Graduation year: 2017
Majors: Economics and applied mathematics
Minor: Computer science
Activities: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Omega Phi fraternity, Office of Student Life, varsity soccer (three years)
Internships: Research internship through Augie’s Texas Medical Center program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas
Post-grad plans: I’ll be working as an analyst at Esulep Management, an investment firm in Chicago.
I chose Augustana because I was looking for a smaller school with a lot of different options for a major. I really felt at home here during my overnight visit as a senior in high school, and that’s what sealed the deal for me.
Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?
Not really. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I began my freshman year. Through trial and error, along with the variety of opportunities that I was exposed to here, I eventually found a path that was right for me.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
There are a lot of people over the past four years who have been instrumental to helping me get where I am. My professors in general, and especially my academic advisors—Dr. Bengtson in the math department, Dr. Short in economics and Dr. Dungan in computer science—have all been a huge help with everything from homework questions to career advice. I was fortunate enough to get the experience to work on research projects with both Dr. Short and Dr. Bengtson (and also Dr. Stonedahl in computer science).
Additionally, my boss in the Communication and Marketing Office, Meghan Cooley, has been an amazing help to me since I started working in her office in September of 2013. Whether it’s writing a letter of recommendation for me or recommending the best restaurant to go to on a date, I owe her a big thank you for being a trusted mentor and friend throughout my time at Augustana.
Finally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my friends and family for always supporting me through the ups and downs of these last four years.
A peak experience?
Academics are important, but I never would’ve had the same learning and growth without everything I did outside of the classroom. I’ve made lifelong friends as a member of the Phi Omega Phi fraternity and during my tenure playing soccer at Augie. But if I had to pick one experience, I’d have to say it was the internship at MD Anderson through the Texas Medical Center program. I was able to grow a lot and further my career goals—though not quite in the way that I expected. Also, Houston is a pretty nice place to spend a summer, despite the heat and humidity.
What surprised you?
I’ve learned that most of the factors that bring success don’t come from talent or natural ability. Hard work, a positive attitude and a confident outlook can help you achieve great things.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
I used it to help pay for a trip to Trinidad and Tobago with the varsity soccer team. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.
What will you miss the most?
I’ll miss the people. The community at Augustana is truly special, and I can’t think of a place where I’d rather spend my college years. I’ve made memories with friends, roommates and classmates that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
Advice for the Class of 2021?
Whether it’s traveling abroad, taking a challenging class or just sitting next to someone new in the dining hall, it’s impossible to learn and grow without trying something new. It’s also important to keep things in perspective. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day stress, but when it’s all said and done, one botched assignment or bad grade isn't a big deal.
“It has been fun watching Luke explore his interests. He has really sought out research and other opportunities that helped him discover his ambitions. I’ll miss our regular advising meetings. I hope he checks in with us from time to time…I expect he’ll continue to seek out opportunities and grow!”