University of South Florida St. Petersburg



King O’Neal Scholar finds new career path through internship opportunities at USF

Carter Casko is one of two King O'Neil Scholars for summer 2023 commencement

Carter Casko is a King O'Neal Scholar for the 2023 Summer Commencement.

By Sarah Sell, University Communications and Marketing

Growing up in Valparaiso, Indiana, Carter Casko was always intrigued by his grandfather’s real estate business. He thought about becoming a real estate broker one day, but when his family moved to St. Petersburg during his junior year of high school, he decided to focus on another interest and become a dentist.

He always did well in school, so it was a realistic goal. Casko had a perfect grade point average in high school, graduating second in his class from Keswick Christian in 2020 and started USF St. Petersburg as a biology major that summer. He took classes every semester and accepted all the job shadowing opportunities and internships he could find.

He completed several hours of job shadowing related to biology. But finding out it just wasn’t for him, Casko pursued an internship opportunity in the finance industry. It was then that he decided to change his major to economics and focus on real estate. He would spend his school breaks shadowing his grandfather in Indiana.

“It’s fun, and I think he enjoys it. It’s a blessing because he’s been doing it for 46 years, and I get to learn from him,” Casko said. “He’s got a lot of stories, and he’s seen just about everything in the industry.”

Casko is now graduating with honors and receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He’ll also receive a King O’Neal Scholars Award during the 2023 Summer Commencement.

The USF Alumni Association hands out the King O’Neal Scholars Award every semester to students completing their undergraduate coursework with a 4.0 GPA. Each scholar receives a certificate of accomplishment and a medallion of the university seal.

“I wanted to get a 4.0 to get into dental school. You had to hit all those marks, and I did, but when I decided I didn’t want to be a dentist, I figured I might as well continue to do well,” Casko said.

After graduation, Casko will return to Indiana to work full-time with his grandfather at McColly Real Estate. But since the rest of his family still lives in St. Petersburg, he said there is always the possibility of returning to Florida.

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