Sharleen Kiana So’s path through her academic career is remarkable. She and her family came here from the Philippines in 2015 and she began taking classes online only. That’s because she was working three jobs – a crew member at McDonalds, a cashier at Publix and later, a part-time teller at J.P. Morgan and Chase Bank – to make ends meet.
It wasn’t until 2018 that she had to finally come to campus to take classes face-to-face with professors and classmates. And that experience opened her eyes to the full university experience. Organizations she had no idea existed were there to join, mentors helped students, scholarships were available and studying abroad was a reality. And she took full advantage. She received scholarships that allowed her to travel to Florence, Italy, in the summer of 2018 and she has never looked back.
She now is getting ready to graduate in December 2019 with a degree in accounting with an overall 4.0 grade-point average. She is a member of the Accounting Society at USF, the Student Investment Club, the USF Chinese Students Association and she is a USF GloBull Ambassador. She speaks five languages, including Filipino, Mandarin, Hokkien, and has received a certificate for business skills and practices from Sandler Training.
This summer, she will join Carr, Riggs and Ingram, an accounting firm, as an audit intern.
Off campus, she has helped raise funds for a handful of charities, including the March of Dimes, Special Olympics and Food for Sharing.
Mariam Raza’s grandfather owned a business in Pakistan and that inspired her to study finance, but once she began taking courses at USF, the world opened up for her, offering so much more to enrich her life. She was elected senator by Muma College of Business students last year and continues in her role of representation in student government by participating in internal committees and helping to allocate the money towards student organizations and addressing student concerns.
Raza is expected to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in finance and a minor in business analytics and information systems. She is part of the Provost’s Scholars Program and the Business Honors Program and the USF Honors College and is researching and writing her thesis: “The Current and Future Implications of Money Laundering on the Individual and the Government.” Her thesis advisor said she is the first student he has worked with who is working toward getting the article published.
Raza has interned with Citi where she reviewed and assessed the risks of third-party on-boarding processes and she served as an accounting clerk at the Muma College of Business, reconciling payroll accounts and budgets. She was also the environmental awareness and animal welfare chair for Service Fellows in the Center of Leadership and Civic Engagement. In this role, Raza led volunteer trips twice a month to encourage service within the community. She also mentored freshmen as part of the Bulls Business Community and is the community outreach chair of USF’s BuildOn program.
Off-campus, Raza volunteered as an assistant with the Pasco County Library, served as a summer science camp counselor with the Museum of Science and Industry and, with Radiant Hands, distributed donations to Syrian refugees.
Thomas McLaughlin II, with a year to go before he graduates, already has put on full display his leadership capabilities. From his involvement with the USF Lecture Series, to his work with the USF Center for Student Involvement, along with being named to the Dean’s List every semester since he came here, McLaughlin has proven his commitment to academic achievement and community enrichment.
McLaughlin is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in business analytics and information systems and a minor in finance. He previously served as the vice president of marketing for the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity, of which he is a founding member. He also helped the Sun Blaze Elementary Parent-Teacher Association in Orlando develop a website and member database.
He previously served as executive director of the University Lecture Series whose guests have included Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, Winston Duke, from “Black Panther,” and “Me Too” movement founder Tarana Burke. In this role, he allocates a budget of $200,000 plus speaker budgets for the series. He served as a mentor with the Bulls Business Community, assisting freshmen as they adjust to university life.
As a volunteer, McLaughlin has been involved with the Relay for Life, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, and worked with 100 students to host an overnight fundraising event at an Orlando high school. In 2015, he traveled to Haiti, where he planted trees in Haitian villages as part of the Mission of Hope project, as well as tutoring children in a Haitian primary school.
Brittany Junkins is heavily involved in off-campus activities. She has cleaned enclosures at the Tampa Big Cat rescue, cooked and served dinners to people affected by cancer at Hope Lodge, helped feed the homeless at Metropolitan Ministries and served breakfast to residents of the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. Through all of that, she has maintained her self-imposed, high-achieving academic goals.
Junkins is set to graduate in May 2021 and has maintained a grade-point average of 3.97 in her dual-degree program that will award her degrees in advertising and business. She is enrolled in the Zimmerman Advertising Program and has been a member of the Bulls Business Community and the Bulls Business Network as well as the USF Honors College. She also serves as co-chair of the Honors College Student Council Marketing Committee.
