her peers with a portfolio of professional development experiences.
She is the recipient of the USAA Annual Scholarship, the USF Presidential Scholarship and the National Advanced Placement Scholarship. She plans to graduate with a degree in business and a certificate in business and art.
Christine Cazeau is in her final year at USF and is a marketing development intern at Raymond James. But her goal is not to own mega mansions and private airplanes. She wants to start a nonprofit that helps the homeless by not just feeding them, but by aiding them in returning to school or entering the workforce.
This desire comes from her work with the Black Student Union in which she helps feed nearly 400 homeless people weekly. A little boy named Yusuf, who she keeps in touch with regularly, is among those she has helped. Cazeau will graduate in May with an overall GPA of 3.8 and, in spite of a heavy load of internships and extracurricular activities, she has been on the dean’s list for four consecutive semesters.
Starting as a nursing major, Cazeau soon realized her passions were elsewhere and found her niche in marketing. She serves as the marketing director for Alpha Kappa Psi and is the public relations contact for the Black Student Union. She also is a USF Student Government senator where she enhanced career advising for the dean’s office.
She is involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, USF’s Honors College and the marketing mentorship program. She is a recipient of the USF Alumni Association Honors and Ethics Scholarship. She is also trilingual in English, French and Creole.
Daniel Chapman grew up in a poor area of Scotland, but was instilled with a sense of the importance of education and community service. Like most international students, coming here from a far-off home was difficult, but Chapman arrived with that commitment to education and community intact.
He will graduate in May and with a 3.91 GPA, his name is a regular on the dean’s list. He is the recipient of the USF History of Achievement Award and the Raymond James Scholarship in Business. He is also a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society and has volunteered at Junior Achievement, teaching financial literacy to elementary and middle school students and stressing the value of education.
Volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay, Chapman saw the extent of those without access to healthy and reliable food in the region. This spurred his desire to give back to the community. At USF, he devotes time to the Bulls Business Community and the Business Honors Service Association. He is a peer leader for business calculus, where he helps a class of 30 students master difficult concepts.
He serves as Student Managed Investment Fund manager, where he studies stocks and helps pitch them to professional investors using actual money in the student fund. He also served as a summer analyst intern for Goldman Sachs in New York.
Taylor Croizat has one foot in academia and the other in the workplace. She has worked for the Bank of Tampa for the past five years, earning steady promotions, while attending Hillsborough Community College and USF full time, working toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has an overall GPA of 3.75.
Croizat began working at the Bank of Tampa in 2013 and within the first year, she was promoted to senior banking representative responsible for training new employees and building relationships with clients. She managed the vault and ATM and completed monthly audits. Just before transferring to USF, she was promoted to accounting representative and that’s when she found her calling. A short time later, she was promoted to accounting specialist.
In that role, she has improved the accounts payable processes and procedures, and will soon transition to assist on the accounting side of the bank’s investment portfolio. She helped create the 2018 budget for various departments and fostered relationships among the accounting department and other departments.
In 2017, Croizat won the Employee of the Year Award. All this while taking a full load of classes at USF and being involved in extracurricular activities including cooking meals for families at the Ronald McDonald House in Tampa, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign and being a co-chair for the Wellness Committee at the Bank of Tampa.
Olivia Davis draws on a motivation that goes back a long way, back to when she was an infant. “I can’t wait to watch you grow and learn,” her mother wrote in Davis’ baby book. Her mom, who raised her with a vision of a bright future and successful career, passed away when Davis was 10 years old, but that only added to the importance of the sentiment. She continues to strive to make her mother proud and live the best life she can in the classroom and in her career.
Davis is now a business management major who will graduate in May with an overall GPA of 3.71. She has served as vice president of operations at the Kappa Delta sorority and has maintained an active membership in the College Republicans and Women in Business Society. She has interned both locally and in Washington, D.C., where last year she worked as a public-opinion research intern for the Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. The year before, she was a congressional intern for U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Florida.
For the past three years, Davis has worked as a graphic design and online marketing intern for the USF College of The Arts, handling duties that range from updating the college’s website to designing posters and proposals for media campaigns.
She also has found time to be an active volunteer with Girl Scouts of the USA, the Joshua House and Junior Achievement. Her immediate future after graduation is set. She has accepted a job as operations analyst for the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation.
