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Student Spotlight


Susie Dantzig Blake Picolo Asia Davis Brandon Mitchell
 
Jude Legiste Cynthia Byrd Bibi Yasmin Moghani Danlu Zeng
 
Robert Gailey Marlo Wyant Peter Leitten Pallavi Pal
 
Mariam Zafar Monica Page Ying Peng Juan Ahmad Del Vecchio
 
Laura Sutnick Demetrius Campbell Shahaan Razak Daniel Barrios
 
Jean-Paul Berland Gabriela Lins Wu Wu Daniela Delgado
 
Allyson Paige James Johnston Vinessa E. Burnett Matthew Paul
Allyson Paige James Johnston Vinessa E. Burnett Matthew Paul
 
Crystal Louise Jackson Hui Yu Stephanie Rodriguez Suzanne Ghannam
Crystal Louise Jackson Hui Yu Stephanie Rodriguez Suzanne Ghannam
 
Phalande Jean
Phalande Jean Zachary Kirisits Jacob Rudolph Kayla Lott
 
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Susie Dantzig

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a second year graduate student in the Music Business program.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from the Washington, D.C. area and after working in event planning for five years following graduation from undergrad, I decided to apply for a Music Business graduate degree to take my career to the next level in a field that I am passionate about.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search?
I began researching companies in February and submitted my applications in March and April for my summer internship.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found that being connected to other students with internships has been the most valuable. It is helpful to discuss and share each other's experiences so I appreciate Toppel providing that opportunity through the Toppel Internship Program (TIP).

What are your plans after graduation?
Following graduation, I plan on pursuing a career in artist management in the classical music genre.

Blake Picolo

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Senior, majoring in Electrical Engineering.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Plantation, FL, which is right near Ft. Lauderdale. In addition to being a student, I am also a third year Academic Fellow in Hecht and President of UM’s branch of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. By spending most of my time involved with activities around campus, I am enjoying my last year in school and am looking forward to life after college. My main hobby growing up was golf and I still play a little from time to time.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search?
I started thinking about my career development sophomore year when I began to really get involved in extracurricular activities. Freshman year, I didn't think there was any way I'd be able to create a competitive resume, but you'd be surprised how easy it is to fill up once you become more involved. This summer, I secured an internship at a research institute: The Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce. My position as an Academic Fellow prompted me to begin thinking about my own professional development and what I would need to be successful in my career. It is never too early to start thinking about what you want to do in life and the steps necessary to reach your goals.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I found the resume critiques to be the most valuable service that Toppel offers. My resume has gone through numerous revisions to reach this stage, and without Toppel it wouldn't be nearly as good as it currently is. Toppel really helped me with formatting and making sure that all the little details were in order. I also received career advising at Toppel.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation in May, I am looking to get a job doing electrical engineering in the aerospace field. I will also be doing a graduate program in engineering management. I feel that this combination will give me both the necessary education and experience I need to succeed.

Asia Davis

What is/was your major/year in school?
I'm a senior and a double major in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Modern Languages (Arabic and Portuguese)

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm from Long Island, New York, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and a Puerto Rican mother. I moved with my family to Florida five years ago and chose UM for college because the campus was so amazing. I love cooking and writing, so for that reason I am both a Spoken Word poet and food blogger, with a website called TheCollegeCooker.com. I have performed in front of as many as three thousand people and been featured on PBS and HBO for my poetry. I love learning new languages and speak six: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and Arabic. I am currently a Department of Defense employee working as an Intelligence Analyst.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search?
I've known that I wanted to work for the government in an international capacity since high school, and have consistently worked towards that goal throughout my college career. I had my first internship this summer at the Department of Defense's Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. They offered me a second internship for the spring semester at the U.S. Southern Command offices in Miami. I decided on a career in government by taking classes within my majors. Junior year, I also started attending different career fairs and information sessions, which allowed me to see that I could actually pursue the type of career I had dreamed about: a career in intelligence.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I think the most valuable resource that Toppel offers is the career fairs. A few times a year recruiters that are looking to hire people just like us are here willing to speak to us and see what we have to offer. There are so many choices and great opportunities available at each fair. It was at the Government and Non-Profit Career Fair that I found my summer internship which led to my second internship. The information sessions are also invaluable, especially those that pertain specifically to employers one might be interested in. For me, CIA and State Department information sessions have been especially helpful.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I am moving to DC and starting graduate school at the National Defense Intelligence College in the Defense Intelligence Agency to pursue a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence. After that one-year program, I hope to either continue working with the Department of Defense or work at the CIA as an Intelligence Officer. Taking the Foreign Service Exam in order to enter the State Department's Foreign Service is still an option, as well.

Brandon Mitchell

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a junior majoring in Sport Administration and minoring in Political Science.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I'm a huge baseball fan (go Phils!) and of course, a huge University of Miami fan. You can almost always see me wearing something orange and green and I always represent the University of Miami with pride.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search?
I've known for a while that I've wanted to get into the sport and entertainment industry. It’s something that really interests me and I want a career that is exciting. The Toppel Career Center is always there to critique resumes, host job fairs, and assist in any way possible when it comes to searching for the dream job or the internship that can lead to the dream job. Most of what I have done so far has been through Category 5 working with the Marketing Department of the Athletic Department. I'm also a supervisor at the Wellness Center and have applications in for internships this summer with the San Diego Padres and the New York Yankees, as well as IMG.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I would definitely say that the resume critiques are the most valuable resource at The Toppel Career Center. Resumes are such an important part of the job search and it’s good to know that if you need some quick adjustments or improvements, The Toppel Career Center is there for you.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to attend law school. But, I like to live in the present and enjoy my time as an undergraduate student.

Jude Legiste

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Junior majoring in Economics.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Nassau, Bahamas and lived in Haiti for four years. I moved to Miami when I was five and recently became a U.S. citizen last April. At the University of Miami, I serve as the secretary of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and have been a Resident Assistant for the past two years at Eaton Residential College. I love to read and volunteer with young children. Also, I mentor two freshmen at the University of Miami.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I really got involved in my career development earlier this year when I finally figured out that I wanted to pursue Management Consulting. Since then I’ve been talking to professors in the field and doing massive amounts of research about the field. I have applied to 12 companies that specialize in Management Consulting including Bain and I hope to hear back from them soon. I am currently a Resident Assistant at Eaton Residential College and have been for the last two years. It has allowed me to become much more immersed in the University of Miami and impact the lives of my residents and the community. I have also interned for the Miami-Dade office of the State Attorney. As an intern, I worked on cases with the Assistant State Attorneys and observed their work.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I’ve always recognized Toppel as an excellent resource ever since I was a Freshman. The interview skills workshop in combination with the mock interviews has been very helpful in preparing me for interviews.

What are your plans after graduation?
Ideally, I would like to work for Bain & Company as a Business Analyst for 2-3 years. After that, I will pursue my M.B.A and become a Management Consultant. My long term career plan is to become the CEO of a Management Consulting firm.

Cynthia Byrd

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior majoring in International Studies and Business Administration.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Philadelphia, PA but I grew up all along the east coast. I'm an active person who enjoys playing and watching sports, while participating in various social activities around Miami. I'm a constant reader and generally an outgoing person. Also, I’m very interested in the areas of politics, finance, and macroeconomic issues.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search? What kinds of internships or job experiences have you had thus far?
I began my career development towards the end of my freshman year. I attended a few information sessions at The Toppel Career Center and I began seeking out internships for the summer in fields that I found interesting. Also, I worked on improving my resume and interview skills with various programs that Toppel offered throughout the year.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
The mock interviews at Toppel are extremely valuable because afterwards the person interviewing you gives you immediate feedback about things you did well and things that can be improved. Also, the information sessions are very helpful because of the variety of companies and organizations that are represented. And, of course, the career fairs are awesome because you actually get to apply to jobs and talk with employers in a one-on-one setting.