She has served as a graphic design intern since August 2018 for the College of the Arts and is a freelance writer for OneClass Blog. She also was a marketing intern for the USF Student Affairs and Success Office, where she executed creative marketing approaches, coordinated marketing research and assisted with project management.
As part of the Bulls Business Community and the ZAP program, she has participated in countless opportunities including company tours, networking chances with influential professionals and even a study-abroad opportunity in Europe. In the BBC, she became a mentor for students in that program and ZAP, where she not only is a role model but also a leader students can turn to and depend on to help them with obstacles they may face in class, elsewhere on campus or in their everyday lives.
Frank Harris’ transition from college student to equity research associate will be seamless. Already, he has accepted a job right after graduation at Raymond James Financial, covering 20-25 stocks in a sector and using his skills to advise clients, including some hedge fund managers. It’s not new to him, as he served as a corporate banking intern prior to becoming equity research intern this spring and twice was sent to New York City to meet with clients and management teams.
Harris is set to graduate in May 2019, majoring in finance with a concentration in asset management and a minor in economics. He is one of a small group of students chosen to manage the Student Managed Investment Fund, a portfolio valued at $1 million. The students make up a class that studies investments and pitches opportunities to a panel of working investment professionals and portfolio managers.
He has been named to the Dean’s List multiple times and is registered as a June 2019 Level 1 CFA Candidate. Harris also serves as executive chairman of the Student Investment Club and played a significant role in its early growth. He has given weekly seminars, teaching club members about basic/advanced topics of investing and how they can begin investing for their future.
In addition to leading seminars, speaking to classes, assisting students in resume critiques and job searches, participating in recruiting events and being involved in creating a bi-weekly newsletter for finance students in the club, Harris has found time to be a USF campus ambassador for Raymond James. In this role, he assists in recruitment efforts for the investment corporation in search of a new generation of talented employees.
Maria Garzon Rincon has immersed herself in the USF experience since coming here four years ago. She enrolled in the Corporate Mentor Program, tutored students and participated in the study abroad opportunities in London. She is comfortable adapting to different business environments and is adept at sharing ideas with others.
She graduates in May 2019 with a dual degree in finance and management. In July, she embarks on her career, having landed a position as an analyst with Goldman Sachs in Salt Lake City. It was her experience there as a summer analyst last year that paved the way. During that stint, she participated in the pilot rotation program and worked on various teams under trade and transaction management.
On campus, she continues to be a business calculus tutor in the Academic Success Center and teaches the ins and outs of calculus to 15 students at a time in a group setting and she serves as a peer leader for business calculus in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. She is enrolled in the USF Honors College and is a member of the Latin American Student Association, the University Student Tutor Association, Venezuelan Student Alliance and is a volunteer for Autism Shifts.
She also worked as a student leader for INTO USF, welcoming international students during orientation week and helping them adapt to the American educational system and culture. A native of Colombia, Garzon Rincon was promoted to executive student leader at INTO USF and was given the responsibility of mentoring, leading and supporting her coworkers. She speaks Spanish, her native language, and is fluent in English.
Sonia Duraimurugan wouldn’t exactly call herself a scholar before she came to USF as a freshman in 2016. But since coming here, she has set her mind to the task and has excelled in just about every way. She took full advantage of her education here and increased her involvement in leadership opportunities both on and off campus. She has gained skills such as public speaking, which she never thought she possessed before coming here.
She is set to graduate in May 2020 with a degree in marketing. She has maintained a 3.97 grade-point average and currently serves as executive vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, where she coordinates the annual induction ceremony. At the society, she also trains officers on how to perform their duties and coordinates with other organizations to host events on campus. In 2017-18, she was vice president of publications for the society, assisted in increasing campus engagement through the outreach program and strengthened member involvement via social media platforms.
Duraimurugan is vice president of the USF Marketing Association, leading a group of 15 members in creating policies and guidelines, making community connections with local firms through networking and resolving issues as they may arise within the association. She continues to serve a marketing intern for Web Direct Brands.
She placed first in the 2017 Elevator Pitch Competition at the American Marketing Regional Conference and has served as a mentor for Liberty Middle School students, all while being named to the Dean’s List throughout her time at USF.