Zachary Engle will graduate in December, but he already has one foot in the corporate world. He works 70-hour weeks during the summer at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. There, he oversees the day-to-day operations of six game stands and the newly remodeled arcade, supervising two assistant supervisors, two foremen and about 45 clerks.
Engle is majoring in management with a human resources concentration and has an overall GPA of 3.92. He is an Eagle Scout and staffed his council’s National Youth Leadership Training course for two years. He also joined Alpha Phi Omega during his first semester at the university, performing 245 hours of service for the Tampa community over the eight semesters he has been at USF, in addition to the hours spent working with his parents in a food pantry in Mount Dora, Florida.
Community service is a big part of Engle’s life. His efforts have included feeding the homeless, caring for veterans, tutoring Boy Scouts and helping out with local animal services. His commitment to the community, he says, yields the reward of seeing the positive impact it has on others.
He has served as Alpha Phi Omega’s Tau Mu chapter’s president for three terms as well as service vice president and corresponding secretary. He holds a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and is being honored with the fraternity chapter’s Distinguished Service Key for outstanding service to the fraternity over an extended period of time.
Juliana Farcheva earned a B in a business and economic statistics class, and it ruined her perfect 4.0 GPA, something that turned out to provide inspiration rather than discouragement. The lesson she took from it: As long as she continues improving herself, she does not have to be 100 percent perfect all of the time.
Farcheva is on track to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in accounting. She has an overall GPA of 3.96 and has made the dean’s list since the fall of 2015. She works as a finance and accounting intern at Erwin, Inc. and in the past has served as an accounting intern at Health Management Systems, where she prepared month-end fiscal reports; and a summer office management intern at Renewable Energy Electric, where she worked on obtaining permits from governmental offices. Both internships were in Las Vegas.
The accounting internship sparked her interest, giving her insight to the daily lives of accountants. She got a chance to post daily accounting entries, handle customer refund checks and help with auditor payroll.
Closer to home, Farcheva is vice president and financial officer for Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions, an environmental group on campus, which encourages the university to participate in sustainability initiatives. The group also started a community garden, which donates crops to the needy around Tampa Bay.
Alexandra Florescu came from a small town in Transylvania and met her self-confidence challenges head on. Set on achieving the American Dream, she is set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business analytics and information systems in May with a 3.96 overall GPA. But it wasn’t always an easy journey.
Among the challenges she conquered is public speaking, something she always feared. A course in public speaking, to her dismay, was among the first she took at USF and it opened up a new world to her. She discovered the foundations of her self-confidence and even though her first few speeches were sloppy, she ended up in the top 10 percent of the class.
While her studies are Florescu’s top priority, she also gives back. She has volunteered over the past three years both on and off the USF campus, starting with the Stampede of Service, where she served as site leader. She also became a mentor for a group of five high school students competing in the Teen Business Challenge hosted by the Computer Mentors group. Her group took second place. She also has served as president of the Business Honors Service Association and vice president of the Global Citizens Project Student Association.
Florescu is an executive intern at the USF Federal Credit Union where she hones her customer service, cash-transaction and troubleshooting skills at the student-run financial center at which business students provide much of the workforce. She is a member of the Business Honors Program, the Bulls Business Community and the USF Honors College.
Kellie Furey is in the last few months of her college career and already has much of the experience she needs to make it in the real world of business. She will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in management. Her graduation date will mark her two-year anniversary as executive director of the University Lecture Series at the USF Center for Student Involvement.
Her duties there include leading the communications with multiple lecture agents and speakers, whom she handles throughout the day of the event. She interviews lecturers, including Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, best-selling author R.L. Stine, “Orange is the New Black” actress Jackie Cruz and activist Harry Belafonte. She also is involved in employee hiring for professional and student staff and also is the board chairman for the Global Conversation Series, which brings influential speakers with global perspectives to campus.
Last year, Furey landed a human resources internship with an NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, where she reviewed and edited on-air talent contracts and oversaw programs for intern professional development. She counts among her skills event planning, public speaking, strategic management, communication and creativity.
She has participated in Stampede of Service and volunteered for Junior Achievement in an effort to help young people in the Tampa Bay area achieve success.