What are your plans after graduation?
Currently, I'm applying to Officer Candidacy School with the United States Air Force. I plan to enter into the fields of intelligence and counter terrorism, while pursing my MBA at a later date.

Bibi Yasmin Moghani

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a sophomore on the Pre-Law track majoring in History and minoring in Political Science, German and Psychology.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Miami, Florida. My father is Iranian and my mother is German. I am the first child from my family to go to college. I love to play lacrosse and I speak four languages, English, Spanish, German and Farsi. I am currently the Head of Volunteering at Kristi House, an organization geared to helping sexually abused children in Miami.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I've known that I wanted to work in a legal capacity helping children since high school. For this reason, I began working at Kristi House when I was 16. Kristi House is an organization dedicated to helping and treating sexually abused children in the Miami area. It is the only relief center for sexually abused children in the South Florida region and has been recognized by the Children's World Fund. I decided on a career in helping children by taking classes within my majors. My sophomore year, I also started attending different fairs and information sessions, which allowed me to see the different careers I could pursue.

At Kristi House, I help with many of their fundraising events such as Breaking the Silence and Touch a Heart. These events take place both in the spring and fall and raise thousands of dollars to support the Kristi House foundation and its efforts to help children. My contribution to Kristi House was not just in the management offices but also in my efforts to touch the hearts of the children. During the summer, I collect and find donations and funds to support the children as they return to school with necessary school supplies. During the holidays, we also use these funds to provide toys for the children. In the summer of 2011, I will continue my summer commitment with Kristi House, while interning for Judge Jimenez. I will also be organizing Canefest, the largest involvement fair on campus as the Chair of the Committee of Student Organizations.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I believe it would be the resume critiques and career fairs. Resumes are such an important part of the job search process because they serve as your first impression for an employer. The Toppel Career Center definitely helps people in creating a great first impression. The career fairs bring together such a varied audience and allow people to access different job opportunities.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on attending law school. Ultimately, I would like to work part time at Kristi House and open up my own school.

Danlu Zeng

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Junior majoring in accounting and finance.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Hangzhou, China. I am striving to be a successful future businesswoman. Studying abroad at UM has been a fabulous experience for me. I am making friends with people who are from different countries and I am getting more opportunities to explore my own future.

When/how did you begin to get involved with your career development and internship/job search?
Since I came here, I have attended all major career fairs and different Toppel workshops. But I really began my career development during the second semester of my sophomore year. I joined Beta Alpha Psi, a business professional fraternity, to begin building my professional network. I met with a Toppel career advisor weekly to practice my interviewing skills and get tips for the whole internship searching process. Last summer, I interned at KPMG in China, proposing financial suggestions to management and partner level associates. This summer, I will be interning for Ernst & Young in Miami. On campus, I serve as a tutor for the Academic Resource Center.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I found the mock interviews with advisors and the mini mock interviews with peer advisors to be the most valuable services at Toppel. The CaneZone database is also a great resource for students.

What are your plans after graduation?
Upon graduating, I plan to work in the business field and gain 2-3 years of professional experience. After that, I will pursue my MBA

Robert Gailey

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a rising sophomore, majoring in International Finance and Marketing with a minor in History.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have lived right here in Miami, Florida all my life and have always wanted to attend the University of Miami. I loved my first year at UM and cannot wait for the next three years. I have been a “car guy” forever. From Top Gear to World Rally Championship, I love it all. Currently a member of Students in Free Enterprise at UM, I have always donated some of my time to community service, volunteering for the Veterans’ Affairs Hospital and the Junior Orange Bowl Sports Ability Games in high school. I am also an avid golfer and still get to play on weekends with my dad and brother. I love to travel and have visited the United Kingdom as well as many states.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
In the summer before my freshman year, I was already interested in being an intern. As soon as I learned about Toppel, I was working on my resume with them. By December of my freshman year, I was looking for internships and I started as a marketing intern at Rezmoto Magazine that January. Currently, I am four months into my internship and it is one of the best experiences I have ever had. Working for a car magazine allows me to hone my marketing skills while being around one of my passions, tuned European cars. My position enables me to write news stories and build hype for car shows and events while at the same time attending shows, photo shoots, and more. If I had one piece of advice to any prospective interns, it would be to find a company that you are interested in and your work will be a blast!

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
For me, the resume critiquing was important, but what I found the most useful was their job searching tools. CaneZone was the easiest to use compared to the other sites I tried, and had the most useful search criteria. That is where I found my position at Rezmoto, and when I begin my job search again I will start with Toppel.

What are your plans after graduation?
After college, I plan to stay in the automotive industry and to continue with marketing. More specifically, I would like to do product development for either Audi , BMW, or an aftermarket tuning company. Eventually, I plan on getting my MBA, but I can’t see myself leaving the automotive field.

Marlo Wyant

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Senior earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Newport, Rhode Island. I have been quite involved in student organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers, serving as the Executive Events Coordinator. I am also an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At the Toppel Career Center, I am a Peer Advisor. Additionally, this summer, I participated as a finalist in the “Go Green in the City” International Business Case Competition that took place in Paris, France. I was also recently recognized as the Vestas Mechanical Engineering Student of the Year.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
My first internship was at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC in their Spacecraft Engineering Department. I found that internship by applying on the organization's website and contacting the department directly by phone. My second internship was with GE Energy in their Wind Energy Department in Greenville, South Carolina. I learned about and applied to that internship through HireACane.com and interviewed on the University of Miami campus. Following GE, I found an internship position with BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, South Carolina working on the X6 ActiveHybrid. I found out about BMW internships after taking a group walking tour of the BMW manufacturing plant. After the tour, I checked the BMW website, found several summer internships listed and applied. Within three weeks I was called for an on-site interview and was later offered the summer position. Finally, this summer I served as an intern at Solar Turbines Inc in San Diego, CA. I discovered this internship by attending a career fair at the Society of Women Engineers’ National Conference. I met representatives at the company booth and was offered an interview with the Director of Engineering. Two weeks later, I received an offer.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I firmly believe that the walk-in resume critique is the most valuable and fundamental tool that Toppel has to offer. It got me started on the right track my freshman year, before I even knew what a resume was. In addition to the resume critiques, I have found the annual Etiquette Dinner highly effective in teaching proper behavior in a business dinner atmosphere. It has definitely helped me prepare for dinners and luncheons at several professional conferences.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on working as a Mechanical Design Engineer. After working 2 years in the field and gaining more insight into the specialty needs of the industry, I would like to pursue a specialized Master's degree in engineering.

Peter Leitten

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a junior studying Music Business & Entertainment Industries and minoring in Business Administration and Management.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Atlanta, GA and lived there for 11 years. My family then relocated to Coral Gables, FL where my interest in music began. Since leaving Coral Gables my family and I have lived in Birmingham, AL. I have studied cello in the United Kingdom for three summers.

I am a classically trained musician in cello, piano, voice, and conducting. I perform in the Bruce Hornsby American Music Ensemble. In addition, I frequently address prospective and incoming students as a musical ambassador in the Frost School of Music and serve on the executive board for the Music & Entertainment Industries Student Association.

On the academic side, I take great pride in my studies and am a member of several honor societies including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honour Society, and Alpha Lambda Delta. Furthermore, I have been named to the Provost’s and/or President's Honor Roll during each semester.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Since beginning my studies at UM, I have had the tremendous opportunity to work for Apple in Birmingham and to intern in Nashville's Music Industry.

I first applied to work at Apple when I was 17. Nearly 6 months later I received an invitation to interview for a part-time position. Unfortunately, I had to decline as I was leaving Birmingham to begin my freshman year. However, I was impelled to continue to pursue relations with Apple, and therefore remained proactive in communicating with the Apple managers. Upon returning home after my freshman year, and after three intense rounds of interviews, I became an Apple Specialist.

