Is there really a better holiday gift to yourself than a diploma? While the typical time to toss caps in the air comes during spring, some seniors throw their caps a few weeks after finally working off their Thanksgiving food-baby. Still eager and still anxious, a million thoughts race through these students’ minds before saying their farewells to USF.
Some seniors find four years comprised of many discrete memories, but some seniors find a single word to sum it all up. Jean-Christian Meiller, an accounting major, combined all his experiences into one unifying adjective.
“Well-rounded,” Meiller said. “I got to experience study abroad, professional development, clubs, a social life and sports.”
Starting off as a finance major, Meiller found a new direction with the guidance of one USF professor.
“Professor Cainas made me understand that accounting is the way to go,” Meiller said. “I was a finance major, but she made me understand that accounting is the framework everything is built off of.”
Having a clear path carved out in mind, some students are just buzzing with anticipation to have their diploma in-hand.
“I am very much ready to graduate,” Priscilla Foster said.
Foster, a Spanish major with a minor in foreign language education, knows exactly where she wants to go after graduating this fall.
“My immediate plans are to study for state exams for teacher certification, and take the exam,” Foster said. “My long term plans are to go for my Masters in foreign language education at Nova Southeastern because it is 100 percent online. In addition, I plan on applying for a position at Florida Virtual Online.”
While Foster is looking only to the future, Mauro Hernandez, a mass communications major with a focus in advertising, is taking in these last few months of his senior year calmly, while musing over his four years in Bulls Country.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Hernandez said. “And now that it is approaching so fast, it makes me quite nostalgic. USF has a lot of great resources for students that I’m definitely going to miss, but I’m excited to finally have my Bachelor’s Degree and explore what opportunities I can take out there.”
Throughout his school career, Hernandez was also able to make connections with some of his professors and flourish in their classes.
“I really liked Introduction to Marketing with Carol Osborne,” Hernandez said. “Even though it was a large lecture hall, she was very interpersonal with students who approached her and I learned a lot in her class. Another one was Coby O’Brien, whom I had the chance to have two different classes with. Even though he was very strict and critical with our work, his insights always stuck with me, as he is a very intelligent professional and a creative mind.”
Aside from being in the classroom, Hernandez made sure to have real-world experience before graduating.
“I’ve been working internships and freelancing, but haven’t had the opportunity to work in an advertising agency,” Hernandez said. “So, in the near future, I’m planning to get a job in a local agency in Tampa.”
After establishing himself in the workforce, Hernandez plans to try his hand a little more in South Florida.
“Eventually, after a couple of years, I would like to move back to Miami where my family lives, and explore the local market,” Hernandez said. “Hopefully, I’d get hired by one of the bigger names in the industry, although I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life working there. I want to save enough money so I can open my own business.”
With a new year and a new life ahead of them, the USF graduating class of fall 2017 have a million things to see and a million things to do.