Anaely Guerrero once took a job as a marketing intern with a Shakespearean company where she built, implemented and presented the marketing plan for four stage productions performed in the Czech Republic. Her work in Prague bumped ticket sales by 10 percent through management of the stage company’s social media sites.
Guerrero will graduate in May 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in global business and mass communications with a concentration in advertising. She also is minoring in marketing. She was invited to the Honors and Awards Banquet of the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications and is an active member of the Phi Sigma Theta student body chapter at USF, an organization that offers leadership training and opportunities to students.
She also gives back to the community, volunteering at Lakeland Regional Medical Center and Family Fundamentals, a social-service organization in which she worked at a Santa’s Workshop. While at Family Fundamentals, she established a connection to the Florida Baptist Children’s Home where she helped families in need. In 2013, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for addressing some of the pressing needs in the community.
In 2014, she received the Polk State College Outstanding Community Service Award for more than 1,000 hours of volunteerism.
Anaida Hasan has overcome the gender bias that is predominant in her native Bangladesh. The first-generation international student now counts herself as a global citizen. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in May 2020 and intends to go to law school to become a tax attorney.
Hasan was brought up in a society where a woman’s identity was the culmination of her father’s reputation, her societal status and family values. With the help of her parents, she broke the bonds of bias and headed to USF. Hasan participates in the Corporate Mentor Program, the University Conduct Board and the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Student Advisory Board and is the treasurer for the USF Accounting Society. Last year, she interned with the Rupayun Group Limited, one of the largest real estate companies in Bangladesh. This year, she will intern with USF’s Federal Credit Union.
A mantra of “Learn, earn and return” now steers Hasan. The Bulls Business Network member has been on the dean’s list and was awarded a USF Green and Gold Director’s Scholarship, a GTE Foundation Scholarship and was named a Sandler Scholar.
Through it all, Hasan, who is fluent in English, Bengali, Hindi and Urdu, has built strong relationships and is confident of her path ahead as a global citizen. Her sister, Anika, was a 25 Under 25 honoree in 2015.
Avery Horvath’s passion for business and refusal to fail will propel her forward after she graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She plans to immediately enroll in graduate school at USF, seeking an MBA. Her overall GPA is 3.75.
Her interest in business pushes her toward an MBA, which, she says, would further enhance her professional development and give her a competitive advantage in the workplace. Horvath already has held impressive internships, including a business development position at Jabil. She worked with account and department managers to improve efficiency in multiple processes. She also served as an anti-money laundering analyst intern at Citi where she was one of 37 summer interns chosen from a field of over 2,000 applicants.
Horvath was a financial representative intern for Northwestern Mutual where she was responsible for prospecting clients in a cold market through strong communication and interpersonal skills. She recently accepted a summer financial planning and analysis internship at Equinix, a cloud technology firm.
On campus, Horvath participated in the USF Undergraduate Case Competition and is a member of Kappa Delta. She is the recipient of the Global Citizen Award, a member of the Bulls Business Network and the Women in Business Club. She also found time to volunteer as a financial analyst with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, using her coursework experience to assist the CFO with various financial needs.
Orzumand Khodiev is set to graduate in May and has a job offer from FedEx Freight. Khodiev is studying supply-chain management and is working as a global procurement intern with Bristol-Myers Squibb. He believes he may get an offer from that corporation as well.
He credits his education at the USF Muma College of Business for putting him in the desirable position of having at least one job offer – possibly more – waiting in the wings. He holds an overall GPA of 3.7 and is a candidate for a dual degree in both marketing and political science. He frequently has been named to the dean’s list and has been the recipient of an USF Honors College scholarship along with an INTO USF scholarship.
He is a candidate for the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and participated in the global banking boot camp sponsored by Citi Bank. He was involved with the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement and served as a student leader for INTO USF. He joined the Global Citizens Project and participated in the USF Model United Nations Conference.
To further his leadership skills, Khodiev founded the Association of Central Asian Students with a goal to connect all Slavic-speaking students to support one another. Over six months, more than 40 students joined the association.
Peter Kivuva’s future appears to be set. In November, seven months before graduation, he received an offer from Goldman Sachs to join its New York City office in July. The Goldman Sachs offer is a dream job for Kivuva, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in finance in May.