While I am very passionate about my job, I was determined to gain valuable insight into the music industry. After a few applications had proved futile, I was fortunate to have been recommended to interview for the Nashville Songwriters Association International. After conversing on the phone, I was granted an internship in the sponsorships department. I spent two days a week during the summer designing marketing packets, informational pamphlets and brochures. I also traveled throughout Nashville's famed Music Row to assist with sponsorship seeking activities such as BMI, ASCAP, SESAC and many others.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found that both the resume critiques and the Toppel Internship Program (TIP) have been essential to my career development. After reviewing my resume with Toppel, I have received numerous compliments for its structure, content and creative design. The internship program has been extremely helpful in both coordinating my internship and ensuring that I received the most beneficial opportunities.

What are your plans after graduation?
My post-graduation plans include gaining work experience, attending graduate school and pursuing fellowships. Professionally, I am interested in a number of positions with Apple at their corporate headquarters in California. In terms of graduate school, I have aspirations of applying to a specialized program at Harvard that entails spending two years working in an approved field and seeking an MBA. Finally, I plan on applying for a Rhodes Scholarship to earn a B.A. in Economics and Management.

Regardless of what the future holds, I firmly believe that the University of Miami has done an excellent job in preparing me for life outside college.

Pallavi Pal

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior and plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in December 2011. My major is Economics and my minors include Psychology and English.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in New Delhi, India, however I attended high school in Washington DC, where my family currently lives. One of my most memorable UM experiences was studying abroad in Spain during my Spring 2010 semester. Not only was it a chance for me to practice my language skills but I was able to meet students from different parts of the world and learn about their cultures.

On campus, I am one of the founders of Delta Phi Omega Sorority Incorporated. I also serve as a Peer Advisor at the Toppel Career Center. Both positions have provided a valuable mentorship experience, allowing me to advise students while also receiving wise advice from my colleagues at Toppel. In the past, I have also served as the Liaison Officer for 85 Broads: Women in Business, the previous Vice President for the Mock Trial team, as well as the Stanford Representative for the Student Government Senate.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
This past summer I interned at Moody’s Corporation, a credit rating agency, in the Financial District in NYC. I earned this internship through a program called Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) that sent a recruiter to the UM campus and held an Information Session through the Toppel Career Center. Upon being accepted to the program, I was able to select an internship at one of their partner firms. I researched the companies and decided to work for Moody’s.

In the past, I have held an internship as a Congressional Intern through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) in the Office of Representative Kendrick Meek (FL-17). One of the Graduate Assistants at Toppel informed me of this internship and guided me in writing my letter of intent.

Previously, I have also interned at the Office of Chief Counsel in Rockville, MD as well as Westin Resorts Accounting Department in Guam, USA. I secured these two internships through networking. My family was well connected with these offices, facilitating my ability to gain valuable work experience.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Toppel has a variety of resources that have helped me in my internship and job search. From the wonderful advisors who are always willing to sit with me and answer all my questions to the graduate assistants who provide support for my resume and cover letter questions. Moreover, the workshops and networking events have been great opportunities for me to learn more about how to shape my career path.

What are your plans after graduation?
Through my internship last summer, I was able to secure a job at Moody’s Corporation, a credit rating agency, located at the heart of NYC’s Financial District. I am excited to go back and start working for them next fall and plan to travel through Europe for a few months directly after my graduation. In a few years, I plan to attend law school. Upon completing law school, I plan to work as a corporate lawyer.

Mariam Zafar

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior and plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration in May of 2012. My majors are International Finance and Marketing, and Creative Writing.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to Dubai, UAE when I was two years old. After completing high school, I attended the American University in Dubai for two years before transferring to Miami. Growing up in the commercial, cosmopolitan city of Dubai, where over 80% of the population consists of expatriates and foreign nationals, fueled in me a hunger to travel, and learn new languages and cultures. Studying abroad in Milan, Italy during the summer of 2010 was one of my most valuable experiences at UM. I traveled to over 13 cities in Europe in only 30 days, met students from across the world and learned about the business practices of companies such as Ferrero. I recently discovered my passion for poetry after taking a creative writing class, and decided to pursue a Creative Writing major, despite having to stay an extra year. Although my majors may seem like an odd combination, I feel I am gaining a multi-faceted education and developing in a multitude of ways. I am also a painter and a pianist. On campus, I am involved in numerous activities. I am a panelist on the University Disciplinary Hearing Panel, an e-board member of Codex, and a poetry staff reader for the undergraduate literary journal, Mangrove. As an honors student, I also take pride in my academic achievements and have been on the Dean's List and Provost's Honor Roll every semester. I am also a proud member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honors Society, and am pursuing Departmental Honors in Marketing.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
At the beginning of the year, I completed my first internship at ActionCoach Team Sage, a business coaching firm that caters to small and medium-sized businesses in South Florida. I am enrolled in the Mentor Program at the School of Business, and acquired my internship through my mentor, who is a co-owner of the firm, and one of the top business coaches in the nation. My four-month internship at ActionCoach was an extremely valuable learning experience. Last summer, I worked at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts as a marketing intern. I learned about this opportunity by networking with a previous intern, who encouraged me to apply for the position after having a wonderful experience herself. My business background, passion for the arts, and creativity made the Arsht Center an ideal internship for me. In order to earn Departmental Honors, I am currently working on a research project with professors from the Marketing and Economics department to gauge the profitability of firms entering Latin America.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
The resume critiques were highly beneficial to my career development. When I first went to Toppel, my resume was a mess. After attending the walk-in critiques, I emerged with an organized and structured resume that effectively highlighted my core competencies. I also found the TIP program to be very valuable. The reflection seminars and mid-way phone calls, along with the employer evaluations, helped me reflect on my performance as an intern and better understand my own strengths and weaknesses. The TIP program also allowed me to interact with other interns and hear about their internship experiences.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to travel extensively and gain work experience before pursuing an International MBA. I am considering schools up north including Columbia, NYU Stern, Harvard and Boston University. I eventually intend to break the norm and join our family business as one of the only women in top management. It is a very exciting time for the company, with its upcoming IPO, and I hope to lead the family legacy to even more success.

Monica Page

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am currently a senior majoring in Public Relations and Psychology and plan to graduate in December 2011.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. My initial goal coming to college was to major in journalism. After spending some time in the School of Communication, however, I decided to change my major to Public Relations because I was attracted to its business focus. I still plan to pursue something related to journalism as a side profession.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I have completed three internships while in college. During my first internship, I was the Social Media and Community Relations intern for Career Eagle, an online start-up aiming to help students find their career path. During the summer of 2011, I held two internships at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Back/Slash Magazine. For the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, I was the Marketing and Concert Promotions intern working to promote their summer concert series. For Back/Slash Magazine I was an editorial intern, contributing content to their online blog.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
The most valuable resources I have found at Toppel are the resume and cover letter critiques. Many students believe they know how to create a resume, but at times the document can include too much or too little information. The ability to have a resume tailored to various career fields and to meet one-on-one with advisors is essential to preparing for jobs and internships.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to move to San Francisco to begin my full-time position at Career Eagle, which I acquired as a result of my internship. I will be the Director of Social Media while helping to establish their internship program.

