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Student Spotlight: Tatiana Matos

By Sarah Moyer

Tatiana Matos

After coming to USF, accounting major Tatiana Matos immediately set a course for professional development and leadership qualities. And she went straight to work.

Within a few semesters after enrolling in the Lynn Pippinger School of Accountancy, Matos was awarded the Women in Leadership and Philanthropy scholarship, maintaining the award for three years. This past semester, she was awarded the CBIZ Outstanding Candidate for her semester in Beta Alpha Psi and recently, she was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, which is known for its community service on and off the USF campus.

"These are important to me because they represent all the hard work, motivation and effort I put into my education and bettering myself for a successful future," she says. "They also serve as encouragement for making a difference and standing out with my work ethic."

Here are excerpts of a short interview with this gifted student:

Q. Why did you choose USF?
A. As soon as I stepped onto the USF campus I just fell in love with the welcoming vibe. And the trees all over the place were beautiful and that allowed me to feel at peace. Though I kept visiting other colleges around Florida, like the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida, I didn't enjoy my time there and I didn't get the same feeling as I did at USF.

Q. What clubs and groups are you a part of?
A. I am involved in Beta Alpha Psi, the Accounting Society, Women in Business, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Women in Leadership and Philanthropy. I am happy that I have involved myself with these organizations because they are helpful to me as a young women professional and they have taught me a little bit more about myself and how I would like to shape my future.

Q. Why are you in accounting?
A. I actually came to USF as a finance major. However, as I took the principles of financial accounting with Professor Jennifer Cainas I found a new interest, accounting. I loved going to her lectures and learning from her. She is the type of professor who truly cares for each one of her students even if her classes have over 250 students. I even enjoyed doing the long hours of homework. When something clicked for me I would get excited and feel incredibly smart. After a few weeks of hesitation and speaking to professionals, I made my decision to change my major from finance to accounting and I do not regret my decision at all.

Q. What college subjects did you like least? Most? Why?
A. My least favorite college subject was biology. I'm not really a science person. My favorite college subject, thus far, has been cost accounting and control with Professor Mark Mellon. He gave us quizzes throughout the semester to test our knowledge on the material we just learned and I've found that is a great way to help us focus on what would be on the exams.

Q. What did you want to be growing up?
A. Growing up I wanted to be a lot of things: photographer, interior designer, architect, teacher, web designer (I took a class and tossed that idea right out of the window) and even a Disney princess. Actually, being a Disney princess is still a job I would like to have, just in case accounting doesn't work out.

Q. How do you think a friend or professor who knows you well would describe you?
A. A hard worker and someone who genuinely wants to succeed in her career both in college and as a professional. They may even describe me as someone who doesn't stop smiling unless I'm confused about something.

Q. How were you inspired to join Beta Alpha Psi? What made you want to run for a position?
A. I joined after hearing good things about this organization, not only from the students and the advisor but also professionals in the accounting world. I knew I could not pass up this amazing opportunity. Truthfully, I am very happy that I decided to join and now, I'm committed to this organization. I believe through Beta I can build great relationships.

Q. Where do you see yourself five years?
A. I hope I'll be able to see two accounting degrees hanging on my wall: a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, both from the University of South Florida. I also hope I will be waking up Monday through Friday in a joyful mood to head to my job as a senior accountant at the right accounting firm for me. However, if we are really dreaming on top of what is mentioned above I would also hope to be married, have Disney platinum annual passes, and have a fancy car I can drive around. Nevertheless, Plan B is still being a Disney princess.