University of South Florida

Muma College of Business

Tampa | St. Petersburg | Sarasota-Manatee


Samhitha Probhakar

Student Spotlight: Muma College of Business student Samhitha Prabhakar took an unconventional approach to networking at the Bulls Business Showcase. For the finance major, showing up to the networking event without a resume ended up landing her a job at Merrill Lynch.

Student Spotlight: Samhitha Prabhakar's unconventional approach to networking lands her a job at Merrill Lynch

ST. PETERSBURG – Samhitha Prabhakar's college trajectory took an unexpected turn upon her arrival at the University of South Florida. The St. Petersburg campus left a surprising and undeniable mark on the St. Louis native.

Samhitha Probhakar

“It was the St. Petersburg campus that made my decision,” said Prabhakar. “I fell in love with the campus.” 

With her choice of school made, Prabhakar faced a swift three-day decision window for choosing her major. Citing the outstanding reputation of the Muma College of Business, the new USF student started her path towards a career in finance.

The 13-hour drive away from family compelled Prabhakar to focus on building an academic career that was worth calling home about.

Her sophomore year brought Prabhakar a new role as the Undergraduate Student Assistant at the Muma College of Business. As talk buzzed around the office of an upcoming Bulls Business Showcase event, she geared up to make a lasting impression.

Ashley Curtis

Her desire to succeed came as no surprise to those who work closely with Prabhakar. “Samhi is driven to excel. She intentionally seeks opportunities to support her personal and professional development,” said Ashley Curtis, assistant program director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership. 

With a desire to get a feel for each of the companies in attendance, Prabhakar donned her best business professional attire and introduced herself to every company at the Bulls Business Showcase.

“You can get a feel for each companies workplace environment,” she said. “That’s so important because that is who you’re possibly going to surround yourself with and how you’re going to grow.”

Prabhakar sees the benefit in professional networking events for both students and companies. “Everyone is there for the same thing, to meet new people. It’s not just for students; the companies are there to connect as well,” she said. 

“At the event, Samhi displayed confidence and poise, establishing a presence that connected with employers,” said Curtis. “Her initiative, curiosity, and high standard of excellence helped her succeed.”

In a departure from the traditional approach, Prabhakar did not bring a single resume to the event. Instead, she carried just two things - a folder to collect information on the companies and her cellphone. Instead of leaving resumes, she invited companies to scan each other's LinkedIn codes for a more interactive connection.

This unconventional approach paid off the next day when Prabhakar received a message from one of her Merrill Lynch connections through LinkedIn, inviting her to the office to meet the team. 

She was soon offered a part-time role, which she gladly accepted. “They’re an amazing team,” said Prabhakar. “I’m excited to learn everything that I possibly can.”

Anticipating a busy spring semester, Prabhakar is set to juggle her roles as an undergraduate assistant, a full-time student, and a part-time employee at Merrill Lynch.

Another primary focus for Prabhakar is leading the Scholars of Finance club, an organization she established. The club holds a special place in Prabhakar’s college experience, and she looks forward to growing it coming back as an alumna to see the club’s success. 

Scheduled to graduate in spring 2026, Prabhakar has ambitious plans before then. “This college is an amazing resource,” she noted. “My goal is to get out of school knowing that I used every resource that I could, as much as I can. I’m going out with no regrets.”

Return to article listing

About Business News

Welcome to USF Muma College of Business news. We are dedicated to sharing compelling stories about our innovative research, outstanding faculty, staff, and students, and significant accomplishments from all three campuses. Here we are one college, six schools, and all business.