TAMPA -- Zooming on his scooter, O’Carson Fils is always exploring the University of South Florida campus, looking for new places to study.
Last March, he stumbled upon the hive of all business resources at USF, the Bellini Center for Talent Development.
He spotted the grand opening festivities from a distance, and the next day, ventured to see what the new building was all about. With its variety of collaborative workspaces, desks, and interview rooms, Fils knew he had found his favorite study spot.
Since then, the business analytics and information systems junior studies at the center almost daily and utilizes the center’s numerous resources. Fils is such a frequent visitor, his go-to desk has a sign with his name, reserving his spot.
Center directors named him the inaugural Bellini ambassador, an informal role given to Fils for his dedication and hard work.
Fils is taking the unexpected fame seriously and is always promoting the center to fellow business students. He has also spoken at an orientation for business analytics and information systems majors, where he talked about his role in the student group, the Association for Information Systems at USF, and encouraged the students to utilize the resources at the center.
At every turn, Fils talks up the center’s offerings to his friends and colleagues. He said he is elated to have the unofficial ambassador role and wants to stress the importance of internships and how the university has the resources to assist business students.
The Bellini Center for Talent Development opened after a $10.6 million gift from philanthropists Arnold “Arnie” Bellini and Lauren Bellini, both USF alumni. The center offers career development resources for students, assisting students as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Business students can progress through four levels of skillset development and education to earn the Bellini Center Certification badge over three and a half years. Students start by learning the fundamentals in level one. The subsequent levels focus on power skills, networking, and internship skills, and conclude with mastery skills in level four.
The skillset development program is scheduled for a full launch in the fall 2023 semester where the program's platform, called Bellini Connect, will be integrated into Canvas and courses.
“Internships are extremely important to help secure your future career. Hunting for them on your own can be a challenging experience, but that is why the USF Muma College of Business has a plethora of staff, programs, and opportunities dedicated to helping their student body. Students should be keen to take advantage of the assistance offered if they want to be successful,” Fils said.
Fils has reaped the benefits of the center’s resources firsthand.
With the help of the center, Fils accepted an internship with Citi as an enterprise operations and technology summer analyst for this summer. As a member of the Citi Early ID Leadership Program for sophomores, Fils was given an accelerated interview process directly into a Citi Superday. Fils practiced for the interview with the help of coaches in interview rooms.
He went to career coaching sessions, refined his resume, and had two mock interviews, strengthening his interview answers to fit the STAR response format. Fils also attended Citi recruiting events at the center, networking with recruiters and future coworkers.
“The Bellini center helped me secure an internship with Citi and has made me a more competent and confident young professional,” Fils said.
As the Bellini ambassador, Fils was invited to attend the center’s Executive Advisory Board. At a recent board meeting, Fils spoke about how much the center means to him. He also met with a variety of local business professionals, including Mr. Bellini himself. “Mr. Bellini is very passionate about internships, and truly cares about the work being done with students,” Fils said.
Fils also met representatives from several major Tampa Bay employers such as Citi, PODS, Coca-Cola, and ConnectWise. Since many of these employers support USF students in partnership with the center, Fils said he wants to spread the word about this valuable career development resource.
He wishes more business students knew the center helps students grow into versatile and confident business professionals. The center offers career coaching/resume building appointments and organizes internship showcases that are geared toward business students.
His favorite resource at the center is the staff. Fils has become a part of the Bellini center family, building strong connections with Program Director Doug Meyn, Career Coach Marla McQuay, Career Coach Neal Yates, and graduate assistants Sarah Davis and Nia'Symone Francisco, and Office Manager Caroline Bedenbaugh. “The staff is so enthusiastic and excited to work with students, and they champion students who come here,” Fils said.
Busy as a bee, Fils is involved in many campus organizations like Delta Sigma Pi – Professional Business Fraternity, the Association for Information Systems at USF as an executive board member, the Judy Genshaft Honors College, and is a residential assistant.