Ying Peng

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Public Relations in the School of Communication. I completed my undergraduate studies at China Agricultural University in Beijing, with a Bachelor’s degree of Management in Public Administration.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Southwestern China, Sichuan Province. In 2006, I moved and spent four memorable years in Beijing pursuing my Bachelor’s degree. I never dreamed Miami would be my next destination but I could not be happier with my decision to attend UM. My interest in Communication motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree at UM. As an international student, I am proud to contribute to the diversity of UM and the Public Relations industry as a whole. In my spare time I enjoy fashion, music, swimming, and Chinese calligraphy.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Currently, I am an Individual Contractor at Alarcon PR, a Public Relations agency. When I started, I was managing the media relations for the U.S. Antique & Jewelry Show. Now, I am handling media relations for Actionable Business Training, a small business training corporation for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Additionally, I just finished a PR campaign for the 2011 Miami Book Fair International China Pavilion. This was a volunteer position but I became very involved, leading a PR team and conducting a successful PR campaign for China Pavilion.

This summer, I interned as a PR intern for the City of Doral’s Office of Public Information. My tasks included news monitoring, media documents writing, media research and web maintenance. Last year, I was also a member of the media team for the Water Choices Forum by Florida Earth Foundation. In China, I interned at Hill & Knowlton one of the top international PR agencies. This position provided hands-on experience and training in PR practice, and cemented my decision to pursue a Master’s degree. These experiences largely improved my interpersonal skills, including leadership, communication and management. In addition, it was through networking that I acquired several of my jobs and internships.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I found the Student & Alumni Career Symposium last April particularly helpful. It was a wonderful experience, as I was able to attend several alumni-led panels related to my major. The lunch reception at this event was also a valuable opportunity for networking. Finally, I received free business cards from Toppel just for attending this event! Another valuable resource at Toppel is the Toppel Internship Program. As an international student I am required to obtain CPT, demonstrating that my internship is related to my studies. TIP enables me to acquire internships legally and to receive academic recognition for these positions.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to work at a PR agency or a non-profit organization to enhance my communication skills and expand my professional network.

Juan Ahmad Del Vecchio

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Senior pursuing a double major in Management and Marketing.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. After graduating from high school I decided to attend the University of Miami because of its reputation, commitment to diversity, and excellent academics. Also, Miami is a great place to live. At UM, I am involved with the Venezuelan Student Organization and the School of Business Mentorship Program which have both been great resources for me. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling. Last summer, I traveled to China and took a summer course at Peking University.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I have been interning at The Clorox Company for over a year and half. I started my internship at the Atlanta office in May of 2010. After the summer was over, I relocated to the Miami office and have continued to work part time while in school. I have been working for the Global Strategic Sourcing department for the International division. My most important project has been working on a sourcing strategy for the Cleaning Utensils Category developing suppliers in order to promote cost saving opportunities, standardization and innovation.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
TIP has been the most valuable resource I have found at Toppel. The program successfully provides guidance and assistance to students throughout their internships. In addition, EPIC is extremely helpful because it allows students to receive tips from potential employers and recruiters regarding resumes and interviewing skills. This program is effective in preparing students for the job search process.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to relocate to the Atlanta area in order to start my full-time position with The Clorox Company. I have been offered a position in their Supply Chain Leadership Development Program as a Supply Chain Associate. This is a three year rotational program through different areas of the Product Supply Organization.

Laura Sutnick

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a second year Arts Presenting & Live Entertainment Management Graduate Student. I also have a Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries from UM.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Bogota, raised in Miami, and I have traveled all over the world. I am co-owner of Nightdrive, contributor to the Nightdrive music blog, Music Director at WVUM 90.5 FM and host of the disco show "Vamos a La Playa.” You can catch me on air on WVUM 90.5 FM every Monday from 5-7 pm and listen to "Vamos a La Playa" or on Thursdays from 5-7pm to listen to a new underground/ indie rotation. I started my first residency at Ecco Lounge in Boston. In 2003, I returned to Miami and have since spun at almost every club in town. I consider myself a pioneer of the underground indie dance scene in South Florida.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
At this time, I run my own company, Nightdrive Miami, with a business partner. We produce and promote concerts, manage artists, run a DJ collective, and have a top 100 blog in the U.S. I started the company because I felt the music scene in Miami had lots of room for improvement and development. In the last three years, we have managed to bring a whole slew of internationally recognized artists to the area and introduced Miami to all kinds of new music. Some of my past internships have included the Sony Latin Music supervision department and Pandisc Records (home to lots of Miami Bass and freestyle artists) which I acquired on my own.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Toppel is a great resource for guidance and advising. The Toppel Internship Program is another valuable resource because it ensures that students are enhancing their career opportunities at an internship.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to continue fostering the Music scene here in Miami. Nightdrivemiami.com full speed ahead!

Demetrius Campbell

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a Senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Oakland, California. Starting in my sophomore year of high school, I was accepted into the Engineering Academy, a rigorous academy that focuses on mechanical engineering. I was exposed to engineering principles, physics (focused on mechanics), drafting, and architecture, which prepared me for the rigors of college academia. In my senior year at Oakland Technical High, I won third place in the California State Fair and Honorable Mention in the Oakland Rotary Club Design Contest for my final architecture project. At the University of Miami, I have served as the Fundraising Chair and Treasurer of the National Society of Black Engineers. I have also been involved in numerous community service events. I believe that hard work and perseverance are essential to being successful in any endeavor.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I acquired my first internship in my junior year of high school with the Port of Oakland by the recommendation of my engineering teacher. My second internship was with Berkeley Youth Alternatives, a non-profit, community based organization that provides a secure educational environment for the youth and young adults. I received this internship by recommendation of a member of my church. My third internship was with Cummins Turbo Technologies as a Product Engineer Intern. I acquired this internship through the National Society of Black Engineers. I was encouraged to place my resume on the organization's website and was invited in for an on-site interview at the NSBE National Convention that year. I received an offer a few weeks later.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found the resume critiques, mock interviews, and career advising to the most valuable services during my college career. The resume critique allows an experienced advisor with fresh eyes to offer possible improvements to a student's resume in terms of content as well as structure. The mock interview allows students to practice interviewing skills in a more relaxed environment and receive immediate feedback on their performance in order to make a good impression on potential employers. Lastly, the career advising service allows students to discuss and find out about potential opportunities after college and explore how their professional goals can be reached.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on working full-time as an Aerospace Engineer with the Cessna Aircraft Company. I also plan to pursue a Master of Science in Engineering after gaining several years of experience in the aerospace industry.

Shahaan Razak

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior double majoring in Human and Social Development and Exercise Physiology.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Both of my parents are from Guyana (in the Caribbean), and came to this country to give themselves and their family more opportunities. I was born in Queens, New York and moved to Florida at the age of 7. Although high school times were a bit rough, I continued to work hard and earned the George W. Jenkins Scholarship to attend the University of Miami. Before I left for college, I decided to marry my high school sweetheart, Priscilla, who was also accepted to UM. We recently had our first baby, Sumaya, and are eager to both graduate in May. Looking back at my time here, I feel I have done so much in regards to school involvement and making the most of those experiences.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I interned with a non-profit organization named the Florida Association of Young Muslims through one of my classes to evaluate their processes and help them work more effectively. On campus, I also served as a Student Assistant for Graduate Admissions through my affiliation with the Miami Commitment program. In addition to these experiences, I worked as a camp counselor for a research project involving the Healthy Start Summer Program. I learned about this opportunity through the UM Kinesiology department. I’ve also interned at the Office of the State Attorney in the Sexual Battery Division. During this internship, I was supervised by a State Attorney and assisted in all legal proceedings. I researched this opportunity on my own and completed it as part of my practicum for my Human and Social Development major. Finally, I am currently completing an Associate Teaching Field internship as a part of a Teaching and Learning (TAL) course I am taking.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I found the STRONG inventory to be the most useful and accurate tool in helping me discover my interests. I feel it is useful for any college student exploring careers.