He has worked as a finance and accounting intern at the International Transport Workers Federation in London last year. He was responsible for processing maritime income, sales ledger receipts in several foreign currencies and creating excel models for the company. He is one of the first people in his family to go to college and says academics have been the cornerstone of his values and the catalyst that changed his life. He serves as the assistant dean of pledge education for Delta Sigma Pi and is the alumni ambassador for USF Education Abroad and the American Institute for Foreign Study.
Last summer, he took a job as a seasonal au pair in Madrid, teaching English to three young children while teaching himself Spanish at the same time. He says the experience was extremely rewarding and that he feels he made a significant impact on the children’s lives.
He is currently a mentee with the Corporate Mentor Program and also tutors for several accounting and finance courses. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Accountancy Achievement Award and in 2016, he was named a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar.
Angelica Nguyen is already advising students on how best to present résumés and write cover letters. She is a career peer advisor with USF Career Services and counsels up to 20 students a week. She also guides students in job searches and conducts presentations to student organizations and classes to promote and market the center.
Nguyen will graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. She has an overall GPA of 3.97, is a USF Honors Scholar and the recipient of a number of academic scholarships and awards, including the USF Presidential Award. She is a mentor and social committee chair of the Bulls Business Community, where she acts as a positive role model for mentees and plans events and programs supporting the short- and long-term goals of the organization. She also serves as vice president for the USF Student Finance Association.
With a long-term goal of becoming a financial analyst, she has established relationships with professionals in the financial field and has attended events and taken part in programs on and off campus. She has accepted a summer internship at Honeywell.
Nguyen is a member of the USF Honors College and is involved with its Student Council Volunteer Committee. Last year, she traveled with other students to Peru to help plant and harvest crops that were delivered to families in poor mountain communities.
Aleksandra Anna Olearska‘s ambition is simple: to help children in developing countries gain access to education. To get to that goal, she has chosen a route that includes an international business degree from USF.
Olearska, will graduate in May with an overall GPA of 4.0. While academics are a big focus for her, she also sets aside time to volunteer. She serves as the volunteer chair of the USF Center for Student Involvement, site leader for the Stampede for Service and ambassador with the USF Global Citizen Project. She also is a study-abroad ambassador, a member of Toastmaster’s International and the Bulls Business Network.
Olearska also managed a volleyball team and took part in a soccer tournament as part of the USF intramurals. She has served as student leader of INTO USF and as a section supervisor for Aramark, a position in which she manages teams of up to 20 members.
All these endeavors helps Olearska develop her interpersonal and leadership skills. Fluent in Polish, Spanish, German and English, she is a member of the dean’s list for every semester she has completed at USF. She has received the USF Green & Gold Presidential Award and the International Baccalaureate World Scholars Award, all while taking time-consuming piano and guitar lessons at the USF School of Music.
Maithilee Pagay is passionate about equity capital markets. That’s a good thing, because she aims to become a successful investment banking analyst. Arriving at these set career goals took some time, starting with her moving to the United States from India three years ago and enduring the culture shock and lack of direction.
The finance major has an overall GPA of 3.93 and is on the dean’s list. She is a member of the USF Honors College and Beta Gamma Sigma. She has been a corporate and executive services intern for Raymond James for two semesters and is an equity research analyst with the USF Student Managed Investment Fund, in which students pitch stocks to a panel of professional investors. In her leadership roles, Pagay has served as a peer advisor leader for New Student Connections. She also was a member of the TEDxUSF 2017 Event Logistics Committee, managing efforts to present 10 speakers.
Pagay has been the recipient of the CFA Program University Student Scholarship and the Lee and Dorothy Stokes Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence. She was a finalist last year for the Muma College of Business Elevator Competition and has received the USF Presidential Green and Gold Award for Academic Excellence and the Raymond James Employee Endowed Scholarship. She is fluent in English, Hindi and Marathi.
Kirby Powers is a USF student athlete. She is on the track and field team and has achieved an overall GPA of 4.0, a remarkable feat alone, without having to squeeze in 20 hours a week of training and practice. She is set to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in management.
