Graduation year: 2023
High school: Olathe East High School
Hometown: Overland Park, Kan.
Majors: Accounting, business administration-finance
Activities: Varsity tennis (captain), 2023 CFA (Chartered Financial Analysis) Institute Research Challenge team, Phi Rho sorority, Campus Ministries
Internships: Finance internship, Penfed Credit Union, Tysons, Va. (summer 2021); FSO audit intern, Ernst & Young, Tysons, Va. (summer 2022)
Post-grad plans: Work for Ernst & Young in Tysons, Va.
I was drawn to how personal Augustana was. Coming on campus I could tell professors genuinely cared about their students. Students were all saying hi to each other when passing. I saw clearly how Augustana could help me reach my academic and athletic goals, with a strong sense of community.
Are you where you thought you'd be when you first came to campus?
Not at all. In high school, I was shy and lacked confidence in myself. I am so grateful for all the opportunities Augustana has provided for me to grow personally and professionally while making so many amazing memories along the way. Augustana has pushed me to become comfortable being a leader in multiple different areas and to try new things.
Who helped you get to where you are now?
Dr. Delaney, Professor Marmé and all my other professors who have taught me valuable life and professional skills. Coaches, teammates, friends and family who, even from a distance, have been my rock and poured endless love and support into my life.
My peak experience was getting to be a part of and now captain of the tennis team. Tennis has always brought me the best friends and support system while pushing me mentally and physically. The tennis team has brought me some of my best memories whether that's intense matches, traveling with the team or finding joy in the daily practices and lifts.
What surprised you?
I knew at a smaller school the professors would be personal, but I did not expect to the extent they would support and encourage me. I cannot thank them enough for the extra miles they go, in addition to making every student and their future feel cared about.
How did you use your Augie Choice?
To help fund my summer 2021 internship in D.C.!
What will you miss the most?
I will miss all of the little things, whether that's passing 10 people I know on the way to the Brew, getting to know classmates, hearing about my professors' life experiences in class, homework sessions that turn into laughing for an hour with friends, the Slough in the fall. I feel so lucky for all the love Augustana has brought into my life.
Advice for the Class of 2027?
Never be afraid to grow. Personal growth is uncomfortable, hard and exhausting. But it's one of the most beautiful and loving things you can do for yourself; the friends and people meant to be in your life will grow with you. And never underestimate the power of everyday kindness.
"Michaela has been an outstanding leader among her peers on the tennis team. Beyond tallying wins for our program and working to improve on court, Michaela took advantage of summer internships, which helped her secure a job after graduation. Michaela has shown she is not only involved on and off campus, but also excels with the opportunities she pursues."