Kyrstin Sargable recently started an internship at TECO Energy in Tampa.

USF Sarasota-Manatee student leverages Career Services to achieve internship, career success

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: October 07, 2019

SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 07, 2019)USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services Office is the campus’ one-stop shop for internships, career advice and job leads.

With 198-staff assisted placements under its belt the past two years, the office is showing its mettle in meeting demand from employers and students – even for requests that come with a caveat.

Just ask accounting major Kyrstin Sargable, a Riverview resident who commutes an hour to USFSM because she likes the campus’ laid-back vibe, professors and small class sizes, currently a 13-to-1 student-faculty ratio.

With no guarantee of a job on the horizon, the senior was eager to find an internship that could turn into permanent employment after her graduation in December. She approached Career Services last summer, not just seeking an internship with long-term potential, but one close to home and preferably in downtown Tampa.

It was a tall order, but the senior found what she wanted with help from Career Services’ Ben Heins, coordinator of internships and service learning.

Heins worked with Sargable to polish her resume and familiarize her with online jobs platform Handshake so she could explore accounting internships that met her criteria. She narrowed the list, researched the companies she liked and then turned to Heins for one more favor.

“I liked (the utility company) TECO and applied for an accounting internship online,” Sargable said. “Then I sent a message to Ben asking if there was any chance he had contacts there and was he able to get in touch with people about my resume. He said he would look into it.”

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Ben Heins

Heins contacted TECO Energy’s HR representatives to ask them to watch for Sargable’s resume. They called Sargable that same day to set up an interview. A week later, after receiving interview tips from Heins, she landed the internship.

Sargable works Tuesday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., which leaves time for classes on Monday and online classes at night.

The internship began in late August and concludes in late-December, not long after Sargable graduates. While she hasn’t been guaranteed a job just yet, she’s hopeful she’ll get an offer by the time her internship wraps up.

“I’m really grateful to Ben. He was helpful from the get-go,” Sargable, 22, said. “I completely attribute my success to him. If it wasn’t for Ben getting the ball rolling and giving me tips that I needed … I wouldn’t have been prepared for this.”

The accounting major said she enjoys the work and camaraderie of her accounting coworkers at TECO, which provides gas and electric service to customers in Florida and New Mexico.

Heins attributes Sargable’s success to hard work and a determination to focus on her career goals.

“Kyrstin moved quickly to complete the necessary preparations before attacking the internship market, and her success is all her own,” Heins said. “When a student like Kyrstin commits to her career success, the ups and downs don’t phase them. That’s the nature of any ladder. The difference is that students like Kyrstin keep climbing.”

Career Services has many helpful programs and resources available to students any time during school hours as well as on its webpage,

For more information about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit

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