She has participated in the Selmon Mentoring Program, which develops student athletes professionally so that they may more easily transition from campus life to their chosen career fields. Powers says the program has boosted her networking and public-speaking skills. She has been on the dean’s list for the past four semesters.
She currently is an intern at Investors Title and Settlement Services, where she gains experience through communication with both banking and real estate officials. She also credits the experience with improving her writing skills. She is a member of the USF Student Athlete Advisory Committee, where she helps coordinate the Stampede of Champions, Athletes 4 Athletes and other community opportunities that involve athletes. She twice has been named to the All-Academic list of the American Athletic Conference.
She also volunteers with the Paralympic Sports Club of Tampa Bay. There, she takes part in coordinating various Paralympic sport activities including track and field, basketball, tennis and golf, which helps her more fully understand the struggles of these athletes.
Gabriela Rigaud has flourished after arriving at USF, seeking a greater challenge. She has made the dean’s list throughout her educational career and is set to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in mass communications. She has an overall GPA of 3.91, speaks five languages and is a member of the USF chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Rigaud studied abroad in Florence, Italy and now works with the Global Citizens Project to recruit, inform and mentor future project participants. Additionally, she serves as the vice president of communications for the USF American Marketing Association and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, putting in more than 300 hours working on event planning for fundraising efforts. She also has served as site leader for Stampede of Service at USF.
She serves as a marketing assistant for USF Campus Recreation and now works as a marketing intern for Bristol-Myers Squibb, developing communications strategies for internal marketing within the biopharmaceutical giant.
Rigaud is the recipient of the International Student Scholarship and the Premier Member Award, offered by the USF American Marketing Association and holds a tutor certification, awarded in November 2017. She received a marketing research certification last year and participated in the USF Marketing Mentorship Program through Raymond James in the spring of 2017.
Ireana Ugarte moved to Florida from Venezuela for a better life, but soon after she got here, her native country’s political and economic problems forced her family to immigrate to Panama where they had to start over. The upshot of all this was that her family could no longer send Ugarte money to help support her education. At the age of 19, she was on her own in a strange country, amid strangers in a large university.
However, Ugarte was determined to not let anything stand in the way of her academics. Before transferring to USF, Ugarte made Valencia College dean’s list every semester. She founded a new student organization that promoted Latin culture through dance, served as an active member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and worked on campus 20 hours per week as a computer lab specialist, event coordinator and math tutor. Ugarte has volunteered for Give Kids the World and Second Harvest Food Bank, received the Certificate of Distinction for Excellence in Leadership and was awarded scholarships from the Valencia Foundation for two years consecutively .
Now, Ugarte plans to continue to grow. She currently serves as a computer lab assistant with the USF Student Government Computer Services and is the Latin America Cultural Attaché with INTO, where she supports international students through their transitions into the university. She is also the recipient of the Latin American and Caribbean Scholarship and is a member of the Professional Sales Club.
Many would have folded, but the adversity steeled Ugarte’s reserve and she has flourished since arriving to the U.S. She will graduate in May 2019 with a GPA of 4.0 and a bachelor’s degree in business analytics and information systems with a concentration in cybersecurity.
As the first in his family to attend college, Garrett Walker has embraced the USF lifestyle and educational opportunities while maintaining a high level of on-campus service. He credits the university with immense personal growth, saying he has been pushed by the community to achieve success, starting with his first days as a Bulls Business Community resident.
Walker will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance. He has held leadership posts in USF Student Government, served as a Green and Gold Guide and has volunteered for the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, USF Housing and the USF Interfraternity Council. He also participated in the Applied Securities Analysis course, in which he pitched stocks to a panel of investment professionals using money in the Student Managed Investment Fund.
In addition to the time he spends in the classroom, Walker has demonstrated an immense commitment to extracurricular activities, finding that delicate balance between the academics, volunteerism, internships and extra-curricular activities. He currently works as an investment analyst intern with Jaffe-Tilchin Wealth Management.
He has served as a lead mentor with the Bulls Business Community and has participated in several philanthropic projects, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for organizations such as Service for Sight, the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Junior Achievement and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Adam Wortman has fully immersed himself in the culture of USF while beginning to focus on a career in the corporate finance trust industry. He will graduate in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in economics. He is a member of the Bulls Business Network and has been named to the dean’s list since the fall of 2016.
