Students

Innovation Scholars

The Innovation Scholars Career Exploration Program provides unique job shadowing opportunities for incoming high-achieving first-year students at USF St. Petersburg by partnering them with companies and professionals in and around Downtown St. Petersburg and within the St. Petersburg Innovation District. This program will provide students an introduction to one or more industries or job fields as they shadow mentors and test career options to help solidify major choices and academic paths early in their university experience.

Mentors are recruited from companies in a variety of sectors, including Financial Services, Arts, Engineering, Law, Information Technology, Accounting, Education, Non Profits, Healthcare, Insurance and others. Businesses will predominantly be within walking or trolley distance from the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Questions? Please contact Kasey Kobs


We thank the following participating St. Petersburg organizations and businesses:

AARP Florida
Bank OZK
BayCare
Bayfront Health St. Petersburg
Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast
City of St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor’s Office
Doyle Wealth Management
Duke Energy
Family Study Center
Florida CraftArt
Friends of Strays
Guardian ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay
Guardian Eagle
Indi-ED
InsideOut
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC)

NOAA Fisheries Service
Pinellas County Schools
Pinellas Medical Associates
Poynter Institute
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Smith & Associates Real Estate
St. Petersburg City Council
St. Petersburg Free Clinic
St. Petersburg Group
Suncoast Developers Guild
Tampa Bay Estuary Program
Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Watch
Tucker Hall
The Florida Holocaust Museum
The Florida Orchestra
The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort and Golf Club


Students

Participatory experience is one of the best ways for students to define their career goals and then to actualize those dreams into reality. The number one outcome students and their families desire from their university education is a job related to their areas of interest. Therefore, career exploration must begin early so students can identify those areas of interest.

Benefits

  • Hands-on experience that can help define career goals
  • Insight into interesting careers and industries
  • Chance to test career and major choices that help inform academic paths
  • One-on-one access to senior community leaders
  • Potential for future internships or other roles within the company

How the Program Works

  • First-time-in-college students coming to USF St. Petersburg the Summer or Fall semester apply by the program deadline, indicating industries and job fields of interest.
  • The program coordinator reviews applications, determines availability and pairs qualified students with an appropriate mentor match. The program coordinator aims to meet the interests of students but may offer alternative options when necessary.
  • Students and mentors attend a meet-and-greet reception in early September.
  • Mentors and students meet a minimum of three times throughout a semester for at least two hours. During these meetings, mentors provide students an overview of the industry, a tour of the company, attendance at company meetings or events, and at least one meeting with senior company leadership.
  • Students who participate in the Fall have the possibility of continuing with a mentor into the Spring semester, or exploring another mentor opportunity.
  • All participants are invited to a reception at the end of the Spring semester.
  • Where interests and needs align, these shadowing opportunities set the stage for an internship experience during the students’ second year.

Eligibility

To apply for the Innovation Scholar Career Exploration Program, students must:

  • Be an incoming first time in college student at USF. St. Petersburg in Summer or Fall 2020
  • Have an interest in career exploration and some ideas for potential areas of interest

Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Maintain full-time status at USF St. Petersburg
  • Complete a survey related to their experience at the end of the semester
  • Seek advice or consultation from the program coordinator or the Career Center at any time

MENTORS

USF St. Petersburg is partnering with the St. Petersburg Innovation District to identify professional mentors from organizations and downtown St.Petersburg. Mentoring organizations will interact with incoming students, introducing them to professional topics, and assessing possibilities for future internships and roles within their organizations. 

Benefits

  • Opportunities to mentor motivated and enthusiastic student
  • Grooming students for future employment
  • Publicity on USF St. Petersburg’s website, in public meetings, and in news releases

How the Program Works

  • First-time-in-college students coming to USF St. Petersburg in Summer or Fall semester apply to program indicating job sectors of interest.
  • The program coordinator will review applications, determine availability and pair qualified students with an appropriate mentor match. The program coordinator will aim to meet the interests of qualified students but may offer alternative options when necessary.
  • Students and mentors attend a meet-and-greet reception in early September.
  • Mentors and students meet a minimum of three times throughout a semester for at least two hours. During these meetings, mentors provide students an overview of the industry, a tour of the company, attendance at company meetings or events, and at least one meeting with senior company leadership.
  • Students who participate in the Fall have the possibility of continuing with a mentor into the Spring semester, or exploring another mentor opportunity.
  • All participants are invited to a reception at the end of the Spring semester.
  • Where interests and needs align, these shadowing opportunities set the stage for an internship experience during the students’ second year. 

Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Attend a meet-and-greet reception in early September.
  • Meet with mentee(s) 3 times for at least 2 hours per semester, during which time the mentor:
    • Assesses student interests and abilities
    • Provides an overview of the industry, company and key positions
    • Provides a tour of the organization, introductions to other staff
    • Invites mentee to shadowing opportunities during company meetings or events
    • Facilitates meetings with company leadership/executive(s)
  • Attend an optional end-of-year event in Spring 2020
  • Communicate at any time with USF St. Petersburg program coordinator or Career Center regarding any issues or concerns with the student throughout semester
 

PRIORITY DEADLINE FOR STUDENT APPLICATIONS: JUNE 1

Student Application

MENTOR APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED YEAR-ROUND

Mentor Application


ST. PETE INNOVATION DISTRICT

The Innovation District is a collaborative community in St. Petersburg, Florida that fosters growth, learning and inspiration by bringing innovative people and organizations together. It includes representatives from the health care, marine science, education and research communities. To learn more, visit the District’s website.