Yesmin Delgado Alabart left Cuba at the age of 24 seeking opportunity and a brighter future.
After immigrating to the United States, she spent her first two years in Miami before settling in Tampa Bay to begin her higher education journey. She worked to support herself full time while balancing course work, learning English along the way.
Now Alabart will be graduating this summer with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from USF’s St. Petersburg campus. She is doing so with a 4.0 GPA.
She also has a coveted internship lined up with the global tax and consulting firm RSM and has been accepted into a master’s of Accountancy program with the goal of earning her CPA license.
“If you are ambitious and want to achieve more, you have that opportunity here,” Alabart said. “I’ve worked really hard and because English was my second language, it made me work harder on my studies. It has been very rewarding.”
Alabart’s path to accounting stemmed from an early interest in numbers and an entrepreneurial spirit she inherited from her grandfather. He owned his own business in Cuba until the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s. Even after, Alabart said he always had a business mindset and looked to turn problems into opportunities. Eventually, when tourism opened up more fully on the island nation, he would rent out rooms on his property to visitors.
Alabart first pursued an associate’s degree in Business Administration at St. Petersburg College with a similar spirit and determination. During this time, she volunteered for AARP to prepare taxes for residents of Pinellas County, blending her lifelong math interest with her newfound business skills to help people.
“In accounting, I especially like the area of doing taxes for people because it is an instant gratification when getting someone money back,” she said.
Upon transferring to the USF St. Petersburg campus, Alabart took up to three classes a semester while balancing a 40-hour work week and continuing to master the English language. She held positions as an office administrator at a staffing company, an assistant bookkeeper at Pinellas Technical College, worked for a small CPA firm and completed an internship at the tax and accounting firm Concannon Miller.
If that wasn’t enough, most of Alabart’s college experience took place during the upheaval of the pandemic. She thanks the faculty and staff at the Kate Tiedemann School of Business and Finance for keeping her on track and excelling.
“My professors have been exceptional. A lot have worked in the industries they teach, so their classes have been really informative for myself and other students,” she said. “And the [academic and career] advisor team were so supportive, Jill Brown in particular. I wasn’t getting any calls from companies before I met Jill, but I was after she helped restructure my resume.”
Alabart hopes to next combine all the knowledge she has learned along her journey with her tremendous work ethic to be part of helping grow a company. Her grandfather, she suspects, would be proud.