Summer graduations acknowledge hard work and achievements.

Thirty students celebrated their graduation from the BBA+ program, one of several summer gatherings to acknowledge the accomplishments of the college’s newest alumni.

Though winter and spring are the seasons associated with commencement, summer is a busy graduation season in the College of Business Administration, too. Students in undergraduate and graduate programs complete their programs . . . and celebrate at fun-filled events that include awards from professors to students, from students to professors, and even from students to each other in the form of citizenship recognition.

Here’s a summary of four of the summer graduations, along with observations from the top graduates from each of them.

Thirty new graduates in the BBA+ Weekend program’s 23rd group took stock of their accomplishments at the Graham Center on June 27, 2008.

Well aware of the demands of the BBA+ Weekend program thanks to his wife’s completion of it in 2006, Andrew Carbon (BBA ’08), student services assistant, Miami Dade College, appreciated the “quality of the faculty as well as the quality of the students. We came together as a group, almost like family, and our diverse employment background added to the learning experience.”

A training officer in his native Dominica, Carbon plans to take a short break from his studies, then enter the college’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) program in the spring, 2009, semester.

Master of Science in Human Resource Management program celebrates achievements of 27 on August 20, 2008, at Porcao Steakhouse.

When she decided to prepare for a second career and knew she needed more education, Terri Prestage-White (MSHRM ’08) turned to the Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) “because classes took place on the weekend, and it was very condensed, so I could complete it in a year,” she said.

A festive dinner marked the graduation of 27 students in the Master of Science in Human Resource Management (MSHRM) program.

Having managed people in her 25 years in the workforce, she most liked “the mixture of the practical and theoretical. The program put theory behind what I had experienced in practice and brought together students currently in the field and those seeking to enter, which was helpful. In addition, students from the Evening MBA and International MBA, who take MSHRM courses as electives, provided an interesting perspective and a good opportunity to network.”

Rusty Pelican holds two Master of Science in Finance graduations on August 21, 2008.

Offering the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at two campuses is just one of the ways the college has made it convenient for working professionals.

Living in Miami and working in Fort Lauderdale, Gabriel Acquarone (MSF ’08), controller and senior accountant, Dockwise Yacht Transport, LLC—which helped sponsor him—found that “the Downtown Center location made life easier. Everyone related to the program was very professional, it was extremely enjoyable, and I will recommend it to anyone.”

Acquarone, who had a bachelor’s degree in accounting and saw the program as a chance to “expand my knowledge in finance, especially in the United States,” valued the fact that “there was no downtime, so that while it was intense, you have your degree in just twelve months.”

Mary Benavente (MSF ’08, BBA ’07), financial analyst, Coconut Grove Bank, who took the program at University Park, started immediately after completing her undergraduate degree.

“I chose it because I knew how good the business school was, and how much I had learned as a finance and international business major,” she said. “Based on that experience, I expected to learn a lot, and I learned a lot more about everything I needed to know . . . and then some. Also, I made lifetime friendships.”

Executive Master of Science in Taxation (EMST) wishes eighteenth group well on August 24, 2008, at Grimpa Steakhouse Restaurant.

Stanislav Jansta (EMST ’08), assurance senior associate, BDO Seidman, found out about the Executive Master of Science in Taxation (EMST) program through the firm’s human resource department.

“BDO Seidman recognizes that Florida International University is a great school and recruits heavily from there,” he said. “What I most liked was that my class was filled with professionals from tax firms, audit firms, and private companies, and that we were taught by CPAs, attorneys, and PhDs. The mix provided an excellent learning environment that enabled me to enhance my understanding of tax law so I can add more value to our clients. Plus, the relationships will benefit me in the long run.”

The Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MSMIS) and the Master of Accounting (MACC) programs also held summer graduation dinners.

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