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Nandini Agarwal, Former 25 Under 25 Honoree, Wins Top Graduate Award

By Brenda Carolina Santos, Intern

Nandini Agarwal

TAMPA (November 12, 2020) -- Nandini Agarwal, no stranger to awards and recognition for excellence throughout her college career, added one more accolade to the trophy case: Outstanding Graduate for the fall 2020 semester.

Set to graduate in December with dual bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance with a concentration in asset management, Agarwal has taken every moment as a USF Bull to triumph over any – and all – expectations.

Before committing to USF, she made sure to weigh the pros and cons of each university she considered, knowing this decision would have an enormous impact her future. Ultimately, acceptance in the USF’s Honors Program and the weight of the title pushed her to commit to USF. At the age of 15, she took a 24-hour plane ride to Tampa to further her education at USF. Initially, her placement in a residence hall worried her. She was so much younger than all the other students. Since those nervous first days, she has thrived in every endeavor.

She managed to balance coursework, research, professional development, leadership on and off campus and her passion for entrepreneurship and community service. Her research includes two theses, completed within two years of one another, focusing on the impediments that women in India face, and effects on partisanship and lobbying on tax policies that relate to medical devices.

She recently wrapped up an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tampa.

“The last day of my internship,” she said, “was the day the office got the call that they would be closing due to the pandemic.”

Even with opportunities seemingly at an end, Agarwal kept opening doors. She founded two organizations based in the Tampa Bay area, Samagreen and Emerging Bulls Consulting, having founded the latter during the pandemic. Both organizations reflect her passion in the environmental and consulting fields.

Samagreen is a foray into the single-use medical device industry, introducing biodegradable devices, and Emerging Bulls Consulting helps nonprofits reach their short- and long-term fundraising goals through ideas created by the students recruited by Agarwal herself.

“I am always recruiting,” she said, “and I hope this organization continues after I graduate.” Anyone interested or wanting to try something new can reach out to her via her email at nandinia@usf.edu.

As Agarwal wraps up her final year as a USF Bull, she cannot help but reflect on all the opportunities USF has given her to grow as both a young professional and individual.

She is a USF Provost Scholar, the recipient of the 2018 Golden Bull Award and the Genshaft/Greenbaum International Honors Study Scholarship. She traveled to London with the USF in London program where she received the Greatest Academic Achievement Award. She serves as events coordinator for the Students of India Association and is the director of international events for the International Students Association. She recently was initiated into Beta Alpha Psi, USF’s premier accounting fraternity as well.

“I have always been encouraged and given the platform to showcase my ideas and passions,” she said.

Agarwal continues to move forward as her graduation approaches. She optimistically shares that she has received offers from past internships but is applying to graduate schools to keep her options open.

What would she like her legacy to be at USF?

“I want to be remembered as a trailblazer,” she said, “in the sense that I always pushed things around to get the best out of my experience here.” Agarwal said she had a “Lion King moment” she thinks of often. Standing on top of the Beard Garage and watching the sunset, she had this revelation: “You're giving your absolute best and the college is doing the same back.”

She tells underclassmen to explore their passions.

“You are not limited to your program barriers,” she said.” You must make your own possibilities and path. You must push the boundaries.”