What are your plans after graduation?
I have been accepted into Teach for America and plan on pursuing that avenue after graduation. I have been placed in Philadelphia where I will also be completing my Master of Science in Education at the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniel Barrios

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior studying Music Business & Entertainment Industries and minoring in Business Law.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Queens, New York but my family relocated to Miami when I was five years old. Growing up, I was very involved in the arts. My interest in drawing and painting began at a young age, and then my interest switched to music where I became involved in school choirs and outside choir music festivals. At UM, I am member of Phi Mu Alpha Men's Music Fraternity and of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Fortunately, my participation in outside music opportunities through the University of Miami, has been significant, including the Juanes MTV Unplugged production.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Currently, I am an intern with MTV in their Music & Media Licensing department. The internship includes work with licensing agreements as well as research of music. My work experience also includes working with the State of Florida Department of Children and Families where I assisted applicants for government assistance. Additionally, I was selected to participate in a pre-internship program with Google in New York and I served the community as an AmeriCorps member.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found the resume and interviewing workshops to be very valuable for me. After using these resources, my resume has better demonstrated my knowledge, skills and abilities. Also, participating in the interviewing workshops has improved my interviewing skills.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to attend law school to specialize in the entertainment law industry.

Jean-Paul Berland

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a sophomore majoring in International Finance and Marketing.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am French-American and have spent my whole life traveling back and forth between Paris and Dallas. Even though I would seamlessly transition from one culture and language to another, I was always very interested in the differences between countries and their relationships with each other. This interest fits well with my love of travel, and when traveling to new places I enthusiastically try to learn as much about the people, culture, and government as possible. I also take advantage of being raised bilingually to learn new languages. Living in Texas and Miami has helped me become fluent in Spanish and I plan to continue with many more languages. When choosing a university, I was looking for a school that reflected my keen interest in strong academics and an international environment. When I received the Dickinson Scholarship to UM I knew it was meant to be. Now I can't imagine myself anywhere else! The amazing student body and supportive faculty have helped me thrive and I am now proudly on the executive board of the American Marketing Association as well as active in many other activities and organizations both on and off campus. At UM, my lifelong passions for world culture, language, and government have blended very well with my academic passions for economics, finance, and marketing. All this has certainly expanded my understanding of international politics and its relationship to the business world.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I was fortunate to intern two years ago and again last summer at the French Senate in Paris. There I worked for Senateur Philippe Dominati, President of the Commission for Fiscal Evasion and member of the Financial Committee. During my two summers, I conducted research on the monopoly of RATP over the public transport system for a bill, reviewed the official national budget, created a research project studying the effects of social media on the legislative electoral results, was in charge of creating and maintaining the Senator's Facebook and Twitter accounts, and met with the Senator every day to discuss his image as well as the international economic situation. I was extremely lucky to have learned so much about French politics, European economics, and current issues while working with and around well-known French politicians.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I love all of the seminars offered at Toppel. The Career Development Series has been especially helpful. I was able to develop essential skills that can be used in any profession. My attendance at networking and resume workshops, including Advanced Networking (hosted by Prudential), helped me at Career Expo and I was better prepared than students who had not attended Toppel seminars.

What are your plans after graduation?
As of now, I am unsure of what I'd like to do after graduation. However, I know that I will continue striving to be a successful human being. Wherever my career takes me, I will always work hard and I'll never forget to give back to the world that has already given me so much.

Gabriela Lins

What is/was your major/year in school?
Microbiology and Immunology/Sophomore

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Brazil but am a Miami local. I enjoy volunteering at local hospitals and food banks. I am extremely interested in public health and have been able to use Toppel services to acquire jobs that have given me opportunities to engage in public health work.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I worked for one year at the University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic and am now working for the University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank. I acquired both my jobs with the assistance of the Student Employment Office and the Toppel Career Center.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Toppel personnel are extremely competent and knowledgeable in regards to building a presentable and effective resume. Furthermore, I was able to utilize their mock interview services in order to improve my interviewing skills. Both of these services have helped me become a more competitive applicant in the work force and have consequently helped me acquire both my jobs.

What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to attend the Miller School of Medicine and become an M.D. I aspire to become a pediatric oncologist and contribute to improving the public health of Miami.

Wu Wu

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a first-year graduate student in the Master of Accounting program.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I come from Beijing and performed in a top-four children's choir in the world for nine years. My professional vocal training and international performance experiences gave me confidence and a good spirit of teamwork. I studied finance at Zhejiang University, one of the top 3 universities in China. With a goal of preparing for future careers and enjoy the life to the fullest, I came to the University of Miami. My current includes singing in the Women's Chorale and working as a peer tutor in the Academic Resource Center.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I interned at the KPMG Beijing office for two months during the winter of 2012. As an audit intern, I assisted employees in verifying the financial statements of a newly listed company in Hong Kong. In addition, I have interned at one of the biggest securities company in China.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?

I find the mock interview to be the most valuable service. I received many useful suggestions on how to improve my interviewing skills there. The Toppel Career Center is a great place for us to receive guidance and grow our networks. I also like the workshops and career fairs, which provided me with useful information and networking opportunities.


What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to find an accounting-related position in the business industry in the North American district.

Daniela Delgado

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am currently a senior majoring in Neuroscience and International Studies.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and moved to the United States at the age of twelve. My interests revolve around understanding and addressing social inequalities; aiming to promote justice in different areas, including health and education.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Throughout my undergraduate years I have secured internships and paid jobs. For the past four years I have worked as a Student Assistant in the Office of Student Employment, an opportunity obtained through the Miami Commitment Program on campus. In addition, during the summer of 2011, I participated in a Leadership and Service Fellowship where I worked with a community agency delivering services to farmworker families living in the Homestead, Florida, area. I received this university-based fellowship award, after completing an extensive application. This past summer I also worked as a Summer Research Trainee in the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. This internship also involved completing an online application, including letters of recommendation and a curriculum vitae. I found out about this internship by networking with physicians and mentors who recommended it. My other experience includes leadership roles in student organizations, including international work, and research at the Community and Educational Well-Being Research Center, both which have given me valuable skills that I will be able apply in my future medical profession.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?

The services/resources at Toppel which I have found to be the most valuable include the resume writing workshop, the interviewing skills workshop and the mock interviews. The workshops helped me frame my experiences in a more professional and organized manner. The mock interviews were an extremely helpful resource, as I had to extensively prepare for my medical school interviews and found this to be an excellent way to do so. Going over the feedback I received at Toppel and reviewing my mock interview recordings truly made me feel confident during my interviews.


What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to attend medical school and continue working locally and abroad to improve the well-being of at-risk communities.

Joseph Esstman

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a freshman studying business, and my major is still undecided.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, but currently reside in Denver, Colorado. My passion has always been sports, both playing them and being a die-hard fan. Some of my favorite memories were watching the St. Louis Cardinals play, especially when they won the World Series. I also enjoy philanthropy and giving back to the people and community around me. Growing up, many people have helped me get to where I am today, so it is important to use my time and abilities to help others. Another one of my hobbies is having fun, plain and simple. I try to enjoy every day, no matter what I am doing. Here at UM, I'm on the e-board of Category 5, specifically working with basketball. I love Canes basketball! If you haven't been out to a game, you have got to check it out.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I started my work experience in high school helping out with youth sports. I refereed basketball games for a few years and also have worked at a youth sports summer camp. Now, I currently intern in the front office of the Men's basketball team on campus. During orientation week, I met one of the coaches and asked if I could help the team out, because I have always wanted to get involved with college basketball.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I utilized the Toppel Internship Program, which allowed me to formalize my internship and put it on my transcript. The program was easy to navigate through and the staff was willing to help, if I needed it. I also have found the career advising to be helpful, since I am undecided and am still trying to find careers/majors for me.

What are your plans after graduation?
I'm still figuring out my post-graduation plans, but I hope to find work somewhere in the sports industry. Also important is that I find a job where I enjoy going into work each day.

