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Michael Daniels
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Michael Daniels

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Accounting and business administration-finance

Activities: Varsity football (Academic All-American), Jazz Combo

Internships: Deloitte & Touche (audit intern), Northwestern Mutual (college financial representative), Anderson Financial (payroll specialist)

Post-grad plans: I will be working for Deloitte & Touche in St. Louis as an auditor.

Why Augustana?

As a senior in high school, I was looking for a college with quality academics, where I could continue with athletics and music. Augustana was the perfect fit.

Are you where you thought you’d be four years ago?

In some ways, I am exactly where I expected to be. I knew that I wanted to be involved with football and jazz band for four years, while still performing at a high level in the classroom. However, as a freshman, I wouldn’t have believed that I would study accounting or leave for St. Louis after graduation.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My parents have been my biggest supporters, always encouraging me to go the extra mile. I also received a lot of help from Augustana faculty and staff, especially Dave Wrath, Mike Zapolski and Dr. John Delaney, who made me feel at home and convinced me to dream big.

A peak experience?

My peak experience at Augustana was seeing my name on the first-team Academic All-America list in the fall, which has been my number one goal since arriving on campus as a freshman. I went through a lot of ups and downs as an athlete, so it was a great feeling when my hard work won out in the end.

What surprised you?

I learned that I am fairly decent at Madden. I generally try to stay away from video games for the sake of time, but now that I am a “retired athlete,” I enjoy running up the score on my roommates as often as possible.

How did you use your Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to finance a trip to Italy with the football team last summer. The two-week tour was truly unforgettable.

What will you miss the most?

Without a doubt, I will miss seeing my closest friends every day. But I know I’ll keep in touch with a lot of Augie people, especially former teammates.

Advice for Class of 2021?

Use college as an opportunity to make yourself better in as many areas of your life as possible. If you’re deliberate about how you spend your time, Augustana has much more to offer than a degree.

“What makes Michael special is his natural intellect. A student does not garner a 4.0 cumulative GPA at a liberal arts institution without being able to impress professors from an array of disciplines. Michael has a wide range of interests (from music to football), and he is good at everything he tries. However, he is also one of the most humble students I have taught. It truly has been an honor and privilege to teach and advise Michael—Augustana’s 164th Academic All-American.”

– Dr. John Delaney, professor and chair, accounting