He is the recipient of the USF Scholars Award and has earned an overall GPA of 3.96. Wortman serves as president of the Student Finance Association, where he coordinates networking events and finance career-related workshops for association members. He also is the recording secretary for the executive board of Phi Gamma Delta, an international fraternity. In that role, he supervises the fraternity’s chairmen and organizes philanthropic events with other Greek organizations.
Wortman started working as a career peer advisor with USF Career Services in September 2017 and within a few months, he assumed the post of data management analysis officer. In that role, Wortman assembles, analyzes and reports data to promote student interaction within the office. He serves as first point of contact for the office through their walk-in services and career fairs.
For Wortman, professional development and campus involvement are tied together and while focusing on his own academic and career path, he helps other students prepare for their future professionals endeavors.
Wei Yang Yap has no interest in staying in one place. His goal after graduation is to work for an international corporation based in multiple countries so that he can travel the world and learn different cultures. Yap is on a track to graduate in August 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in marketing and world languages with a concentration in Spanish.
Coming from a multicultural background, Yap fluently speaks mandarin, malay, and cantonese. He works as a teaching assistant, where he helps students to understand business statistics. He was also invited to be part of the Marketing Mentor Program. He was a member of the iBuddy program, which promotes diversity and acceptance of different cultures. Soon after joining, Yap was placed on the leadership board as the international outreach coordinator. He was also a student leader with INTO USF, where he promoted cultural exchange by interacting with students from various countries.
As a volunteer at TEDxUSF in the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, Yap evaluated speakers and gave constructive criticism. He has participated with other committee members in making plans to draw more attendees to the events. All this exposure to various cultures is part of his path to further his future career as a global marketer.
Victor Zapparoli says that receiving an education in the United States counts as among his biggest accomplishments. He has been on this path since he was seven months old, when his parents, living in the countryside of Brazil, started putting money away in a college fund.
Even with that savings account, Zapparoli still had to find ways to complete his education. So, he started playing tennis to further his education. At 18, he received more than 20 offers for academic and athletic scholarships to study in the United States. He considers this his first big accomplishment. At the first college he attended, Webber International University, Zapparoli was the captain of the tennis team and took time to teach tennis to underprivileged children.
He has participated in two exchange programs, one at the Geneva Business School in Switzerland where he led a group of international students in a strategic management course, and the other at the EDHEC Business School in France. He has also carried out two finance internships in Sao Paulo, Brazil, focusing on cost minimization in logistics operations and financial analysis.
Zapparoli will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in finance with a concentration in corporate finance. He has a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Brazilian Student Association and the Corporate Mentor Program. He is also fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, English and French.
An accounting major, Yonatan Tamir makes it his business to look at the numbers. So, as he approached a college career, he did his homework and attended a community college to keep the costs down. During that time, he worked 30 hours a week in retail, while maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average under a full-time course load. He has continued his academic excellence after transferring to the Muma College of Business and he expects to graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average in May 2017 when he will earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
He has developed strong relationships with his classmates and the faculty and put together a study group that has nearly tripled its membership since then. Tamir is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honors society, where he serves as the reporting officer. He also participates in the Corporate Mentor Program.
He was granted an internship with Ernst & Young’s Media & Entertainment Division in 2016 and worked there full time for a semester, while maintaining a half-load of courses at the Muma College of Business. While at Ernst & Young, he accompanied an accountant on a business trip to New York City, where he received top marks for his capabilities in client services.
After graduation, Tamir plans to pursue a master’s degree in accountancy, while completing his Certified Public Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor certifications. He hopes to continue his education by earning a master’s degree in accountancy.
Jean-Christian Meiller’s potential in his academic work plays just a partial role in the overall passion he carries as a young student. With a drive for learning, sharpness of intellect and ability to lead, he has exceeded expectations across his professional development process.
Throughout the community, Meiller has participated in several projects, including being the kickboxing coach and president of Combat Sports Club, which he took over and brought back from being shut down. There, he has led both the executive board and boxing team to success, and has gained leadership and team-building experience. Meiller also is a member of the honors accounting organization Beta Alpha Psi.