Elena Kasparis

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior in the School of Business majoring in Health Sector Management and Policy, Business Law, and International Studies.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Orlando, but my family is from Cyprus. On-campus, I work as a Resident Assistant in Eaton and I'm very active in the School of Business as a Teaching Assistant, member of the Dean's Advisory Board, and Titan on the Hyperion Council. My interests are in healthcare administration and policy, with an emphasis on international and emerging markets.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I was able to intern with small companies after my sophomore year by reaching out to small businesses in my hometown about opportunities. I interned with Global Strategy, Inc. (international business development) and Avant Healthcare Professionals (international healthcare recruitment). The summer after my junior year, I completed a marketing internship with Cardinal Health, a Fortune 19 company in the pharmaceutical distribution and medical supply industry. I found this opportunity by networking with HR representatives of the company.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have been taking advantage of Toppel since freshman year, which I highly recommend! The career fair is a great place to learn about opportunities and I found the resume critique and interview skills services to be especially helpful to me in the recruitment processes for internships and interviews. One-on-one advising was also a great resource. The Toppel staff for the business school is very friendly and helpful and it always helps to just talk things out sometimes with an advisor when the process gets stressful!

What are your plans after graduation?
I have accepted a position in a rotational leadership program with GlaxoSmithKline, a fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. The program will rotate me for two years between the company's Philadelphia and Raleigh office, in addition to enabling me to live abroad to learn about the company's international operations.

David Cunningham III

David Cunningham III What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a first year student in the School of Business with a major in Finance.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Hong Kong. I have lived there for about 17 years, and also lived in Singapore for about 2 years. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee and would describe myself as a driven, goal-oriented individual. When I want something, I am willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish it. I am independent and willing to work by myself, though I also enjoy working in groups. I have traveled extensively, especially throughout Southeastern Asia. Because I grew up in Asia and graduated from an international high school, I feel as though I am a global citizen.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I have had several job experiences thus far. I have created and lead my own ventures, and have worked for other established companies. One of my biggest jobs was working with the magazine HK Golfer as their online editor. HK Golfer is the most widely-distributed English golfing publication in Greater China, and has over 200,000 readers. This opportunity stemmed from the creation of my own website, teengolfworld.com, which provided golf focused content specifically to the teenage demographic. The owner of HK Golfer was impressed by my work, and brought me on as a freelance writer initially, and through my own efforts, that turned into a job offer with the magazine. I also will be working in Chicago this summer at Northern Trust within their marketing division, focused on their social media efforts.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Toppel has brought some fantastic companies to campus, and has helped to provide me with a venue to communicate directly with those companies. One of the best experiences I have had thus far is with Northern Trust, whose event I attended only a few weeks into my freshman year. It was very interesting to hear directly from the company itself, and to be able to converse with employees of the firm. I now have an internship with Northern Trust for this coming summer, and attending the event hosted by Toppel facilitated the connection with the company.

What are your plans after graduation?
Eventually, I am going to start my own company; but plan on initially gaining experience and knowledge by working at other firms.

Duyen Quach

Duyen Quach What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a senior in the School of Business majoring in Finance.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I have always loved the city for its diverse culture and beautiful environment. On campus, I am a Toppel and Student Alumni Ambassador. I volunteer with these organizations to help promote student involvement and awareness. These activities have given me wonderful experiences and have helped me meet many inspiring people. In the future I hope to become a successful businesswoman and give back to the community in any way possible.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I am currently interning at the Orchid Boutique where I am learning about all of the aspects to operating a business. I discovered this opportunity after attending one of their information sessions at Toppel. There, I was able to speak with one of the company’s founders and learn about their driven business philosophy. I was also fortunate in the past to spend spring break with the accounting firm, Deloitte, in Atlanta, Georgia. I applied through Toppel’s website and proceeded with the interview process. It was one of my most valuable and unforgettable experiences, where I was able to volunteer with seasoned professionals and help underprivileged children and adults.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
The resume critiques and information sessions have been incredibly helpful throughout my college career. I have been able to make myself a more competitive applicant because of Toppel’s assistance. The writing guides and job postings on their website have truly helped me improve my cover letters and learn of amazing opportunities. The staff at Toppel is exceedingly knowledgeable and talented. They have brought many excellent companies to campus, and through this I have been able to connect and network with many experienced employers.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to work for a bank or a financial corporation for two or three years before I obtain my MBA. 

Allyson Paige

Allyson Quach What is/was your major/year in school?
Political Science major on the Pre-Law track (in the process of adding a History major and Business Law and Finance minors), Junior

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Evergreen, Colorado. I am a rising junior at the University of Miami. My primary involvements on campus include being a member of the Campus Liaison Council of Student Government, as well as being a proud member of Alpha Delta Pi. I also work on campus at the Herbert Wellness Center as a fitness assistant, and off campus as a volunteer tutor and mentor for elementary and middle school aged children with the Kulula Project.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
In my college career I have worked with the Ghana Health and Education Initiative; I have interned in the Office of Community Partnerships for Governor John Hickenlooper and Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia of Colorado; I have interned for Highline Capital Corp. and Mobile Barrier, LLC, both corporate law firms for two summers in a row; and I am spending this summer interning for Senator Michael Bennet in the Russell Senate Building in Washington D.C. I acquired these internships with plenty of resume and interview preparation with Toppel, in addition to becoming more savvy when it comes to the job hunt through various Toppel programs.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Choosing the services and resources at Toppel that are the most valuable is tough, because every resource I have utilized thus far has been incredibly valuable. The resources I use most frequently are the resume and interview preparation experts who, as I stated above, have helped me tremendously in my internship searches over the past two years. Being a Toppel Ambassador has also been extraordinarily valuable, because it has given me a more personal access to all of the career expos and fairs, as well as the vast number of programs and specialized sessions Toppel holds throughout the year.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation are to attend Law School and hopefully earn a dual degree in either a JD/MBA program or JD/MPA program.

James Johnston

James Johnston What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a rising junior majoring in aerospace engineering and physics.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Brigantine, NJ a small island just north of Atlantic City. I was fascinated with airplanes from a young age, which is why I decided to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. I also enjoy cooking, fishing, and going to the beach.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
During the summer of 2012, I was accepted to a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I worked under the auspices of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, a biomimetic research group. My particular research entailed creating a flow visualization system for a wind tunnel to determine the aerodynamic characteristics of butterfly wings. This summer, I am working for Zensah, a compression apparel company in Aventura. Their posting for an engineering position on HireACane.com intrigued me, and I decided to apply for the opportunity. With them, I am researching the applications of 3D printing, including rapid prototyping and customization, in relation to athletic ware. I am also investigating the possibilities of wearable technology, from monitoring of vital signs to fitness tracking, all from sensors embedded within the fabric of your clothing. I was also very pleased with the unexpected travel opportunities. The work I’ve accomplished so far has proven intellectually stimulating, giving me additional research experience in a private-sector context, as well as insight into the business side of engineering.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have utilized the HireACane.com website many times, and have attended a couple workshops on finding an internship and interviewing skills.

What are your plans after graduation?
My aspiration is to work for Boeing or another major aircraft manufacturer designing the next generation of commercial airplanes.

