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

Michael Hoekstra

Graduation year: 2017

Majors: Accounting, business administration (finance, management)

Activities: Varsity basketball, Rho Nu Delta fraternity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Accounting Mentors Program, Learning Portfolio Pilot Program

Internship: I assisted in federal, state and international tax management and preparation as a part-time student in the tax department of Deere and Company.

Post-grad plans: In August, I’ll begin my career as a staff auditor for Selden Fox, Ltd. in Oakbrook, Ill.

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because I felt it was the perfect balance between academics and athletics for me. I also enjoyed the people and the culture around campus.

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

Honestly, I didn’t know where I’d be four years ago. I came into college with a vague idea of what I wanted to do with my life. After these past four years, I believe I’m in a stronger position to succeed in my professional career because of attending Augustana.

Who helped you get to where you are now?

My advisor, Dr. John Delaney, was my biggest influence on campus. He got me interested in the accounting field and has motivated me every step of the way in my academic career. He provided me with a lot of guidance in job searches and professionalism. He’s been nothing but a great person, fan and friend to me. I truly appreciate all he’s done for me.

A peak experience?

My peak experience would be making it to the DIII National Championship game twice in my time here. It was an honor to reach the highest point my sport offers with the teammates I worked so hard with. Also, having the chance to end my basketball career in the national championship was a very special and surreal moment for me.

What surprised you?

I learned a lot about myself in my time here. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. I come from a small farm town where everyone knows everyone. From Augustana, I learned that stepping out of your comfort zone is a great thing. Some of the more influential decisions I’ve made in my college career have involved me doing something out of the ordinary. I also learned how important relationships are in every aspect of life. Whether that be networking or making small talk, social skills are key.

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used my Augie Choice to help fund the trip my basketball team took in the summer of 2016 to Spain and Italy. We spent our time touring places like Barcelona, Pompeii and Rome, learning about their cultures, as well as playing against international competition. It was a once–in-a-lifetime trip that Augie Choice helped make happen.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss the people the most. The sense of community that Augie creates is so special that it’s hard to let go. Whether it be fellow students, faculty members or staff, everyone feels like a big family, and it’ll be hard to leave that. I’m grateful for all the relationships I’ve created in my time here and the memories these people have given me. I’ll cherish them the rest of my life.

Advice for the Class of 2021?

It’s a great time to learn about yourself and others, and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. Don’t stress about your major too much. Make time for friends. Call your parents occasionally. Get sleep. And finally, ENJOY IT! These are the best four years of your life, and they go by way too fast.

“Michael has had an excellent run at Augustana, starting with playing in two Final Fours and ending with a terrific job opportunity at Selden Fox. In between Michael has compiled a very solid academic record, and he has excellent work experience from his internship at Deere and Company. He has definitely put himself in great position to get the CPA and succeed in public accounting. I’ll miss our chats about basketball, but I’m looking forward to keeping up on Michael’s career (perhaps over a round or two of golf)!”

– Dr. John Delaney, chair and professor, accounting