With an overall grade-point average of 3.83 as an accounting student, Meiller has been granted several scholarships, including the National Association of Industry and Parks Award, USF Scholars Award and Florida Bright Futures. His ability to comprehend what enhancements can be made and act upon them landed him the position as the marketing chairman for USF’s Globull Ambassador Program. Since his freshman year, Meiller has volunteered for Junior Achievement, where he’s taught first and second graders about business and how it affects them on a personal and a community level.
Working as an accounting intern at the Orlando Utilities Commission, as well as being an administrative assistant/social media marketer at the Learning Center of Dr. Phillips, has shown him a career path he envisions for himself, which is to begin in public accounting and eventually become a forensic accountant for the FBI.
Alessandra Deiorio’s career path is clear. She intends to meld a business degree with medicine and perhaps go into hospital administration or medical sales. She has maintained a 4.0 grade point average since enrolling at USF two years ago and has been recruited into honor societies such as Phi Eta Sigma, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Golden Key International. All these organizations require members to be in the top 10 percent of their class.
Deiorio hit the Muma College of Business running, as she took 46 college credits while in high school, and while she has been here, she has taken a wide variety of courses, receiving top grades in whatever class she takes, including chemistry and financial accounting. She expects to graduate in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in general business administration. She is working toward an award in the Global Citizens Project and will study abroad in Florence, Italy, this summer
Deiorio is a member of the National Honor Society where she was once the secretary, as well as the captain of the USF women’s club soccer team, serving as the fundraising and volunteering coordinator. In 2016, the club logged the highest number of community service hours.
Deiorio gives back to the community, having volunteered for the Savage Race, the Stampede of Service, the Multi-Race Triathlon and Surfing for Autism. Her penchant for volunteerism dates back to when she helped her mother at a non-profit organization that assisted disabled people find jobs in Marion County.
Sehrish Ladhani’s parents immigrated from Pakistan to America five years ago with one main goal: to provide the best education possible for their children. It was her parents’ hard work that has motivated Ladhani to excel in the academic world. She has earned a 3.82 grade-point average at USF and will graduate in August 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Throughout her university career, she frequently made the Dean’s List and is often recognized for her academic abilities and leadership qualities.
She expects to continue her education and hopes to earn a master’s degree in accounting in December 2018. Besides her studies, community service is a priority with Ladhani. Her most memorable project came during the spring breaks of 2015 and 2016. While other students hit the beaches across Florida, Ladhani made her way to Guatemala with Masons on a Mission. There, she helped build brick and mortar stoves for native families.
In the summer of 2016, Ladhani was awarded the JLM Industries Endowed Scholarship and was one of 25 students at the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy to receive a study abroad scholarship. Ladhani used these resources to further her education and immerse herself in a foreign culture by participating in USF’s study abroad program in London.
Closer to home, she has emerged as a leader on campus. She is a former vice president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and former fundraising chair of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, where she led a successful campaign for the First in the Family Scholarship Fund, an effort that was ranked among the best in the nation. She has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Accounting Circle’s Student Excellence Grant and the Presidential Honors Scholarship.
She currently serves as the mock-interview co-chair for international accounting fraternity Beta Alpha Psi’s Delta Gamma chapter and works as an accounting associate for Sam’s Club.
For Rebecca Mesiner, business is an outlet for creativity and personal growth. Enrolling in the Muma College of Business has opened up to her a world of unique and driven individuals. Her experiences here have allowed her to go beyond what’s comfortable, to take some risks that prove to be beneficial.
A senior majoring in international business with a minor in Spanish, Mesiner from the start immersed herself in the program. She joined the Bulls Business Community as a freshman and later served as lead mentor for the Living Learning Community. She has connected with other like-minded students and has been inspired to start two of her own businesses, selling organic coffee scrubs and custom swimwear.
She served as a USF Ambassador and now is the director of administrative affairs with that program, making her the primary point of contact for executives and nonprofits seeking USF representation.
Outside of classes, she has worked as a barista at Starbucks, where she spiked revenue by establishing weekly community coffee tastings.
She became involved in politics during the 2016 presidential campaign and founded a campus campaign group to raise awareness about the issues. She organized voter registration drives, rallies and debate watch parties. She even volunteered for an independent voter mapping project in Hillsborough County.