Vinessa E. Burnett

Vinessa E. Burnett What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a rising sophomore majoring in Industrial Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Management.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Miramar, Florida which is a small suburb just a couple of minutes outside of Miami-Dade County. Having grown up in South Florida, I have been exposed to the beautiful diversity here and have always known that I wanted to attend the University of Miami. I bleed orange and green and love being active on campus. I mainly serve as the President of Stanford College Council, Membership Chair of National Society of Black Engineers and as a member of the President's 100. During my free time I enjoy playing ping pong in the Fishbowl in Stanford Residential College or volleyball on the sand courts near Eaton Residential College. I also love singing and playing the piano, guitar and ukulele.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
This summer I am interning as a Quality Assurance Analyst Intern at Florida Power & Light (FPL), a Fortune 500 company that is ranked #1 among electrical utility companies in the nation. I am working at one of their Distribution Centers in Miami Lakes, FL in the Power Systems department as part of the Feeder Reliability Team. My role is to develop and implement strategies to improve the reliability and efficiency of the feeders, which are power lines that assist in transmitting electrical power from the substation to the customer. I acquired this opportunity after seeing it advertised in the Toppel newsletter that FPL would be on campus for an information session and on-campus interviews. I attended the information session and after participating in the on-campus interview, a couple of months later I was requested for a phone interview. The day after the phone interview I was offered the internship position at FPL!

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found numerous resources and services from the Toppel Career Center extremely valuable. One of the most important resources to me is the newsletter that is emailed to students. This newsletter played a major part in me finding out about the internship opportunity that I have now and throughout the school year provided information about events, programs and other opportunities that have helped prepare me for future success in my career. Another resource that is very valuable is the resume critiques that Toppel provides. When I started at the University of Miami I had a resume that was almost 5 pages long! I'm glad that Toppel was able to work with me to shorten and improve my resume and give it the professional edge that it needed. Both the Toppel newsletter and my new resume that Toppel assisted me with has certainly opened doors for me and I am incredibly thankful for the services and resources that the Toppel Career Center provides.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan on working as an industrial engineer for a major company. Eventually I would like to work as a project manager for a government agency or start my own management consulting business.

Matthew Paul

Matthew Paul What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a junior majoring in business management (BBA).

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am originally from Gaithersburg, MD and moved to Highland Beach, FL in 2011. During my free time, I like to travel, play golf, and analyze sports. I also try to stay current on news around the world. I also love going to the movies. I am a very outgoing person and like to meet new people, and I like to think I am an open-minded, hardworking, passionate, and honest person.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I worked for a local bakery in high school and started there because my family knows the owner. In the summer of 2012, I interned in the Residential Mortgage Division at EagleBank, which is a local bank in Maryland. During my sophomore year, I worked in the Ticket Operations department at the Heat Group. I got this position from meeting with the Ticket Operations Manager at the Fall 2012 Career Expo. My responsibilities primarily were to help customers pick up their tickets and sell tickets at the ticket window. This past summer, I was an intern at Northwestern Mutual in Coral Gables. I applied for this internship through HireACane.com and was contacted the next day by the recruiter. I have extended my summer internship and am currently interning at Northwestern Mutual for this semester.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Toppel has really helped me develop my professional career. Both of the positions I have had in Miami have come as a result of something Toppel offers. I started working for the Heat after introducing myself at the Fall 2012 Career Expo and applied to Northwestern Mutual through HireaACane.com. I also find that the resume and cover letter critiquing is extremely helpful.

What are your plans after graduation?
I'm not entirely sure what I plan on doing after graduation. Right now, my goal is to go into wealth management but I am open to other fields and trying new things. I want to stay in the Coral Gables/Miami area.

Crystal Louise Jackson

Crystal Louise Jackson What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a sophomore Nursing major, Public Health minor on the pre-medical track.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Fort Pierce, Florida which is about two hours north of Miami. The University of Miami has always been my top choice, and I knew I made the right decision by deciding to come here. When I am not in class or working at the Ticket Office, I enjoy going to the beach, movies, or out to eat with friends. I am the Vice-President of Rhythm Nation, the Secretary of the Black Female Development Circle, Inc., and the Treasurer of Minority Women in Medicine.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I was accepted into the Miami Commitment Program at the end of my senior year of high school, and I landed a job in the Hurricane Ticket Office, where I have been working since freshman year.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I had my resume critiqued, which was very helpful as I apply for a lot of positions on campus and want to be as professional as possible. I really enjoyed attending the Peace Corps infosession because I want to join after graduation and to be able to interact with a recruiter and get my questions answered was very valuable. Additionally, the Nursing and Healthcare Networking Night was valuable, because even though I am not looking for a job now, it was nice to be able to exchange contacts with employers and learn what they look for in a potential employee.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I want to join the Peace Corps and serve in a West African or Polynesian country as a labor and delivery nurse. My ultimate goal is to become either an OB/GYN or a Women's Health NP and work either in a hospital or join the Navy Medical Corps.

Hui Yu

Hui Yu What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a sophomore majoring in Community and Program Development in the School of Education.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Hangzhou, China. I went to Germany and Austria with a summer program in my first year of high school. This experience motivated me to study abroad and see how the outside world really looks. Now here I am, in Miami, Florida. I am really enthusiastic about education and community service. I participate in Gandhi Day of Service, Fun Day, UM alternative breaks as well as Kids and Culture.

I think our generation should pay more attention to what happens in society. I am proud of the cultural pluralism at UM where I learn different views about the world. Still, I enjoy bringing in my own culture as well as learning about new cultures. I work as a director in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at UM. We have hosted events like the Chinese New Year Festival to let Americans learn about Chinese culture.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I did an internship at Uelevator in Hangzhou, China in their HR Department. I learned a lot about organizational structures and employee systems in a real business world. Since my major is Community and Program Development, this experience also helped with my studies at school about organizational behaviors and group processes. I also have become deeply involved in many school organizations and activities at UM. For example, now I serve as an ambassador at the Toppel Career Center. This experience really teaches me a lot about how to be professional. Plus, I am able to meet many great people while doing my work, which helps me with building up my network.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I appreciate that Toppel has many special events for international students at UM. As an international student here, I felt a little frustrated when opportunities I wanted to apply to were only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. However, I learned a lot from Toppel's events and HireACane that there are various choices available to me.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to find a job for 1-2 years before pursuing my graduate degree. It will be a good chance for me to do something real instead of learning from books.

Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez What is/was your major/year in school?
I am currently a senior in the business school, majoring in finance and minoring in accounting.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from South Brunswick, New Jersey. I transferred to the University of Miami as a junior from Fordham University in New York. I would consider myself a "foodie", as I love watching the Food Network - especially Chopped. Ironically, I, also, love to run and I hope to participate in a marathon within the next couple of years!


What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Last year, I was a summer management intern for ABM Industries, a facilities management company. Throughout my 12-week program, I was able to experience every aspect of the company. I worked within operations, human resources, accounting, and finance. I ended my internship working directly with the Northeast regional financial analyst, preparing budgets and forecasts for the company's coming fiscal year.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I have found that Toppel provides a variety of services for students. I have had my resume critiqued as well as participated in mock interviews. I have, also, had interviews with on-campus recruiting companies and utilized my advisor, Megan Morini, to assist in my search and concerns regarding my career upon graduation.


What are your plans after graduation?
I have recently accepted a full-time position at SunTrust.  I will be working in the Brickell and Fort Lauderdale offices as a wholesale financial analyst.  My current start date is mid-June 2014 and I can fortunately say Toppel assisted me in obtaining this position!  On-campus recruiting does work!  I, also, hope to one day return to school in pursuit of my MBA, after several years of work experience. 

Suzanne Ghannam

Suzanne GhannamWhat is/was your major/year in school?
Junior, Accounting Major.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from Ocala, Florida. It was a dream of mine to come to the University of Miami, and therefore I try to make the most out of each day I have here. I not only love the school, but I tend to be a very driven person, trying to stay as involved as possible around UM, and I feel like I literally never stop moving.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I first came into UM my freshman year working at Calling Canes, where I was a caller for a little over a semester and then got promoted to the Student Supervisor position, which I still have today. I also currently have an internship at the Hecht Athletic Center in the Business Office under the Senior Accountant.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I was unsure of what I wanted to major in coming into UM, but my freshman year I took my UMX class with Ali Rodriguez, who really introduced me to all of the resources Toppel has to offer. Toppel has been tremendous ever since I stepped foot on campus my freshman year. In the beginning I received help by taking career assessments to see what I could possibly major in since I was undeclared. Since then, I have not only become one of the founding members of the Toppel Ambassadors, but I have experienced the UShadow program, which led me to make many great connections. I have also experienced numerous resources such as Resumania and Accounting Mock Interview Day, which allowed me also to make many great connections with firms right before the Accounting Career Fair.

