Humble, and quietly creative.
That’s a simple, yet effective way to describe Larissa Cavalcante, a graduating international business major who was selected as the student speaker for the class of 2020 Fox School commencement.
While that celebration has been postponed due to COVID-19, Cavalcante’s experiences and successes are worth highlighting during #TempleMade Day.
“I would describe her as passionate and committed to excellence. Appreciative. Gracious. Conscientious,” says Jodi Weisberg, manager of staff affairs at Fox and member of the selection committee. Weisberg worked with Cavalcante in her speech preparation. “She exemplified all of those qualities in her speech and in the work we did together in preparing her to deliver the commencement address.”
Originally from Manaus, Brazil, Cavalcante is graduating summa cum laude and will start working as a risk advisor at Ernst & Young (EY) this summer. Prior to landing her upcoming role at EY, Cavalcante participated in three internships, was the recipient of the merit-based Gustav Auzenne Jr Memorial Scholarship and served as director of events for the International Students Association and vice president of FeelGood TU.
“She is an extremely hardworking and dedicated student, as evidenced by her 3.97 GPA, but she’s also one of the most down-to-earth students I have come across,” says Lori Roseman, associate director of Fox Honors Program. “She has achieved much success both inside and outside of the classroom and the Fox Honors program is very proud of her.”
During her time as a student, Cavalcante seized the opportunities presented to her and worked hard to excel. From the moment she learned about the study abroad option at Temple Rome, she tailored her class schedule to accommodate the trip. She traveled to Rome during the Fall 2019 semester with a mission: learn a fourth language—in addition to the three she already spoke: Portuguese, Spanish and English.
She honed her professional skills with help from the Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD). “It really helped me prepare to network when it came time.”
And after a member of that network introduced her to an employer at EY, she landed the internship that would turn into her upcoming position as a risk advisor. She is excited to embark on this next phase, helping EY evaluate processes to reduce risks in operations, implement controls and provide recommendations to clients. She hopes to grow her career analyzing risk in the entertainment or fashion industries. “But it’s too soon to tell,” she says.
As her final act as a student, Cavalcante wanted to share her path and express gratitude for her journey at Temple, so she applied to speak at graduation. “I felt like I needed to tell people how honored and grateful I am to be a Temple graduate. Without the opportunities Temple gave me—academically, financially and in my career—I wouldn’t be here,” says Cavalcante.
“This year’s applicant pool, as often is the case, was a strong and compelling group of students,” says Jodi Weisberg. “It’s never an easy choice to make. Each of the applicants brings unique stories, different approaches to their speeches and how they present their story. Larissa embodies what we mean when we say Temple Made.”
Cavalcante is looking forward to presenting her speech during the rescheduled commencement celebration.