Mesiner, who has a 3.56 grade-point average, has become proficient in Spanish, a language she says she will need for an international business career, and has completed two summer study abroad programs in Spain. She expects to graduate in December 2017.
Under Clayton Werner’s leadership, USF’s American Marketing Association Chapter has soared. He joined the organization as a freshman to immerse himself in his marketing major and to establish a network of classmates and professional contacts. Since then, the chapter has been ranked among the top 4 percent of chapters in North America.
Werner serves as president of the chapter, but he has also put time in as creative consultant, vice president of professional development, chapter liaison, executive vice president and he sat on the executive board for the Tampa Bay American Marketing Association. He planned a conference that includes speakers from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Enterprise and the Ronald McDonald House.
He contributed to three case competition teams that placed in the top 16 of all American Marketing Association chapters and placed third out of 98 teams in a marketing strategy competition this March.
Werner will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in marketing and management in the spring of 2017 and has been accepted into the USF Sport & Entertainment Management program. He currently maintains a 3.47 overall grade-point average.
He also has helped collect more than 300 cell samples for Be the Match, a bone-marrow registry that works to find cures for bone and blood diseases and matches patients with donors across the nation. He has also helped to fundraise nearly $42,000 to send American Marketing Association members to the AMA International Collegiate Conference over the last three years.
Whether she’s working as a government affairs intern in Washington, D.C., or staffing the reception desk in the Muma College of Business’ Dean’s Suite or offering encouragement to a first-grader as a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer, Erica Gloyd gives the same amount of enthusiasm and energy.
A member of the Business Honors Program, she will graduate in the spring of 2017 with bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics and a minor in public administration. She has a grade-point average of 3.72 and already has been accepted into a top-ranked law school, an opportunity that comes with a substantial academic scholarship offer.
While at the Muma College of Business, Gloyd has participated in scholarship, leadership, professional development and community service and she has established herself as a young professional on the rise.
Among her high-achieving accomplishments is an internship with Grant Thornton in Washington, D.C., where she got insights into what skills are needed to be successful in whatever endeavor she chooses.
On the community involvement side, Gloyd helped stage an event with the Business Honors Service Association that raised money for the Wounded Warriors Project and as part of her Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, she helped collect donations that totaled more than $7,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.
And as part of her involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, she has found time to visit her “little sister” at her elementary school once a week, helping with academics and hoping to build a long-lasting relationship.
Taylor Moody has had a passion for golf since she was a child and today she proudly represents USF as a student athlete. She does not leave her passion and dedication on the course though.
Moody is the representative for the golf team on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and serves as secretary and chair of the organization’s campus involvement committee. She was tapped into the Order of the Golden Brahman when she was a sophomore and continues to strive to promote and preserve the values of the university.
As a member of the golf team, Moody participates in the Great American Teach-In where she mentors elementary-school children and shares with young students the steps she took to get where she is today.
Through the skills she has garnered at the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, Moody has held internships with the Shinn & Company accounting firm and will have a tax internship this summer with KPMG. She will graduate this May.
Moody gives back to her community through her volunteer work with Stampede of Service, The Special Olympics and Metropolitan Ministries in downtown Tampa and is an exemplary model of a USF student athlete.
A senior majoring in marketing, Jacob Edens not only excels in his education but also his leadership and professional development. Edens, having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, accredits his experiences in the Boy Scouts with providing him the leadership skills and perseverance he needed to succeed in school and his career.
His leadership abilities have helped him manage many projects including community service activities, philanthropies and entrepreneurial ventures. He achieved first place in the Muma College of Business Elevator Pitch Competition and ranked fourth in the Tampa Building Entrepreneurship Around Tampa competition.
Edens started his own company, Metabology, in 2015. The company offers services of a weekly meal preparation focused on providing healthy foods in the Tampa Bay area. The company is growing and plans to achieve six figures of revenue by the end of the year. Metabology is considered one of the premier businesses developed on USF campus and was invited to participate in the Second Annual REEF Governor’s Cup of Florida Business Model Competition.
As the company continues to grow and develop, Edens has become even more enthralled with the nature of entrepreneurship. He looks forward to creating businesses to help individuals stay healthy and all the other opportunities awaiting him.