What are your plans after graduation?
I don't have a perfect picture of what my plans are for after graduation, which to me is the best way to look at things because you always want to see what opportunities come your way. I most likely see myself working for an Accounting Firm though.

Phalande Jean

Phalande JeanWhat is/was your major/year in school?
Psychology & Visual Journalism

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Haiti and have been in South Florida for about 10 years. I am Junior and I enjoy singing and writing music. I also partake in blogging and I am working on starting my own online business.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
I worked as a Research Assistant at the Miller School of Medicine at the Tobacco, Obesity and Oncology Laboratory. I came in to speak with an advisor about finding internships in Psychology and she suggested focusing on Research. I took her advice and did my research and in no time I was working as a Research Assistant, applying my Psychology major to real world situations.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Resume and cover letter critiques have been the most valuable experience. Those two documents are the face of any application and it is vital that they are presented properly.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I would like to go to graduate school and obtain a PhD in Marital and Family Therapy. Ultimately I hope to become a psychologist with my own Radio or TV Show so that I can counsel and help as many people as possible.

Zachary Kirisits

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am currently a sophomore accounting major.

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Rochester, a city located in upstate New York. I enjoy running and spending time with family. I will likely be the only Buffalo Bills fan you will ever meet.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
So far, I have already obtained two internships. The first was a bookkeeping/accounting internship with ShadeFla, a shade and awning company located in downtown Miami. I discovered the opportunity on HireACane.com. Within a few days of applying, I had an interview with the owner, and soon after, I got the internship. I spent my entire Fall 2013 semester working there about 8-10 hours a week. I learned about bank reconciliations, the accounting software QuickBooks, and even had some experiences filing for building permits with Miami-Dade County. A few weeks prior to the winter break, several fellow Titans in the Hyperion Council (School of Business) tipped me off to an opening for an accounting internship at Fairholme Capital Management. Fairholme, a prestigious mutual fund located right near the Miami Design District, offered me a terrific opportunity to acquire more accounting experience over the Spring 2014 semester. I interviewed with each member of the accounting department, including the CFO of the company. About a month after my interview, their decision came in and I had gotten the internship. I currently work 20 hours a week, which is difficult to balance with 15 credit hours and various club responsibilities, but I would say it has been worth it.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
Good connections helped me snag my second internship, but getting to that point began with the Toppel Career Center. During my freshman year, it was one of the first on-campus resources that I took advantage of. I presented Toppel with my unimpressive resume and they instantly offered me constructive criticism on how to improve it. They said that I had to work to get high school off of my resume by sophomore year, so I joined several clubs and ran for leadership positions. They also recommended that I get experience in accounting as soon as possible, so I scrambled to apply for internships and ShadeFla luckily responded promptly. Do not assume that being a freshman or sophomore excludes you from being able to obtain an internship. After addressing resume issues, I began utilizing walk-in advising. I would ask Toppel staff a number of questions relating to summer internships, interviews, and my future career. No matter how annoying I got with my innumerable questions, I was treated with patience and respect, and I received thorough answers from advisors who had heard and seen it all. To this day, I still bother Toppel with my questions during their walk-in advising hours. As they have told me since Day 1 at UM: do not wait until senior year to visit. I listened, and I do not regret the decision. As a result of Toppel's advising, I now have a strong resume along with a large number of professional and student connections within my network (which reminds me - take advantage of their LinkedIn workshops!).

What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to work in the audit department of a large public accounting firm as soon as I graduate. I find it fascinating to analyze the inner-workings of a business, which is why I expect the profession to be perfect for me.

Jacob Rudolph

What is/was your major/year in school?
I am a sophomore pursuing a B.A. in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Public Advocacy

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Parsippany, New Jersey. My hometown is one of the most diverse places on the East Coast, which made going to UMiami a no-brainer. I love being involved and active in the communities I live in, but when that environment is culturally diverse I can’t get enough of it! I have been an LGBT youth advocate for over a year and a half, which is my passion. I am currently a Point Scholar and the proud president of UMiami’s undergraduate LGBT organization, SpectrUM.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Other than the job I held as a submarine engineer… (that’s just a fancy way of saying I worked in a sub sandwich restaurant… ha!) I’ve had one internship during the summer of 2014. I was a Communications and PR intern at GLAAD in New York City where I assisted in the movement for LGBT equality. I was able to acquire this internship through work with GLAAD I had done prior to being a ‘Cane, and also during my freshman year.

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
So far, I have utilized both the Résumé Critique and the Mock Interview as well as Christian Garcia, Toppel’s executive director. In April of 2014 I was days away from flying out to San Francisco, California for the biggest interview of my life. I had made it to the final round of Point Foundation’s scholarship application process and the last test I faced was a three-part interview in which I had to discuss my presence in media, present a community service project, and, lastly, stand before Point Foundation’s Board of Directors and Executive Director for a final massive interview. To say I was anxious would be an understatement; so much was riding on me doing well! To prepare, I scheduled myself a Mock Interview with Eddy Cruz at Toppel. I had heard about this service through the Butler Center for Service and Leadership and figured I’d give it a go. And, you know what? It was a really good thing I did. The Mock Interview helped me organize my talking points and it made me aware of how to be the best interviewee I could be through minor, but invaluable suggestions. In addition, I had the pleasure of meeting one-on-one with Toppel’s executive director, Christian Garcia. The reason I went to him was also in relation to the Point Foundation Scholarship, but the questions I posed to him were not the easiest to answer. We worked together on coming up with creative solutions to issues that did not have the most immediate resolutions. Despite it being my first time meeting him, he greeted me warmly and really made me feel like I could succeed. Great services, great leadership: Toppel.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to continue advocating for the youth. My interest in politics will likely lead me toward getting involved in that regard, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the non-profit world.

Kayla Nicole Lott

What is/was your major/year in school?
Major: Marketing Minors: Public Relations & Creative Advertising Year: Senior

Where are you from? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Originally for Chicagoland, IL, but I moved to Jacksonville, FL my senior year in high school. I am a School of Business Teacher's Assistant and Experience Tour Guide, and I am a part of many activities on campus including COSO Involvement Chair, Category 5 Graphic Design Chair, Yellow Rose Society Herstorian, Women in Business Events Chair, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship President and UJhoom.

What internships or job experiences have you had thus far and how did you acquire them?
Over the summer, I had a social media internship at Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys and BI-LO grocery stores, and I am currently a marketing intern with Cocowalk. Being involved on campus really gave me the opportunities to have a really good foundation on my resume as well as paying attention to the HireACane emails!

What services/resources at Toppel have you found to be the most valuable?
I lived in Toppel my freshman year. Their resume and cover letter services were extremely helpful in giving me the direction to have a great resume. I think every student should at least take advantage of these services if nothing else, but I also participated in the UShadow program my sophomore year, and it gave me some more insight into what I would like to do (or even not so much) when it comes to my career.

What are your plans after graduation?
I actually don't have any set plans for graduation. I want to take the summer to travel around nationally and internationally. After that, I plan on applying to the Peace Corps.
 
Toppel Career Center
 
Physical Address:
5225 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-5451
Fax: 305-284-3668
Mailing Address:
PO Box 249175
Coral Gables, FL 33124-5610