SARASOTA -- High school seniors typically spend months touring and researching colleges and universities before making their momentous decision. That wasn’t the case for USF Muma College of Business alumna Krysta Rubin.
In fact, the Ft. Lauderdale native applied to USF and accepted its admissions offer prior to setting foot on campus and with minimal research. Rubin said she knew she wanted to move away from her home in south Florida and was originally set to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison. But with the impending birth of a new cousin, she decided to stay in Florida and be a four-hour drive from home.
Rubin said the first time she saw the USF campus — during orientation— she immediately felt at home. She stayed at USF for a decade and earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from 2010 to 2020.
And while Rubin initially intended to study criminology and American Sign Language, becoming a Bull led her into the business school and has inspired a fulfilling career in accounting.
“It was very lucky for me that USF had a wonderful accounting program when I decided I wanted to do that instead,” she said.
Along with the great atmosphere and the ideal location of USF, Rubin said she was impressed by what the Muma College of Business had to offer.
“The Muma College of Business really invests in its students’ success post-graduation. The clubs and professional societies they offer introduce you to the business world outside of college,” she said. “USF helped me build connections with the community. Attending events and building my network while in school has allowed me to succeed in my field.”
Rubin said many professors have remained in contact with her through the years and she now considers them friends. And she’s grateful the college experience gave her the chance to find what she loves.
“I think everyone learns a lot in college, whether that’s related to your classes and coursework, life in general, or yourself. I learned that everyone has their own path, and you can adjust it any time for any reason,” she said.
It was that hands-on investment that set her on a path into becoming an accounting major. She interned at Kerkering Barberio, an accounting firm with offices in Tampa and Sarasota, where she works as a senior accountant today.
At USF, Rubin was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor society for accounting. And each week, a different firm would come in and present to the group. When Kerkering Barberio came, instead of presenting slides with statistics, the company had the students play a game.
“I just remember thinking, ‘That was so fun, and wouldn’t it be cool to work for a firm that brings that extra spark of creativity to the job?” she said. Later, Rubin saw the firm at a career fair and employees made it a point to show interest in her and made her feel like they truly wanted her as part of their team. And that feeling of belonging and creative spirit never left.
“Kerkering Barberio was my Goldilocks of firms. It was the perfect size for me, offered the specialties I wanted to work in, and was in the right location. Basically, it was meant to be,” she said.
Since working at Kerkering Barberio, Rubin has made significant progressions in job titles and responsibilities. She started as an intern in December 2018 and in three years, advanced from intern to staff to in-charge and then senior accountant.
“I am so proud of how much I’ve grown as an accountant in the three short years I have been with Kerkering Barberio. In the beginning I was just learning how to reconcile bank accounts and now I am helping to prepare complex tax returns for some of our biggest clients,” she said.
She now manages projects that open leadership opportunities and that give her the ability to let her individual strengths shine. She’s excited for what the future brings.
“I know this is still just the beginning of my career growth so I can’t wait to see what’s next for me at Kerkering Barberio,” she said.
As for advice for incoming high school graduates starting their college careers, Rubin offers this tidbit:
“Choose the path that you are passionate about and do what makes you happy. It’s okay to start over. It’s OK to try again. College is just one of the many stepping stones that helps you end up where you were always supposed to be,” she said.